When he's not globetrotting with rightwing bagman and arms-dealing cult godling Sun Myung Moon, or being served with free prostitutes while bagging Red Army cash and insider fixings in China, little presidential brother Neil Bush can often be found in the balmy climes of Saudi Arabia, soaking up the largess of Bush Family business partners like the royal Sauds and the wealthy bin Ladens — and peddling his latest business wheeze, a boondoggle aimed at wringing money from public education systems dependent on government favor to survive.
(The scheme — a computerized "learning system" — goes by the unfortunate acronym of COW: "Cirriculum on Wheels." By a curious coincidence, this is the same acronym employed by his older brother in one of the latter's own boondoggles: the "Coalition of the Willing.")
Thus Arab News, the Saudi English-language paper, finds the peripatetic Neil "building bridges" at the Jeddah Economic Forum this week. While hawking his COW amongst the mega-monied of the Middle East, Neil found time to hold affable court with the paper's reporter. Through most of the softball interview, Bush doled out bland bromides while promoting his pet COW and defending his brother's foreign policy. He only really came to life at the end of the talk, speaking of the "anguish" he feels over the way the Saudi's medieval kingdom of rampant nepotistic corruption, intolerant religious extremism and suffocating social and political repression is portrayed in the outside world.
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To Bush, the fact that Saudi Arabia is a kleptocratic authoritarian oligarchy dominated by a single family whose power rests on a "base" of religious fanatics and oil money is not a bad thing; it's just a "different" kind of democracy. As Arab News tells it:
Bush says it is important to gain “a more balanced perspective” on Saudi Arabia, and to let go of some of the stereotypes. “If I go by the images of Saudi Arabia portrayed in movies, that of gun-toting mullahs, then I think I will have a very different impression of Saudi Arabia than the one that is balanced and based on reason and facts.”
As a man whose family is deeply involved in the global oil business, Neil Bush has spent a lot of time in the Kingdom and says he’s not only grown to love the people, but also to understand the system. “It’s a kind of tribal democracy that people don’t talk about very much,” he said. “So it hurts me quite a bit and causes me anguish over the ignorance outside about Saudi Arabia.”
This tolerant view of tyranny naturally finds favor with his Saudi hosts, as the paper concludes on this upbeat note:
Indeed, not every system needs to be a Western-style Jeffersonian representative democracy, does it?
Indeed not! The Saudi way of governance obviously has much to recommend it, especially to superior families — the natural rulers of society — who find that the prissy restrictions and public clamor of Western-style Jeffersonian representative democracy tends to put a crimp in the efficient exercise of their power.
P.S. For more on the highly remunerative relationship between the Bush Family and the mephitic messiah from Korea, see Robert Parry's "Moon/Bush 'Ongoing Crime Enterprise'" and his archive of stories on "The Dark Side of Rev. Moon," plus John Gorenfeld's continuing updates on the bizarro GOP moneybags.
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