Our friends the Saudis

Threats Watch: 5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations

Michelle Malkin: Something Doesn’t Seem Right

WaPo: This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

Glenn Reynolds: Writes

The Saudis are not our friends. They are, in fact, at the root of global Islamist intolerance and violence to a degree at least as great as that of Iran. They must change peacefully, or be changed.

I recall a long and heated discussion I had in very very early 2002 about the possibility of invading a Middle Eastern nation. Both sides of the discussion were unsure of their position. The guy I was talking with was unsure whether military action was the right move. I was unsure whether invading Iraq first was the right move or if Arabia might not be better. I went with Iraq that day because of its strategic location in the middle of the hornets’ nest, as I almost always did. And still do.


  1. I got to spend some time in Saudi Arabia in ’90-91. I drove in convoys to pick up vehicles from Riyadh during the Desert Shield and back down to drop them off after the war. The cities in Saudi Arabia were the creepiest places I’ve ever been – that includes Kuwait City right after it was liberated, Sri Lanka during their civil war, and various other 3rd world countries. The oppression is so thick, you can feel it in the air. There is also a weird feeling to be in a wealthy looking city where none of the wealth was earned, just pumped out of the ground by foreign companies. Things just aren’t right there. If we (the U.S.) had any leadership at all, we would be building nuclear power plants and electric or hydrogen powered cars as fast as we can just to stop funding these animals. I would not want to travel there without my rifle and several thousand fellow American Soldiers or Marines.

  2. We need to put more pressure on the Saudi’s but I beleive that Iran is still more dangerous as they want Nuclear weapons and that cant be allowed to happen. Personally, I think Israel will exercise the military option against Iran within 12 months if things dont improve. (Unless they have people (mossad) on the inside )

  3. I also picked Iraq to start with for many reasons Strategic Location somewhat westernized population willing to understand our ways and mainly to me was the fact that I saw Iraq as one of the few ME nations we could take down without drawing in neighboring nations to fight at the same time. If we had hit Iran or Saudi Arabia, or Syria first we would have had at least Iraq and very likley more ME nations to fight at the same time on a direct comfrontation not just some weapons smuggling across their borders. We just didnt have the numbers to take the whole ME in one fail swoop it had to be in peices.

  4. C-Low is certainly right about the involvement of other nations, especially in regard to Saudi Arabia. A western power in control of Mecca would, to put it mildly, cause the entire muslim world to go totally apeshit.

  5. The foreign policy of the United States needs to be able to recognize that there are countries in the world that are neither steadfast allies (to whom we should feel comfortable selling arms and providing military aid, like Japan, Australia, New Zealand and NATO members), clear and present enemies (whom we should stand at the ready to respond to militarily at a moment’s notice, like North Korea). Some countries, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Indonesia, Nepal and Venezula come to mind, are not current threats, but might be on the wrong side of U.S. forces some day. In those cases, the first rule should be ‘do no harm.’ We don’t have to be openly antagonistic to Saudi Arabia when their cooperation is crucial to the world oil market and they aren’t openly invading their neighbors. But, we certainly should abandon our current policy of selling them top flight, or nearly top flight, American military equipment. If some other country gets the business instead, so be it. Most visitors of this site would agree that for big ticket items like tanks and fighter aircraft, the Saudis would be missing out, even if they were able to buy from Russia or France or South Africa or China. Likewise, we shouldn’t be selling aircraft equipped to carry nuclear bombs to nuclear armed Pakistan (whose current leader took power in a coup when his predecessor kept an unpopular committment to the U.S. in an international matter), so long as we are also allies with considerably more democratic and nuclear armed India. Yet, we just did that as a reward in the ‘war on terror’ in which Pakistani cooperation has been dubious at best (it is, by most reports, after all, the current domicile of Osama bin Laden, the local troops haven’t gotten him, and U.S. troops have not been allowed on Pakistani soil to take up the fight). I personally saw no reason to put U.S. lives on the line in the first Gulf War to protect the slave holding monarchy of Kuwait (which is still a monarchy and still have hidden slavery), against the not any worse, but more secular nation of Iraq. Indeed, if Iraq had gone to war with Saudi Arabia, and we had stayed on the sidelines watching them obliterate each other, as Iraq was emboldened in the wake of the first Gulf War, the short term oil price hike that certainly would have resulted, might well have been worth the military threats squelched as they fought each other.

  6. And republicans elected the far right wing religious nutjob whose family is most in bed with the saudis. and has mismanaged energy policy so that gas prices have more then doubled, leaving the Saudi’s with even more money with which to spread their vitriol. But its okay, becouse George W. Bush is on the job, so you can be sure we will see the best photo-ops in the world on this one.

  7. Aaron, your post is so full of horse manure, I don’t even know where to start deconstructing it. Please, please stop spouting that kind of rubbish. Bush is a far-right religious nutjob? What planet are you on? There are many people to his right, politically speaking. And while you’re blaming someone for high oil prices, how about starting with yourself? It’s us, the consumers, who govern the price, not your favorite target of hateful venting. So please shut up, you’re embarassing.

  8. Aaron has already posted in another MO article that he isn’t part of the cause of our current oil dependence problem. Most people that are the worst parts of the cause claim that as they drive about their business each day, kept safe and secure by people they denigrate without a second thought.

  9. Maybe somebody needs to start an Oil Users Anonymous group. ‘Hello, my name is Nicholas and I have a problem. It has been three hours since my last drive…’

  10. Lived in Saudi for 5 years. Yah, they think of anything thats not muslim as subhuman. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are actually nice people and treat others with respect, but for the most part, they look at us as a money source, not a friend As for all the ‘high tech arms’ we keep selling them, my dad hired on and taught over there for Raytheon. Most of their techies are not the brightest bulbs out there. Honestly, if we pulled our support, all thier high tech toys would probably be belly up inside of one maintinance cycle or sooner. Its tough to take a Bedouin and teach him how to fix a Strike Eagle. Its even harder to get him to remeber what you taught him.