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(BBC)   After Saudi Arabia purchases 72 Eurofighters, a spokesman had this to say: "It [Saudi] has a tremendous reputation of trying to help and assist in the various Middle East disputes" Holy wishful thinking, batman   (news.bbc.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Unlikely  
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266 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Aug 2006 at 12:13 PM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2006-08-18 09:03:53 AM  
Of course it does. It has most of the oil, which helps to build, ship and sometimes even fuel the various armed methods of assistance.
 
2006-08-18 09:12:57 AM  
I don't know what article submitter read, but it cetrainly wasn't this one.
 
2006-08-18 09:21:04 AM  
HAHAHAHA
Nice move saudi.
The best Jet fighter in operational service.
/F22 is equal
 
2006-08-18 09:40:19 AM  
Aren't any of these for sale?

img84.imageshack.us

I want one.

/Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
 
2006-08-18 11:03:36 AM  
totalsecurity: Aren't any of these for sale?


Give it time, the Governent will hand a few over.
 
2006-08-18 12:14:28 PM  
I wouldn't be unhappy with one of these, either:

img65.imageshack.us

I'm sure spare parts are easier to find.
 
2006-08-18 12:28:22 PM  
"It [Saudi] has a tremendous reputation of trying to help and assist in the various Middle East disputes."

I remember reading that the favorite joke among US troops in the '91 Gulf War was that the Saudis' theme song of the war was "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Think I read it in one of P.J. O'Rourke's books.
 
2006-08-18 12:59:24 PM  
"It [Saudi] has a tremendous reputation of trying to help and assist in the various Middle East disputes."

images15.fotki.com
 
2006-08-18 01:58:15 PM  
Actually, the Saudi leaders (esp King Abdullah) have tried helping with peace, if only to keep the status quo.
 
2006-08-18 02:01:43 PM  
72? One for each Virgin?
 
2006-08-18 02:19:56 PM  
Now, now, this is unfair.

The Saudi kingdom has provided PLENTY of help, to organizations as diverse as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al-Qaeda.
 
2006-08-18 02:51:09 PM  
I see a lot of criticism. If you were the Saudi ruler, what would you do differently to try to combat the (decidedly unwanted, since they want to kill and depose you) presence of extremist groups like Al Qaeda within your kingdom?
 
2006-08-18 03:08:30 PM  
the thing is, mrexcess, the saud family and wahhabism. muhammad ibn (ibn=='son of') abd al-wahhab was the prophet who 'invented' wahhabism, and muhammed ibn saud was a local bigshot. they came into contact in saudi arabia in the mid 1700s and joined forces in order to gain power and spread the prophet's word. when muhammad ibn abd al-wahhab died (1792 and about thirty years after muhammed ibn saud) he suggested that the saud lineage was divinely ordained. now by this time loads of arabs were pretty set on wahhabism and the saud family used their control. their internal power waxed and waned as (mainly) foreign powers (especially the ottomans) exerted control, but importantly, the saud dynasty again used their control because of their religious position to gain power and form modern saudi arabia (within the last 100 years)

so...

if we look at bin laden (himself from one of the major historical merchant familes) and his attempt to reclaim wahhabism, perhaps we should see it in light of what wahhabism achieved for the saud family (who make a bit of a mockery of the supposed ideals of the faith)
 
2006-08-18 03:08:52 PM  
Good! As soon as the Saudis are able to defend our oil themselves, the sooner we can get our troops out of there.
 
2006-08-18 03:12:51 PM  
21-7-b
if we look at bin laden (himself from one of the major historical merchant familes) and his attempt to reclaim wahhabism, perhaps we should see it in light of what wahhabism achieved for the saud family (who make a bit of a mockery of the supposed ideals of the faith)

But, really, that's just more criticism. My question was, if you were them, what would you do? That's the reality of the situation now...all discussions of the legitimacy of their rule, or the rule of any kings or dictators aside. Mind you, "abdicate gracefully to democratic processes" is a valid answer, but you didn't actually say that, and I'm not sure the implications would be quite what we'd hope for here in the West if that did occur.

So...what would you do? You're Saudi king for a day. The list of complaints against you is long, but how do you address them? How do you stop Al Qaeda, without destroying your nation?
 
2006-08-18 03:14:50 PM  

mrexcess --
The Saudi royals appear to be both engaging in a very public, very ostentatious and self-indulgent life, sometimes living it up in very non-Islamic countries; and backing the establishment and operation of the very Islamist schools that would condemn this sort of behavior. If they wish to live as plutocrats, they shouldn't back philosophies which condemn such behavior.


They also need to improve their nation's standing and standard of living, which in the long term means economic power, which will require modernization and diversification. They should look at the example of Qatar, which has been branching out a bit. Temporal prosperity reduces the need for religiously-provided excuses for failures.


Establishing stronger exchange programs and bringing a greater interaction with other cultures would also be a good long-term move, in preparation for de-emphasizing dogma. A study of Imperial China, after the closing of the borders and the effects of societal complacency and excessive adherence to tradition, would serve as a sample case study.

 
2006-08-18 03:23:15 PM  
Korovyov
If they wish to live as plutocrats, they shouldn't back philosophies which condemn such behavior.

What do you think the implications would be of the royal family renouncing their professed faith? With the extremist elements in their populace? With the general populace?

So it seems you're suggesting that the Saudi royals behave differently, without contradicting the will of their populace. Specifically, how do they go about doing that?

They also need to improve their nation's standing and standard of living

Don't we all! But how do they accomplish this?

They should look at the example of Qatar, which has been branching out a bit.

What specifically about Qatar would you have Saudi Arabia emulate?

Establishing stronger exchange programs and bringing a greater interaction with other cultures would also be a good long-term move

Wouldn't that be more likely to inflame the passions of the extremists, and build support for them among the domestic populace?
 
2006-08-18 03:55:22 PM  
You're Saudi king for a day.

I'd accuse them of witchcraft and execute them.

As my proof I'd cite their ability to conjure money (terrorist funds).

I would in no way make any mention of terrorism, the US, radicalism, etc.
 
2006-08-18 04:21:21 PM  
Jon Snow
I'd accuse them of witchcraft and execute them.

Your tenure might last even less than a full day. :)
 
2006-08-18 05:01:15 PM  
Suadi Arabia never engaged in any war. And they'll never engage in a war that is against USA interest.

The purpose of buying 72 jetfighters is just a show off, and to keep the west happy. they did that many of times in the last 20 years. They once made a huge deal with an american weapon company just to save it from being broke, the tanks they bought never been used.
 
2006-08-18 05:25:23 PM  

mrexcess --
"No pain, no gain" is a simplification, but in the long run, confrontation with their extremists will be necessary. Continuing to placate them will only lead towards making them an even more integral part of society while alienating elements both foreign and domestic that might be able to assist... *especially* when it's not just the fundamentalists but also the broad population that sees the leadership as corrupt and ineffectual. Hamas's Islamist nature may not have been wildly popular among all Palestinians, but even non-fundamentalists were fed up with Fatah's misrule.


They can either attempt a gradual modernization on their own pace, while attempting to reduce the number of extremists both by attrition and by mitigating the circumstances which lead to their recruitment (as in an excessive attachment to tradition, blinders regarding other cultures, resentment of royal corruption and extreme parasitism, and a disturbingly weak economy for an oil state) and confront the extremists that way... or they can face the inevitable collapse of their single-resource society when their supply dwindles to the point where it won't support their top-heavy society. That is, if they even make it that far before the domestic extremists, possibly assisted by the third-class foreign workers and the other disaffected strata, decide to force the issue. When ~35% of the Saudi population aged 15-64 is non-national, and unemployment is over 12%, there's a storm brewing.


Interesting examples of Qatari experimentation include an embrace of global investment (ex. Dubai Ports World), sponsorship of a relatively free regional media network (al-Jazeera), embracing education (ex. Education City), and so forth. They're definitely doing something right -- the per-capita GDP, on a purchasing power parity scale, is roughly double that of Saudi Arabia, unemployment is far less, public debt is a lower portion of GDP...

 
2006-08-18 05:45:47 PM  
mohdmasd - yemen
 
2006-08-18 05:52:00 PM  
Gsm136
The best Jet fighter in operational service.
/F22 is equal


Absolute load of crap. The Eurofighter is, at best, a top of the line Fourth generation combat fighter, comparable to the more conventional F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-22 and to a point he F-35 are superior to the Eurofighter in virtually every respect. I'd be concerned if the United States intended to challenge the Eurofighter in F-15Cs. As we're not, though, so there is no grave concern.
 
2006-08-18 06:16:39 PM  
21-7-b :mohdmasd - yemen

WTF that means?
 
2006-08-18 06:28:40 PM  
it's a country
 
2006-08-18 06:30:20 PM  
it's a country

And...
 
2006-08-18 07:51:03 PM  
and it borders the kindom of saudi arabia - which border is something of a problem

http://www.guardian.co.uk/yemen/Story/0,,1149722,00.html
 
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