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Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a U.S. ally

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By Jeffrey Fields

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The US wants oil, and to sell weapons systems, aircraft, ships, munitions, surveillance systems, etc. The Saudis want kickbacks from the US military industrial complex so they can make payouts to the princelings and their families. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is saddled with massive repression, gender inequality, poverty, unemployment and a particularly nasty strain of homegrown Islam, and a known murderer, the son of the king, at the head of their military.

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expatToday  09:47 am JST

The US wants oil, and to sell weapons systems, aircraft, ships, munitions, surveillance systems, etc. The Saudis want kickbacks from the US military industrial complex so they can make payouts to the princelings and their families. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is saddled with massive repression, gender inequality, poverty, unemployment and a particularly nasty strain of homegrown Islam, and a known murderer, the son of the king, at the head of their military.

The Saudi regime is totalitarian, and as fanatical and theocratic as Iran is. Saudi Arabia ranks with China, Myanmar, Eritrea as amongst having the worst human rights record in the world. They are not worth American military defense or soldiers' blood. The Saudi regime is more oppressive than Iraq under Saddam Hussein (and he was a jerk too). That's why I opposed Desert Storm 30 years ago. As a Cold War veteran, I felt the USA shouldn't be so eager for war, esp. since we had Panama in 1989 - 1990. The 1991 Gulf War only led to further trouble for everybody, it solved nothing. The Saudi government isn't worth two drops of camel snot.

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Oil!

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Yet President Joe Biden says the U.S. will not sanction the Saudi government, calculating that any direct punishment could risk Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in confronting Iran and in counterterrorism efforts.

The Great Satan will always put money ahead of humanitarian concerns. No matter which idiot is in charge.

Capitalism, see?

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The USA needs to be able to get along with others, whether it be China, Israel, or Saudi Arabia. We cannot go to war with every country that upsets our sensibilities.

When our needs and abilities overlap enough, then we need to make allies. Someone does not have to look like us to be an ally.

That said, our relations with Saudi Arabia should be based on common interests, not their ability to bribe the American President.

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The Great Satan will always put money ahead of humanitarian concerns.

Not true, the US wants to be energy independent from the Saudis and the region, but as long as the Democrats and environmentalists in the US oppose fossil fuel and block the US from tapping into its own natural resources, we will continue to be dependent on Saudi oil.

No matter which idiot is in charge.

Capitalism, see?

As long as Iran THINKS it can challenge the US or try to destroy it they will always face opposition and challenge to the Mullahs authority. Capitalism is the key to help to make with the Saudis to ensure they and our closet ally in the region (Israel) can punt any possible attack and meet it with devastating military might.

The USA needs to be able to get along with others, whether it be China, Israel, or Saudi Arabia. We cannot go to war with every country that upsets our sensibilities.

It already does with Israel, with the Saudis, a bit of a mixed bad, China, not going to happen, especially when China refuses to take accountability for countless number of actions it has taken to undermine, to impose, cheat and to belittle any country or nation in the effort to achieve its goals to oppose and oppress freedom, religious rights and its continued threat of stealing intellectual property.

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Not true, the US wants to be energy independent from the Saudis and the region, but as long as the Democrats and environmentalists in the US oppose fossil fuel and block the US from tapping into its own natural resources, we will continue to be dependent on Saudi oil.

Neither claim is true. Overall the US is a net oil exporter. In addition the latest statistics for daily oil imports show US imports from Saudi Arabia have fallen to zero. That has been long term trend dating back at least a decade as US oil production increased. The US hasn't been dependent on Saudi oil for a long time. The US has been dependent on foreign oil since the early 1950s but the long term (over ten years) trend for the US has been to slowly reduce that dependence while increasing domestic output.

It's complicated though because while large quantities of crude oil, refined petroleum products and more recently LNG are exported from the Gulf Coast, west coast refineries typically get their crude from either local sources, Alaska or abroad. There are no crude oil pipelines from the east crossing the Rocky Mountains to provide feed stocks for west coast refineries. Pumping oil over mountain ranges is prohibitively expensive. West Coast refineries rely on local feed stocks, oil from Alaska (together about half of what they refine) and imports from the far east.

I think much of the reason the US sticks with Saudi Arabia now is that many US allies remain dependent on Saudi oil, the Saudis are seen as a counterweight to Iran, and in part to prevent them from becoming dependent on China or Russia for their military hardware and in the process being drawn in as Chinese or Russian allies hostile to the US and Israel.

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