النص الكامل لكلمة الأمير بندر بن سلطان في حفل الشراكة السعودية - الأميركية

النص الكامل لكلمة الأمير بندر بن سلطان في حفل الشراكة السعودية - الأميركية

03/04/2018 02:48 PM


YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS, CROWN PRINCE MOHAMMED, [VICE PRESIDENT PENCE], VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY.

MY PREPARED REMARKS INDICATE THAT I SHOULD BEGIN BY GREETING EVERYONE AS “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.”

BUT I WILL NOT. SO ALREADY I AM OFF-SCRIPT.

INSTEAD, LET US BEGIN BY ADDRESSING EACH OTHER AS WE ARE: FRIENDS.

DEAR FRIENDS……OLD FRIENDS……NEW FRIENDS.

I KNOW THE INTRODUCTION LOOKED LIKE I CAN NEVER KEEP A JOB, WHICH IS TRUE – BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT I STAY IN JOBS FOR A FAIRLY LONG TIME – 17 YEARS IN THE ROYAL SAUDI AIRFORCE; 23 YEARS IN DC REPRESENTING MY COUNTRY; 12 YEARS IN NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE IN MY COUNTRY.

IT IS SO GOOD TO BE BACK HERE IN WASHINGTON, WHICH HAS BEEN AND WILL ALWAYS BE MY SECOND HOME.

LIKE MANY OF YOU, I HAVE HAD THE GREAT PRIVILEGE TO BE PRESENT DURING SOME OF THE

MORE HISTORIC AND DEFINING EVENTS OF OUR TIME, WHETHER IT BE THE END OF THE COLD WAR, THE COLLAPSE OF THE BERLIN WALL OR PEACE AND WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST. AND YET, IT’S CURIOUS HOW SOMETIMES THE SMALLER MEMORIES COME THROUGH.

( AD LIB. . . W AND THE DOG…)

I REMEMBER, FOR EXAMPLE, THE MILITARY PARADE THAT WAS HELD HERE IN WASHINGTON, IN JUNE 1991, TO HONOR THE AMERICAN SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WHO HELPED LIBERATE KUWAIT AND BRING VICTORY TO OUR COALITION.

I, MEANWHILE, WAS AMONG THOSE INVITED TO JOIN PRESIDENT BUSH IN THE REVIEWING STAND.

AMONG THEM WAS FRED MCCLURE, WHO INTRODUCED ME TO HIS YOUNG SON RICKY. RICKY’S EYES GREW AS BIG AS SAUCERS WHEN HIS DAD TOLD HIM I WAS A PRINCE. AND THEY GREW BIGGER STILL WHEN HE KNEW THAT I WAS A FIGHTER PILOT.

NOW, RICKY WAS A LITTLE LESS-INTERESTED WHEN HE LEARNED THAT I WAS NOT THE KING OF SAUDI ARABIA. AND HE LOOKED EVEN MORE PUT OFF WHEN I TOLD HIM I WAS A FORMER FIGHTER PILOT.

*

WE ARE HERE TODAY, HOWEVER, NOT JUST TO REMEMBER, BUT TO HONOR TWO OR THREE EXTRAORDINARY MEN. PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH,

AND GENERAL NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF, BOTH OF WHOM WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS.

I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY, COLIN POWELL, JIM BAKER, BRENT SCOWCROFT AND ABOVE ALL THE 700 THOUSAND MEMBERS OF THE US ARMED FORCES WHO FOUGHT SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THEIR

COUNTERPARTS OF THE ROYAL SAUDI ARMED FORCES.

CONSEQUENCE OF AGE IS TO SEE HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF.

CONSEQUENCE, HOWEVER, IN DESERT STORM WAS THE COALITION BUT, MY FRIENDS, THERE WAS NO COALITION: THERE WAS LEADERSHIP, DECISIVENESS AND DETERMINATION BY

THOSE THREE GREAT LEADERS: PRESIDENT BUSH, KING FAHAD, AND PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER AND THAT’S WHEN THE COALITION WAS FORMED.

WE ARE, AND WILL BE, SUCCEEDED BY NEW GENERATIONS OF LEADERSHIP IN OUR COUNTRIES. NEW RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL FACE CHALLENGES AND BE TESTED.

JUST LIKE OUR LEADERSHIP THEN MET THE CHALLENGES AND SUCCEEDED, GOD WILLING OUR NEW LEADERS WILL EQUALLY DO SO.

TODAY, IN SAUDI ARABIA LEADING THE MANY EXCITING CHANGES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE KINGDOM IS THE BOLD AND DECISIVE LEADERSHIP OF CROWN PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN. THE CROWN PRINCE EMBODIES THE YOUTHFUL ENERGY AND VISION OF OPTIMISIM THAT IS THE SAUDI ARABIA OF TODAY. AND IN HIS HANDS, THE

KINGDOM WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD A BRIGHT AND PROMISING FUTURE UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE CUSTODIAN OF THE TWO HOLY MOSQUES, KING SALMAN.

CONTINUITY DOES NOT BELONG TO THE PAST, AND ITS FUTURE DEPENDS ON THE PRESENT. THAT IS A LESSON TAUGHT TO ME BY PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND KING FAHAD.

IT WAS JUST AFTER THE ELECTION IN DECEMBER 1991, AND PRESIDENT BUSH HAD INVITED ME TO CAMP DAVID. JUST MONTHS PRIOR I HAD STOOD WITH HIM ON THE REVIEWING STAND, A VICTORIOUS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. NOW, HE WAS

A DEFEATED POLITICIAN. TO ME, IT WAS BEWILDERING – AND I WOULD NOT BE TRUTHFUL IF I SAID IT DID NOT CHALLENGE THE ESTEEM IN WHICH I HELD YOUR COUNTRY’S VOTERS.

NOW, AS WE WALKED THROUGH THE WOODS SURROUNDING CAMP DAVID FOR THE LAST TIME, I RELAYED TO HIM THAT HIS MAJESTY KING FAHD WISHED TO KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYTHING SAUDI ARABIA COULD DO FOR HIM.

“TELL MY FRIEND KING FAHD,” PRESIDENT BUSH SAID, “THAT IF THERE IS ONE THING I CAN ASK FOR – THAT I CAN GUARANTEE HE WILL DO FOR ME – IT IS TO PLEASE HELP THE NEW PRESIDENT. BECAUSE

IF HE SUCCEEDS, AMERICA SUCCEEDS. AND IF AMERICA SUCCEEDS, SAUDI ARABIA SUCCEEDS.”

THIS WAS THE MEASURE OF THE MAN. HERE HE WAS TELLING ME TO HELP THE GUY THAT DEFEATED HIM BECAUSE OF THE CAUSE AND THE PRINCIPLES. HE SAW THE GREATER GOOD AND PURPOSE OF CONTINUITY, AND THE LEGACY OF ONE GENERATION THAT HAD TO BE FOSTERED TO THE NEXT.

HIS WORDS MOVED ME DEEPLY. AND THEY MOVED EQUALLY HIS MAJESTY KING FAHAD AND PRESIDENT CLINTON, TOO, WHEN I REPEATED IT TO THEM.

THERE ARE TIMES, HOWEVER, WHEN WE SEE HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF, AND WE MUST DO EVERYTHING TO ENSURE THAT IT DOES NOT. THE HATRED, THE CAUSE AND THE SPARK MAY BE DIFFERENT, BUT THE EVIL, THE MOTIVATION, AND THE DESIRE ARE ALMOST ALWAYS THE SAME.

AND THAT IS WHY THE DISTANCE OF TIME BRINGS CLARITY AND PERSPECTIVE.

WE SEE WHERE THE SUN RISES ON THE HORIZON AND NOT JUST THE IMMEDIATE FOOTPRINTS WE LEFT BEHIND. WE SEE WHERE THE SKY ENDS AND

NOT JUST THE TERRAIN AHEAD. WE SHOULD SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE.

WE ARE ALL VISIBLE BUT SOME PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD THINK THAT THEY ARE INVISIBLE – NOT BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST BUT BECAUSE SOME OF US CHOSE NOT TO SEE PEOPLE SUCH AS THOSE IN SYRIA, LEBANON, LIBYA, YEMEN AND IRAN.

*

THE SUM OF ALL THIS, I BELIEVE, IS THAT WE HAVE THE POWER TO SHAPE HISTORY IF IT IS DONE TOGETHER, AND IT BEGINS WITH THREE FACTS:

1. MUTUAL RESPECT

2.MUTUAL INTEREST, AND

3.MUTUAL DETERMINATION

IT IS WHY WE ARE HERE, IN THIS PLACE, TODAY.

IT HAPPENED ON AUGUST 3RD, 1990, THE DAY AFTER SADDAM’S FORCES INVADED KUWAIT.

I WAS IN BRENT SCOWCROFT’S OFFICE WHERE HE WAS BRIEFING ME ON THE LATEST REPORTS AND THE MILITARY OPTIONS AND ASSISTANCE THE US COULD BRING TO BEAR. IT WAS IMPRESSIVE, BUT WAS IT FOR REAL?

JUST THEN THE PRESIDENT CAME BY, AND SO I TOLD HIM: ‘SIR, SAUDI ARABIA CANNOT PUT OUR FAITH IN BEST INTENTIONS. IF AMERICA COMMITS TO HELP, CAN SAUDI ARABIA RELY ON THAT COMMITMENT ALL THE WAY?’

THE PRESIDENT LOOKED ME STRAIGHT IN THE EYE AND SAID: “IF YOU ASK FOR HELP, WE WILL GO ALL THE WAY WITH YOU.”

I TELL YOU THE HAIR ON MY ARMS STOOD UP, BECAUSE I KNEW THAT HIS PROMISE WAS REAL. AND I KNEW, TOO, THAT OUR TWO NATIONS, AND HE AND KING FAHAD – WERE NO LONGER SIMPLY FRIENDS - THEY WERE SOMETHING MUCH, MUCH MORE.

I KNOW, TOO, THAT I WAS NOT ALONE IN RECOGNIZING HOW MONUMENTALLY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES HAD CHANGED, BECAUSE A FEW DAYS LATER, GENERAL SCHWARZKOPF ACCOMPANIED SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHENEY TO JEDDAH TO BRIEF HIS MAJESTY KING FAHD.

CONCLUDING THAT BRIEFING WAS A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT BUSH: “IF YOU ASK US, WE WILL COME AND GO ALL THE WAY,” HE SAID. “AND WHEN YOU ASK US TO GO HOME, WE WILL LEAVE.” TO WHICH KING FAHAD RESPONDED, “GOD KNOWS WE DID NOT WANT WAR BUT SADDAM LEFT US NO CHOICE, SO ‘OKAY.’ ”

GENERAL SCHWARZKOPF LATER TOLD ME THAT HIS JAW DROPPED. BECAUSE AMID ALL THE POMPOUS AND WOBBLY WORDS THAT LITTER SO MUCH OF DIPLOMACY, HERE, BETWEEN THESE TWO GREAT MEN, WERE THE SIMPLEST WORDS OF TRUST.

“IF YOU ASK US, WE WILL COME – AND GO ALL THE WAY”

“OKAY.”

THEY ARE THE SIMPLEST WORDS. BUT I KNOW TOO THAT – THEN AND NOW – THEY CAN BE SOME OF THE HARDEST.

AS NATIONS, PEOPLES, LEADERS – AS FRIENDS – LET US RENEW THAT PLEDGE TO EACH OTHER. “IF YOU ASK US, WE WILL COME. AND WE WILL GO ALL THE WAY WITH YOU.”

THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND BLESS AMERICA AND SAUDI ARABIA.

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