Less than three months prior he had been on the front of TIME Magazine as Man of the Year.
One has to remember why. It is because King Faisal had the humanity to act upon the behalf of the Palestinian people by lowering exports and raising the price of oil dramatically to the United States because they had resupplied arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur/Ramadan war.
Though make no mistake, TIME Magazine wasn't handing out a humanitarian award to King Faisal that year. They were naming him man of the year because they deemed him to be the one person who made more impact on the world (really on us, America) than anyone else.
Remember the lines? Remember the odd days you were allowed to purchase gasoline based upon the numbers on your license plate? I do.
From the same issue of TIME Magazine that year:
The New Reality of Arab Power
One of the causes of the West's woes is that for too long it underestimated the will and power of Faisal and other rulers of oil-producing nations to act together. The cries for higher prices had been rising for 15 years, first from the Venezuelans and Iranians, then from the radical Arab leaders of Libya, Algeria and Iraq. Faisal, a conservative and a longtime friend of the U.S., at first resisted—and then changed his mind because of U.S. political and military support of Israel.
For many frustrating months in 1973, the King, and his spokesmen, warned the U.S. that unless it forced Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories and settle the Palestinians' grievances, he would slow down oil production. The State Department thought that the threat was hollow; President Nixon warned on television that the Arabs risked losing their oil markets if they tried to act too tough.
The Arab-Israeli war of October 1973 moved the Arabs to impose a reduction in oil output—and do much more. Within ten days after the Egyptians and Syrians had attacked Israeli- occupied territory, the Arabs and Iranians in OPEC—long derided in the West for their disunity—coalesced and raised prices from $1.99 to $3.44 per bbl. (The members of OPEC, in order of last year's earnings are: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon, which is an associate member. The United Arab Emirates is a federation of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Quwain, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah.) A few days after that, King Faisal led an even stronger move. Angered by the U.S. military resupplying of Israel, the Saudis and the other Arabs embargoed all oil shipments to the U.S. and started cutting production. Very quickly their output dropped 28%. When the West made no response, OPEC realized its own strength and kept right on raising prices through 1974.
This huge success gave new pride and political power to all the Arabs and brought King Faisal widespread respect in the Arab world, many of whose leaders had earlier scorned him as an unregenerate conservative. Suddenly the Arabs found themselves avidly courted by people who for long had condescended to them. The hotels of Riyadh, Dubai and Baghdad overflowed with Western businessmen hawking Idaho potatoes, cement plants, color television systems and gas-fired steel mills. The Middle East also became a magnet for Western bankers, each with his own creative plan for dispensing the Arabs' cash. Elite American universities, from Stanford to Chicago to Columbia, searched for Arab professors and added courses in Arabic history, culture, language, religion. Western governments vied with the Soviets over which side could sell the Arabs more—and more destructive—fighter jets, tanks and missiles.
Now we have the Bush administration and Congress standing by as Israel is slaughtering Palestinians in Gaza with impunity. Yes, Saudi Arabia is America's ally, but they were at that time also.
Where is King Faisal when you need him? Instead we have King Abdullah under who's current tutelage protesters in the Eastern Province had rubber bullets fired at them today at a protest against the carnage in Gaza while at the same time according to Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki, ""None of this is true. No rubber bullets have been fired, no clashes occurred and no demonstration happened. That's what security sources in Qatif told me. As you know, protests in the kingdom are banned."
Note, Qatif is heavily Shia. In 1979 and early 1980 there were riots in Qatif which were put down forcefully by the National Guard, with many deaths occurring. Perhaps Mansour al-Turki might wish to remember their complaints at that time: "Among the criticisms expressed by Shia were the close ties of the Al Saud with and their dependency on the West, corruption, and deviance from the sharia."
I am not a Muslim so I do not follow sharia law. What I do know is that there are laws of humanity which have been broken, thrown to hell, by Israel and the United States when it comes to the Palestinians.
The US understands MONEY. I for one would be willing to wait in those long lines again if OPEC led by my former country of residence, Saudi Arabia had the COURAGE to stand up to America.
Calling on the ghost of King Faisal, you were assassinated the day I left to go live in your country.
Saudi Arabia ACT! Stand UP for the Palestinian people!
Israeli Jets Drop 'Small Smart Bomb' in Gaza StrikesThe Israeli Air Force has debuted a highly accurate -- and U.S.-supplied -- smart bomb in its air campaign over Gaza. Back in September, Israel received congressional authorization to buy up to 1,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (click here to read the original notification).