The big news in the US media was that Saudi women can now leave home without a male guardian…..and just months ago women are allowed to drive….but that is not the news that needs reporting.
I wish this was a sequel to Lawrence of Arabia but sadly it is not ….it is the return of the large numbers of American troops into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia….for their protection (again).
In 1990 history was made….US Troops stationed in Saudi Arabia….
It was big news. U.S. military forces streamed into Saudi Arabia in response to a supposedly serious threat to the kingdom’s eastern region. The American troops were invited by nervous Saudi royals; it wasn’t an American invasion per se. Everything unfolded smoothly at first; still, the consequences would be severe for the United States. Pick up the latest Military Times, or any other news source, and the story will seem recent, if not worthy of any special attention or alarm. Indeed, US troops areheaded into Saudi Arabia right now, but that’s not the situation described above.
No, that happened in August 1990, in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq—a nation, few remembered, that the US had previously backed in its aggressive war with Iran (1980-88). The kingdom then served as a launch point for the U.S.-led Persian Gulf War (1991) which drove the Iraqis from tiny Kuwait. American soldiers pulled out of Saudi Arabia just over a decade later, in 2003. Now they’re rolling back in. History, as it’s said to do, seems to be repeating itself.
This time, however, the ostensible threat to Saudi Arabia comes from naughty Iran, the American national security state’s current favorite exaggerated villain. And, of course, Iran—unlike our onetime “partners” in Iraq—hasn’t invaded anybody. Thus, the US troop infusion is more preemptive than reactive. It’s no matter; few Americans (or even most media/political elites) seem to notice.
Dear Saudi monarchs: Just give a call to your good buddies Trump and Jared the weasel and all will be yours…..and poof more wasted American taxpayer dollars.
Let’s be honest…this has nothing to do with the flow oil….it is all about the criminals in the Kingdom monarchy that are afraid of losing their station and wealth…and of course the first thing they do is turn to the US wjo has been training and arming the Saudis for decades and yet they are incapable of defending themselves……can anyone say waste money?
Also keep in mind that the first group of troops in Saudi in 1990 is what lead Osama down the terrorist path.
Of course the Saudis did what they ALL do…..claim that they will run out of oil soon and will need an alternative…….
Recent media reports have drawn a lot of attention to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy ambitions and US nuclear diplomacy toward Riyadh. This explainer provides context and background information in order to better understand the dynamics at play.
Saudi Arabia is interested in the development of a nuclear power programme to meet growing electricity demand and to diversify its energy sources. Riyadh has outlined plans to construct up to 16 large nuclear reactors over the course of 20 to 25 years to provide the kingdom with 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040. Riyadh started soliciting proposals for the construction of two reactors in November 2017 and has been in talks with Russia, China, France, South Korea and the United States. The official tender should be launched in early 2020.
The one thing that got me laughing the loudest was their statement that “they will need to meet a growing electricity demand”….and nukes will provide for that demand…….
Think about that for a moment. (pause here for contemplation)
How much sunshine does the peninsula get yearly? How about the winds from the desert? Maybe think about tidal cycles.
The US needs to act like a global leader and start encouraging these countries off nukes and toward renewables……
Instead of straining to control these programs, or even facilitating them, the U.S. should encourage less risky, cheaper, clean non-nuclear alternatives.
The case for nuclear power in the Middle East has never been strong. First, the national electrical systems there are relatively small. Put large amounts of electricity (nuclear or non-nuclear) on their grids and you risk overloading them and causing blackouts. This is particularly worrisome for nuclear reactors whose safe operation depends on a steady, external supply of electricity to run their coolant and safety systems (think Fukushima).
Second, because large reactors can be used to make nuclear explosive materials, they’re prime military targets. Iran, Israel, and the United States each attacked Iraq’s Osirak reactor (Israel successfully). Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Egypt and Iraq targeted Israel’s Dimona reactor. Israel successfully bombed Syria’s reactor at Al Kibar, and, more recently, the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed they fired missiles at the UAE’s nuclear reactors. Any such strikes risk radiation releases and rattling even the strongest of regimes to its roots (think the Soviet Union’s political meltdown, catalyzed, in no small part, by Chernobyl). There is also the danger of insider and cyberattacks that could result in catastrophe.
Oh goody our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader has issued is next veto……he has chosen to play favorites on the world stage and to let the Saudis and their minions, UAE, continue their assault on humanity.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, the AP reports. In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop US involvement in a foreign conflict. The veto—the second in Trump’s presidency—was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him. “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his veto. Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.
Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing. The US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
I just cannot understand the lack of sympathy for children being killed, maimed and starved by out “good friend” the Saudis.
My question is how much does Trumpy owe the Saudis that he can turn his back on starving people?
What a disrespectful toad we elected…well you did for I did not vote for the ego-centric d/bag……are you proud?
Now the efforts of MbS has born fruit….his playing the president and his entourage will give them the tech they need to start a new nuke competition……
The U.S. Department of Energy has approved six authorizations for U.S. companies seeking to conduct nuclear related work in Saudi Arabia, according to two sources with knowledge of those approvals.
Federal law stipulates that companies obtain clearance from the U.S. government for exporting nuclear technology to or engaging in the production or development of special nuclear material in Saudi Arabia.
The authorizations—known as Part 810s, referring to a clause in federal regulations —allow U.S. companies to divulge specific details about plans for working in Saudi Arabia and certain information about the nuclear technology. For example, a company would need a Part 810 to transfer physical documents, electronic media, or the “transfer of knowledge and expertise” to Saudi Arabia, according to the Department of Energy.
It’s been unclear to what extent the U.S. government, and U.S. companies, have communicated with Riyadh about nuclear energy, especially in the wake of the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and amid claims by Democrats on the Hill that individuals in the national security community attempted to discuss a nuclear deal with Riyadh without going through the proper regulatory approval process.
Iran has been standing with the deal that they inked with Obama even though the idiot in the White House has null and voided it……but now with the tension between Iran and Saudi a new competition will erupt that we will be the cause of and any outcome will be on our head.
Most Americans do. The bastards that committed the atrocities on that day were members of the extremist group called al-Qaeda whose leader Osama bin Laden ordered the attacks.
We invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of hunting down the culprit and destroying the organization so they could never again be so brazen.
We took our eye off the target by the BS of Iraq and we invaded yet another country in 2003…..we finally found and executed Osama over a decade after he ordered the attacks of 9/11….but that aside he is dead and AQ is on their back foot right now and have been replaced by yet another extremist group named ISIS.
After about 5 years of constant war ISIS is on their back foot….not defeated just a bloody nose and a period of decline (for now)……
The US conned its allies into supporting the war on ISIS…..we groomed many “freedom loving” factions to do the fighting in the region (mostly Syria)……one of the groups that we “armed” either directly or through proxies was…….wait for it…….Al-Qaeda.
I understand the Saudis supporting AQ for they share an extremist view of Islam….but not to the point of total support against ISIS (another extremist view)……
Less than two decades after the attacks of September 11, the U.S. government has now effectively allied with the Al Qaeda terrorist group it has long blamed for planning and executing those attacks, which still remain the worst terror attacks to have ever taken place on U.S. soil.
Despite the U.S. having launched the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the years-long “War on Terror” as a means of allegedly countering Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the past year has revealed several instances in which Washington has been making “deals” with, protecting, and even (indirectly but knowingly) arming Al Qaeda operatives in countries like Yemen and Syria. The about-face has come as the U.S.’ interest in “counter-terrorism” throughout the Middle East has been superseded by regime-change policies targeting countries like Yemen, Syria and Iran.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has issued a letter demanding that President Donald Trump’s administration explain a recent report suggesting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates transferred U.S. weapons to Al-Qaeda.
Warren’s letter came in response to an investigation by CNN, which uncovered reports earlier this month that Saudi Arabia and its ally, the UAE, have taken weapons provided by the U.S. and given them to fighters linked to the Sunni Muslim militant group Al-Qaeda and other organizations as part of a secret, shared initiative to defeat Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebels known as Ansar Allah or the Houthis in Yemen. The document was addressed to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“If this report is true, it raises serious concerns that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other governments have violated their end user agreements with the United States by diverting American weapons to terrorists and other extremists without prior authorization from the United States,” Warren said, as reported Friday by CNN.
I am sorry but I cannot see why we would supply implements of destruction to a regime of wankers that will use them against us…….
I still do not trust the Saudis as far as I could toss their fat butts……plus I am not convinced that they did not know or support the terrorists on 9/11 after all most of them were Saudis…….but this is a good piece that ask an important question……
The BBC’s article merely reports what is accepted as common knowledge and documented fact regarding the inception of this now enduring, notorious and shape-shifting terrorist organization… that it was the initial creation of joint US-Saudi interests.
This fact would carry with it an ironic sting in 2001 when Al Qaeda, allegedly led by Bin Laden, struck the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, killing nearly 3,000 people and precipitating now over 15 years of global war.
Without doubt, the US and Saudi Arabia created Al Qaeda, and many believe still control the terrorist organization citing that the immense material support it and its subsidiaries require along with the virtual impunity they enjoy as they operate worldwide could only be due to substantial and influential state sponsorship.
Many have postulated that because the 15 years of war following September 11, 2001 have benefited only a handful of special interests both in the US and Europe, as well as in the Persian Gulf, that it cannot be ruled out that these interests were also somehow involved in the attacks that justified this enduring war to begin with.
While you had your attention diverted to a non-story that the investigation may be over soon……a major story was coming to light about the Saudis and their desire for nukes…….and the Trump admin was happy to do their part to help…..
Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration. Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the US technology were transferred without proper safeguards, per the AP. The Democratic-led House oversight committee opened an investigation Tuesday into the claims by several unnamed whistleblowers who said they witnessed “abnormal acts” in the White House regarding the proposal to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the Middle Eastern kingdom. According to the report, the effort was pushed by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in early 2017.
Derek Harvey, a National Security Council official brought in by Flynn, continued work on the proposal, which has remained under consideration by the Trump administration. (The Washington Post reports that it was discussed as recently as last week.) The committee’s report details how NSC and ethics officials repeatedly warned that the actions of Flynn and one of his senior aides could run afoul of federal conflicts of interest law and statutes governing the transfer of nuclear technology to foreign powers. Congressional investigators are also probing the role of Tom Barrack, a proponent of the nuclear proposal who ran Trump’s presidential inaugural committee. The nuclear proposal—known as the “Marshall Plan for the Middle East—was advocated by a company called IP3 International, which is led by retired military officers and national security officials
Wait! Iran is trying to develop nuke weapons but the Saudis will play nice and use it for peaceful purposes…..a country that fears Iranian expansion….and we will trust them……are we that damn STUPID?
So, what is the rush for the Saudis?
The administration of President Donald Trump is bypassing the United States Congress to advance the sale of US nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns it would violate US law guarding against technology transfers, according to a new report by a congressional committee.
Security analysts worry the technology would allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons in the future, potentially contributing to an arms race in the Middle East.
Another developing situation in the Middle East that could turn dangerous at the drop of a hat…..and as usual the US will be ass deep in the troubles all in the name of “helping” an ally…..
The most dangerous foreign policy decision of the Trump administration—and I know this is saying a lot—is its decision to share sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia and authorize U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in that country. I spent seven years in the Middle East. I covered the despotic, repressive kingdom as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. And I, along with most other Arabists in the United States, have little doubt that giving a nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the ruthless and amoral Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would see it embark on a nuclear weapons program and eventually share weaponized technology with Saudi allies and proxies that include an array of radical jihadists and mortal enemies of America. A nuclearized Saudi Arabia is a grave existential threat to the Middle East and ultimately the United States.
The Saudis are playing loose with their ambitions….recently MbS went to Pakistan to improve relations (or so the story went)….but since Pakistan has nukes could he be working on a deal in case the US one falls through?
Visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has expressed optimism about the economic future of Pakistan, saying his country had been waiting for a leadership like that of Prime Minister Imran Khan to partner with Islamabad in various areas.
Addressing a reception dinner on Sunday night at the Prime Minister House hours after he landed in Pakistan, the Crown Prince said Pakistan was a “dear country” to all Saudis and that the two countries “have walked together in tough and good times”, Dawn news reported.
“We believe that Pakistan is going to be a very, very important country in the coming future and we want to be sure we are part of that. Pakistan today has a great future in store with a great leadership,” he said.
Our president is always going on and on about the “hostages” he has helped release from countries like North Korea…..and yet an American citizen is being held in Saudi Arabia and he is silent and prefers to deal with it with inaction……
A US citizen has been detained and tortured in Saudi Arabia and may be on his last leg, sources tell the New York Times. Walid Fitaihi was apparently held against his will in November 2017 at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, where guards blindfolded, stripped, slapped, and bound him, then shocked him with electricity for about an hour. A friend says the Harvard-trained doctor was whipped so badly he couldn’t sleep on his wounded back for days. “It is believed that Dr. Fitaihi has been and is tortured at least psychologically during his imprisonment,” his attorney Howard Cooper wrote the State Department in January, per CNN. Cooper described his client as “physically deteriorated” and “emotionally broken.” Now American friends of Fitaihi, 54, are pressing Washington to address his case and criticizing President Trump’s inaction.
And Fitaihi isn’t alone: The dual American-Saudi citizen is one of hundreds of eminent Saudis detained, and at times apparently tortured, in a 2017 crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Fitaihi’s friend says he was likely tortured for information about Adel Fakeih, a relative by marriage and an ex-senior aide to the crown prince. Al Jazeera notes that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, himself a murder victim of Saudi agents, tweeted about Fitaihi in 2018: “What has happened to us?” he wrote in Arabic. “How can someone like Dr. Walid Fitaihi be arrested and what are the justifications for it?” Meanwhile, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met with the crown prince this week, but it seems Fitaihi’s imprisonment wasn’t discussed. Trump says he has successfully extricated 20 US citizens held abroad.
Once again we can see how this president puts personal gain over the lives of his fellow countrymen……