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Saudia Arabia "staunch ally"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Catullus, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+ Site Supporter++

    I just had to rant for a second to the crap that I just heard on the news. The newscaster just called Saudi Arabia a "staunch" ally. Really....I wonder who our enemies are?

  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    And why are they not? Because some terrorists have come from there? They have come from many countries, including our own. So who do you consider a staunch ally? Isreal? A country who has never stood beside us on a battle field. Who has spied on us and stolen our technology and attacked one of our ships killing many American sailors?

    The world is not as black and white as many would like to believe it is.

    I would say that "ally" seems to be in the eye of the beholder.

    Not trying to be confrontational, just trying to understand the reasoning behind your statement.
  3. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+ Site Supporter++

    Isreal by its very location stands on the battlefield everyday.

    The world is definitely not black and white for me. It is a total mesh of gray. Saudi Arabia is no better or worse than the rest of the bunch we name allies.

    That being said...I was merely venting my frustration at what I perceive as a plastic bag being placed slowly over the head of the United States. The slow choke is beginning as we speak.

    Saudi Arabia, with its oil reserves, definitely has a hand on the bag. I wonder if they are going to actually help us or tighten down.
  4. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    In the region, I would say Saudi has been one of our better allys. Everyone of our allys has some sort of an issue. Australia and England are by far our best allys, but then again we are all cut from the same English cloth from the start and share a common language and history.

    Turkey is also one of our "allys". I would certainly say Saudi is a much better ally than Turkey.

    MM- I have been waiting to hear your perspective on all the goings on in the Middle East and North Africa. Since you are on the inside, I would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure it is another book in your mind, but from the outside looking in, I don't necessarily what the future for these countries will be.

    I am sure there are others here who would like to hear you opinion, too.
    Falcon15 and RightHand like this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Being the cynic that I am, I've always thought that allies are bought, not by the word and bond, but by some sort of value exchange, say to the highest bidder.

    There are, I believe, three value exchanges; trade, swindle, and swap. A trade is where both parties are happy with the outcome, a swindle is where one party is happy, and a swap is where both go away from the table grumbling. We've been swapped and swindled far more often than traded by sending goods and services to needy nations that had nothing to return other than "good will" purchased. Good will ends when the payments stop.

    Trades and swaps happen when both parties are on equal footing. I think we have misplaced our trust a few times and got swindled by unequal partners.

    Our generous nature did it to us, and will continue. (Or maybe we figured that the price was worth it. I suspect that Saudi and Israel fall in that category.)
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Clyde,I have a few observations running around my gray matter that I will share. But I don't want to hijack Cats thread. I'll find somewhere else to do that.

    Cat, I suspected that the oil reserves and the rising price at the pump may have influenced your perspective. However it is a misconception, shared by millions unfortunately, that the Saudi's control the price of oil and are some kind of robber barons.
    We only import(IIRC) about 15% of our oil in the US from SA. These news show pundits talk of the Arab oil sheiks and the Saudi's in particular as holding the price gun on world oil and the price we pay at the pump for gasoline. How many times have you seen the caricature of the Arab sheik holding a gasoline nozzle against Uncle Sam's head like a pistol?
    The truth is that our biggest suppliers are not Arab at all. The top three countries that supply crude oil imports to the US is Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. Those contracts and those countries abilities to fulfill them will have more drastic, immediate, and severe affect on our economy than anything the Saudi's can do.
    The Saudi's and the other OPEC nations have in the past used their vast producing capacity to influence world markets. They do not set the price of oil any more than Exxon or Texaco does. But they can influence the price by restricting or increasing the supply. In the past they have primarily used this to keep the price lower, not to raise it. And they don't do it for us, their "ally", they do it for their own economic reasons. When oil gets too high it stifles the world economy and the demand shrinks resulting in all oil producing nations losing revenue. They do not benefit by exorbitant prices.
    If you can sell 1000 apples at 5 cents a piece, you are far better off than selling 500 at 7 cents.
    There is a place where they would like it to stay. Around $90 a barrel. A place where they can still make good profits but not so high as to stifle demand or to adversely affect economies.

    As for the bag over our heads, there are a lot of hands on it. And not all of our allies are our friends. But to single out SA is to fall for the old magicians slight of hand. Look at this hand while I steal your watch with the other one.
  7. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+ Site Supporter++

    Thank you for the information MM. I am not above saying that I don't know everything that is going on. The older I get the more I realize I don't know.

    One thing I am certain of is that I am not on the priority list to get good information on foreign policy. I don't know who you are but from what I can tell from the tone of other posts you must be someone higher up on that list.

    Please don't feel like you are "hijacking" my post. I purposely put out a hot issue to get some discussion. I am here to learn first and foremost.
  8. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+ Site Supporter++

    One note on the word "staunch...which is what I was ultimately responding to.
    To me that means unwavering.


    <sup>2 </sup>  <noscript>[​IMG]</noscript> /stɔntʃ, stɑntʃ/ [​IMG] Show Spelled[stawnch, stahnch] [​IMG] Show IPA
    –adjective, -er, -est. 1. firm or steadfast in principle, adherence, loyalty, etc., as a person: a staunch Republican; a staunch friend.

    2. characterized by firmness, steadfastness, or loyalty: He delivered a staunch defense of the government.

    I believe that we have a military, and to a certain point an economic alliance with SA.

    Do we have a social alliance with them? Are they our "staunch" allies in pursuing freedom and democracy for all oppressed people around the world?

    Do we have a spiritual alliance with them? Are their large, ridiculously rich religous organizations that influence their politics (just like ours) on the same side with our large and ridiculously rich religous organizations? Are their goals the same?

    Thanks for listening to my rant.
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    It's like the old adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." That philosophy has had us allied with ruthless regimes and dictators around the globe for decades. Ala, Saddam Hussien, the Shah of Iran, A whole list of Latin American dictators. I hope that policy is over with. We as the (former) beacon of liberty to the world should be standing by the people of the world who want to live in freedom, not supporting dictators because it suits our "national interest".

    As for "Staunch" that was my reason for referencing Israel. They are always referred to as our "Staunchest ally". Yet they have done things to us that would be considered an act of war by any other country. Or at least criminal.
    So Staunch ally really doesn't mean much in political speak. If they are referenced that way then I can't have a problem with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, or Egypt being our staunch allies.
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    40% of our oil is domestic. Some of our domestic oil is exported to Japan and other countries.

    The top exporters of crude oil into the US are Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Algeria.
    The top exporters of petroleum into the US are Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Algeria, Russia.

    I would have been sure Kuwait was in the top 10 but Kuwait isn't.

    Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries
  11. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Good link. Thanks. It seems Venezuela has slipped down the chart some. It used to be number 3. But that should have been expected. Chavez has started selling long time US crude contracts to China when they come up for renewal and has vowed that he will eventually cut off all crude export to the US. Mexico's Canterell field, the second largest in the world next to Saudi's Gawahr, has been in severe decline for the past several years. So our supply from two of our top 5 suppliers is in danger of decreasing and possibly ceasing all together. I believe that we will live to see the day when we look back fondly on the "good old days" of $5 a gallon gasoline.
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    The US deliberately spreads our purchases around; however as we have no choice but to buy it is a moot point.

    If Chavez cuts us off; then we buy some where else and another nation buys from Venezuela.

    We need to develop domestic oil; not borrow money to give to Brazil so they develop theirs.
  13. flyaway

    flyaway Monkey+

    more thoughts

    It is critical to understand the oil situation to prepare yourself. Saudi Arabia's entire population could have lived comfortably for 1000 years on the Ghawar field. The fat royals pissed away most of it in 50 years, and they treat the population like prisoners. It's a powder keg.

    After reading this today, I want to buy a natural gas car:
    When the Saudi Monarchy Falls by Ron Holland

    Who actually supplies our oil is irrelevant. Libya's oil doesn't go to the US, but its absence would be pretty devastating, as oil flows freely to whoever pays the most.

    If you don't want to hold FRNS or Treasuries, imagine how the Arabs feel? If we have to get by on 50% of our present oil consumption, how would that change our driving habits? I think the grocery trucks would have priority.

    I have talked to people who would rather ride a horse than drive a small car. Is it worth going to nuclear war with 1 billion Muslims so 2% of the worlds population can keep using 25% of the oil?

    We need to save our oil to make fertilizer and petrochemicals after Lights Out.
    A good movie is "A Crude Awakening"
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    No allies for us, but for the military industrial complex? That's a different story. A nasty tale it is, too.
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