Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Saudis still in denial.

In the extravagant halls of King Saud University, 25-year-old Abdullah Al Gathani put a few more bricks in a wall of anger and denial. "I don't believe the hijackers were Saudis,"

Hey, does this guy know Amiri Baraka?

Abdullah Al Gathani, a student of computer science, managed to get much of the Saudi arguments into one bitter spray, in which he regurgitated conspiracy theories that are becoming accepted as fact by many in this region: "I'm being punished because of Osama bin Laden - the US will not grant me a student visa. What happened on September 11 was too big for 19 people to do - I think the Americans did it themselves; that's why the Jews on Wall Street didn't go to work that day."

The writer goes on to dig into life and the conditions of Saudi Arabia.

Despite the blocking by the Information Ministry, the Herald managed to interview Dr Ali Al Mosa, a local reformist academic, who debunked some of the theories offered as explanations for the young men of Asir signing on for death, theories like poverty and isolation. He said: "Most of them were from very rich, top-class Saudi families. The father of the Alshehri boys is one of the richest people in the area and the other families are not far behind him."

Some of the hijackers' parents still refuse to accept that their sons were involved in the attacks. But Al Mosa told of a recent two-hour meeting he had with the father of one of the hijackers: "He told me that for the first six months he wasn't able to believe it, but then he started to ask himself where was his son - why no calls? Why did he not come home at this terrible time?

"So he started to look at things again, and now he accepts that his son did do this thing. When I saw him he was crying and I'm sure he condemns it 100 per cent. He was not a happy man. All the families were in denial, but then they started to talk about their sons' pasts. They said that they were relatively innocent and that they must have been brainwashed. Their sons were victims too."

< email | 10/05/2002 11:00:00 AM | link

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