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    If They Were Your Children, You Would Be Angry Too

    Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2002

    In previous columns, I have told you how Bush's close commercial ties with Saudi Arabia have seriously compromised his ability to protect American interests. It now appears that these ties also compromise his ability to protect American citizens.

    According to News Max, "Pat Roush, who told a congressional panel last week that her two daughters are being held against their will in Saudi Arabia after being kidnapped by her ex-husband in 1986, lashed out at President Bush on Sunday (June 16), saying his family's financial ties to Saudi royalty are behind his reluctance to help.

    "When asked why Bush had not used his influence with the Saudis to free her daughters, Roush replied, 'Are you kidding? His father knew about it when he was Vice-President.'" Roush then said, "The Bush family is extremely connected to the Saudis. The Bush family has made lots of money with the Saudis and they continue to do that."

    Unfortunately, the Roush story is not an isolated one. According to press reports, the State Department has provided the House Committee on Government Reform with a list of as many as 92 U.S. citizens being held against their will in Saudi Arabia. Unbelievably, this is happening with the full knowledge and complete apathy of the Saudi government and Bush administration.

    Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) accuses the U.S. government of doing nothing to hold the Saudis accountable for these atrocities. He says this do-nothing attitude is but a symptom of much larger accommodations of the Saudis by our government. Burton notes that as many as half of the al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay are Saudi.

    In spite of Saudi Arabia's clear connections to international terrorism, including the attacks against the United States on September 11, the Bush administration refuses to categorize Saudi Arabia in its list of "Axis of Evil" states or to even raise the kidnapping problem with Saudi officials. In the meantime, the Bush family continues doing business with the royal family in Saudi Arabia.

    Since Roush's nightmare began, her girls have grown into their late teens. To punish Roush for speaking out on the kidnapping, her youngest daughter was reportedly sold to a Saudi male in a pre- arranged "marriage."

    I cannot help but believe that if the children being held prisoners in Saudi Arabia were our children, we would be just as angry at President Bush as Pat Roush is. We should be, anyway.

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