Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Odd numbers

Cryptic White House statement --

The President looks forward to participating in the United Nations meeting on interfaith dialogue, in New York City on 13 November. The President appreciates King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia's initiative in calling for this dialogue and remains committed to fostering interfaith harmony among all religions, both at home and abroad. The United States affirms its support for individual religious freedom, the right to practice one's religion, the equality of all people regardless of their religious faith, and the other principles of religious freedom enshrined in the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Context: King Abdullah has indeed been pushing this agenda for a while (most recently with the help of his old royal links to King Juan Carlos) but it has attracted considerable criticism given the complete lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. But since the King is coming to George Bush's Group of 20 financial crisis summit in Washington a couple of days later, Bush couldn't turn down an invitation to participate in the UN event. It will present a tricky challenge since Bush prefers to make his criticisms of Saudi Arabia out of earshot of the Saudis.

Look for John McCain to threaten to fly immediately to Saudi Arabia and disembark holding a Bible. Numerologists might note the UN dialog date is, in the American sequence, 11/13. 9/11+2, if you will. It's a bit strange that the White House statement refers to "13 November" i.e. in the European sequence and not the more usual November 13 for such statements. It's as if there is some cadence to "November the 13th" that they don't like.

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