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Thread: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

  1. #21

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Sadly, with few exceptions (probably only Iran), the general population in most Middle Eastern countries is significantly more batcrap insane than their government. Should any regime be overthrown, the resulting power vacuum would almost certainly be filled by someone ten times worse, with regard to human rights, religious freedom, and cooperation with the West on national security matters like terrorism. Hence, US policy has been to only pressure these regimes in private or in a friendly manner, rather than to shun or sanction them. So as bad as these regimes are, the alternative is far worse. If our goal is to actually help the people on the ground, then we can't afford to be careless.

    Last edited by Dr. Legend; October 12, 2018 at 06:31 PM.
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  2. #22
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Sadly, with few exceptions (probably only Iran), the general population in most Middle Eastern countries is significantly more batcrap insane than their government. Should any regime be overthrown, the resulting power vacuum would almost certainly be filled by someone ten times worse, with regard to human rights, religious freedom, and cooperation with the West on national security matters like terrorism. Hence, US policy has been to only pressure these regimes in private or in a friendly manner, rather than to shun or sanction them. So as bad as these regimes are, the alternative is far worse. If our goal is to actually help the people on the ground, then we can't afford to be careless.
    Fair enough I would not advocate regime change. But there is no reason now the US needs to back the house of Saud. Stop selling them weapons, cut them loose. See how they like playing big boy if the US cavalry is not going to save them or support them. I think we can afford to make a 'mistake'. The oil embargoes did not kill us. What's the worst that could happen if we told the house of Saud they are on there own? Best case we get a nice long Iranian and Saudi/Sunni war and Jihad types on both sides can kill each other on there own dime and the US military can just end the forever war - go back to a nice billet in Germany and plan for a battle that won't happen with Russia in Poland.

    Has there ever been a US president in living memory who didn't suck up to the Saudis? They've all been a massive disappointment in that regard.
    Hey nations have interests, not friends. However the interest in backing the House of Saud is wearing thin vs the costs. In the end Obama did step away from the House of Saud. What's bizarre is that with his America first Trump is even willing to insult long standing allies and attack Canada with tariffs, but Trump seems to feel America first includes the house of Saud. That is out of the norm. A credible US president would at least apologize to Canada since there stance on Human rights in the land of the house of Saud has been vindicated.
    Last edited by conon394; October 12, 2018 at 11:09 PM.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    House of Saud is generous with its bribes, and can barely exist without US support. They control more oil than anyone else, and seem to willingly use their market position to aggressively pressure US opponents like Iran and Russia. They are a perfect ally in the Middle East for the US.

    Its almost a reverse image of the Israel alliance, which is with a competent state with few attractive resources, but one that can project power without US support. I think the US was sick of a successful near-socialist state so they made one of those offers.
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    Squiggle's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Saudis have been openly bribing u.s politicians for decades, they arent friends of America. They're your masters. Thats why they fund terrorism world wide and get cushy deals from the u.s government.
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    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    The problem for the USA whether it be a Trump administration or a Democratic Party led US Senate, no one wants regime change. Any outward and overt reaction could result in an attempt internally in the Saudi government for a regime change. As Dr. Legend pointed out, and regime change is likely to not work out for a better Saudi government regarding basic freedoms. Loo at the mess we had with Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria... The list can be endless. We touch things and things get worse. Best to let the news media to handle this and the US government to simply keep hands off. 'Do not rock the boat' might be the best long term policy.

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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    It's a miracle that nobody has yet advanced the hypothesis that beyond this gangster story in Wahabi sauce, there is Vladimir Putin. But I've still some hope ..

  7. #27
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    The problem for the USA whether it be a Trump administration or a Democratic Party led US Senate, no one wants regime change. Any outward and overt reaction could result in an attempt internally in the Saudi government for a regime change. As Dr. Legend pointed out, and regime change is likely to not work out for a better Saudi government regarding basic freedoms. Loo at the mess we had with Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria... The list can be endless. We touch things and things get worse. Best to let the news media to handle this and the US government to simply keep hands off. 'Do not rock the boat' might be the best long term policy.
    Fair enough but there is no reason we need to be in bed with them. Certainly I see no gain putting air hours on our assets supporting their pathetic brutality in Yemen or giving them spare parts. Contra Cyclops their bid to drive down oil prices was aimed at the US as well as Russia and Iran because they figured the fracking industry could not cope with $50 a barrel. Also those oil embargoes hardly a love tap.

    I mean if you want play realpolitik I would the we (as the US) blundered in 1990. We just offered Saddam a deal keep Kuwait, and even the important part Saudi Arabia. Leave OPEC, Keep oil price low and stable or we will wipe you off the map oh and just try hard to forget Israel exists and we can all be friends.. Seems fair I mean really If we can deal with the house of Saud we could have worked with a secular dictator and its not like he had any interest is spreading radical Islam with his wealth.
    Last edited by conon394; October 13, 2018 at 08:53 PM.
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    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Squiggle View Post
    Saudis have been openly bribing u.s politicians for decades, they arent friends of America. They're your masters. Thats why they fund terrorism world wide and get cushy deals from the u.s government.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Objectively speaking, Saudi Arabia is a terrible ally and a liability, even worse one then Israel or Qatar. True, Saudis invest a lot in Western countries and visa versa. It is a great thing - if you are a billionaire. If not, then you are probably a North American or European taxpayer, who has to finance these profitable relations by military-industrial complex expenses on yet another war against some country that messed with petrodollar and occasionally be a victim of some immigrant from Middle East who got brainwashed at one of those Saudi-funded mosques.
    Again, your utopian image of foreign affairs makes you miss the point. Yes, those that benefit the most from Saudi investments and immense purchase power belong to the financial elite of the United States, but that doesn't render the Saudi-American alliance unreasonable or even unprofitable, according to the perspective of the American administration. Assuming that the friendship is maintained solely thanks to the bribery of the royal family is false and conveniently throws the responsibility away from domestic sources of power to evil-plotting Easterners. However, as I explained previously, the financial cooperation between the two countries, trade and the huge amount of investment in Saudi Arabia mean that any initiative aiming at cutting the ties with the Salafist monarchy will be interrupted immediately by American entrenched interests, through lobbying, bribing, blackmailing, suing and propaganda. Meanwhile, even if the interests of the ''average citizen'' were really harmed by the Saudi-American collaboration (they are not, because the massacre and famine in Yemen, the jihadists in Syria or Afghanistan and the mosques spreading sectarianism, despite being morally reprehensible, hardly affect our everyday lives), they would still be ignored, in favour of those of the much more powerful lobbies, which can instantly eradicate an otherwise promising political career, regardless of party affiliations. Last time I checked, the orange gentleman piously groping a crystal ball did not describe himself as a Democrat.
    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Fair enough I would not advocate regime change. But there is no reason now the US needs to back the house of Saud. Stop selling them weapons, cut them loose. See how they like playing big boy if the US cavalry is not going to save them or support them. I think we can afford to make a 'mistake'. The oil embargoes did not kill us. What's the worst that could happen if we told the house of Saud they are on there own? Best case we get a nice long Iranian and Saudi/Sunni war and Jihad types on both sides can kill each other on there own dime and the US military can just end the forever war - go back to a nice billet in Germany and plan for a battle that won't happen with Russia in Poland.
    Yeah, I doubt that a conventional war between two particularly strong countries in the Middle East would please Washington, pacifists, archeologists, everyone that has invested in the area and those that are outraged with the Yemeni tragedy. The US can afford to ditch them or any other of their allies, despite the massive negative repercussions towards several corporations, but still no possible gain has been suggested. The only one I can think of is a small, temporary and thus negligible rise in popularity, a tiny benefit that is more than compensated with the fury that will follow and actually achieved by a symbolic sanction on their economy, without any serious consequence. I think that the cause for this unnecessarily romantic view about diplomacy is the incorrect and arbitrary belief in the existence of a unified national interest. If someone sincerely wishes to end the alliance between Riyadh and Washington, then what is needed is a radical reform of the political system and, to be even more cynical, society as a whole. Americans were expelled from Iran, as a result of the most massive revolution recorded in history, a historical event that illustrates the force required for such dramatic changes and transformations.

  9. #29
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Well yes the war was hyperbole. But I disagree. What the point of being a super power if you are afraid to rattle the cage of you clients. Is the House of Saud worth all the money we spend defending the gulf. Does The house of Saud really act in way according to our interests. OPEC is not. Its use of oil embargoes was not. Its attempt to break the fracking industry was not, Is beyond stupid and brutal war in Yemen is not. The Business of America is not the Business of Exxon. That kind of thinking might have been true back in the 50s and 60s when major corporation you employed lots of American and built stuff in America. But... I see no particular bar to suspending military aid the house of Saud until they pull out of Yemen and also substantially check the flow of money to extremist schools and jihad groups. The House of Saud is a vile 'country' It may have strategic value back in the cold war, but honestly I see no reason to kowtow to them or ever pretend they are or were our friends.

    fury that will follow
    From whom? I say go more than symbolic. Suspend arms and military cooperation, withdraw US troops, maybe even target individual sanctions if US Intel can identify the men involved in the Killing and who green lighted it.

    I think that the cause for this unnecessarily romantic view about diplomacy is the incorrect and arbitrary belief in the existence of a unified national interest.
    Obviously there is rarely one single interest, but in not that difficult to reassess the weight of competing interests and the value of alliance with any particular state.

    If someone sincerely wishes to end the alliance between Riyadh and Washington, then what is needed is a radical reform of the political system and, to be even more cynical, society as a whole.
    Why would the US have to be more cynical? As far as I can the relationship with Riyadh gains the US little and cost very much indeed. What is needed is for the US to stop mindlessly carrying on its relation in the Middle east w/o ever stopping to do a cost benefit analysis.

    Americans were expelled from Iran, as a result of the most massive revolution recorded in history, a historical event that illustrates the force required for such dramatic changes and transformations.
    Well I guess that one case... On the US could get over and tray accept we kinda asked for it. But you overstate the case there was no great revolution that produced the basis for tricky dick to go to Beijing, just finally noticing there was not some huge unified Sino-Soviet block that was run from Moscow.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Journalist from SA mysteriously disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Istanbul

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Again, your utopian image of foreign affairs makes you miss the point. Yes, those that benefit the most from Saudi investments and immense purchase power belong to the financial elite of the United States, but that doesn't render the Saudi-American alliance unreasonable or even unprofitable, according to the perspective of the American administration. Assuming that the friendship is maintained solely thanks to the bribery of the royal family is false and conveniently throws the responsibility away from domestic sources of power to evil-plotting Easterners. However, as I explained previously, the financial cooperation between the two countries, trade and the huge amount of investment in Saudi Arabia mean that any initiative aiming at cutting the ties with the Salafist monarchy will be interrupted immediately by American entrenched interests, through lobbying, bribing, blackmailing, suing and propaganda. Meanwhile, even if the interests of the ''average citizen'' were really harmed by the Saudi-American collaboration (they are not, because the massacre and famine in Yemen, the jihadists in Syria or Afghanistan and the mosques spreading sectarianism, despite being morally reprehensible, hardly affect our everyday lives), they would still be ignored, in favour of those of the much more powerful lobbies, which can instantly eradicate an otherwise promising political career, regardless of party affiliations. Last time I checked, the orange gentleman piously groping a crystal ball did not describe himself as a Democrat.
    It is not utopian to presume that administration should align its actions with the interests of the population, alliance with a backwards totalitarian theocracy like Saudi Arabia clearly not an example of such. I'm pretty sure that murder of several thousands of average Americans in 2001 (as well as Saudi-inspired Muslim terrorist attacks in other Western countries) counts as affecting one's everyday lives. Then there are wars and "interventions" that were initiated by American politicians (who are in Saudi pocket) - that also affects average citizens via unnecessary waste of tax money and injury and death of servicemen and army personnel. See, its not just that Saudi Arabia is a problem for pretty much everyone else in Middle East - Saudi meddling in Western affairs makes them a problem for us as well, which no trade deal can really compensate. At this point complacency of Western elites with Saudi regime should not just be viewed as a garden variety conflict of interest but as a de-facto treason.
    By means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms -- elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest -- will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial [...]. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.
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