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What should we do about Saudi Arabia?


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We’re releasing that CIA report today that Trump squelched which says that the Crown Prince had Khashoggi murdered. We all know why Trump hid it: because the Saudis are our allies and we can’t really afford for that not to be the case. Trump was, as per his style, overly blunt and over the top in the way he handled this, but his judgment may have been correct here. 
Most liberals are applauding Biden for releasing the report but it certainly creates a dilemma: what now? Do we call for the prince to be hauled into an international court and tried for murder? Do we cut off all aid to the Saudis, prevent their purchase of airplanes (Boeing and the rest will freak out if we do that and it will have a bad effect on the economy.) What should we do? 

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

We’re releasing that CIA report today that Trump squelched which says that the Crown Prince had Khashoggi murdered. We all know why Trump hid it: because the Saudis are our allies and we can’t really afford for that not to be the case. Trump was, as per his style, overly blunt and over the top in the way he handled this, but his judgment may have been correct here. 
Most liberals are applauding Biden for releasing the report but it certainly creates a dilemma: what now? Do we call for the prince to be hauled into an international court and tried for murder? Do we cut off all aid to the Saudis, prevent their purchase of airplanes (Boeing and the rest will freak out if we do that and it will have a bad effect on the economy.) What should we do? 

Iran is back baby. 

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I think you already know the answer.  We voice our outrage publicly and continue to keep them as close allies privately.  As much as we don’t like some of the things they do, they are vital to our strategic interests.

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

Why do we NEED them to be our allies exactly?

Israel and Saudi’s Arabia provide stability in the region.  Without them, the entire Middle East would look like Lebanon and Syria.  Plus they buy lots of military items from us manufacturers and provide cheap oil.   

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The Saudis have done whatever they want forever......Biden is doing this for show, and it'll add up to nothing.......politics baby!  The Dems are the masters of putting up a front, while doing the dirty work on the DL

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48 minutes ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

We work to develop alternative energy technologies 

This is really the answer.  I'm fine with us allying with Saudi Arabia under the current circumstances, but life will be a lot better when we can mostly just ignore this part of the world.

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44 minutes ago, stlrams said:

Israel and Saudi’s Arabia provide stability in the region.  Without them, the entire Middle East would look like Lebanon and Syria.  Plus they buy lots of military items from us manufacturers and provide cheap oil.   

And why do we need stability in that area?  To me, that was a necessity when we relied on them for oil, but I've heard we are energy independent now, so that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  It's time to cut ties...well, has been for a while IMO but between 9/11 and the things that happened just recently, I think I'm done with them.  

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2 minutes ago, The Commish said:

And why do we need stability in that area?  To me, that was a necessity when we relied on them for oil, but I've heard we are energy independent now, so that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  It's time to cut ties...well, has been for a while IMO but between 9/11 and the things that happened just recently, I think I'm done with them.  

Them?

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15 minutes ago, quick-hands said:

Them?

IMO the entire middle east.  Yes, done. Get OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!        Let them do what they do, which is kill each other over religion.  they have over a 1000 years of history.  nothing changes.   get our military home & let those in the middle east kill each other, just like they like to do.

 we have young Americans coming home dead or mangled on an almost daily basis all in order to further our interests in that cesspool of religious zealots?  for oil?

complete lunacy on our part.  IMHO

 

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1 hour ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

We work to develop alternative energy technologies 

This is good - bankrupting Iran should be a top priority.

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there have been dozens of realpolitik clusterhugs in my 50 years as an adult to which the most complete and avowed solution was energy independence. i've lit so many cigarettes thinking it would make that bus come that my head is shaped like a syphallic emu and my oxygen saturation is negative pi. g'ahead, argue s'more.

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2 hours ago, The Commish said:

And why do we need stability in that area?  To me, that was a necessity when we relied on them for oil, but I've heard we are energy independent now, so that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  It's time to cut ties...well, has been for a while IMO but between 9/11 and the things that happened just recently, I think I'm done with them.  

Imho - Without them, the region would devolved into a terrorist hotbed that will target us at some point and destabilize the region causing an uneven flow of oil.  This is the primary reason we have tied ourselves to Israel and Saudi Arabia from the fifties.  While they each have warts, it’s the lesser of two evils when you compare them to the other options.  Name one country in the Middle East you rather have as an ally? 

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Just a whole lot of bad options here.  The Saudis are far from a perfect ally, but they are keeping the lid on a powder keg.  I think we kind of have to deal with them, just as we do with Assad.  We've seen what happens when these regimes fall and it isn't good.

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1 hour ago, stlrams said:

Imho - Without them, the region would devolved into a terrorist hotbed that will target us at some point and destabilize the region causing an uneven flow of oil.  This is the primary reason we have tied ourselves to Israel and Saudi Arabia from the fifties.  While they each have warts, it’s the lesser of two evils when you compare them to the other options.  Name one country in the Middle East you rather have as an ally? 

Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE

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Iraq can barely hold themselves together, which is why we now lean on the Saudis even more.  Before that we used Saddam as a counter weight to Iran.  We've been so foolish in that region thinking we know what's best.  I'm no apologist for the Saudi regime, but it's a pretty rough neighborhood they live in and to control their block we shouldn't be surprised at some pretty rough tactics.  

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2 hours ago, stlrams said:

Imho - Without them, the region would devolved into a terrorist hotbed that will target us at some point and destabilize the region causing an uneven flow of oil.  This is the primary reason we have tied ourselves to Israel and Saudi Arabia from the fifties.  While they each have warts, it’s the lesser of two evils when you compare them to the other options.  Name one country in the Middle East you rather have as an ally? 

That's interesting. What about this region do you think would lead to the creation of lots of terrorists?

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The ONLY reason we had/have an interest in the middle east is because of their oil.  Let's stop pretending otherwise.  It's weird because the messages are all over the place.  In another thread here stopping the Canadian pipeline is a threat to our energy independence.  In this thread we have to be friends with SA because of their oil.  Those two things are in opposition of each other so which is it?

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Well not to burst your bubble on those that want nothing to do with the Middle East but yea. We're back in it. Get ready for the daily drone strikes that will escalate things up to an invasion somewhere. I'd say by 2023, we're invading at least some Middle Eastern nation. Possibly Iran but more likely one of the less organized ones that we can quickly claim a victory over. 

I don't know why people are upset. This is the president the people elected right? What did you think he was going to do? Biden is well on his way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

Edited by Insein
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9 hours ago, The Commish said:

Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE

Israel yes.  The others especially Kuwait and iraq barely have a leg to stand on. 

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33 minutes ago, The Commish said:

The ONLY reason we had/have an interest in the middle east is because of their oil.  Let's stop pretending otherwise.  It's weird because the messages are all over the place.  In another thread here stopping the Canadian pipeline is a threat to our energy independence.  In this thread we have to be friends with SA because of their oil.  Those two things are in opposition of each other so which is it?

So why is Israel our ally? What do they bring to the table for us? 

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8 hours ago, whoknew said:

That's interesting. What about this region do you think would lead to the creation of lots of terrorists?

The region has been volatile and unstable forever which creates an ideal environment for terrorists.  The combination of radical, poor and religious zealots help foster terrorists.  It starts and continues with Sunni and Shiite fractions of the region hating each other then you add in the Jews and you have a Molotov cocktail..  

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1 hour ago, stlrams said:

So why is Israel our ally? What do they bring to the table for us? 

This is actually a really good question.  I thought twice about listing them at all.  I can give the traditional answers that are tied to our religious beliefs as a country and the perceived shared beliefs, but those are eroding quickly and are becoming more of a punchline rather than a moral pillar.  

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1 hour ago, stlrams said:

Israel yes.  The others especially Kuwait and iraq barely have a leg to stand on. 

Of course...you asked who I'd rather be allies with than SA.  There's at least a moral fabric in those countries that I can try and get on board with.  If faced with the choice of "which rotten apple" I'll take the least rotten one all day every day :shrug: 

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38 minutes ago, The Commish said:

This is actually a really good question.  I thought twice about listing them at all.  I can give the traditional answers that are tied to our religious beliefs as a country and the perceived shared beliefs, but those are eroding quickly and are becoming more of a punchline rather than a moral pillar.  

When I worked for Ford I went to SA for 4 days.  This was in the late 90s.   

It is a very bizarre place in terms the people and dealers I met were just like us...but below the surface.    In the streets and places of business they keep up the moral charade as they have to.   When we went to one of their homes after everone was in and secure the booze came out and it was just like any gathering here.   They are very careful but what i found out the people who are higher on the totem pole can do just about whatever they want without fear.   They can get alcohol or whatever.  Not in public but in their own homes. There is a huge underground market for booze from the US and UK.   

The lower class are the one who can`t get anything or if they do and get caught are screwed as they have to keep them in line.  And it works.

 

The more I met with people from Iran, Iraq and SA you realize the people for the most part are just like us.  They hate the turmoil their governments put them in.  The people from Iran even more so.  I guess we hate it too.

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2 hours ago, stlrams said:

The region has been volatile and unstable forever which creates an ideal environment for terrorists.  The combination of radical, poor and religious zealots help foster terrorists.  It starts and continues with Sunni and Shiite fractions of the region hating each other then you add in the Jews and you have a Molotov cocktail..  

Makes sense. I'm certainly not an expert on this, but when you have leaders who keep people oppressed, poor, and super religious - they need someone besides themselves to blame. So they blame the US or Israel or whatever. 

"We are the righteous - the one true God's special people. Its not my fault your lives suck. Its only because of the evil west."

That's my dime store psychology of it.

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I mean we let Saudi go after 9-11, Bush, Obama and Trump all have given Saudi free reign .... I suspect Biden will too.

Why? Maybe because if the US makes Saudi mad, they drive oil to $200 a barrel and cripple out economy? that was one reason Trump I think wanted oil independence, so a country doesn't have that kind of power against us

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If we gain energy independence, then the ME gets treated like Africa.  We will throw them a few bones of aid and diplomacy, but no real help and no troops.

Oil makes the world turn in our current system, so they get treated like a crazy rich uncle.  No one likes him, but he buys great Christmas presents and pays for dinners so we let him hang around.

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We need the straight story here....are we energy independent or not?  In another thread here the current administration is taking away our energy independence.  To take it away it means we have to have it in the first place, right?

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3 hours ago, The Commish said:

The ONLY reason we had/have an interest in the middle east is because of their oil.  Let's stop pretending otherwise.  It's weird because the messages are all over the place.  In another thread here stopping the Canadian pipeline is a threat to our energy independence.  In this thread we have to be friends with SA because of their oil.  Those two things are in opposition of each other so which is it?

My long standing, simplistic global view of this is do whatever, send your nasty gram but @The Commishis spot on, we need their oil. So if that is your starting point, lets ramp this thing up. I want ALL the oil in the ME, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, whoever will sell to us. We suck them all dry and don't process another drop of our own oil until we are paying $10/gal for gas and there is no oil left. We treat all of our domestic oil as a strategic reserve for the time we all know is coming.

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9 minutes ago, The Commish said:

We need the straight story here....are we energy independent or not?  In another thread here the current administration is taking away our energy independence.  To take it away it means we have to have it in the first place, right?

Is this some kind of gotcha post?

I think I can help, Trump was trying to make us independent from ME oil, but we weren't there yet.  Now Biden is reversing some of that effort, making us appear to be more dependent on ME oil.

Personally, I think we need to both move towards green energy AND away from ME oil, but there wasn't anyone in the election that reasonable.

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2 hours ago, quick-hands said:

They are the only western style democracy in the middle east.   Do you think they shouldn't be our ally?

I agree with your premise but would add they also bring stability to the region that desperately needs it.  No I believe Israel should be an ally.  

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44 minutes ago, Jayrod said:

Is this some kind of gotcha post?

I think I can help, Trump was trying to make us independent from ME oil, but we weren't there yet.  Now Biden is reversing some of that effort, making us appear to be more dependent on ME oil.

Personally, I think we need to both move towards green energy AND away from ME oil, but there wasn't anyone in the election that reasonable.

Not a gotcha at all.  It's the two stories I'm being told here. It's a tough pill to swallow that "removing subsidies" is on par with "reversing an effort to make us energy independent" as well, but that's for another thread.  The two stories here are in opposition of each other, so I'm trying to understand the talking points.

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57 minutes ago, beer 30 said:

My long standing, simplistic global view of this is do whatever, send your nasty gram but @The Commishis spot on, we need their oil. So if that is your starting point, lets ramp this thing up. I want ALL the oil in the ME, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, whoever will sell to us. We suck them all dry and don't process another drop of our own oil until we are paying $10/gal for gas and there is no oil left. We treat all of our domestic oil as a strategic reserve for the time we all know is coming.

:goodposting:

It's like no one here's ever watched Independence Day.

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

Not a gotcha at all.  It's the two stories I'm being told here. It's a tough pill to swallow that "removing subsidies" is on par with "reversing an effort to make us energy independent" as well, but that's for another thread.  The two stories here are in opposition of each other, so I'm trying to understand the talking points.

What we need is a pragmatic POTUS.     If Biden came in and just did 2 things.

 1. Keep the pipelines open and people employed and keep us less dependant on ME oil.  Keep sources of domestic oil.

2. At the same time goes full forward with developing Greener energy , electric, battery powered sources until we are able to fully ween off of any outside oil.

We should keep and develop our own oil sources as part of National Security as well.  And be a leader in developing other energy sources. Both could have been done.

Then hopefully in the next decade every year the balance shifts a little more in favor of clean energy until whatever oil we have is enough, or other countries are begging us to take their oil because demand is so low.

Edited by Da Guru
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5 hours ago, Insein said:

Well not to burst your bubble on those that want nothing to do with the Middle East but yea. We're back in it. Get ready for the daily drone strikes that will escalate things up to an invasion somewhere. I'd say by 2023, we're invading at least some Middle Eastern nation. Possibly Iran but more likely one of the less organized ones that we can quickly claim a victory over. 

I don't know why people are upset. This is the president the people elected right? What did you think he was going to do? Biden is well on his way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

All of this 

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15 minutes ago, Da Guru said:

What we need is a pragmatic POTUS.     If Biden came in and just did 2 things.

 1. Keep the pipelines open and people employed and keep us less dependant on ME oil.  Keep sources of domestic oil.

2. At the same time goes full forward with developing Greener energy , electric, battery powered sources until we are able to fully ween off of any outside oil.

We should keep and develop our own oil sources as part on Nation Security as well.  And be a leader in developing other energy sources. Both could have been done.

Then hopefully in the next decade every year the balance shifts a little more in favor of clean energy until whatever oil we have is enough, or other countries are begging us to take their oil because demand is so low.

And this 

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1 hour ago, Da Guru said:

What we need is a pragmatic POTUS.     If Biden came in and just did 2 things.

 1. Keep the pipelines open and people employed and keep us less dependant on ME oil.  Keep sources of domestic oil.

2. At the same time goes full forward with developing Greener energy , electric, battery powered sources until we are able to fully ween off of any outside oil.

We should keep and develop our own oil sources as part of National Security as well.  And be a leader in developing other energy sources. Both could have been done.

Then hopefully in the next decade every year the balance shifts a little more in favor of clean energy until whatever oil we have is enough, or other countries are begging us to take their oil because demand is so low.

Maybe I don't understand the current state of this pipeline, but it's my understanding that what's been "stopped" is the creation of the final phases off the pipeline.  What has been closed that was running prior to his EO?  Then the follow up question is how does this pipeline keep us less dependant on ME oil?  This pipeline is carrying Canadian oil to the US that we are paying for.  So the mode of transportation here is the only thing in question, right?  We still buy the oil from Canada making us DEPENDENT on them...not independent.  I am unaware of any of our domestic sources that have been given up either.  

I guess I don't have a good understanding of what was in the EO.  What I read mentioned the removal of subsidies by the federal government.  I didn't see anything mentioning domestic sources of oil being shut down or anything like that.  :oldunsure: 

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18 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Maybe I don't understand the current state of this pipeline, but it's my understanding that what's been "stopped" is the creation of the final phases off the pipeline.  What has been closed that was running prior to his EO?  Then the follow up question is how does this pipeline keep us less dependant on ME oil?  This pipeline is carrying Canadian oil to the US that we are paying for.  So the mode of transportation here is the only thing in question, right?  We still buy the oil from Canada making us DEPENDENT on them...not independent.  I am unaware of any of our domestic sources that have been given up either.  

I guess I don't have a good understanding of what was in the EO.  What I read mentioned the removal of subsidies by the federal government.  I didn't see anything mentioning domestic sources of oil being shut down or anything like that.  :oldunsure: 

Well I guess if you have to choose a partner to dance with would it be our next door neighbor Canada or an unstable Middle Eastern Country?  Biden just said last week that Canada is our closest ally.   

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23 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Maybe I don't understand the current state of this pipeline, but it's my understanding that what's been "stopped" is the creation of the final phases off the pipeline.  What has been closed that was running prior to his EO?  Then the follow up question is how does this pipeline keep us less dependant on ME oil?  This pipeline is carrying Canadian oil to the US that we are paying for.  So the mode of transportation here is the only thing in question, right?  We still buy the oil from Canada making us DEPENDENT on them...not independent.  I am unaware of any of our domestic sources that have been given up either.  

I guess I don't have a good understanding of what was in the EO.  What I read mentioned the removal of subsidies by the federal government.  I didn't see anything mentioning domestic sources of oil being shut down or anything like that.  :oldunsure: 

 

Just now, Da Guru said:

Well I guess if you have to choose a partner to dance with would it be our next door neighbor Canada or an unstable Middle Eastern Country?  Biden just said last week that Canada is our closest ally.   

At what point are we just going to amend ally to providence? I mean come on

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17 hours ago, The Commish said:

Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE

Jordan and Kuwait are already U.S. allies, though they don't have a ton of weight to throw around. I had thought the UAE were allied with the U.S., as well, but they may more like Swiss-style neutral -- not sure.

Edited by Doug B
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5 hours ago, stlrams said:

I agree with your premise but would add they also bring stability to the region that desperately needs it.  No I believe Israel should be an ally.  

I have some concerns about Palestinian genocide and ongoing human rights abuses.  But hey, they buy weapons and worship the same god as the Christian west, so we can overlook that, right?

I don’t think we get a ton of benefit out of their “stabilizing” influence. 

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2 hours ago, The Commish said:

Maybe I don't understand the current state of this pipeline, but it's my understanding that what's been "stopped" is the creation of the final phases off the pipeline.  What has been closed that was running prior to his EO?  Then the follow up question is how does this pipeline keep us less dependant on ME oil?  This pipeline is carrying Canadian oil to the US that we are paying for.  So the mode of transportation here is the only thing in question, right?  We still buy the oil from Canada making us DEPENDENT on them...not independent.  I am unaware of any of our domestic sources that have been given up either.  

I guess I don't have a good understanding of what was in the EO.  What I read mentioned the removal of subsidies by the federal government.  I didn't see anything mentioning domestic sources of oil being shut down or anything like that.  :oldunsure: 

I'm not as familiar with the costs of transportation of oil but isn't the main issue with this part of the pipeline the shale deposits in Alberta?  I used to work for an aggregate company, transportation was always the most expensive piece.  I'm assuming oil is very similar.  There's an economic price in that we are going to pay for the transportation one way or the other if we are the end consumer. 

As far as the EO, I don't know domestically what was done.  I had heard some of the leases for the Gulf were being taken off bid.  I don't believe there is much activity there right now as the cost of extracting in that area in the current price environment isn't favorable.  However, as oil prices rise as they have been, I think these would become viable again and could help us fill the need.   The below is what I found on it:

https://www.houmatoday.com/story/business/2021/02/12/debate-continues-biden-administration-cancels-march-oil-lease-sale-gulf-mexico/6744827002/

 

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2 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Well I guess if you have to choose a partner to dance with would it be our next door neighbor Canada or an unstable Middle Eastern Country?  Biden just said last week that Canada is our closest ally.   

Great...but not sure what that has to do with us being "independent" from them :shrug: 

Unless people are just carelessly throwing terms around.  That'd be a first around here.

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