Though some would like to ignore it, there is a grave threat to the safety and security of the United States looming in the Middle East. There is a nation that has shown serious interest in developing nuclear weapons. A nation that is ruled by a ruthless dictator who oppresses and tortures his own people. And a nation that has long been, and continues to be, a safe haven for terrorists.

While cowardly Democrats and some spineless Republicans insist on sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring this threat, the American people should follow the lead of President Bush, who has vowed to defeat such nations, declaring that those who harbor terrorists and seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction will face the wrath of the United States. Bush is right. We cannot afford to back down from this fight.

It’s time to invade Saudi Arabia.

As you may know, Saudi Arabia can not only call Osama bin Laden a native son, but 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers as well. While Congressional investigations haven’t found any official links between the Saudi government and the hijackers, The Boston Globe reported that U.S. Sen. Bob Graham believed that “[t]wo of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship.”

Given Bush’s record of complete honesty in foreign affairs, we know it could never be true that our president would withhold such information. Never. That said, Graham is correct to point out that there is plenty of evidence to support the notion that Saudi Arabia helped fund 9/11. In fact, the evidence to support this notion is mountainous compared to the evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the same hijackers, a connection which was promoted heavily by the Bush administration in the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

In 2003, Parade magazine declared Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah the second worst dictatorship in the world, worse even than Saddam Hussein. In 2006, Abdullah slipped down to No. 7 in the magazine’s rankings, making Saudi Arabia still worse than Iran, who came in at No. 9. In short, when it comes to being an oppressive dictatorship, Saudi Arabia has consistently rated worse than nations we have already invaded, like Iraq, and countries our leaders are now trying to convince us to invade, like Iran.

When GOP presidential candidate and obvious lunatic Ron Paul suggested that recklessly invading foreign nations under false pretenses amounted to bad foreign policy, Fox News’ Sean Hannity countered with this bit of wisdom: “Are you saying… when innocent people are being raped and murdered and slaughtered… are you suggesting we have no moral obligation?” Being a “great American,” Hannity is undoubtedly correct. It is time for the United States to liberate the people of Saudi Arabia from tyranny. And Turkey. And Egypt. And Darfur. And China. And North Korea. And Zimbabwe. And, well, I’ll have to finish assembling the war to-do list later. I’ll keep you posted, Sean.

There are other reasons Hannity and like-minded Americans could cite for invading a nation like Saudi Arabia — their views on Jews and the Holocaust and their treatment of women, for example. But despite these arrogant cultural deviations from the West, the biggest threat Saudi Arabia poses may be a nuclear one. According to a March 2006 Forbes magazine report, “Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear program, with help from Pakistani experts.” While the U.S. was able to tolerate thousands of nuclear weapons aimed directly at us for decades, courtesy of the Soviet Union, the thought of Saudi Arabia having even one warhead is certainly far more threatening. I think we can all agree that the only sane solution is a pre-emptive strike on Saudi Arabia.

Despite my sarcasm, this is exactly the kind of pick-and-choose logic our leaders have already used, and continue to use, to justify invading any nation they please. These same standards could be applied to our most important allies — Saudi Arabia being perhaps one of the best examples.

If you think invading Saudi Arabia is a stupid idea — and it is — then you should realize it is no more stupid than invading Iran, and it’s no more stupid than what the U.S. did in Iraq.

The reality we create is the reality we must endure. For our country and for our soldiers, it’s time for America to face facts. And not just the ones our leaders use to manipulate us.

Catch Southern Avenger commentaries every Tuesday and Friday at 7:50 a.m. on the “Morning Buzz with Richard Todd” on 1250 AM WTMA.