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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

12.19.2006

More on Jimmy Baker's Jewish Problem

Those who haven't followed James Baker's slimy sideshow career might not realize how deep in the Saudis pockets he has been:

James Baker's somewhat contemptuous attitudes towards Israel while he served as Secretary of State (publicly humiliating Israel when he suggested at a press conference that if Israel wanted to discuss peace it could call him at the White House, then proceeding to list the phone number, digit by digit) and his problematic attitudes towards Jews ("&**&# the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway" - a statement that he has denied making, though others have said he did indeed have this anti-Semitic outburst) are fairly well-known. But relatively few are familiar with his career after he left government service.

Baker became involved in the legendary Washington, D.C. based Carlyle Group: an investment group heavily-funded by Saudi Arabian investors. Not only is he the senior counselor of the Carlyle Group; he also has an estimated $180 million dollar stake in the firm.

His interests are clearly aligned with those of the Saudis. He established the James Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. No information is listed on the Institute's website about major donors, but the Institute's impressive building bespeaks lavish funding. The Saudis are known to favor think tanks established by former government officials with generous support, possibly because they may prove useful to them in the future, or to reward them for past service to the Kingdom, and offer an example to others still charged with serving American national interets.

Baker's Houston-based law firm, Baker and Botts, has offices in the Saudi capital of Riyadh and in the Persian Gulf nation of Dubai. Baker and Botts defended, among others, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia who was sued by the families of the World Trade Center victims for alleged complicity in the attacks. Baker has had quite a lucrative career after his government career.

Undoubtedly the emollient money - the "baksheesh" - that Arab nations spread in the power corridors of Washington have been some of their best investments to date. In the words of former Saudi ambassador Prince Bander bin Sultan:
"if the reputation builds that the Saudis take care of their friends when they leave office, you would be surprised how much better friends you have who are just coming into office".

The Prince's words are a leitmotif to keep playing in the background when tracing the careers of participants in the Iraq Study Group.

Saudi Arabia has always been anti-Israel and is one of the foremost promoters of anti-Semitism in the world today. Furthermore, as the "guardians" of Mecca and Medina, Saudi rulers have an obligation to protect Sunnis. If America were to withdraw from Iraq and the Sunnis would suffer the wrath of the more numerous Shiites as payback for the years of abuse the Sunnis had previously dished out to them during the Saddam era.

In the face of such a disaster, a failure from the standpoint of the Saudi regime that wants to see America defending its interests, could the Saudis be mollified by forcing Israel to appease the Sunni Palestinians? Perhaps it would give them some cover from criticism by more radical factions that the American alliance has been bad for Sunni Islam. But in any case, the Saudis would be pleased by any actions that the Baker group could take that would harm Israel and the American-Israel alliance.

Baker is a Machiavellian maneuverer, an artful street fighter and one of the foremost practitioners of stealthy power plays in Washington. He constructed a façade of a supposedly neutral bi-partisan working group of "experts" that would formulate policies. Behind the façade, the wizard worked his wonders. He seeded the key working groups with many members who had long histories of anti-Israel activism, have records of making statements that in some cases border on anti-Semitism, and are beneficiaries of Arab oil money.


Whatever integrity he had he mortgaged long ago.

And whatever service he once did his country, the harm he has done since has more than outweighed it.

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