Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Secrets of Posner - Part 2

Al-Hayat 2005/06/6

In his two books "Why America Slept" and "Secrets of the Kingdom" Gerald Posner refers to Abu Zubaydah as the third man in al-Qaeda. But then the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is mentioned and Posner refers to him as "an even higher ranking" al-Qaeda man. How is this? If he is higher than Abu Zubaydah were does that leave Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Usama bin Laden himself? Who is second? Who is first in this overcrowded room?
This is nothing compared with the more outrageous claims by the author. Since his first book he must have discover that Prince Ahmed bin Salman was a businessman and a very successful thoroughbred owner and that no one believed that he could possibly have any kind of connection with al-Qaeda, so Posner comes up in his second book with a new twist to the old lie. He claims that Prince Ahmed might have been "a conduit of information for someone higher ranking" like his father Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz. Posner knows that Prince Salman is governor of Riyadh but then goes on to say that "he is one of the Kingdom's most influential ministers…"
He claims that Prince Salman's office overlooks Sahat al-Adl, or Justice Square. It does not. Posner is talking about the Prince's old office. For over ten years now Prince Salman's office overlooks the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque. Sahat al-Adl is on another side and anyway the big window of the office is behind the Prince's desk and visitors cannot see through it.
With his wealth of knowledge, Posner claims that Prince Salman, Prince Sultan and Prince Abdullah (in this lopsided order) are "the de facto rulers of Saudi Arabia". Where does that leave the King, or Prince Nayef among others? The book claims that the governor of Riyadh has "strong ties to the religious conservatives, particularly those in the regional strongholds of Buraydah and Darriya".
Is there more than one Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Saudi Arabia? Is there one who is governor of Riyadh, another a minister and a third with political and religious alliances? Posner talks about Prince Faisal bin Salman and says he is the head of a media company that is violently anti-American and anti-Israli disseminating propaganda. Now this is becoming personal; I was the first editor-in-chief of Asharq al-Awsat and I hired every single member of the editorial staff. Posner should know about propaganda as his book is a classic case of cold war disinformation and shear ignorance.
He is ignorant enough to claim that Prince Feisal bin Salman is the head of education in Saudi Arabia. I feel bad that I did not congratulate him on this exalted position, or Prince Salman on his cabinet position.
All the above is contained in the first chapter of the book, which ends with Posner quoting himself. When I saw some of the outrageous mistakes made I went to the Notes at the end of the book and discovered that he also quotes the clown Stephen Schwartz and Dore Gold, a one time ambassador of Benjamin Natanyahu to the UN, so I don't need to explain his objectivity and humanity.
All this expertise however, does not help Posner and in the short second chapter he talks about the history of the House of Saud and their country. He knows that "bin" means "son" in Arabic, but after he mentions Imam Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab he starts referring to him as al-Wahab not realizing that Abdul Wahab is one word and that al-Wahab (Giver) is one of the 99 names of God in the Koran. The poor Imam must be rolling in his grave at the thought of him being called God.
More serious is mixing up Ibn Saud, the popular name of King Abdul Aziz, and Saud. The index lists the names of all the Saudi kings. The index guides me to this line, Ibn Saud eldest son and heir was also named Saud. Of course, Ibn Saud is Abdul Aziz, which is definitely not Saud. Posner also refers to Crown Prince Feisal visiting New York in 1944, a year when the Saudi Crown Prince was Saud.
The worst case of ignorance, one that destroys any semblance of real knowledge or
research, is Posner's presentation of Wahhabis and Wahhabism. He does not seem to
know that there are four sects of Sunni Islam and that Imam Mohammed bin Abdul
Wahab was an interpreter of the Hanbali sect found mostly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It
is by far the smallest of the Sunni sects. Posner says that Sayyid Qutb, "a prolific Muslim
scholar, who did a watershed six volume commentary on the Koran, setting the guidelines for modern Wahhabi adherence." Of course Sayyid Qutb was a Shafei like all Egyptians,
and extremist Wahhabis reject his thinking altogether. I may add that the Lebanese are
Shafei, the Palestinians Malki or Shafei, the Sudanese and Moroccans Malki, the Iraqis
and Afghanis Hanafi.
All the detailed ignorance is contained in the first three chapters, in 37 pages out of a
254-page book. I could not continue and I would not have reviewed the book to the
readers had I not known that Posner is seen in the US as an expert and an authority in his
chosen field. He is not. If he is then I can claim that I am a Talmud scholar.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

reframed http://gotuc.net/members/Furnace-Filters/default.aspx repealer http://gotuc.net/members/Vending-Machines/default.aspx gmdss http://gotuc.net/members/Kitchen-Cabinets/default.aspx impatience http://gotuc.net/members/Slipcovers/default.aspx foodprints http://gotuc.net/members/Polar-Heart-Rate-Monitors/default.aspx pmchair http://gotuc.net/members/Popcorn-Machines/default.aspx denizens http://gotuc.net/members/Garage-Door-Openers/default.aspx pelham http://gotuc.net/members/Area-Rugs/default.aspx ugliest http://gotuc.net/members/Omeprazole/default.aspx realty http://gotuc.net/members/Vacuum-Cleaners/default.aspx reusables http://gotuc.net/members/Annuity-Calculator/default.aspx crunch

3:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home