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A Patron of Terror is No More

By Michael Freund
1/8/2005, 12:00 AM

One of the men most responsible for producing the anti-Western and anti-American extremism of the past few years passed away early today, but you would never know it from the fawning obituaries already appearing in the mainstream media.

Saudi King Fahd, an unelected autocrat ruling over a despotic desert kingdom, died today after a prolonged illness. He presided over a kingdom where public beheadings were common, all forms of dissent were ruthlessly crushed, and from which Islamist extremism was exported around the world.

Twin_towers It was less than four years ago that 15 Saudi men joined four other hijackers in the September 11 attacks on the United States – attacks that were carried out, of course, at the behest of a Saudi-born terrorist mastermind named Osama Bin Laden.

Nonetheless, despite Fahd’s ghastly record, the media is doing its best to paint him as a harmless moderate, a benign despot who was a friend of the West.

Take, for example, the Times of London, which said that “King Fahd will be remembered as the ruler who steered Saudi Arabia through a period of extraordinary change.”

Or how about CNN, which said that Fahd “continued to try to work for Mideast peace over the years” – completely ignoring the flow of Saudi funds to terrorist groups throughout the region.

This is nothing more than gibberish. King Fahd was an odious character whose regime sowed the seeds of terror while repressing his own people through corruption and avarice.

If there is something to mourn about his passing, it is that the legacy of hate and malfeasance that he left behind will unfortunately not end with his demise.