John Gibson Interviews Stephen Schwartz (I)
by John Gibson
GIBSON: After pledging allegiance to the flag, President Bush laying down some ground rules for U.S. involvement in the Middle East in his speech on Monday. Among other things, the president emphasizing other countries must knock it off when it comes to bankrolling terror groups bent on destroying Israel.
No secret, the country at the top of that list is Saudi Arabia.
Joining me now from Washington is the author of the soon-to-be- released book, "Two Faces of Islam," Stephen Schwartz.
So Mr. Schwartz, I guess...
STEPHEN SCHWARTZ, "TWO FACES OF ISLAM": Yes, sir.
GIBSON: ... you -- I'll give you credit for it, even if somebody else discovered it. The Saudis are -- have actually budgeted a certain amount of money for suicide bombers, homicide bombers, terror, people who are going to die in terror attacks against Israel, or us, and they budgeted a certain number of dollars, which indicates how many people they think are going to be doing this into the future.
How big is that number?
SCHWARTZ: Well, it's a very large amount of money altogether, it's $5,333 per so-called martyr, and the amounts of money are very large, up to $40 million.
GIBSON: That's 75,000 anticipated martyrs?
SCHWARTZ: Well, I think it shows that they anticipate an open-ended struggle. They don't anticipate a cease-fire or an effective peace plan. They anticipate the whole mess continuing.
By the way, I do take credit, because I was the one that discovered it.
GIBSON: OK. So good, let's give you credit, then.
Now, this is really kind of hard to believe, because 75 -- at the rate these martyrs are martyring themselves, if you want to phrase it that way, that would extend for many, many, many years into the future, would it not?
SCHWARTZ: Yes, that's my point. It's -- they don't view it as a situation where they're actively working toward a cease-fire or towards a real peace agreement. They view this as an ongoing situation that they're going to continue to foster for a long period of time.
I think their strategy is to offer a so-called peace agreement or to participate as much as they can in whatever negotiations are taking place. But they're holding Hamas out as their -- so to speak, as their second --plan B. Hamas is there to pressure Israel, to pressure the United States.
I think they really believe that they can get what they want by a combination of calling for negotiation while at the same time funding Hamas.
GIBSON: Let me show you some pictures. I mean, Americans feel frustrated with the situation in -- between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but here are these pictures that come from a -- an Arabic Web site which are showing a play about the struggle against Israel and, for that matter, against America, little kindergartners in Gaza.
We took these pictures off the Web site today, and they -- they're just kind of mind-blowing. And I think they illustrate your point. These kids are trained to blow themselves up, 15, 16 years from now. This threatens to go on until 2020.
SCHWARTZ: Well, this is part of -- this reflects the dominance in Saudi Arabia of what I call the Wahhabi death cult, which is a particular form of Islam that's the official sect in Saudi Arabia. This is a form of Islam that embraces and promotes death, and it's developed this culture, tragically, in the Israel-Palestinian conflict in which, yes, indeed, it's creating a culture of death, it's preparing people from their very earliest sensibilities to die as terrorists.
It's a very terrible thing. I think people in the West are confused when they see Palestinian mothers claiming -- saying how happy they are to see their children go and blow up...
GIBSON: Look at this kid...
SCHWARTZ: ... innocent people.
GIBSON: ... dressed up as an imam with a beard...
SCHWARTZ: Yes, it's...
GIBSON: ... exhorting the crowd.
SCHWARTZ: It's a pretty appalling situation.
GIBSON: And the kid next to him with a bodyguard outfit with a little gun sticking out of his suit jacket.
SCHWARTZ: Yes. It's what was called in the Nazi era, you know, training the youth for barbarism. It's a totalitarian, fascistic political ideology that stops at nothing to...
GIBSON: Steve, Stephen Schwartz...
SCHWARTZ: ... perpetuate this.
GIBSON: ... I'm out of time, but thanks for giving us a heads-up. It's great to see you. Thanks for coming on.
SCHWARTZ: Thank you, good to see you again.
Related Topics: Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free center for islamic pluralism mailing list
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