embargo. According to the October 29, 1990 Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, “The anticipated end to the embargo on oil sales to South Africa could pave the way for the country to become an oil hub of international importance. … The lifting of trade sanctions would make it possible for the Cape of Good Hope to be developed as a major export-refining center. … South Africa’s pivotal position on trade routes from the Persian Gulf to the Western Hemisphere as well as its proximity to West African producers gives it a unique vantage point from which to market products to other African countries, South America and southern Asia.” The Larger Perspective: Fand as ‘Milk Cow’ According to a landmark. June 21, 1987 New York. Times article entitled “Prop for U.S. Policy: Secret Saudi Funds,” the Saudis’ support for the Contras and UNITA were not isolated cases. “Rather, they were part of a well-established pattern of Saudi diplomacy that can be traced through the last four administrations.” The Times quotes a “former diplomat with wide experience in the Middle East” as saying, “Any time we needed them to pay for something, we always turned to the Saudis. We viewed them as this great milk cow.” The Times article which is must reading for anyone who wants to understand the U.S.-Saudi relationship describes the U.S.’s use of Saudi funds as a method by which the executive branch could sidestep having to submit its policies to Congress for funding approval. The article quoted William Quandt, former National Security Council Middle East specialist under President Carter, explaining, “It takes King Fand about 10 seconds to sign a check. It takes Congress weeks to debate the smallest issue of this sort.” Quandt told the Times that, concerning the Contra funding, “We were selling them a -lot of arms and felt some quid pro quo was -reasonable to expect.” Congress was not informed that Saudi funding of anti-communist military forces was a “quid pro quo” when the AWACS sales were approved. The Saudis were also central to the secret infrastructure Reagan Administration officials set up for the arms-for-hostages deals with Iran. According to the October 28, 1986 San Francisco Chronicle, “Saudi arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi, who is close with several Israeli arms dealers, was a key figure in putting the deal together, which involved having arms transferred by Israel to Iran on behalf of the United States. Some sources say they believe that Khashoggi may have been acting either tacitly or explicitly on behalf of the Saudis. These sources say Saudi Arabia may have feared that Tehran would defeat Iraq in the Persian Gulf war and wanted a link with Tehran as insurance.” Joe Stork in the October 1980 Middle East Reports wrote that, “Khashoggi is particularly close to Crown Prince Fand… [and] this connection has made him worth billions to Northrop and Raytheon, to name just two of his clients.” While Khashoggi may have performed this service for the United States without King Fand’s knowledge, we must at least question whether he would have engaged in such a sensitive endeavor without the permission of the man with whom his connections had earned him billions. Incidentally, Houston Post reporters Pete Brewton and Greg Seay have linked the same Adnan Khashoggi to a scheme that cost the now-defunct Austin-based Lamar Savings and Loan of $12 million in federally-backed loans. \(Houston Post, Post has shown that at least some money from bad loans in Texas thrifts also was channeled by the CIA and other intelligence operatives to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras. The New York Times reported that “it is not unusual for the United States to seek the help of other countries to pursue foreign policy objectives. The intelligence committees on BY JENNIFER WONG 0 N JANUARY 12, Congress voted on whether to give the President the authority to use force in the Persian Gulf, pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 678. The House voted 250-183 in favor of what has so far proved to be an air war against Iraq. In the House, 179 Democrats and three Republicans voted no, casting their votes instead for an amendment that recommended continued sanctions against Iraq. Eighty-six Democrats and 164 Republican voted in favor of the use-of-force amendment. All but seven members of the Texas House delegation voted to give President Bush the authority to wage war in the Persian Gulf. House Republicans Bill Archer of Houston, Dick Armey of Copper Canyon, Steve Bartlett of Dallas, Joe Barton of Ennis, Larry Combest of Lubbock, Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, Jack Fields of Humble, and Lamar Smith of San Antonio joined Republican Senator Phil Gramm to support President Bush’s war efforts unconditionally. A majority of Texas Democrats broke with the party leadership in the House to support Bush’s authority to wage war. This trend, typical among conservative southern Democrats, prevailed in the votes of Representatives Mike Andrews of Houston, Jim Chapman of Sulphur Springs, Pete Geren of Fort Worth, Ralph Hall of Rockwall, Greg Laughlin of West Columbia, Bill Sarpalius of Amarillo, Charles Stenholm of Avoca, Jennifer Wong is an Observer editorial intern. Capitol Hill were told of many of the Saudi operations and gave their consent. But in several cases, such as the aid to the Contras [and to UNITA and the South African oil deals], Congress was apparently not informed.” According to the Times, “In the last two decades, Saudi money has assisted proWestern movements or governments in such countries as Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Sudan, Pakistan, Zaire and Nicaragua,” among others. President Bush, then, is not simply protecting “the American way of life” with Operation Desert Shield. He’s protecting a “milk cow” that has been a key source of funds for U.S. public and covert military policy for two decades, including some of the most sensitive covert actions in the ReaganBush era. He’s also protecting a key customer of the U.S. arms industry one of the largest weapons purchasers in the world. and Charles Wilson of Lufkin. Other Democratic Representatives who broke with the House leadership were Jack Brooks of Beaumont, Chet Edwards of Waco \(and Fort Garza of Mission, and Solomon Ortiz of Corpus Christi. That left only Representatives John Bryant of Dallas, Albert Bustamante of San Antonio, Ron Coleman of El Paso, Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio, Jake Pickle of Austin, Craig Washington of Houston, and Senator Lloyd Bentsen holding out to give sanctions a chance to work. \(For Coleman, Pickle, and Bustamante, the vote was made more difficult because of the high percentage of active and retired members of the military What follows are statements made on the floor by members of the Texas delegation during the January 10-12 discussion on whether the United States should resort.to the immediate use of force against Iraq. Democrat Lloyd Bentsen: Mr. President, I am in an unaccustomed role. I have a reputation of being somewhat of a hawk for the things that I have done in this body throughout the years. But this time I am supporting the resolution of the Senator from Georgia and the majority leader. … I do not think anyone in this chamber or the generals themselves can have an accurate, sure knowledge of what costs there will be to this war. … I do know that in that desert in 1973, in just a 20-day war between Israel and the Arab nations, 21,000 people lost their lives in 20 days and 37,000 were casualties. The The War Vote 8 JANUARY 25, 1991
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.