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       Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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Mr. Gore goes to Jeddah

Jimmy Stewart, he ain't. Al of Arabia is more like it.

Ever the embittered loser of the 2000 presidential election and deprived of the position of which he believed was his birthright, Al Gore has done little or nothing to help his country since 9/11. Continuing in that vein, he recently traveled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he denigrated his country in front of a Saudi audience. The only thing missing was some traditional Arab garb and that goofy beard he was sporting when he first came back to public life after his self-imposed exile following the 2000 election defeat.

Gore told a no doubt fawning audience that the U.S. government had committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the September 11, 2001 attacks and insisted that most Americans did not approve of such treatment. He said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. To top it off he said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.

Huh? How is that playing into al-Qaida's hands? If anybody is playing into al-Qaida's hands it's al-Gore. Few things cheer the heart of an al-Qaida terrorist more than when top-level American leaders -- even former ones with delusions of grandeur and an ax to grind -- go to the heart of the Islamic world and trash America in front of an Arab audience. It may be a couple of weeks before bin Laden gets the message by runners that the former American vice president was in his hometown of Jeddah criticizing the Bush administration, but it will certainly cheer up his cave that night.

"The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake," Gore said. Was he referring to the fact that Arabs can no longer just waltze into the United States anytime they get good and ready? And that is a mistake because . . .?

"The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States," he continued. But what al-Gore seems to forget is that "mutual understanding" first got strained, shall we say, when it became known that Saudi Arabia supplied 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers. See, it's not really a very nice place and it's swarming with Islamic radicals who would vaporize us in a heartbeat if they could. Thus, we're not handing out visas like they were candy anymore.

We're talking about a country that would have to revolutionize itself just to achieve Dark Age status. This is a country where any religion other than Islam is illegal. This is a country where school girls were turned back into a burning building by the religious police because they had emerged without wearing their traditional black burkas. But al-Gore is worried about offending these people and "cutting off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding."

If he had to go to the Middle East, one wishes he would have limited it to visiting Michael Jackson at his compound in Bahrain where they could have wallowed in mutual commiseration over all the mistreatment they've suffered at the hands of an unfathoming American public.

Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/



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posted by Greg Strange at 8:36 AM  

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