Best Defense

Churchill’s way of dealing with the Saudis

In 1945, Churchill gave a lunch in Egypt for King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia.

King_Faisal_I_of_Syria_with_King_Abdul-Aziz_of_Saudi_Arabia_in_the_mid-1920s

 

In 1945, Churchill gave a lunch in Egypt for King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Having been told that there could be no smoking or consumption alcohol in the presence of the king, Churchill informed his majesty that his own religion required “as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinnking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them. The King graciously accepted the position.”

The Online Museum of Syrian History/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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