Do We Still Need the Saudis?

Oil has sustained the alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia for deca des. But extremism in the kingdom is putting those ties to the test

People in Saudi Arabia are sick of talking about Sept. 11. They have little interest in examining why 15 of their countrymen hijacked U.S. commercial planes and killed 3,000 civilians; many prefer to believe that the attacks were the work of the CIA or the Mossad, and that the 15 hijackers were unwitting players in someone else's plot. "They were just bodies," a senior government official says. Spend an evening in Jidda, the hometown of Osama bin Laden, where young Saudis today flock to American chain restaurants and shopping malls to loiter away the stifling summer nights, and you rarely hear...

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