The Saudis Are Not Our Friends

How much evidence do we need? The Saudis reject the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they practice slavery in Saudi Arabia and maintain their practices when they come to the United States, as several well-publicized accounts have found, they execute people for witchcraft, the Crown Prince at the very least connived at the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi imams preach hatred, rich Saudis provide financial support for their radical form of Islam all over the world, many Saudis joined Daesh, and 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.

Now we learn that the shooter in the murders at the Pensacola naval base was a Saudi officer brought there for flight training. Protestations that the Saudis “love the American people” are nonsense. The “enhanced screening” of candidates for military training in the United States for foreign officers is simple: no Saudis. They are not our friends.

There is an old proverb that characterizes this situation well: he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

10 comments… add one
  • Greyshambler Link

    One big reason I am not going to jump on the Aramco I P O.

  • Guarneri Link

    “Now we learn that the shooter in the murders at the Pensacola naval base was a Saudi officer brought there for flight training.”

    Its apparently even worse. I hear there may have been 5-6 in on the plot.

    “Protestations that the Saudis “love the American people” are nonsense.”

    Yes, but its the kind of thing heads of state say. And yet if he speaks bluntly he’s a Neanderthal or a bigot. Damned if you do…….

    I’ve asked before; I will again. So why have presidents, the State Dept etc of all type of political and foreign policy stripes tolerated this for 50-60 years? Something is missing from the simple observation that “the Saudis are not our friends.”

  • Sure. We’re trying to keep the oil supply and oil prices stable. The Saudis, as the major supplier at lowest cost, are in a position to destabilize either or both.

    My view is that there comes a point at which higher oil prices must be deemed acceptable and we reached that point nearly 20 years ago.

  • CStanley Link

    I never knew that foreign national cane to the US to train at our military bases until we recently visited a relative who was doing training at Ft Jackson. We met a guy he had befriended who was from Kosovo, and then were taken aback at the graduation to see a few Saudis in the class.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    It really seems to me here that there are things which we do not know.
    Interestingly, Presidents Obama and Trump kissed the ring, as different as they are. Or we think they are.

  • Guarneri Link

    I strongly suspect its more complicated than that, Dave, but fine, let’s stipulate its oil.

    So no one is politically capable of saying to the electorate: “your commercial self interests should be subordinate to the debauchery of this so called ally.” You may find this morally reprehensible; me too. But you wonder why I distrust government at almost every turn? You think they are going to magically do the right thing at State, CIA, FBI, EPA, FDA, Defense……??? Yeah, right.

    We don’t do small scale nuclear because of nutcases. We don’t do coal because of nutcases. We subsidize environmentally unsound electric cars. Your party predicts, for 50 years now, imminent planetary holocaust all to retard growth and seek tax revenue. Nutcases. But defang the Saudi hegemony? Politicians: Nah, not a priority.

    I think there must be other reasons. But if its just oil, its the poster boy issue for drastically cutting government. What an immoral crew. Turn over health care, education etc to these people? AUFKM? And if they are just reflecting the electorate, then the electorate needs to look in the mirror.

  • steve Link

    ” but fine, let’s stipulate its oil.”
    And arms sales. We have to sell them arms so that they can use them badly, but we will make lots of money, which is really the key here. We overlook everything they do just so we can make money and have, maybe, better economic growth. In this case the electorate is irrelevant. It is the oil and arms lobbies. Those special interests dominate the decision making. Those interest groups would have less influence if we had a smaller government? That is too funny. Those same interest groups help pay the think tanks that generate the positive reports in the media that push us towards supporting KSA. Towards prioritizing arms sales and oil over killing Americans.

    I guess we would also be remiss in pointing out that the other factors are Iran and Israel. KSA is the country that sends the terrorists to the US to kill us. So which Middle East country do we spend the most time hating? Iran. Which countries in the ME hate Iran the most? Israel and KSA. As long as we continue to behave like a client state to Israel we arent going to do anything negative towards KSA.


  • Greyshambler Link

    So we’ve made a deal with the devil for geopolitical reasons, as the Saudis have with the Wahhabis.
    And knowing how vulnerable KSA would be without our help, it’s easy to see where they would turn if we disengaged.
    So although it would feel good to call a spade a spade and walk away the power vacuum we would leave would quickly be filled to our disadvantage.

  • And knowing how vulnerable KSA would be without our help, it’s easy to see where they would turn if we disengaged.

    Clearly, they are already preparing for that eventuality. They would turn to China. My view: there is an enormous gulf between our present extremely cordial relationship with KSA and “walking away”. Are the extremes really our only alternatives? Hence the proverb that concluded the post above.

  • Andy Link

    Personally, I think the three biggest factors in our continued support for KSA are:

    1. Iran
    2. Historical inertia
    3. The strategic calculus that it’s better to have a frenemy in our orbit than China’s.

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