"Mecca is the direction all Muslims face when they perform their daily prayers. The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Center of the Earth, Theory and Practice. One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north. He said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed.Just as their fundamentalist Christian opposite numbers are "unearthing" and publicizing Biblical explanations for everything, from the true age of the universe to the fate of the dinosaurs to the squirms of bacteria. Actually, Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by international agreement and refined in the 1920s by astronomical scientists from around the world. Force had nothing to do with it. But perhaps the most bizarre news from Qatar is the announcement of a special Muslim watch.
"The underlying belief is that scientific truths were also revealed in the Muslim holy book, and it is the work of scholars to unearth and publicize the textual evidence."
"The meeting also reviewed what has been described as a Mecca watch, the brainchild of a French Muslim. The watch is said to rotate anti-clockwise and is supposed to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on Earth."This must earn a special reward for sheer irrationality. But, the "scientific" conference of Muslims is evidence of the hubris Islamists are experiencing as they throttle and subjugate the West. Christians are not the only mystics who wish to make science the servant of religion.
Moving from backward-running Muslim watches and the Koran as the foundation of the Periodic Table of Elements to another species of bizarre but real behavior, Walter Williams of George Mason University, in an April 16th Townhall column, "Foreign Trade Angst," wrote
"The United States is the world's largest recipient of foreign direct investment. According to the Economic Report of the President, in 2004, foreigners owned $5.5 trillion in U.S. assets and had $2.3 trillion in sales. They produced $515 billion of goods and services....According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2006 alone, foreign investors spent $184 billion investing in U.S. businesses and real estate, the highest amount foreign investors have spent since 2000...."Williams can be forgiven for not noting it - his focus was on the anti-free trade sentiment in the U.S. - but many of those "foreign investors" are Mideast potentates of the Persian Gulf who control what are called "sovereign wealth funds" (SWFs), which total over $1 trillion. An April 12th article on the MoneyNews site, "Mideast Wealth Funds Rescue Developers," notes that
"Flush with cash and looking for better-than-modest returns, several Middle East sovereign wealth funds are putting money into carefully selected U.S. real estate ventures.Note that the term "sovereign" means "government" - and the term includes the so-called "personal wealth" of about 50,000 royal family members spread between Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, their particular family heads being the government. As for the real meaning of the term "wealth," in the context of OPEC and Arab medievalists, it means "loot." The "loot" is the revenue generated by private Western oil properties which Western governments, particularly those of the U.S., Britain, and France, should never have allowed the Arabs to nationalize or otherwise expropriate from the oil companies. The oil companies, for their part, seeing that their properties were not going to be protected by their respective governments, pragmatically entered into "partnerships" with the tribalist ruling cliques in that region, over the decades expanding and improving the properties and cementing their survival on those partnerships.
"The funds, controlled by their governments of origin, have already pumped billions of investment dollars into U.S. companies and enterprises, but cash allocations to real estate ventures is a relatively new phenomenon." (Italics mine.)
Apparently, no Ellis Wyatts or Francisco d'Anconias were in charge in the 1950's to destroy those seized properties.
Someone might object: All those billions being invested in this country represent money, which, although extorted from us, is being put to legitimately productive use. It's unfortunate that it went to sustain tyrannical and religious regimes, but it is coming back.
However, it is irrelevant that the medievalists are assuming the role of risk takers. The money the medievalists are putting into U.S. companies is money that hypothetically should have gone directly to them without being first diverted to the Mideast. That money would have gone to reward risk-taking stockholders and not to the medievalists to allow them to erect their new pyramids.
The concept of "risk" cannot apply to the medievalists for as long as they have a stranglehold on the West. Regardless of the losses they may experience in their portfolios of government instruments, Treasury notes, private stocks, bonds, and the like, and regardless of the failure or poor performance of companies they may have controlling interests in, their fabulous oil revenues will always be guaranteed - provided the West's economy does not first collapse.
On March 18, WorldNetDaily carried an article by Jerome R. Corsi, "U.S. Treasury fears Islamic strings on investments."
"The U.S. Treasury is struggling with how to handle any political or Islamic ramifications as Persian Gulf sovereign wealth funds look to make substantial investments in capital-poor American banks and securities firms.SWF investments in the genuinely productive Western economies are tantamount to our own federal government buying controlling or minimal interests in private corporations, which technically would be fascism. What does the infusion of SWFs in private corporations portend?
"WND previously reported sovereign wealth funds in six Persian Gulf countries, including Kuwait, the U.A.E. and Qatar, have now amassed $1.7 trillion, positioning them for attempts to control major banks and securities firms in the U.S.
"Since the beginning of the year, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two of the largest U.A.E. states, have been in discussions with the U.S. Treasury, offering reassurances that their investments in U.S. bank and security firms would not impose restrictions usually dictated by Islamic law, commonly known as Sharia."
SWFs will not be invested in Exxon's or in any of the other major Western oil companies' exploration and drilling projects in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, or on the West Coast, provided they are ever approved by Washington, not unless they can buy controlling interests in such projects, the better to control oil production.
Do not forget that "trade" with the medievalists is not trade in the normal sense, in which values are exchanged to no party's loss. SWFs are loot, and the looting has lasted as long as it has because of especially American energy and foreign policies. One might speculate on the number of congressmen who are in thrall to the medievalists and who block any proposal to allow oil exploration and drilling in areas that are now environmentally "off limits." It is certain that the sheiks, princes and emirs of the Mideast chuckle or gloat over every victory of the environmentalists in Congress and the White House. They must have danced in the streets when ethanol was mandated by the government, and cheered heartily over the biofuel and "clean energy" programs.
Thus, the looters are encouraged by the West's irrational policies. They, like any other criminals or gangs, are counting on the absence of reason and self-assertion in their victims. This is not to say, however, that the medievalists are aware of these concepts in any explicit form; nor is it to claim that the victims are conscious of the crucial, necessary role they play in their survival. The evidence, based on the pragmatic, short-range policies of Western governments, suggests that they are either ignorant or disdainful of such concepts. They are unable or unwilling to learn that, given the bind in which they have placed their countries, the "practical" is inevitably and inarguably impractical.
Overlooked in virtually every discussion of the phenomenon is the political leverage the medievalists can acquire in the West by the redirection of their "wealth." As the Treasury Department article above indicates, even American officials see the potential threat of especially Saudi influence on the character and course of American foreign policy and are meekly asking for assurances from the medievalists that they will not, for example, arm-twist the U.S. into abandoning Israel, or recognize Hamas as a legitimate political party, impose censorship on critics of Islam, or even replace Greenwich Mean Time with Mecca Mean Time.
(Notwithstanding our arms sales to it, the U.S. is not much of an ally of Israel since our current policy is to compel Israel to compromise with its mortal enemies and to "cooperate" and help negotiate the formation of a hostile Palestinian state. The U.S. arms deal with the Saudis is bigger by many more billions of dollars. For the nature of the Saudi threat to the U.S., see my commentary of December 13, 2006, "Our Saudi Foes.")
It is interesting to learn that after 9/11, according to an article on the Saudi-American Forum site in September 2003, "The United States Must Not Neglect Saudi Arabian Investment," between that infamous date and the spring of 2002, some $200 billion of Saudi SWFs fled the U.S. In 2003, when the Saudis and other Persian Gulf medievalists saw that the U.S. was not only fighting the wrong enemies, Iraq and Afghanistan, but was going out of its way to assure them that they were not perceived as the true enemies, SWFs began to flow back into the country.
Peppered throughout the article, however, are complaints about "discriminatory" actions taken by Americans objecting to Arab investments, together with cautious warnings and admonitions to the U.S. that unless America does something about individuals and organizations that implicate the Saudis with 9/11 and terrorism in general, not to mention Saudi-funded political activism through front organizations such as CAIR, then the Saudis will withdraw their investments and place them elsewhere.
The author of the article writes that
"...Recently thwarted FDI [foreign direct investment] projects in the United States reveal that organized interest groups have sought to target and derail Saudi investments. Locals who objected to Saudi Arabian investment into their community have made a comparison of legitimate Saudi investments to suspect illegal organizations. One project failed as a small group of activists launched a media campaign accusing [sic, alleging?] terrorist ties.The author, Tanya C. Hsu, protesteth too much, very likely under the instructions of her Saudi employers. Note that the Saudis group themselves with other "foreigners," as though they were in the same class with private British, French, or other non-governmental foreign risk takers who have invested money in American companies. Note also that the Saudis pose as "victims" of actions taken by Americans who fear an economic takeover of the U.S. by powers hostile to its republican character, without mentioning proven Saudi complicity in funding terrorism, or Saudi-funded political activist groups such as CAIR, or Saudi "libel tourists" who sue authors and publishers to suppress publication of books that demonstrate the links between Saudi money and terrorist activities.
"Many Saudi investors are also concerned about becoming victims of lawsuits. Saudi and other foreign investors with no complicity whatsoever with 9/11 or links to terrorism nevertheless perceive the aggressive efforts of an army of U.S. lawyers and entrenched interest groups to 'link and accuse' foreigners in a broad net of litigation. The threat of becoming ensnared in such lawsuits has been reason enough to avoid long-term investments in U.S. markets. If plaintiff efforts to freeze and tie up investments in advance of any evidence of guilt succeed, foreign faith in U.S. financial markets will suffer." [Italics mine to underscore one of the veiled threats.]
Gag your citizens, demand the Saudis, scrap the First Amendment, forget 9/11, or we will see to it that you suffer your just desserts.
A Washington Post article of February 11, 2002, "Enormous Wealth Spilled Into American Coffers," briefly touches on the political connections between Saudi money and government officials.
"One American financial institution that has attracted Saudi investments is the Washington-based Carlyle Group, whose principal officers include several members of the Saudis' favorite American government of modern times, the first Bush administration. Its principals, who have made millions of dollars from the firm, include former Office of Management and Budget director Richard Darman, former secretary of state [and now defense secretary] James A. Baker III. Former president George H.W. Bush is also a well-paid advisor to Carlyle. Bush has traveled to Saudi Arabia on Carlyle's behalf." [Carlyle, incidentally, failed at the same time as Bear Sterns in the government-caused sub-prime mortgage debacle.]No doubt Bush Senior has often visited Saudi Arabia with his $100 million buddy, Bill Clinton, whose presidential library in Arkansas received $10 million in donations from the Saudis and untold millions from other Persian Gulf billionaires. Clinton's own Arab connections are probably greater than what has filtered through the media sieve.
However, The New York Sun, in a November 22, 2004 article, "Saudis, Arabs Funneled Millions to President Clinton's Library," provides some details, but not the whole picture, of the Clinton-Arab connection.
"President Clinton's new $165 million library was funded in part by gifts of $1 million or more each from the Saudi royal family and three Saudi businessmen. The governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar and the deputy prime minister of Lebanon all also appear to have donated $1 million or more for the archive and museum that opened last week."In exchange for what? For practicing grand scale political chicanery to enfeeble America and deliver it in a state of dhimmitude to its destroyers.
The Sun article also mentions that George H. W. Bush's presidential library received significant Saudi donations, as well. When his son, George W. Bush, begins planning his own presidential library, doubtless it will receive generous Saudi and Persian Gulf donations, especially given his "special" handholding relationship with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. But, being bought off by the medievalists is not an exclusively Republican venality, as the Democrats like to claim.
How can the medievalists exercise political power over the U.S.? By having politicians like the Bushes and the Clintons in their pockets, in the White House and outside of it.
What will be the end, the dreadful climax? We can put ourselves in Dagny Taggart's place in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, as she listens to another set of looters express their own ambitions, and imagine the same thing with the appropriate substitutions:
"Then she saw the answer; she saw the secret premise behind their words. With all of their noisy devotion to the age of science, their hysterically technological jargon, their cyclotrons, their sound rays, these men were moved forward, not by the image of an industrial skyline, but by the vision of that form of existence which the industrialists had swept away - the vision of a fat, unhygienic rajah of India, with vacant eyes staring in indolent stupor out of stagnant layers of flesh, with nothing to do but run precious gems through his fingers and, once in a while, stick a knife into the body of a starved, toil-dazed, germ-eaten creature, as a claim to a few grains of the creature's rice, then claim it from hundreds of millions of such creatures and thus let the rice grains gather into gems." (p. 948, hardcover)Or into pyramids in the Mideast deserts. Are Americans willing to starve and toil as environmentally acceptable germ-eaten creatures to help the Islamic rajahs of the Persian Gulf build them? For that is the secret means and end of the wielders of SWFs. It remains to be seen.
But Americans are getting no guidance on the matter from the presidential candidates, none of whom dares raise the subject. The depth of their moral depravity is as great as Jimmy Carter's, who recently laid a wreath of roses on the grave of Yasir Arafat.