Monday, May 10, 2004
What a Prince!
For those of you who've never seen or heard the Saudi Ambassador to the US (and have a high speed connection to the web) check out these Quicktime video clips of Prince Bandar-Bin-Sultan on "Meet the Press" with host Tim Russert.... man, this guy is a real piece of work (thank you TiVo-mistress Lisa Rein!)
Prince Bandar: Video
and my absolute favorite quote from the
Frontline: "Looking for Answers" (9/11 & Terrorism)
interview with journalist Lowell Bergman:
FRONTLINE: But we have talked to intellectuals, doctors, dissidents who are not in the country who say that to do business in Saudi Arabia, you must have a partner in the royal family. You must have an "in," in the country. It's not an open system. It's a corrupt system. ...
PRINCE BANDAR: You know what? I would be offended if I thought we had a monopoly on corruption. I think--
FRONTLINE: You know the image, though. You know what I'm talking about.
PRINCE BANDAR: Yeah, I know the image. But you don't know your image either in my country, in my world. In other words, the image of the West is not any better. What I'm saying is, if you have house of glass, don't throw stones.
But the way I answer the corruption charges is this. In the last 30 years, we have implemented a development program that was approximately ... close to $400 billion worth, OK? Now, look at the whole country, where it was, where it is now. And I am confident after you look at it, you could not have done all of that for less than, let's say, $350 billion.
If you tell me that building this whole country, and spending $350 billion out of $400 billion, that we misused or got corrupted with $50 billion, I'll tell you, "Yes." But I'll take that any time. There are so many countries in the Third World that have oil that are still 30 years behind. But, more important, more important -- who are you to tell me this? ... What I'm trying to tell you is, so what? We did not invent corruption, nor did those dissidents, who are so genius, discover it. This happened since Adam and Eve. ... I mean, this is human nature. But we are not as bad as you think. ...
Link to Full Text of Interview