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Maybe the Saudis Aren't Really Our Best Friends Forever?
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From the Daily Mail:

Saudi Air Force trainee condemned US as ‘nation of evil’ in hate-fueled Twitter manifesto just hours before he killed three and injured eight at Pensacola naval base – as six others are arrested, including three who FILMED the attack
Shooting took place on base early Friday morning, sparking a lockdown
Sources identified the suspected gunman as Saudi Air Force aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani
Alshamrani penned a hate-fueled manifesto on Twitter just hours before the attack, according to an intelligence group who tracked down his account
The manifesto condemned the United States as a ‘nation of evil’ who ‘support, fund and commit crimes against Muslims’
The Twitter account – now suspended – is said to also feature anti-Israel posts and a quote from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
On Friday evening, six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning
It’s reported that three of them filmed the shooting as it happened
Rep Matt Gaetz, a Republican representing Pensacola, called the shooting ‘an act of terrorism’
President Trump tweeted that King Salman told him ‘the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter…’
By ANDREW COURT and SNEJANA FARBEROV FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and AFP

PUBLISHED: 08:48 EST, 6 December 2019 | UPDATED: 00:28 EST, 7 December 2019

… Alshamrani was a second lieutenant attending the aviation school at the base. The Pentagon say his training with the US military began in August 2016, and was due to finish in August 2020. …

Trump added that King Salman informed him the Saudi people love Americans and ‘are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter…’

You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?

 
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  1. He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit. Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids. It doesn’t get more evil than that.

    • Replies: @Ash Williams

    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit.
     
    When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it's literally Satanic.

    This applies to almost every government in the world, with very, very, rare exception.
    , @Art Deco
    Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted

    IOW, he's a bachelor over a certain age.


    who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids.

    IOW, he's a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.
    , @SFG
    Does explain why he went to bat for Katie Hill. I thought that was odd.
    , @ATBOTL
    Who are the moron white Evangelical Southerners voting for this guy? North Florida has a reputation as being one of the dumbest places in America, but damn. We need a nationalist party now. The GOP will never be any good.
  2. They don’t have to be OUR friends, as long as they buy enough friends on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, Fairfax County, Houston, and New York.

  3. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that’s exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don’t need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they’d be in heap big trouble.

    • Replies: @Jesse
    I dunno. I used to work retail, and while the richer Saudis were awful, I liked the poorer ones. None of them were very bright, but they were polite, scrupulously honest and didn't engage in the public acts of sinfulness their richer compatriots did.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    AGREED!
    , @blake121666
    Wiki "Petroleum in the United States":

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_in_the_United_States

    The USA imports about 11% of its oil from abroad and about 11% of that is from Saudi Arabia. I don't think that 1% of our oil consumption is as important as you make out.

    An interesting factoid on that webpage is that our state oil production leaders are:

    1. Texas - 29%
    2. Alaska - 13%
    3. North Dakota - 10%
    4. California - 5%

    Note: The graphic on that page shows ND as number 2. I wasn't aware of ND's oil production as being as significant as it is.

    According to that webpage the USA produced 4 billion barrels of oil in 2018 and the average wellhead price was $61/barrel. That's 244 billion dollars!

    After just now googling our GDP, I see it is $20 trillion nowadays! I guess I shouldn't be impressed by a mere $244 billion.
    , @Moshe
    I don't know anything about politics but yeah, you describe the Saudis I've met as well. I happen to kind of like them though.
    , @Unladen Swallow
    Oil really isn't used in power plants in either the US or Canada, mostly natural gas, coal, and nuclear. Oil mostly is refined for fueling vehicles.
    , @anon
    The Saudis and other Gulf states own a significant portion of the American capital markets.
    Wall Street and Silicon Valley demands we be friends with Saudi Arabia- a barbaric, low-IQ, theocracy that uses their money to fund terror attacks on Americans
    , @Fidelios Automata
    Of course, we could declare the Wahhabi mind virus to be equivalent to Nazism (it's worse IMHO) and declare all-out war on it, but we won't because it's the approved cat's paw of Israel.
    , @AnotherDad

    ... I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that’s exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.
     
    Methanol economy!


    A few points:

    -- The US-Saudi relationship was never primarily about oil for the US. In the early years we had our own oil, and later could import from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada. Rather it was about keeping our allies in oil, keeping the post-War "American system" going and keeping the Saudi oil out of the hands of some Soviet client state--which have given the Soviets a huge lever to jerk around the West and the world economy.

    Now with the shale revolution the US is basically energy independent again and needs to import very little of its oil. And little of that from Saudi.

    -- The anti-nuke "environmentalists" have done considerable damage to the US and the world. Despite the industry's issues, developing this technology was the way forward. Clinton shuttering breeder research--and it's gone. People don't have jobs you lose expertise, you have to rebuild from scratch. How anti-nuke is squared with all this "global warming" hysteria? (If that's an existential crisis then the nuke issue is small beer.) ... well it's not. Unicorns, rainbows and happy trees.

    -- With the shale revolution we have very cheap natural gas. It's just flat out ridiculous not to be turning that into methanol and powering our transportation with it. Methanol is a perfectly fine automotive fuel. Just requires the same sort of alcohol friendly modifications as required to use to ethanol--E85 capable vehicles. (My guess is you could toss in alternate half-fills of gasoline and methanol into an E85 vehicle and be fine.)

    Mandate that new vehicles be capable of running any combination of gasoline, ethanol, methanol and let the market sort out the issues.

    Finally

    -- No other issue compares to insanity/damage of mass immigration. But energy is another of those 2nd tier issues that our oh so smug Ivy-educated elites have completely botched as well.

    We have the most credentialled and arrogant and utterly incompetent and destructive elite that any major civilization has ever had. They've taken a nation on-top-of-the-world and run it into the ditch in the space of 50 years.

    In the end there is no substitute for having an elite that is not just smart, logical, practical, capable and faresighted but critically ... an elite is of and cares about the nation's people.
  4. ‘… It’s reported that three of them filmed the shooting as it happened…’

    Dimwits. Didn’t they realize that only Jews are allowed to film terrorist attacks as they happen?

    • LOL: Republic
    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    Hmm.

    "Alshamrani penned a hate-fueled manifesto on Twitter just hours before the attack, according to an intelligence group who tracked down his account" ????

    The "intelligence group" in question is SITE.

    SITE's founder, Rita Katz, on her own website, informs us that not only has "Ms. Katz tracked and analyzed global terrorist and jihadi networks for over two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field", but more interestingly "Ms. Katz has infiltrated terrorist fronts undercover . . ."

    Ms. Katz has dedicated her professional life to "the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization specializing in tracking and analyzing online activity of the global extremist community . . .
    her insights have been featured in scores of major publications, including Washington Post, Time, The Daily Beast, VICE, and others. "

    So our heroine here, the world's greatest expert at tracking terrorism via social media and purveyor of information to the FBI itself ("Ms. Katz received special recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for her “outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts.”), a woman whose life's mission was to PREVENT terrorist atrocities, instead was reduced to merely reporting interesting information about the dead Saudi after the fact?


    Did (((someone))) - oh just musing here, couldn't possibly be anything, never really heard of an "intelligence group" manipulating a dimwit into some violent act before, nope that's never happened - maybe figure this thug could be a "useful idiot"? Could that same (((someone))) have made sure our heroine here was ready to go with the press release on Friday?

    Of course, with the MSM on the case, all the relevant questions will be answered fully in no time, thanks to the integrity, independence of thought and the intelligence of today's professional journalists . . .

    https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Corporate/about-site.html
    , @Jake
    But the Saudis are now BFF with Israel.
  5. Isn’t this also the origin story of Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of modern ‘political Islam’?

    This also reminds me of when an English RAF base hosted Libyan ‘cadets’ after the fall of Gaddafi to be trained in as the officer corps of a new national army. The men, though, were from basically tribal militias who were the West’s ‘friends’ who turned out to be less progressive and culturally Western than Gaddafi. When allowed into town unaccompanied the recruits immediately set about engaging in sexual assaults against the local townsfolk and even raped a man, with several also going AWOL and claiming asylum.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-37656367
    Read the whole BBC article for more details of their rampages.

    Compensation has been paid by the Ministry of Defence to people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge.

    More than 300 cadets had been brought to the UK in 2014 for training at Bassingbourn barracks, Cambridgeshire.

    Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls.

    Lawyers for the male victim and one of the teenagers confirmed the MoD had agreed to pay them damages, believed to be tens of thousands of pounds.

    Per Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassingbourn_Barracks#Libyan_cadet_scandal

    In June 2014, the barracks reopened to train Libyan troops. Although nearby residents were originally informed that the Libyan cadets would only be permitted to leave the base on escorted visits the rules were subsequently relaxed. Shortly afterwards, a number of complaints of sexual assault were made against some of the trainees. Five were later charged with a series of sexual offences against both women and men: of these, two appeared before Cambridge Magistrates’ Court and admitted carrying out a series of assaults on women in Cambridge’s Market Square area on 26 October 2014, two were charged with raping a man in Cambridge, and the fifth was charged with three counts of sexual assault. As a result, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to terminate the training programme early, saying in a statement in November 2014: “Training was initially expected to last until the end of November but we have agreed with the Libyan government that it is best for all involved to bring forward the training completion date. The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days”. It was also discovered that a further five of the trainees had applied for asylum in the UK.

    On 15 May 2015, two Libyan cadets were each jailed for 12 years for raping a man in Cambridge in a prolonged attack in Christ’s Pieces, a park in the city centre. Following the sentencing, Andrew Lansley, the South Cambridgeshire MP at the time that the attacks took place, told the BBC “mistakes had been made” adding that he hoped the sentencing would provide some “redress” and acknowledging that “discipline inside the base really fell apart”. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it “condemned” the incidents adding that such training “will not be repeated at Bassingbourn. Following the conclusion of the training the prime minister tasked the MoD with producing a report on the programme and the defence secretary has now presented its findings to the House of Commons”.

    After the rape trial verdicts were returned, it was revealed that three other Libyans cadets had already pleaded guilty to unrelated sex attacks which had taken place in Cambridge on the same night. They had been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on 13 May but reporting restrictions had been in place until the rape case was concluded. Of the three defendants, one admitted two counts of sexual assault and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 12 months; the second admitted three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed 10 months; the third admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 10 months. All three were put on the sex offender register for 10 years.

    • Replies: @bomag

    people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge
     
    Looks like more of the British gov't policy of importing people to rape the citizens.

    Sayyid Qutb
     
    I thought of him; sent to the US for awhile partly because some of his cohorts in Egypt were tired of him. I wonder if the Saudi guys were sent away to rid someone of a problem?

    Makes me wonder about the Saudi vetting process. I would think aspiring pilots would be dedicated to their craft, rather than staging and filming such an attack. This doesn't seem good for the long term health of Saudi air arms; but knowing the US, we'll probably increase such training missions, "so diversity is not a casualty."
    , @ATBOTL
    The Manchester bomber was also a UK backed fighter against Gaddafy.
    , @Cagey Beast
    The people in charge of our countries know what they're doing, they love us and want us to thrive and be happy. Please everyone, let's ignore the naysayers and rumourmongers who who say otherwise.

    "Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls". The real tragedy would be if talking about this led to a rise in intolerance.
  6. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Terrible story, but Saudi Arabia would be better off ruled by people like this shooter. His ilk have no business being in the West, BUT the real problem is the current Saudi elites are craven toadies of Zio-US imperialism. If Saudi Arabia were ruled by real patriots, it would be independent like Iran and not suck up to the US. Then, US would have less opportunity to meddle in the Middle East, and there would no reason for the US to invite people like this shooter.

    Also, even though many patriots join the US military, most of them will never fight wars to defend America. Instead, they will be shipped overseas to meddle in the affairs of other people.
    Trump just ordered 15,000 troops to the Middle East. Soldiers must obey, and they are taking part in US imperialism guided by Zionist, and well, here we go again.

    Best way would be for Saudis to hate the US, and for the US to say NO to Saudis.

    Is the US evil? Yes, it has become an Evil Empire that is, in some ways, worse than the Soviet Union. This is a nation where the sodomy flag now hangs in so many churches. Look how Chick-Fil-A caved to Jews and homos. It is disgusting. Craven and cowardly. And stupid Americans are mush-heads who’ve been led to passionately support something as crazy as ‘gay marriage’.

    At any rate, the relation between US and Saudi Arabia is one of the most ridiculous. US is degenerate, Saudis are medieval. Both are demented in their own way. Americans need to return to roots, Saudis need to lighten up. But somehow, these diametrically opposed cultures have forged one of the closest alliances in the world. It was the source of 9/11, and who knows what else in the future.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    Agree. Evil, in pushing mass degeneracy by force on it's population, and Foolish by sponsoring the mass importation of barbaric and/or hostile peoples into its homeland.
    , @anonymous
    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in
  7. Adam Curtis made a documentary that went through the early years of the seemingly odd US-Saudi alliance.

    https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/bitter-lake-2015/

    • Replies: @Kronos
    I loved his documentary “Century of the Self.” It chronicles how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Barney’s incorporated Psychoanalysis into PR and marketing.

    https://youtu.be/uIYj-LnsZl4
  8. Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi “royal family” on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia “interfered in our elections” without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims — indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi “royal family”!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    In terms of political finance, the Saudi money is too good to ignore. They might not have a true political equivalent to AIPAC but their influence is certainly felt.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian crisis PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.
    , @El Dato

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.
     
    It would certainly not be Israeli, but I fail to see how it would become like Saudi Arabia. More like Lebanon - possibly like Lebanon after the Israeli wars had thoroughly destablized the situation post-WWII, with various subgroups fighting it out.
    , @bomag

    ...his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.
     
    Interesting that he instinctively understood the importance of who has access to the political system.

    The US is far too interested in giving political power to the enemies of traditional America.
    , @Romanian
    You forgot Mexico, not through influence on elites, but bubbling up from below through concerted state action, demographic pushes, lobbying for amnesty and naturalization and the largest network of consulates in the world.
    , @nebulafox
    What makes it all the stranger is that the Israelis I've known were invariably more rational, down-to-earth, and for lack of a better word, normal in discussing their country than American politicians tend to be, let alone Western online commentators, both pro and anti...

    Part of the reason I grew so cynical about the media a couple years back was the complete silence about China, Israel, and Saudi Arabia while Russia was breathlessly ascribed to powers frankly beyond any intelligence service: you can't just spawn millions of annoyed Rust Belt voters out of thin air. The Russian intel services are great at what they do, always have been going back to the Tsarist days because they've had to be, but Russia's overall power is pathetic compared to what it used to be during the Cold War, and their ability to softly influence US politics comparatively limited as a result of that, as well as the mass purges of Soviet influence from US politics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. They simply do not have the same political reach on the Hill. I think that's part of it. They can talk about them precisely because our political class is "free" to. There's more to it than that, all sorts of stuff deeply related to how our elites view the world and why Putin in particular gives them heartburn, but that's one simple kernel. I think China's hold is more based around crass greed, Israel around ideology, and Saudi about bureaucratic inertia and longstanding ties to (outdated) geopolitics.

    And I've mentioned in another thread that I have a family member who has dealt with more recent generations of Saudi royals. If anything, according to him, they've gotten worse over time.

    , @bjondo
    Your story reads like a Stanford grad story.

    Throw in a lox with bagel - complete.

    And

    is USIsrael blessing SA with MBS.
  9. @Altai
    Adam Curtis made a documentary that went through the early years of the seemingly odd US-Saudi alliance.

    https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/bitter-lake-2015/

    I loved his documentary “Century of the Self.” It chronicles how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Barney’s incorporated Psychoanalysis into PR and marketing.

    • Replies: @Altai
    I've always loved his shtick which is, if you look at the contemporary BBC archives of these events, the perspective taken is often radically different than the modern one, but nobody ever replays those clips. Why? Simple premise but he has made an amazing unique career out of tracking the progression of ideas and ideologies.

    Of course, for all his cynicism, in neither 'The Power of Nightmares' which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all, let alone the ethnic nationalism that is fundamental to understanding the neocons. How you can talk about the seemingly irrational and dangerous nature of Western intervention in the Middle East without addressing Israel and it's powerful lobby is beyond me. Because once you do, it stops not making sense. Syria is a success, Libya was a success, Iraq was a success... Lebanon will be a success.

    , @Thea
    An interesting read on Freud’s nephew revolution in marketing: https://markmanson.net/insecurity

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.
  10. Or maybe America is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.

    • Troll: Chris Mallory
    • Replies: @Ash Williams

    Or maybe American globohomo-corporate empire is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.
     
    FIFY
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Or maybe America is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.
     
    Says Anonymous.
  11. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    In terms of political finance, the Saudi money is too good to ignore. They might not have a true political equivalent to AIPAC but their influence is certainly felt.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian crisis PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11."
     
    One would have thought so, but in the actual event, President Bush and his underlings went out of their way to deflect blame from Saudi Arabia and personally assured the safety of bin Laden family members not named Osama. Then they stomped the accelerator on Muslim immigration into the US.

    When the entire White House is in your corner, you don't really need good PR.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Somewhat related was Steve Coll's book The Bin Ladens. Talks about Bin Laden's father's relation to the House of Saud.

    From a review on Amazon:

    "it is not only a biographical work on the Bin Laden family only, but explains the deals going on in Saudi since the 1930's up to around the year 2000."
    , @Russ

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.
     
    They certainly had some excellent travel agents after 9/11.
  12. anonymous[377] • Disclaimer says:

    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals. Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to bomb them in retaliation but FDR said they were basically backward savages and what would be the point.
    Meeting the Saudi king in early 1945 was among FDR’s last acts. For whatever reason there seems to be kid glove treatment for the Kingdom, at times rivalling that for Israel.

    • Replies: @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.
    , @Anonymous
    The tribes responsible should have been napalmed. Napalm is something these people understand.
    , @Neoconned
    I've been googling the Eleanor Roosevelt anecdote you mention but I can only find 1 odd passing mention of it
    , @PV van der Byl
    In what issue of the NYRB did this appear?
  13. @Kronos
    I loved his documentary “Century of the Self.” It chronicles how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Barney’s incorporated Psychoanalysis into PR and marketing.

    https://youtu.be/uIYj-LnsZl4

    I’ve always loved his shtick which is, if you look at the contemporary BBC archives of these events, the perspective taken is often radically different than the modern one, but nobody ever replays those clips. Why? Simple premise but he has made an amazing unique career out of tracking the progression of ideas and ideologies.

    Of course, for all his cynicism, in neither ‘The Power of Nightmares’ which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all, let alone the ethnic nationalism that is fundamental to understanding the neocons. How you can talk about the seemingly irrational and dangerous nature of Western intervention in the Middle East without addressing Israel and it’s powerful lobby is beyond me. Because once you do, it stops not making sense. Syria is a success, Libya was a success, Iraq was a success… Lebanon will be a success.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "or all his cynicism, in neither ‘The Power of Nightmares’ which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all"

    I guess Adam Curtis still wants to be able, not just to make films, but to get them publicised in the Guardian/BBC/academia.

    Look at what's happened to Morrissey, who can't even get advertising hoardings in the UK for his new CD.

    It's amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?
  14. Really Steve? They need public relations like a hole in the head.

  15. The manifesto condemned the United States as a ‘nation of evil’ who ‘support, fund and commit crimes against Muslims’

    Some of them together WITH Muslims, like in Yemen.

    If there were an effective international court, quite a few US and UK “decisions makers” (more like “decision enablers”) whom we can currently admire on TV would be hanging from rafters, feeding the crows.

  16. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    It would certainly not be Israeli, but I fail to see how it would become like Saudi Arabia. More like Lebanon – possibly like Lebanon after the Israeli wars had thoroughly destablized the situation post-WWII, with various subgroups fighting it out.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Come to think of it, Lebanon must really be a good example for what happens with a multiethnic society that is shifting due to strong immigration.

    Yet it is never mentioned.
  17. @El Dato

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.
     
    It would certainly not be Israeli, but I fail to see how it would become like Saudi Arabia. More like Lebanon - possibly like Lebanon after the Israeli wars had thoroughly destablized the situation post-WWII, with various subgroups fighting it out.

    Come to think of it, Lebanon must really be a good example for what happens with a multiethnic society that is shifting due to strong immigration.

    Yet it is never mentioned.

    • Agree: Lot
    • Replies: @Altai
    Mentioned all the time. Maybe it will get more mentions in the near future when Syria dies down and all the efforts of Israel and the neocons are refocused on instigating Lebanese Civil War II: This Time The Christians Are Really Doomed.
    , @fnn
    Yeah, in the early post-WW2 period Beirut was famously known as "The Paris of the Middle East" when it was still dominated by Christians.
    , @bjondo
    Don't forget massive French and
    American interference, manipulation.

    And,

    Israel.

    Is the immigration from ethnic cleansing?
  18. anybody here who bought the Aramco IPO?

    a few of their leaders at the top are at least maneuvering so that they don’t go under as soon as the oil runs out.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    It isn't sold on the New York Stock Exchange or anywhere else where a report would have to be filed regarding who owns how much. The best rumor I heard was a lot of the people who bought big stakes were concerned lest they be confined to a luxury hotel and tortured.
  19. The Saudis are playing a dangerous game. They have a real problem with their men getting close to their powers that be, usually as guards, and being so horrified they run off and join All Qaeda.

    Not an exaggeration – one of the Big 4 of AQAP* was a former guard for their Royal Family who regarded KSA as the Real Enemy.

    They need to pretend to be super devout to keep any support, while focusing people’s rage on outside enemies, but not so much they wind up on their own and having to actually do some work.

    *Now dead. I do wonder if it’s a coincidence that the most popular, most impressive 3 of the 4 ended up dead. Adored, charismatic preacher who has stated he wants the Muslims to leave the West? Drone strike. Athletic, handsome family man? Drone strike. Clever bureaucrat who everyone likes? Drone strike.

    Chubby, vicious, famed horndog with no organisational skills? Yup, totally logical he’d be the only one to survive.

  20. @anonymous
    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals. Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to bomb them in retaliation but FDR said they were basically backward savages and what would be the point.
    Meeting the Saudi king in early 1945 was among FDR's last acts. For whatever reason there seems to be kid glove treatment for the Kingdom, at times rivalling that for Israel.

    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of ‘Saudi Arabia’ will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it’s still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it’s still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.
     
    Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia often live in compounds. Ostensibly so they don't corrupt locals, but not insignificantly to protect workers from predation by locals.
    , @Sean
    Israel was originally backed by the Soviet Union. Through Czechoslovakia Stalin had sent Israel vital weapons in 1948 while the West embargoed it. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion worried lest the Korean war might escalate and sever Israel's lifeline in the Mediterranean so there was a pivotal re aligning with the US. The Suez war was complained about by America, but in 1958, radical nationalist forces were threatening the western client regimes in Lebanon and Jordan. Eisenhower sent U.S. troops to Lebanon and sent strategic aid to Jordan.. Saudi Arabia refused to allow use of their air space, and that gave Israel its chance. It was happy to cooperate with its new protector/ paymaster,.

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ike-was-pro-israel-heres-why/
    This was reflected in the August 1958 memorandum submitted to the National Security Council by the NSC Planning Board, which concluded:

    “It is doubtful whether any likely US pressure on Israel would cause Israel to make concessions which would do much to satisfy Arab demands which—in the final analysis—may not be satisfied by anything short of the destruction of Israel. Moreover, if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, then a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only pro-West power left in the Near East.”
     

     
    Unfortunately, and as happened with the Diem regime in South Vietnam, America has got nothing but trouble from its supposed ally. They cannot be used against the problem of radical nationalist Arabs who think the Arab population should be the beneficiaries of their regions natural resource wealth instead of the Western created artificial Gulf States designed to separating the population from the oil. And the US army cannot be kept in Saudi Arabia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing#Attribution_to_al-Qaeda

    In May 1996 Bin Laden and his entourage moved from Sudan to Afghanistan. As if to make the point that they might have been chased out of Sudan by Saudi Arabia and the US they were not leaving with their tails between their legs, al Qaeda struck again: The June bombing of Khobar Towers. The Saudi authorities were at pains to implicate Shi'i militants backed by Iran in this attack, since the embarrassing truth that they had their very own homegrown militancy problem was inadmissible; they did not want to give the impression that there was domestic opposition to the deployment of US troops on Saudi soil.
     

    The threat from Iran, now with a continuity extending through the majority of Iraq, means the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.
    , @Lot
    Yes, easy to say the Saudis suck, harder to propose specific changes to US policy that will improve the situation.

    Let them be conquered by Iran?

    Let them fall into the Chinese orbit?

    A Syrian or Yemen style civil war?

    A more “democratic” government that ends up like Egypt’s experience: Muslim Brotherhood takeover?

    As it stands, they use their oil money to buy our industrial equipment, weapons they can barely use, and Manhattan condos at full retail. They give us the rest of their money to manage with “dumb money” management fees. They oppress the more radical Islamists.
    , @Art Deco
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil

    They don't, and they don't. About 60% of the current population of the Arabian peninsula is outside of Saudi Arabia. As of 2016, about 55% of the fuel exports by value on the peninsula originated outside the Kingdom as well. Btw, the boundaries of the Kingdom were set in 1925, at a time when extractive industries had not been developed on the Arabian peninsula and when the U.S. was not an influential power in the Near East.
    , @Art Deco
    The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of 'instability'.
  21. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    I dunno. I used to work retail, and while the richer Saudis were awful, I liked the poorer ones. None of them were very bright, but they were polite, scrupulously honest and didn’t engage in the public acts of sinfulness their richer compatriots did.

  22. @El Dato
    Come to think of it, Lebanon must really be a good example for what happens with a multiethnic society that is shifting due to strong immigration.

    Yet it is never mentioned.

    Mentioned all the time. Maybe it will get more mentions in the near future when Syria dies down and all the efforts of Israel and the neocons are refocused on instigating Lebanese Civil War II: This Time The Christians Are Really Doomed.

  23. @Anon
    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit. Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids. It doesn't get more evil than that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuL_16U1o9U

    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit.

    When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic.

    This applies to almost every government in the world, with very, very, rare exception.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    You are correct. All governments are Satanic in that they are not Of Christ, but Of the World. I admire our Founders for trying to set up a New Jerusalem, but that Temple will always be torn down. Regardless, as Franklin intimated, this isn't the best government, but I'm not sure we could do better.
    , @Anonymous
    LaVey would have been offended.
    , @Corvinus
    "When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic."

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that "test", i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those "good" and "bad" deeds.

  24. Given that 16 or so Saudis committed the 9-11 attacks alongside Bin Liner, horribly murdering 1,000 times more Americans than the nutcase in yesterday’s attack, did the then Saudi king, or any subsequent king, ever apologise for THAT?

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    No, but it's also important that we keep feeling up kids and taking little old ladies out of their wheelchairs to be ABSOLUTELY SURE that they won't go taking over an airliner. Those Saudi guys in the US Air Force? Well, they are being taught how to land (this time) by our top military instructor pilots, so nothing like that should happen again. Sure, the jet he flies often has missiles hanging off of it, but ... this guy took an oath... it's those American passengers that are the ones that can't be trusted. Terrorism has no color!
  25. @Anonymous
    Or maybe America is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.

    Or maybe American globohomo-corporate empire is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.

    FIFY

  26. Back in 1977, the Navy base in Orlando was crawling with nuclear students in caps that read “Imperial Iranian Navy’.

    • Replies: @captflee
    Reg,

    Yep.

    SM/QM A school?
    , @Kratoklastes
    Kinda says something about the shortsightedness of the MIC: seems foolhardy to have exchange programs with foreign militaries that are friends-of-convenience.

    At least they were identifiable: the Fifth Column of important enemy nations tend to blend in a little better (being white[-ish] and having fellow-travellers in the indigenous population).

    Folks get het up about individual acts of malice, while they largely ignore other shit that imposes costs orders of magnitude higher.

    Obviously it's a rather up-close-and-personal issue for the individuals actually being shot to death (and their next of kin)... but in aggregate it's a pinprick.

    .

    Data is interesting.

    People are more likely to be killed by a cop, than by an Arab terrrrrrrrist - by more than 2 orders of magnitude, even including outliers like Foreign Policy Blowback Day.

    inb4 dummies start conditioning on race, criminality etc. Pigs kill ~30 unarmed, non-aggressing white guys a year.

    Overall cops kill more people per week than terrrrrrists kill in the median year. (Most of the vics deserve it, amirite? Makes total sense for a society to vest almost-unconditional judge/jury/executioner power in people who were high-school washouts).

    In fact people are more likely to die as a result of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (~320 deaths/yr; lifetime odds 1:10,000), than as a result of a scowling bearded numbskull (median: 6 deaths/yr; mode: 0 deaths/yr; lifetime odds strictly less than 1:600,000).

    A note on the data:

    The "scowling bearded numbskull" numbers are wildly overstated, because the 'terrrrrrist' deaths includes people killed by anti-abortion activists, Tim McVeigh, and even the Unabomber (it's all deaths recorded as terrrrrrrist-related since 1970).

    Of all the radical-Muzzie-orchestrated terrrrrist deaths since "Foreign Policy Blowback Day", to be a victim required you to be at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on the night of June 12 20i6. (That reduces the conditional risk significantly, if you live outside of America's Wang).

    .

    Let's assume a VSL* of ~$5 million - almost certainly an over-estimate. (My considered estimate of the VSL at the median is $1.5m - but I'm a bit of a misanthrope)

    What is the effective death toll caused by the funnelling government funds towards the preferences of people whose first loyalty is not to the country whose bureaucracy pays their salaries?

    .

    Eisenhower indicated that he had a handle on this in his "Cross of Iron" speech -


    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
     

    That's fine as far as it goes - a fairly clear exposition of the notion of opportunity cost - but it's still missing government misfeasance that has nothing to do with military affairs. This was a smaller part of government expenditure in the West in the 1960s, but people like Bastiat understood the scale of the problem a century earlier.

    The death toll from policies that raise the cost of energy (notionally in a bid to reduce the planet's average temperature 80 years hence), will be in the tens of millions in the West. Nobody gives a fuck because the 'perp' doesn't have a beard and a scowl.

    * VSL: Value of a Statistical Life. Estimates are generally poorly-specified - they tend to focus on an individual's valuation of the mitigation of a specific risk (e.g., what an individual is prepared to pay to reduce your risk of death by 0.01% over the next year).

    This has - as a foundational premise - that a 0.01% risk of death is a meaningful quantity to the person being asked (i.e., it's within their cognitive framework). At the very least this implies that they must know what their all-cause risk is, to 2 decimal places.

    That's a very bad premise because most people are innumerate - and a lot of people who are numerate use bad inputs (e.g., they get their guess at risk based on media representations of the relative risk of different things).

    It is well-established that the average person understands the ramifications of "billions" or "trillions" in the same way a dog understands carburettors; that is also true when things get into small-ish percentages.

    People intuitively recoil in horror if their credit card APR is 19%, but they don't care (much) if they can get a 30 basis-point rebate on the MER on their mutual fund; the second thing has long-term consequences that outweigh the credit card APR.

  27. You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?

    Do we really have any friends in that neck of the woods? Just wait until we are treaty-bound to defend a certain ME state whose name cannot be uttered disparagingly in public to see some real bad behaviour.

    • Replies: @Prester John
    As the saying goes, no country has "friends", only "interests. The US still has something of a strategic interest in Saudi Arabia because of the oil. Although we import far less from SA than we used to, it's still around 10% which is not insignificant. Thus it's still in our interest to make nice-nice to them, even if the regime is composed of sons o' bitches.
  28. @Anonymous
    Or maybe America is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.

    Or maybe America is the Great Satan, which anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity can see.

    Says Anonymous.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  29. @Ash Williams

    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit.
     
    When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it's literally Satanic.

    This applies to almost every government in the world, with very, very, rare exception.

    You are correct. All governments are Satanic in that they are not Of Christ, but Of the World. I admire our Founders for trying to set up a New Jerusalem, but that Temple will always be torn down. Regardless, as Franklin intimated, this isn’t the best government, but I’m not sure we could do better.

    • Replies: @S. Anonyia
    Oh brother, it’s hard to tell if this is satire.

    Don’t you realize the idea that America was founded for the purpose of some special religious destiny is the root of all our current problems? It sets up ideological traps and emotional baggage for both the right and left.

    An America that is an unapologetic pioneer nation founded by fortune-seekers is an America capable of interstellar travel.

  30. It appears some here need to spend less time deep-diving into “the Jewish Conspiracy” and more time deep-diving into “Oil-backed Dollar”. Also you need to factor in inertia.

    • Replies: @Kronos

    It appears some here need to spend less time deep-diving into “the Jewish Conspiracy” and more time deep-diving into “Oil-backed Dollar”.
     
    It really helps explain why US debt is so high yet interest rates on it are so low.

    The US debt is certainly “bigly.”
    https://usdebtclock.org/

  31. @anonymous
    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals. Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to bomb them in retaliation but FDR said they were basically backward savages and what would be the point.
    Meeting the Saudi king in early 1945 was among FDR's last acts. For whatever reason there seems to be kid glove treatment for the Kingdom, at times rivalling that for Israel.

    The tribes responsible should have been napalmed. Napalm is something these people understand.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals.

    The tribes responsible should have been napalmed. Napalm is something these people understand.
     
    I dunno. At least they were defending home turf from invaders.

    I would respect the West more if it castrated or scalped all the migrant-invaders pouring into US and Europe. That oughta send a message.

    But it seems PC has castrated white pride and cucks to wholesale immigration-invasion.

    There was a time when, if non-white foreigners routinely violated US sovereignty and illegally invaded American territory, entire white mobs would have set upon the marauders and taught them a lesson. Those were better times.
  32. @Kronos
    In terms of political finance, the Saudi money is too good to ignore. They might not have a true political equivalent to AIPAC but their influence is certainly felt.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian crisis PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

    “If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.”

    One would have thought so, but in the actual event, President Bush and his underlings went out of their way to deflect blame from Saudi Arabia and personally assured the safety of bin Laden family members not named Osama. Then they stomped the accelerator on Muslim immigration into the US.

    When the entire White House is in your corner, you don’t really need good PR.

    • Agree: bomag, Dtbb
    • Replies: @bjondo
    Why would any blame go to them?
  33. @Ash Williams

    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit.
     
    When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it's literally Satanic.

    This applies to almost every government in the world, with very, very, rare exception.

    LaVey would have been offended.

  34. King Salman informed him the Saudi people love Americans and ‘are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter…’

    I can tell you from first hand experience that when the Saudi King says things like this, it is because it would not otherwise be evident.

  35. @Anonymous
    Terrible story, but Saudi Arabia would be better off ruled by people like this shooter. His ilk have no business being in the West, BUT the real problem is the current Saudi elites are craven toadies of Zio-US imperialism. If Saudi Arabia were ruled by real patriots, it would be independent like Iran and not suck up to the US. Then, US would have less opportunity to meddle in the Middle East, and there would no reason for the US to invite people like this shooter.

    Also, even though many patriots join the US military, most of them will never fight wars to defend America. Instead, they will be shipped overseas to meddle in the affairs of other people.
    Trump just ordered 15,000 troops to the Middle East. Soldiers must obey, and they are taking part in US imperialism guided by Zionist, and well, here we go again.

    Best way would be for Saudis to hate the US, and for the US to say NO to Saudis.

    Is the US evil? Yes, it has become an Evil Empire that is, in some ways, worse than the Soviet Union. This is a nation where the sodomy flag now hangs in so many churches. Look how Chick-Fil-A caved to Jews and homos. It is disgusting. Craven and cowardly. And stupid Americans are mush-heads who've been led to passionately support something as crazy as 'gay marriage'.

    At any rate, the relation between US and Saudi Arabia is one of the most ridiculous. US is degenerate, Saudis are medieval. Both are demented in their own way. Americans need to return to roots, Saudis need to lighten up. But somehow, these diametrically opposed cultures have forged one of the closest alliances in the world. It was the source of 9/11, and who knows what else in the future.

    Agree. Evil, in pushing mass degeneracy by force on it’s population, and Foolish by sponsoring the mass importation of barbaric and/or hostile peoples into its homeland.

    • Replies: @Richard P
    The acceleration of Globohomo is alarming. It's becoming worse in the United States, but not quite as bad as in the United Kingdom. Just recently, the UK passed a new law that mandates imprisonment for six-months and up to six years for anyone who "ridicules" someone who identifies as a member of the LGBT community. This law includes verbal and written acts of "humiliation". Globohomo continues to force degeneracy and unnatural behaviors by suppressing free speech -- if even such a concept still exists?
  36. @Kronos
    In terms of political finance, the Saudi money is too good to ignore. They might not have a true political equivalent to AIPAC but their influence is certainly felt.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian crisis PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

    Somewhat related was Steve Coll’s book The Bin Ladens. Talks about Bin Laden’s father’s relation to the House of Saud.

    From a review on Amazon:

    “it is not only a biographical work on the Bin Laden family only, but explains the deals going on in Saudi since the 1930’s up to around the year 2000.”

  37. @Altai
    I've always loved his shtick which is, if you look at the contemporary BBC archives of these events, the perspective taken is often radically different than the modern one, but nobody ever replays those clips. Why? Simple premise but he has made an amazing unique career out of tracking the progression of ideas and ideologies.

    Of course, for all his cynicism, in neither 'The Power of Nightmares' which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all, let alone the ethnic nationalism that is fundamental to understanding the neocons. How you can talk about the seemingly irrational and dangerous nature of Western intervention in the Middle East without addressing Israel and it's powerful lobby is beyond me. Because once you do, it stops not making sense. Syria is a success, Libya was a success, Iraq was a success... Lebanon will be a success.

    “or all his cynicism, in neither ‘The Power of Nightmares’ which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all”

    I guess Adam Curtis still wants to be able, not just to make films, but to get them publicised in the Guardian/BBC/academia.

    Look at what’s happened to Morrissey, who can’t even get advertising hoardings in the UK for his new CD.

    It’s amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?

    • Replies: @Altai

    It’s amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?
     
    I think it's more fundamental. After Iraq, many Americans turned to the Guardian online as an alternative news source. At the very least after that the Guardian expanded into the US and created a US office and online US edition of the Guardian. This meant the Guardian became infiltrated by some of the same kinds of silent veto that existed in US newsrooms. US staff, particularly editors and other higherups would likely have brought the greater Israeli bias and more US-style coverage of the Middle East as well as other things, like turbo social permissiveness and neoliberalism.

    Another event which may also have happened in conjunction with this was an orchestrated effort to put more of those kinds of people into the Guardian in a deliberate effort to silence an emerging 'safe' (You'd be surprised how many people are so bad at using the internet that they feel like anywhere non MSM is InfoWars) alternative source of news on Israeli and US foreign policy in the Middle East.

    It's interesting to note that Mark Thompson became BBC (Another source Americans turned to in response to the US MSM uniformly pushing what they knew to be lies to support an invasion of Iraq) director general in 2004 and distinguished his long tenure with conspicuous pro-Israel bias.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#Accusations_of_pro-Israeli_editorial_stance

    Thompson would later have an odd career progression for a former BBC DG and became CEO of The New York Times Company immediately after leaving the BBC...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#President_and_CEO_of_The_New_York_Times_Company:_2012%E2%80%93present

    Thompson is fully English but married to an American Jewish woman from New York from a prominent family. (Her father was Baruch Samuel Blumberg, inventor of the Hep B vaccine)

  38. About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi “royal family” on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    Never been to Saudi, but have known many who have, and it always irritates, astounds, etc. when they get back on a flight to America, the go in the bathroom, change out of the sheets, put on a suit and start ordering scotch.

  39. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    AGREED!

  40. @Stebbing Heuer
    Given that 16 or so Saudis committed the 9-11 attacks alongside Bin Liner, horribly murdering 1,000 times more Americans than the nutcase in yesterday's attack, did the then Saudi king, or any subsequent king, ever apologise for THAT?

    No, but it’s also important that we keep feeling up kids and taking little old ladies out of their wheelchairs to be ABSOLUTELY SURE that they won’t go taking over an airliner. Those Saudi guys in the US Air Force? Well, they are being taught how to land (this time) by our top military instructor pilots, so nothing like that should happen again. Sure, the jet he flies often has missiles hanging off of it, but … this guy took an oath… it’s those American passengers that are the ones that can’t be trusted. Terrorism has no color!

  41. @Altai
    Isn't this also the origin story of Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of modern 'political Islam'?

    This also reminds me of when an English RAF base hosted Libyan 'cadets' after the fall of Gaddafi to be trained in as the officer corps of a new national army. The men, though, were from basically tribal militias who were the West's 'friends' who turned out to be less progressive and culturally Western than Gaddafi. When allowed into town unaccompanied the recruits immediately set about engaging in sexual assaults against the local townsfolk and even raped a man, with several also going AWOL and claiming asylum.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-37656367
    Read the whole BBC article for more details of their rampages.


    Compensation has been paid by the Ministry of Defence to people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge.

    More than 300 cadets had been brought to the UK in 2014 for training at Bassingbourn barracks, Cambridgeshire.

    Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls.

    Lawyers for the male victim and one of the teenagers confirmed the MoD had agreed to pay them damages, believed to be tens of thousands of pounds.
     

    Per Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassingbourn_Barracks#Libyan_cadet_scandal

    In June 2014, the barracks reopened to train Libyan troops. Although nearby residents were originally informed that the Libyan cadets would only be permitted to leave the base on escorted visits the rules were subsequently relaxed. Shortly afterwards, a number of complaints of sexual assault were made against some of the trainees. Five were later charged with a series of sexual offences against both women and men: of these, two appeared before Cambridge Magistrates' Court and admitted carrying out a series of assaults on women in Cambridge's Market Square area on 26 October 2014, two were charged with raping a man in Cambridge, and the fifth was charged with three counts of sexual assault. As a result, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to terminate the training programme early, saying in a statement in November 2014: "Training was initially expected to last until the end of November but we have agreed with the Libyan government that it is best for all involved to bring forward the training completion date. The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days”. It was also discovered that a further five of the trainees had applied for asylum in the UK.

    On 15 May 2015, two Libyan cadets were each jailed for 12 years for raping a man in Cambridge in a prolonged attack in Christ's Pieces, a park in the city centre. Following the sentencing, Andrew Lansley, the South Cambridgeshire MP at the time that the attacks took place, told the BBC "mistakes had been made" adding that he hoped the sentencing would provide some "redress" and acknowledging that "discipline inside the base really fell apart". A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it "condemned" the incidents adding that such training "will not be repeated at Bassingbourn. Following the conclusion of the training the prime minister tasked the MoD with producing a report on the programme and the defence secretary has now presented its findings to the House of Commons".

    After the rape trial verdicts were returned, it was revealed that three other Libyans cadets had already pleaded guilty to unrelated sex attacks which had taken place in Cambridge on the same night. They had been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on 13 May but reporting restrictions had been in place until the rape case was concluded. Of the three defendants, one admitted two counts of sexual assault and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 12 months; the second admitted three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed 10 months; the third admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 10 months. All three were put on the sex offender register for 10 years.
     

    people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge

    Looks like more of the British gov’t policy of importing people to rape the citizens.

    Sayyid Qutb

    I thought of him; sent to the US for awhile partly because some of his cohorts in Egypt were tired of him. I wonder if the Saudi guys were sent away to rid someone of a problem?

    Makes me wonder about the Saudi vetting process. I would think aspiring pilots would be dedicated to their craft, rather than staging and filming such an attack. This doesn’t seem good for the long term health of Saudi air arms; but knowing the US, we’ll probably increase such training missions, “so diversity is not a casualty.”

  42. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    …his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    Interesting that he instinctively understood the importance of who has access to the political system.

    The US is far too interested in giving political power to the enemies of traditional America.

  43. The King of saudi Arabia (leading member of the Saud family dictatorship) styles himself Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques because his protection of those sacred places is the entire justification for the Saud regieme.

    https://www.unz.com/emargolis/who-was-really-behind-9-11/
    Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington. While covering the Afghan War in the 1980’s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor. “When we succeed in kicking the Russians out of Afghanistan,” Azzam told me, “we will go on and kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia.” I was shocked, never having heard of Americans called ‘occupiers’. Azzam was murdered by a bomb soon after, but his words kept ringing in my ears. He thought of the Americans as much colonialists as the Soviets.

    Robert Fisk met Osama three times and on the last occasion he was focused on the US military presence in Saudi Arabia. The American Army had been in Saudi Arabia since 1991 because Saddam was still in power just across the border in Iraq. The 9/11 event led to the invasion of Iraq, Saddam being ousted, and US forces being withdrawal from Saudi Arabia .

    Osama wanted the US forces out his country. In 1997 Osama bin Laden declared jihad and complained about the American army being in Saudi Arabia which was the holiest place of a billion Muslims, and also said all American civilians must leave as he did not guarantee their safety. It is almost like Osama would have actually had a motive to do 9/11.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_Saudi_Arabia
    Since Saudi Arabia houses the holiest sites in Islam (Mecca and Medina), a number of Muslims, including Bin Laden and his supporters, were outraged at the permanent presence of non-Muslim U.S., British and French military personnel. The continued presence of U.S. troops after the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia was also one of the stated motivations behind the September 11th terrorist attacks[1] and the Khobar Towers bombing. The date of the 1998 United States embassy bombings was eight years to the day (August 7) that American troops were sent to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. had rejected the characterization of its presence as an “occupation”, noting that the government of Saudi Arabia consented to the presence of troops. On April 29, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would be withdrawing remaining U.S. troops from the country.

    The ‘Mission Accomplished’ address by United States President George W. Bush was on May 1, 2003. The internal stability of the Saudi regieme is the real issue behind all the recent wars by the US in the Middle East. And the reason it backed Saddam Hussein in his predatory war against revolutionary Iran . Fun fact: after 1983 the Saudis gave Saddam $40 billion to help with his war against Iran.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/11/pentagon-troops-saudi-arabia-044502

    The latest deployment, which includes two squadrons of fighter jets and three air-defense units, will bring to 3,000 the number of troops the U.S. has sent to Saudi Arabia since Iran attacked the kingdom’s oil infrastructure last month. “

    History is repeating itself. An attack on Iran is likely because the Saud regime loses legitimacy with a infidel US army stationed in Saudi Arabia.

    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe

    Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington. While covering the Afghan War in the 1980’s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor.
     
    Foreign money and military support corrupt degenerate elites.

    What's not to love?
  44. “Maybe the Saudis Aren’t Really Our Best Friends Forever?”

    Dude, you are meddling with the primal forces of nature. The Saudis have taken bbbb…trillions of dollars out of this country and now they must put it back.

    Ned Beatty’s NETWORK speech-by Paddy Chayefsky

  45. @El Dato
    Come to think of it, Lebanon must really be a good example for what happens with a multiethnic society that is shifting due to strong immigration.

    Yet it is never mentioned.

    Yeah, in the early post-WW2 period Beirut was famously known as “The Paris of the Middle East” when it was still dominated by Christians.

  46. @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it’s still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia often live in compounds. Ostensibly so they don’t corrupt locals, but not insignificantly to protect workers from predation by locals.

  47. @Sean
    The King of saudi Arabia (leading member of the Saud family dictatorship) styles himself Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques because his protection of those sacred places is the entire justification for the Saud regieme.

    https://www.unz.com/emargolis/who-was-really-behind-9-11/
    Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington. While covering the Afghan War in the 1980’s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor. “When we succeed in kicking the Russians out of Afghanistan,” Azzam told me, “we will go on and kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia.” I was shocked, never having heard of Americans called ‘occupiers’. Azzam was murdered by a bomb soon after, but his words kept ringing in my ears. He thought of the Americans as much colonialists as the Soviets.
     
    Robert Fisk met Osama three times and on the last occasion he was focused on the US military presence in Saudi Arabia. The American Army had been in Saudi Arabia since 1991 because Saddam was still in power just across the border in Iraq. The 9/11 event led to the invasion of Iraq, Saddam being ousted, and US forces being withdrawal from Saudi Arabia .

    Osama wanted the US forces out his country. In 1997 Osama bin Laden declared jihad and complained about the American army being in Saudi Arabia which was the holiest place of a billion Muslims, and also said all American civilians must leave as he did not guarantee their safety. It is almost like Osama would have actually had a motive to do 9/11.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_Saudi_Arabia
    Since Saudi Arabia houses the holiest sites in Islam (Mecca and Medina), a number of Muslims, including Bin Laden and his supporters, were outraged at the permanent presence of non-Muslim U.S., British and French military personnel. The continued presence of U.S. troops after the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia was also one of the stated motivations behind the September 11th terrorist attacks[1] and the Khobar Towers bombing. The date of the 1998 United States embassy bombings was eight years to the day (August 7) that American troops were sent to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. had rejected the characterization of its presence as an “occupation”, noting that the government of Saudi Arabia consented to the presence of troops. On April 29, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would be withdrawing remaining U.S. troops from the country.
     
    The ‘Mission Accomplished’ address by United States President George W. Bush was on May 1, 2003. The internal stability of the Saudi regieme is the real issue behind all the recent wars by the US in the Middle East. And the reason it backed Saddam Hussein in his predatory war against revolutionary Iran . Fun fact: after 1983 the Saudis gave Saddam $40 billion to help with his war against Iran.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/11/pentagon-troops-saudi-arabia-044502

    The latest deployment, which includes two squadrons of fighter jets and three air-defense units, will bring to 3,000 the number of troops the U.S. has sent to Saudi Arabia since Iran attacked the kingdom’s oil infrastructure last month. “
     

    History is repeating itself. An attack on Iran is likely because the Saud regime loses legitimacy with a infidel US army stationed in Saudi Arabia.

    Within the complexities of Saudi Society lie bitterly anti-western groups who see the nation as being militarily occupied by the US and exploited – even pillaged – by foreigners. Arabia was originally the holy land of Islam. Today, it has been westernized, occupied by US military power, and given marching orders by Washington. While covering the Afghan War in the 1980’s, I met Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a fiery nationalist leader and anti-communist who was bin Laden’s teacher and spiritual mentor.

    Foreign money and military support corrupt degenerate elites.

    What’s not to love?

  48. Maybe the Saudis Aren’t Really Our Best Friends Forever?

    Gee…ya think?

  49. @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    Israel was originally backed by the Soviet Union. Through Czechoslovakia Stalin had sent Israel vital weapons in 1948 while the West embargoed it. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion worried lest the Korean war might escalate and sever Israel’s lifeline in the Mediterranean so there was a pivotal re aligning with the US. The Suez war was complained about by America, but in 1958, radical nationalist forces were threatening the western client regimes in Lebanon and Jordan. Eisenhower sent U.S. troops to Lebanon and sent strategic aid to Jordan.. Saudi Arabia refused to allow use of their air space, and that gave Israel its chance. It was happy to cooperate with its new protector/ paymaster,.

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ike-was-pro-israel-heres-why/
    This was reflected in the August 1958 memorandum submitted to the National Security Council by the NSC Planning Board, which concluded:

    “It is doubtful whether any likely US pressure on Israel would cause Israel to make concessions which would do much to satisfy Arab demands which—in the final analysis—may not be satisfied by anything short of the destruction of Israel. Moreover, if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, then a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only pro-West power left in the Near East.”

    Unfortunately, and as happened with the Diem regime in South Vietnam, America has got nothing but trouble from its supposed ally. They cannot be used against the problem of radical nationalist Arabs who think the Arab population should be the beneficiaries of their regions natural resource wealth instead of the Western created artificial Gulf States designed to separating the population from the oil. And the US army cannot be kept in Saudi Arabia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing#Attribution_to_al-Qaeda

    In May 1996 Bin Laden and his entourage moved from Sudan to Afghanistan. As if to make the point that they might have been chased out of Sudan by Saudi Arabia and the US they were not leaving with their tails between their legs, al Qaeda struck again: The June bombing of Khobar Towers. The Saudi authorities were at pains to implicate Shi’i militants backed by Iran in this attack, since the embarrassing truth that they had their very own homegrown militancy problem was inadmissible; they did not want to give the impression that there was domestic opposition to the deployment of US troops on Saudi soil.

    The threat from Iran, now with a continuity extending through the majority of Iraq, means the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.
     
    This is a faulty analysis on both ends. Most Saudis are not outraged at the Americans - there is a small coterie of fanatics who are. The Iranians are not going to topple the Saudi regime - that's not how they roll. They will execute strikes now and then thru deniable proxies but not engage in all out war. Nor could the Saudis destroy Iran even if they wanted to. Everyone is just going to muddle thru and snipe at each other now and then.
    , @Alden
    Excellent post, especially the fact that Russia introduced and lobbied the 1948 UN resolution that made Israel a nation.

    The turnover of the latest American radar to communist Czechoslovakia in 1949 was treason and the Jewish pilots and other Jewish military men who flew the radar to Czechoslovakia were traitors who should have been punished as the Rosenbergs were.

    Interesting that the tiny percentage of Jews who go into our military like the Vindeman twins end up in such strategic positions where they can do the most damage?

    I can see it in civilian occupations, but the military?
  50. I wonder how Alshamrani’s grades and performance were flight school.

    • Replies: @David Davenport
    <I wonder how Alshamrani’s grades and performance were flight school.

    He was probably flunking out.
  51. @Sean
    Israel was originally backed by the Soviet Union. Through Czechoslovakia Stalin had sent Israel vital weapons in 1948 while the West embargoed it. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion worried lest the Korean war might escalate and sever Israel's lifeline in the Mediterranean so there was a pivotal re aligning with the US. The Suez war was complained about by America, but in 1958, radical nationalist forces were threatening the western client regimes in Lebanon and Jordan. Eisenhower sent U.S. troops to Lebanon and sent strategic aid to Jordan.. Saudi Arabia refused to allow use of their air space, and that gave Israel its chance. It was happy to cooperate with its new protector/ paymaster,.

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ike-was-pro-israel-heres-why/
    This was reflected in the August 1958 memorandum submitted to the National Security Council by the NSC Planning Board, which concluded:

    “It is doubtful whether any likely US pressure on Israel would cause Israel to make concessions which would do much to satisfy Arab demands which—in the final analysis—may not be satisfied by anything short of the destruction of Israel. Moreover, if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, then a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only pro-West power left in the Near East.”
     

     
    Unfortunately, and as happened with the Diem regime in South Vietnam, America has got nothing but trouble from its supposed ally. They cannot be used against the problem of radical nationalist Arabs who think the Arab population should be the beneficiaries of their regions natural resource wealth instead of the Western created artificial Gulf States designed to separating the population from the oil. And the US army cannot be kept in Saudi Arabia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing#Attribution_to_al-Qaeda

    In May 1996 Bin Laden and his entourage moved from Sudan to Afghanistan. As if to make the point that they might have been chased out of Sudan by Saudi Arabia and the US they were not leaving with their tails between their legs, al Qaeda struck again: The June bombing of Khobar Towers. The Saudi authorities were at pains to implicate Shi'i militants backed by Iran in this attack, since the embarrassing truth that they had their very own homegrown militancy problem was inadmissible; they did not want to give the impression that there was domestic opposition to the deployment of US troops on Saudi soil.
     

    The threat from Iran, now with a continuity extending through the majority of Iraq, means the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.

    the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.

    This is a faulty analysis on both ends. Most Saudis are not outraged at the Americans – there is a small coterie of fanatics who are. The Iranians are not going to topple the Saudi regime – that’s not how they roll. They will execute strikes now and then thru deniable proxies but not engage in all out war. Nor could the Saudis destroy Iran even if they wanted to. Everyone is just going to muddle thru and snipe at each other now and then.

  52. @Anonymous
    Terrible story, but Saudi Arabia would be better off ruled by people like this shooter. His ilk have no business being in the West, BUT the real problem is the current Saudi elites are craven toadies of Zio-US imperialism. If Saudi Arabia were ruled by real patriots, it would be independent like Iran and not suck up to the US. Then, US would have less opportunity to meddle in the Middle East, and there would no reason for the US to invite people like this shooter.

    Also, even though many patriots join the US military, most of them will never fight wars to defend America. Instead, they will be shipped overseas to meddle in the affairs of other people.
    Trump just ordered 15,000 troops to the Middle East. Soldiers must obey, and they are taking part in US imperialism guided by Zionist, and well, here we go again.

    Best way would be for Saudis to hate the US, and for the US to say NO to Saudis.

    Is the US evil? Yes, it has become an Evil Empire that is, in some ways, worse than the Soviet Union. This is a nation where the sodomy flag now hangs in so many churches. Look how Chick-Fil-A caved to Jews and homos. It is disgusting. Craven and cowardly. And stupid Americans are mush-heads who've been led to passionately support something as crazy as 'gay marriage'.

    At any rate, the relation between US and Saudi Arabia is one of the most ridiculous. US is degenerate, Saudis are medieval. Both are demented in their own way. Americans need to return to roots, Saudis need to lighten up. But somehow, these diametrically opposed cultures have forged one of the closest alliances in the world. It was the source of 9/11, and who knows what else in the future.

    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in

    • Replies: @Russ

    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in
     
    Right. And Col. Sanders is a military leader.
    , @Anonymous

    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in
     
    It just bent over.

    https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-12-08-chickfila-covenant-house-lgbtq-pride-drag-queen-story-hour-children.html
  53. But, Steve, didn’t you see that commercial that they released in the US after 9/11, saying that they were our BFFs? I mean, if you can’t trust a marketing campaign flush with oil-money, who can you trust?

  54. The Saudi sand monkeys are our second best buddies in the Middle East, Steve.

    Israel is our best buddy in the whole wide world, forever and ever. Almighty Gawd ordained it to be so. Not to acknowledge it is pretty much a hate crime.

    As the old saying goes…”With friends like this…etc

  55. “You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?”

    Tell that to Donald Trump and his Jewish advisors. #TheGrandBargain

    But then you already have NOTICED it, Mr. Sailer. Stay cagey!

  56. @Ash Williams

    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit.
     
    When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it's literally Satanic.

    This applies to almost every government in the world, with very, very, rare exception.

    “When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic.”

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that “test”, i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those “good” and “bad” deeds.

    • Troll: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.
     
    So says Corvinus, whose political philosophy is based on violating the last three commandments of the Decalogue, and condescends to school the unwashed with his brilliant Biblical hermeneutics and dispositive Constitutional interpretations.
    , @Magic Dirt Resident
    "That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution."

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn't exist.
    , @William Badwhite
    There is no "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution. At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.

    Idiot.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.
     
    No, we don't. We have a separation of church and Congress. Go back and read it.

    It is one of the ironies of our constitutional history that at the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, including its requirement that the newly created federal government refrain from establishing religion, churches established by state law not only were permitted by state constitutions of the time, but also were common...

    Early constitutions, such as those of New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, required anyone seeking public office to profess a belief in Christianity and Protestantism. North Carolina and Pennsylvania required citizens to take strict belief oaths before holding public office, and Delaware required ‘‘all officeholders to profess belief in the Trinity and the divine inspiration of the Bible’’.

    https://uscivilliberties.org/historical-overview/3703-disestablishment-of-state-churches-in-the-late-eighteenth-century-and-early-nineteenth-century.html
     
    Eventually, these states got on the bandwagon, or, more to the point, joined the choir.

    The disestablishment of the church in the United States has been the most significant privatization in American history. At no time, before or after, has any important economic sector so dominated by the government been turned over so completely to private enterprise.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2138662?seq=1
     
    Disestablishment was our first experiment in anarcho-capitalism. That's why The anti-Friedmanites and other market-bashers on this forum hate it so. What better example of American failure is there than the First Amendment?
  57. “maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever”

    Would somebody make sure that the Family Bush gets the memo?

  58. We keep being told very pointedly that our Middle East wars and any involvement with the region will always end badly. Past time to go. We’re energy independent. Let the crazies be crazy over there without us. And don’t bring them here. How hard is that? Have your wars without America blood and treasure. Somehow between the military industrial complex and Saudi and Israeli money sloshing around DC, nothing ever changes.

  59. @The Alarmist

    You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?
     
    Do we really have any friends in that neck of the woods? Just wait until we are treaty-bound to defend a certain ME state whose name cannot be uttered disparagingly in public to see some real bad behaviour.

    As the saying goes, no country has “friends”, only “interests. The US still has something of a strategic interest in Saudi Arabia because of the oil. Although we import far less from SA than we used to, it’s still around 10% which is not insignificant. Thus it’s still in our interest to make nice-nice to them, even if the regime is composed of sons o’ bitches.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  60. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    You forgot Mexico, not through influence on elites, but bubbling up from below through concerted state action, demographic pushes, lobbying for amnesty and naturalization and the largest network of consulates in the world.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Not always, though I agree with your deeper point. The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep. That has impacted things, especially when coupled with the disasterously stupid ideological course that Dubya and Rove paved for the GOP in the 2000s.

    Strange as it sounds, the NYT was more hostile to mass illegal immigration until Bush outflanked them to the left there.

  61. @Corvinus
    "When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic."

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that "test", i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those "good" and "bad" deeds.

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    So says Corvinus, whose political philosophy is based on violating the last three commandments of the Decalogue, and condescends to school the unwashed with his brilliant Biblical hermeneutics and dispositive Constitutional interpretations.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "So says Corvinus..."

    No, so says the Founders.

    "whose political philosophy is based on violating the last three commandments of the Decalogue..."

    You mean protecting their sanctity.

    "and condescends to school the unwashed with his brilliant Biblical hermeneutics and dispositive Constitutional interpretations."

    Thank you for recognizing my greatness.
  62. @Anon
    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit. Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids. It doesn't get more evil than that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuL_16U1o9U

    Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.

    who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.
     
    Is advocating gay adoption to an audience of grade school kids "careerist"? Why is a congressman campaigning in a grade school class anyways?
    , @Anonymous

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.
     
    Portman started supporting gay marriage shortly after his son came out as gay in 2011.

    Gaetz promoted gay adoptions as a GOP Florida state representative from a district in the Florida panhandle, the most conservative part of the state. Furthermore, he persuaded his father, a GOP Florida state senator from the panhandle, to support gay adoptions.

    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    Rep. Gaetz is 37. It'd be interesting to know what percentage of never-married, 37-year-old American White men, are homosexual. It's probably substantial, but not a majority.

    When you factor in being a successful, high-status man (such as a member of Congress...which he's only been since 2017, but presumably he was also no slouch prior to his election), I fear that percentage likely creeps above 50 percent, alas. But it's not like we really have any data on this. Or if we do, I don't know where to find it.
  63. 1. Youth bulge .

    2.They are being forced to cut subsidies. The protests that started the Syrian civil war came soon after after cuts to fuel and other subsidies.

    3. Saudi Arabia has weak military because the royals are worried about coups. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017%E2%80%932019_Qatif_unrest#2019

    4. Political, economic, and military pressure on Saudi Arabia by Iran. Iran’s efforts to solidify its control over the Middle East are achieving success, the nuclear programme is expensive but the real danger is in the developing Shia crescent that is rapidly allowing Iran to become the region’s ordering power.

    5. Harbinger of ultimate chaos: Lindsay Lohan.

  64. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    Wiki “Petroleum in the United States”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_in_the_United_States

    The USA imports about 11% of its oil from abroad and about 11% of that is from Saudi Arabia. I don’t think that 1% of our oil consumption is as important as you make out.

    An interesting factoid on that webpage is that our state oil production leaders are:

    1. Texas – 29%
    2. Alaska – 13%
    3. North Dakota – 10%
    4. California – 5%

    Note: The graphic on that page shows ND as number 2. I wasn’t aware of ND’s oil production as being as significant as it is.

    According to that webpage the USA produced 4 billion barrels of oil in 2018 and the average wellhead price was $61/barrel. That’s 244 billion dollars!

    After just now googling our GDP, I see it is $20 trillion nowadays! I guess I shouldn’t be impressed by a mere $244 billion.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    Those oil production figures may be slightly out of date. Apparently, New Mexico is up to about 900,000 bbls per day and has moved ahead of Alaska and California.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/us/new-mexico-oil.html
  65. @Anon
    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit. Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids. It doesn't get more evil than that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuL_16U1o9U

    Does explain why he went to bat for Katie Hill. I thought that was odd.

  66. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    What makes it all the stranger is that the Israelis I’ve known were invariably more rational, down-to-earth, and for lack of a better word, normal in discussing their country than American politicians tend to be, let alone Western online commentators, both pro and anti…

    Part of the reason I grew so cynical about the media a couple years back was the complete silence about China, Israel, and Saudi Arabia while Russia was breathlessly ascribed to powers frankly beyond any intelligence service: you can’t just spawn millions of annoyed Rust Belt voters out of thin air. The Russian intel services are great at what they do, always have been going back to the Tsarist days because they’ve had to be, but Russia’s overall power is pathetic compared to what it used to be during the Cold War, and their ability to softly influence US politics comparatively limited as a result of that, as well as the mass purges of Soviet influence from US politics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. They simply do not have the same political reach on the Hill. I think that’s part of it. They can talk about them precisely because our political class is “free” to. There’s more to it than that, all sorts of stuff deeply related to how our elites view the world and why Putin in particular gives them heartburn, but that’s one simple kernel. I think China’s hold is more based around crass greed, Israel around ideology, and Saudi about bureaucratic inertia and longstanding ties to (outdated) geopolitics.

    And I’ve mentioned in another thread that I have a family member who has dealt with more recent generations of Saudi royals. If anything, according to him, they’ve gotten worse over time.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  67. @Reg Cæsar
    Back in 1977, the Navy base in Orlando was crawling with nuclear students in caps that read "Imperial Iranian Navy'.

    Reg,

    Yep.

    SM/QM A school?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    An IQ-related story. Signalmen and quartermasters (i.e, navigators to any ground forces guys reading) were separate ratings in the Navy, but combined in the Coast Guard. Coastiest thus went through both six-week schools, on the same base.

    We regularly dominated the top of the continent's class. If anything was odd about ours was that the best Navy guy finished ahead of our bottom (#6) man. (Kind of like one of Wilson's West Virginia electors in 1916; that state went 7-1 for Hughes.)

    The veteran instructor asked the class on the very last day why this was so. We chewed over hypotheses like we'd had experience as deckies rather than coming fresh out of basic, or that most of us were college dropouts.

    We discovered the real reason a few weeks later, in the QM class. We were definitely not at the top of that, just spread more normally.

    Quartermasters were simply smarter than signalmen, who are just as nerdy, but closer to the mean.

    I'm sure there are academic counterparts to this situation. Are there classes that draw from two divergent strains, one of which dominates the other?
  68. @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    Yes, easy to say the Saudis suck, harder to propose specific changes to US policy that will improve the situation.

    Let them be conquered by Iran?

    Let them fall into the Chinese orbit?

    A Syrian or Yemen style civil war?

    A more “democratic” government that ends up like Egypt’s experience: Muslim Brotherhood takeover?

    As it stands, they use their oil money to buy our industrial equipment, weapons they can barely use, and Manhattan condos at full retail. They give us the rest of their money to manage with “dumb money” management fees. They oppress the more radical Islamists.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I'm not concerned about whether we should favor the Sauds continuing power: that's not even a question, given the alternatives. I'm more concerned about whether we've got any idea what we'll do if/when the house of cards falls for them, because the most likely successors are not going to be nice people. There's no contingency plans beyond us vaguely mucking about in that God-forsaken part of the world while our fiscal issues becoming more untenable.

    The real reason that nobody should want Iranian nuclear potential is the reason that nobody talks about: the potential of the Saudis wanting that, too. They get anywhere close and the Sauds all of a sudden fall, their successors will inherit that.

    (All this doesn't mean Saudi interference in American decisions should be tolerated. The problem is that lobbyists and politicians don't fundamentally *fear* the consequences of what happens for serving another nation more loyally than your own. That's the first thing that needs to change. You can only have one master in real life.)

    , @Mr. Anon

    They oppress the more radical Islamists.
     
    Perhaps the shiite ones. The Sunni ones, they support.
  69. @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil

    They don’t, and they don’t. About 60% of the current population of the Arabian peninsula is outside of Saudi Arabia. As of 2016, about 55% of the fuel exports by value on the peninsula originated outside the Kingdom as well. Btw, the boundaries of the Kingdom were set in 1925, at a time when extractive industries had not been developed on the Arabian peninsula and when the U.S. was not an influential power in the Near East.

  70. @Altai
    Because having a total monarchy controlling almost all of the Arabian peninsula and all the oil is hugely advantageous to foreign policy. You only have to negotiate with one political entity that persists over time and you can make them semi-dependent on you. The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable and if it falls the state of 'Saudi Arabia' will fragment and other forms of governments will take over the land which will not necessarily be as friendly as the existing government, or if they are, be as stable.

    You could have readily seen Islamists governments take over much of the land with the oil in the past, today maybe not, but it's still nice to have a stable government and no disruption to oil production or something like existing foreign contracts being voided or renegotiated.

    The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of ‘instability’.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of ‘instability’.
     
    I'd say it's stable, but that makes it the exception in the realm of Muslim royals. There are elements of Muslim tradition that make royal houses inherently unstable, starting with the fact that there is no divine right of kings in the Muslim world view. This is how Muhammad's direct line was killed on the battlefield. While the progeny of Muhammad's uncles and so on have benefited, via the Hashemite line, from their association with his name, no one views their reigns as somehow religiously ordained.

    The al-Sauds lack even an association with Muhammad except in the sense that their legitimacy was earned on the battlefield against his kin, the Hashemites. The problem is - those battlefield honors were earned a century ago. The factional intrigues that have felled many a Muslim dynast could rear their ugly heads in a decisive fashion yet again.
  71. @Romanian
    You forgot Mexico, not through influence on elites, but bubbling up from below through concerted state action, demographic pushes, lobbying for amnesty and naturalization and the largest network of consulates in the world.

    Not always, though I agree with your deeper point. The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep. That has impacted things, especially when coupled with the disasterously stupid ideological course that Dubya and Rove paved for the GOP in the 2000s.

    Strange as it sounds, the NYT was more hostile to mass illegal immigration until Bush outflanked them to the left there.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep.

    ??? Zapata Oil was sold in 1963. George the Younger was in the oil exploration business for about a dozen years. His company was folded into some other company about 30 years ago and he eventually left the business and landed a managerial position with one of the major league baseball teams. Brother Jeb was employed in banking and real estate (first in Houston, then in Miami). Brother Neil has cycled through a number of sectors in Texas and Colorado and ended up vending educational software. Brother Marvin lives in NoVa and has some sort of financial sector job. They have a cousin who has a managerial position with one of the NFL teams (Denver Broncos?), another cousin that owned a company providing supplies to medical service providers (I think it was software), another cousin who earned good coin for many years first as a radio announcer and then as host of fluff TV programs. (His career was wrecked when it was discovered he listened congenially to Donald Trump's dirty talk). Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?
  72. Once you work out that an “ally” of the USA means “countries that buy heaps of our weapons,” and nothing more, the “friendship” that exists between America and the Saudis makes a lot more sense.

    If the Iranians actually wanted to attack the USA, they could buy a few billion dollars worth of the best the defense industry has to offer. This would give them leeway to car-bomb one or two major tourist attractions, with Pompeo getting on TV a few days later, waving about incontrovertible evidence that the attacks were masterminded by those dastardly Venezuelans.

  73. @Kronos
    I loved his documentary “Century of the Self.” It chronicles how Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Barney’s incorporated Psychoanalysis into PR and marketing.

    https://youtu.be/uIYj-LnsZl4

    An interesting read on Freud’s nephew revolution in marketing: https://markmanson.net/insecurity

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

    • Replies: @njguy73

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

     

    He doesn't have a marketing background. He has a market research background. Major difference.
    , @njguy73

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

     

    He doesn't have a marketing background. He has a market research background. Major difference.
  74. @prime noticer
    anybody here who bought the Aramco IPO?

    a few of their leaders at the top are at least maneuvering so that they don't go under as soon as the oil runs out.

    It isn’t sold on the New York Stock Exchange or anywhere else where a report would have to be filed regarding who owns how much. The best rumor I heard was a lot of the people who bought big stakes were concerned lest they be confined to a luxury hotel and tortured.

  75. @Colin Wright
    '... It’s reported that three of them filmed the shooting as it happened...'

    Dimwits. Didn't they realize that only Jews are allowed to film terrorist attacks as they happen?

    Hmm.

    “Alshamrani penned a hate-fueled manifesto on Twitter just hours before the attack, according to an intelligence group who tracked down his account” ????

    The “intelligence group” in question is SITE.

    SITE’s founder, Rita Katz, on her own website, informs us that not only has “Ms. Katz tracked and analyzed global terrorist and jihadi networks for over two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field”, but more interestingly “Ms. Katz has infiltrated terrorist fronts undercover . . .”

    Ms. Katz has dedicated her professional life to “the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization specializing in tracking and analyzing online activity of the global extremist community . . .
    her insights have been featured in scores of major publications, including Washington Post, Time, The Daily Beast, VICE, and others. ”

    So our heroine here, the world’s greatest expert at tracking terrorism via social media and purveyor of information to the FBI itself (“Ms. Katz received special recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for her “outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts.”), a woman whose life’s mission was to PREVENT terrorist atrocities, instead was reduced to merely reporting interesting information about the dead Saudi after the fact?

    Did (((someone))) – oh just musing here, couldn’t possibly be anything, never really heard of an “intelligence group” manipulating a dimwit into some violent act before, nope that’s never happened – maybe figure this thug could be a “useful idiot“? Could that same (((someone))) have made sure our heroine here was ready to go with the press release on Friday?

    Of course, with the MSM on the case, all the relevant questions will be answered fully in no time, thanks to the integrity, independence of thought and the intelligence of today’s professional journalists . . .

    https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Corporate/about-site.html

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @jbwilson24
    Eh, as much as I enjoy bashing Jewish people every chance I get, this strikes me as suspicious. Israel and Saudi Arabia are allies, and there was a recent story on how Turkish intelligence believed that the House of Saudi is actually Jewish in origin.

    I can't see Israel doing anything to threaten that relationship.

    Perhaps this would put pressure on the dissidents within Saudi Arabia, those who believe the ruling regime is corrupt. The regime then cracks down on potential insurgents, in the interests of cleaning up after the US shooting.

    Just a wild stab in the dark.
  76. OT

    He got some attention a few year ago as more or less a realist re Greek debt — here he speaks English, and his message is unmistakable — Europeans must realize the threat their elites pose.

  77. I have been reading boomer conservative sites since this attack happened and they seem evenly divided pro and anti Saudi. Many boomers still see SA as an ally and are openly willing to accept Americans killed here if it is presented as necessary to fight Iran. It’s quite shocking how little these types have learned since the Bush era. Many comments bizarrely blame Obama for the attack.

  78. @Anon
    He kind of does have a point though about the evil bit. Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids. It doesn't get more evil than that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuL_16U1o9U

    Who are the moron white Evangelical Southerners voting for this guy? North Florida has a reputation as being one of the dumbest places in America, but damn. We need a nationalist party now. The GOP will never be any good.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
    He's a third generation politician.
  79. @Altai
    Isn't this also the origin story of Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of modern 'political Islam'?

    This also reminds me of when an English RAF base hosted Libyan 'cadets' after the fall of Gaddafi to be trained in as the officer corps of a new national army. The men, though, were from basically tribal militias who were the West's 'friends' who turned out to be less progressive and culturally Western than Gaddafi. When allowed into town unaccompanied the recruits immediately set about engaging in sexual assaults against the local townsfolk and even raped a man, with several also going AWOL and claiming asylum.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-37656367
    Read the whole BBC article for more details of their rampages.


    Compensation has been paid by the Ministry of Defence to people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge.

    More than 300 cadets had been brought to the UK in 2014 for training at Bassingbourn barracks, Cambridgeshire.

    Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls.

    Lawyers for the male victim and one of the teenagers confirmed the MoD had agreed to pay them damages, believed to be tens of thousands of pounds.
     

    Per Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassingbourn_Barracks#Libyan_cadet_scandal

    In June 2014, the barracks reopened to train Libyan troops. Although nearby residents were originally informed that the Libyan cadets would only be permitted to leave the base on escorted visits the rules were subsequently relaxed. Shortly afterwards, a number of complaints of sexual assault were made against some of the trainees. Five were later charged with a series of sexual offences against both women and men: of these, two appeared before Cambridge Magistrates' Court and admitted carrying out a series of assaults on women in Cambridge's Market Square area on 26 October 2014, two were charged with raping a man in Cambridge, and the fifth was charged with three counts of sexual assault. As a result, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to terminate the training programme early, saying in a statement in November 2014: "Training was initially expected to last until the end of November but we have agreed with the Libyan government that it is best for all involved to bring forward the training completion date. The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days”. It was also discovered that a further five of the trainees had applied for asylum in the UK.

    On 15 May 2015, two Libyan cadets were each jailed for 12 years for raping a man in Cambridge in a prolonged attack in Christ's Pieces, a park in the city centre. Following the sentencing, Andrew Lansley, the South Cambridgeshire MP at the time that the attacks took place, told the BBC "mistakes had been made" adding that he hoped the sentencing would provide some "redress" and acknowledging that "discipline inside the base really fell apart". A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it "condemned" the incidents adding that such training "will not be repeated at Bassingbourn. Following the conclusion of the training the prime minister tasked the MoD with producing a report on the programme and the defence secretary has now presented its findings to the House of Commons".

    After the rape trial verdicts were returned, it was revealed that three other Libyans cadets had already pleaded guilty to unrelated sex attacks which had taken place in Cambridge on the same night. They had been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on 13 May but reporting restrictions had been in place until the rape case was concluded. Of the three defendants, one admitted two counts of sexual assault and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 12 months; the second admitted three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed 10 months; the third admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 10 months. All three were put on the sex offender register for 10 years.
     

    The Manchester bomber was also a UK backed fighter against Gaddafy.

  80. @Lot
    Yes, easy to say the Saudis suck, harder to propose specific changes to US policy that will improve the situation.

    Let them be conquered by Iran?

    Let them fall into the Chinese orbit?

    A Syrian or Yemen style civil war?

    A more “democratic” government that ends up like Egypt’s experience: Muslim Brotherhood takeover?

    As it stands, they use their oil money to buy our industrial equipment, weapons they can barely use, and Manhattan condos at full retail. They give us the rest of their money to manage with “dumb money” management fees. They oppress the more radical Islamists.

    I’m not concerned about whether we should favor the Sauds continuing power: that’s not even a question, given the alternatives. I’m more concerned about whether we’ve got any idea what we’ll do if/when the house of cards falls for them, because the most likely successors are not going to be nice people. There’s no contingency plans beyond us vaguely mucking about in that God-forsaken part of the world while our fiscal issues becoming more untenable.

    The real reason that nobody should want Iranian nuclear potential is the reason that nobody talks about: the potential of the Saudis wanting that, too. They get anywhere close and the Sauds all of a sudden fall, their successors will inherit that.

    (All this doesn’t mean Saudi interference in American decisions should be tolerated. The problem is that lobbyists and politicians don’t fundamentally *fear* the consequences of what happens for serving another nation more loyally than your own. That’s the first thing that needs to change. You can only have one master in real life.)

    • Replies: @Lot
    The Saudi regime seems quite stable to me.
  81. Well, the US has been training Moslem (including Saudi) terrorists at least since the regime of Carter and every President seems to expand the program. The Saudis who carried out the 9/11 attacks trained in the US under the watchful eyes of Israeli “art students”, but at least they were doing it on their own time and own dime. Count on Trump to get things right and up to scale. Not only does the US Navy now train the terrorists on naval bases on US soil, but helpfully provides US naval personell for them to practics on.

  82. If 9/11 did not cause the whores in Washington to change American policies toward Saudi Arabia, this incident certainly wont.

  83. @PhysicistDave
    Anonymous[427] wrote:

    I’ve met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.
     
    Back around 1980, I was good friends with an Israeli student when I was in grad school at Stanford. We argued interminably (though politely) about Mideast policy, largely about how the Palestinians were treated.

    He agreed that Palestinian rights were being violated, but his knock-down argument was that if Israel granted political rights to Palestinians, then Israel-Palestine would become like Saudi Arabia.

    It was a hard argument to respond to.

    About the same time, my wife was friends with a young Irish historian living in England who had enough access to the political class that she occasionally ran into members of the Saudi "royal family" on jaunts to the West. She described them as despicable scum, who spent their vacations a-whoring and getting drunk.

    At least, we know they are not really committed Islamic extremists: of course, they support such extremists to protect themselves against revolution.

    I have wondered though how so many people can seriously talk about how Russia "interfered in our elections" without mentioning the two countries that almost everyone knows really wield the most power among the American political class: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    For the record: I do not hate either Israelis or Muslims -- indeed, I have liked almost all of the Israelis and Mideastern Muslims I have known (to be sure, I have never known any members of the Saudi "royal family"!). I just find it odd that there is a taboo on mentioning what everyone knows.

    Your story reads like a Stanford grad story.

    Throw in a lox with bagel – complete.

    And

    is USIsrael blessing SA with MBS.

  84. @Almost Missouri

    "If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11."
     
    One would have thought so, but in the actual event, President Bush and his underlings went out of their way to deflect blame from Saudi Arabia and personally assured the safety of bin Laden family members not named Osama. Then they stomped the accelerator on Muslim immigration into the US.

    When the entire White House is in your corner, you don't really need good PR.

    Why would any blame go to them?

    • Replies: @Kronos
    There’s always been US unease in regards to relations between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Royal Family. Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; certainly not Iraqi or Iranian. Saudi Arabia plays a central role with the US “petrodollar” and thus essential for US debt binging. The US foreign policy establishment (except for a few especially nutty neocons) didn’t want an angry public confrontation (much less invasion) with Saudi Arabia. So imagine the potential danger of some 9/11 hijacker having worked with an Al-Qaeda aligned “Wasabi Wahhabist” Prince to support terrorism. (Keep in mind there are like 15,000 princes alone, each one has like 20 kids.)

    /news/2015-02-04/911-conspirator-admits-saudi-royal-family-funded-al-qaeda-attacks

    https://cdn.newspunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/petrodollar-death-500x352.jpg

    , @Almost Missouri
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2939991/Lawyers-Evidence-shows-Saudi-Arabia-aided-9-11-hijackers.html

    etc.
  85. @El Dato
    Come to think of it, Lebanon must really be a good example for what happens with a multiethnic society that is shifting due to strong immigration.

    Yet it is never mentioned.

    Don’t forget massive French and
    American interference, manipulation.

    And,

    Israel.

    Is the immigration from ethnic cleansing?

  86. Saudi Arabia is Israel without the ethics and sense of fairness due to Western influence.

    I’m serious.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Necessity knows no law
    , @Colin Wright
    'Saudi Arabia is Israel without the ethics and sense of fairness...'

    Considering the ethics and sense of fairness in question, that could only be an improvement.

    However, the whole comparison is nonsensical. We've no business allying ourselves with either one, but that is about all they have in common. Kind of like comparing a Nigerian scam artist to an American child molester. Both bad; not particularly similar.
  87. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    I don’t know anything about politics but yeah, you describe the Saudis I’ve met as well. I happen to kind of like them though.

  88. @SFG
    Saudi Arabia is Israel without the ethics and sense of fairness due to Western influence.

    I'm serious.

    Necessity knows no law

  89. I used to go to PNAS when I was in the scouts for air shows. Camped out there….hate to be these Saudis when they get sent back home….theyll be tortured….

  90. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    Oil really isn’t used in power plants in either the US or Canada, mostly natural gas, coal, and nuclear. Oil mostly is refined for fueling vehicles.

    • Replies: @Lot
    Burning oil is 1% of US utility electric generation as of 2016.

    It is 3% of capacity because its main niche is running during peak demand periods in summer in FL and the NE, when it actually might go above 2% of US power.

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31232

    I am sure it is lower now, as it is the fastest declining source of electric power.
  91. @nebulafox
    I'm not concerned about whether we should favor the Sauds continuing power: that's not even a question, given the alternatives. I'm more concerned about whether we've got any idea what we'll do if/when the house of cards falls for them, because the most likely successors are not going to be nice people. There's no contingency plans beyond us vaguely mucking about in that God-forsaken part of the world while our fiscal issues becoming more untenable.

    The real reason that nobody should want Iranian nuclear potential is the reason that nobody talks about: the potential of the Saudis wanting that, too. They get anywhere close and the Sauds all of a sudden fall, their successors will inherit that.

    (All this doesn't mean Saudi interference in American decisions should be tolerated. The problem is that lobbyists and politicians don't fundamentally *fear* the consequences of what happens for serving another nation more loyally than your own. That's the first thing that needs to change. You can only have one master in real life.)

    The Saudi regime seems quite stable to me.

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    They have about ten years left, EVs and fracking will bankrupt them soon enough
    , @nebulafox
    I dunno, man. Poisonous mushrooms don't change their spots just because they happen to live in a moist forest. Deep inside, I got a gut feeling about that society. Shaky foundations. It's not North Korea. And not really because of the oil issue, because I'll be the first admit I'm not great with economics. (On the to-do list.)

    The real problem is that the place is structurally rotten to the core behind the shiny veneer of US bought weapons, because they don't have enough competent people to handle anything resembling moderately more negative conditions. (The same problem is visible in the United States, its just that we have a bigger margin for error-though our structures, like anything else man-made, can only take a finite level of battering. Anybody warned our elites?) The old problems are still there, meaning that stability still relies off having insane amounts of money and getting potential troublemakers out of the country.

    Now that the sons of Ibn Saud are gone or marginalized, the Crown Prince is trying to rule in a more solitary fashion. That has its pros-it's what I'd do in his position, if I were him. It is easier to get stuff done and to force changes through the mouths of fundamentalist clerics. But it also means that he's not as easily replaceable if *hit hits the fan, in any way, and there's no shortage of people who want him dead despite his strict hand on the tiller of social controls.

    It'd be wonderful if Saudi Arabia could be simultaneously gradually liberalized, and stabilized for the long-term future. Gives us time to figure out what we're going do ourselves. But it isn't going to be easy or assured.

  92. @Art Deco
    Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted

    IOW, he's a bachelor over a certain age.


    who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids.

    IOW, he's a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    Is advocating gay adoption to an audience of grade school kids “careerist”? Why is a congressman campaigning in a grade school class anyways?

  93. @Unladen Swallow
    Oil really isn't used in power plants in either the US or Canada, mostly natural gas, coal, and nuclear. Oil mostly is refined for fueling vehicles.

    Burning oil is 1% of US utility electric generation as of 2016.

    It is 3% of capacity because its main niche is running during peak demand periods in summer in FL and the NE, when it actually might go above 2% of US power.

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31232

    I am sure it is lower now, as it is the fastest declining source of electric power.

  94. @anonymous
    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals. Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to bomb them in retaliation but FDR said they were basically backward savages and what would be the point.
    Meeting the Saudi king in early 1945 was among FDR's last acts. For whatever reason there seems to be kid glove treatment for the Kingdom, at times rivalling that for Israel.

    I’ve been googling the Eleanor Roosevelt anecdote you mention but I can only find 1 odd passing mention of it

  95. @Art Deco
    The monarchy in Saudi is highly unstable

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of 'instability'.

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of ‘instability’.

    I’d say it’s stable, but that makes it the exception in the realm of Muslim royals. There are elements of Muslim tradition that make royal houses inherently unstable, starting with the fact that there is no divine right of kings in the Muslim world view. This is how Muhammad’s direct line was killed on the battlefield. While the progeny of Muhammad’s uncles and so on have benefited, via the Hashemite line, from their association with his name, no one views their reigns as somehow religiously ordained.

    The al-Sauds lack even an association with Muhammad except in the sense that their legitimacy was earned on the battlefield against his kin, the Hashemites. The problem is – those battlefield honors were earned a century ago. The factional intrigues that have felled many a Muslim dynast could rear their ugly heads in a decisive fashion yet again.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    If you say so. To the best of my knowledge, among the ruling houses of the Gulf emirates, the least venerable took the throne in 1833. Quite a mess of Muslim monarchies were eliminated between 1917 and 1979, but none since, AFAIK. Two of the three most recent losses - the Pahalvi dynasty in Iran and the Senussis in Libya - didn't have much of a pedigree: those dynasties endured for just 50-odd years. Haven't done the numbers, but I'm not sure they've proved more brittle than monarchies in Europe or the Far East or the Indian subcontinent.
  96. @Lot
    Yes, easy to say the Saudis suck, harder to propose specific changes to US policy that will improve the situation.

    Let them be conquered by Iran?

    Let them fall into the Chinese orbit?

    A Syrian or Yemen style civil war?

    A more “democratic” government that ends up like Egypt’s experience: Muslim Brotherhood takeover?

    As it stands, they use their oil money to buy our industrial equipment, weapons they can barely use, and Manhattan condos at full retail. They give us the rest of their money to manage with “dumb money” management fees. They oppress the more radical Islamists.

    They oppress the more radical Islamists.

    Perhaps the shiite ones. The Sunni ones, they support.

  97. One almost might get the idea that it isn’t a good idea to permit Saudi nationals to come to the United States for flight training. Well, as long as it’s just this one isolated instance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hani_Hanjour

    We wouldn’t want to let this effect our commitment to diversity – that would be the greatest tragedy.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    I knew an Iranian student named Hani in the UK a lifetime ago (Shah days), smooth talker and dresser, studying engineering but his main interest was young English ladies.

    One day he was relating his Saturday night, he'd got a girl back from the disco to his place.

    "She was just standing there by the mantelpiece, looking in the mirror, so I came up behind her and started unbuttoning her blouse. She turned round and slapped my face!"


    "What did you do when she hit you?"

    "I hit her back, of course".
  98. This post and the comments on them shows the biggest issue with “our guys”: overly moralistic, seeing complicated matters in Black and White, prone to scapegoating, and unable to understand simple economics.

    The Saudi people are primitive tribesmen who if they had no oil would be the Afghanistan of the ME. Unfortunately for the world they not only have oil but are the SWING producers. Meaning they can ramp up production and drive prices down or reduce production and drive them up. No other nation alone can do this. Which means if we want to keep unstable, erratic, America running we’d better have affordable oil and prop up the rotten, even more unstable Saudi regime.

    When the Crown Prince hangs his cousin upside down in the Marriot Ballroom and has him beaten on the soles of his feet until he coughs up most of his cash, that’s an unstable regime. Muslitms from Saudi going on a Jihad rampage while filming for World Star Jihad Hop is no shock. It was stupid to have them trained anywhere in the US. Since this is utterly predictable. But if you like gas at an affordable $4.00 a gallon (here in SoCal) instead of say $20 or $30 then propping up the Saudis is required.

    Russia and Iran are not our friends — they are based on a corrupt network as bad as the Saudi model of corruption, patronage, various princelings, but with much less swing capacity for production and enough robust militaries they don’t need our military protection in exchange for keeping the oil price where the US wants it — which means you keep your car and you’re not herded off into a camp for a “final solution” to the White man problem if Warren or Bernie come into power to make their backers happy (you: dead; them: owning your stuff).

    The Saudis both people and rulers, awful. But who and what does anyone propose take over their swing production of oil? Wakanda? Star Fleet? Darth Vader? There is literally no one else to keep your car’s tank filled. Oil is mostly (not exactly) fungible, and with rising Chinese demand we have less margin to keep the world price low and thus not having mobs of vibrants demanding your stuff and you dead.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    When they can no longer swing the price of oil, then we have to face our issues straight up, and that's good.

    Anyone who has ever been in the "alternate energy" business knows the story: people get interested when oil is high for long enough that the pain is registering. But the very instant oil drops back down they lose interest immediately.

    Natural gas is the way to go for vehicle in the short term. If they can build a battery out of stuff we can mine economically here in the US and if we can build out nuclear power and charge only at night to level off the crest factor of power demand, then electric vehicles will make sense but otherwise not.

    Oil needs to go high and STAY HIGH and investors need to be guaranteed it will sty high long enough to guarantee payback on infrstructure.

    So, DIE, cheap easy to lift Saudi swing crude! DIE, DIE, DIE!!!!
    , @anon
    The Saudi's are no longer the primary swing producer. The US is effectively petroleum independent.

    There is confusion around US refiners preference for heavier crude, but suffice it to say we import heavier oil and export lighter grades. It's both more difficult and more profitable to refine heavier oil. The fact we refine a different grade than we produce makes little difference.

    The US has nothing in place to limit oil production when prices become unprofitable, which has led both Russia and SA to offset at least some of the US growth.
    , @Mr. Anon
    Utter bilge, like everything you post.

    Oil costs money. If you have it, you can by it. It doesn't require us to prop up this or that corrupt regime. Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Australia - any number of countries - have just about zero influence in the middle east, and yet are able to maintain quite high living standards.

    Is there anything you've ever said that wasn't abjectly stupid, you bloviating nitwit?
  99. So where did the gunman get his weapon? Don’t tell me the military are giving away guns to flight trainees from Saudi Arabia.

    Also, was this workplace violence? Sure sounds like it.

    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    So where did the gunman get his weapon?
     
    One recalls that Bill Clinton issued an Executive Order strictly prohibiting military personnel from carrying arms inside military facilities.

    Baby Bush did not rescind the order during his eight-year reign, and Barry O was of course delighted to keep it in place as well. It's almost as if TPTB are afraid of a military coup.
  100. @blake121666
    Wiki "Petroleum in the United States":

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_in_the_United_States

    The USA imports about 11% of its oil from abroad and about 11% of that is from Saudi Arabia. I don't think that 1% of our oil consumption is as important as you make out.

    An interesting factoid on that webpage is that our state oil production leaders are:

    1. Texas - 29%
    2. Alaska - 13%
    3. North Dakota - 10%
    4. California - 5%

    Note: The graphic on that page shows ND as number 2. I wasn't aware of ND's oil production as being as significant as it is.

    According to that webpage the USA produced 4 billion barrels of oil in 2018 and the average wellhead price was $61/barrel. That's 244 billion dollars!

    After just now googling our GDP, I see it is $20 trillion nowadays! I guess I shouldn't be impressed by a mere $244 billion.

    Those oil production figures may be slightly out of date. Apparently, New Mexico is up to about 900,000 bbls per day and has moved ahead of Alaska and California.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/27/us/new-mexico-oil.html

  101. Matt Gaetz, the Florida congressman who hired Darren Beattie, tweeted a video yesterday calling for extreme vetting of foreign military personnel and talking about how important it is for them to train here, but neither point makes much sense. Vetting is impossible for people from countries that are too corrupt or backward to have reliable records, and why do we need Saudis trained in American military systems? So we can work with them to bomb Houthis, about which, why are we helping Saudis bomb them anyway? It’s not as if we’re in some existential war against another super power where the Saudi military plays some crucial component.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I remember Obama insisting that refugees from Syria were thoroughly vetted, in fact maximally vetted: it was claimed to not be possible to vet them any further, and I remember thinking, well, that extreme is probably very easy to hit when all of the relevant documents were burned in the war, so, yeah. What we're seeing is credentialism run amok, ungoverned by phronesis: they're saying the magic expert word, and cannot understand why it fails to impress the stupid flyover hicks.
    , @Jack D
    Vetting is impossible but not for the reason you state. Muslims are prone to Sudden Jihad Syndrome where they seem to be fully adjusted to modernity and earn degrees in modern subject such as medicine or aeronautics but then one day something cracks and their inner 8th century tribesman comes out. So their paper trail is perfect up to that point - they seem to be exemplary citizens.

    2nd, once they go jihad, they are instructed by their recruiters to use deception and not to give off obvious signs that they are about to mount an attack. They often drop ample hints anyway but PCness causes the white people they are in contact with to dismiss them. "Mohammed doesn't really mean it when he says that all infidels should die a painful and bloody death - it's just a figure of speech in his culture."

    As for training them in the US - you are right. The Saudis have lots of money. Let them set up their own flight schools closer to home. Being in contact with Western society is not really good for Arabs - they tend to go whoring and drinking and then they feel guilty because they have gone whoring and drinking and double down on the Islam stuff.

    , @Kyle
    We’re helping the saudis bomb them so we can sell more bombs and warren buffets portfolio improves.
  102. China is making lots of electric vehicles. Buy them when they come to a dealership in the US.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Don't hold your breath. Chinese vehicles have made almost zero inroads on the US vehicle market for a number of reasons and that is not going to change any time soon. Even if economic conditions would point to such a change, political conditions do not. The trade imbalance is already bad and the US is not going to let it get worse by having the Chinese take market share from US auto manufacturers. The Asians already ate half of Detroit's lunch decades ago and we are not going to let the Chinese eat the rest.

    To some extent, the switch to electric negates the US manufacturer's 100 year plus technological head start but not completely - an electric car is still a car.
  103. @nebulafox
    Not always, though I agree with your deeper point. The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep. That has impacted things, especially when coupled with the disasterously stupid ideological course that Dubya and Rove paved for the GOP in the 2000s.

    Strange as it sounds, the NYT was more hostile to mass illegal immigration until Bush outflanked them to the left there.

    The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep.

    ??? Zapata Oil was sold in 1963. George the Younger was in the oil exploration business for about a dozen years. His company was folded into some other company about 30 years ago and he eventually left the business and landed a managerial position with one of the major league baseball teams. Brother Jeb was employed in banking and real estate (first in Houston, then in Miami). Brother Neil has cycled through a number of sectors in Texas and Colorado and ended up vending educational software. Brother Marvin lives in NoVa and has some sort of financial sector job. They have a cousin who has a managerial position with one of the NFL teams (Denver Broncos?), another cousin that owned a company providing supplies to medical service providers (I think it was software), another cousin who earned good coin for many years first as a radio announcer and then as host of fluff TV programs. (His career was wrecked when it was discovered he listened congenially to Donald Trump’s dirty talk). Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Jeb vacationed at the villa of a Mexican crimelord/politician and W's open borders push was exactly what the Mexican vampire caste/elites wanted, coordinated with them or not.
    , @nebulafox
    Diaz Serrano for Senior? Ernesto Ancira and Guillermo Avila? Raul Salinas? Enrique Fuentes Len? Carlos Hank Rhon? The Barrera brothers? These names ring a bell? They all have something in common: "Amigo de Bush". The "special relationship" they've had with Mexico, or at least the people who dominate it, has been there long before 2001.

    Strangely enough, there might be a correlation between typical Bush Chamber of Commerce-worthy policy beliefs concerning things Mexico related, and how much Mexican oligarchs and politicians connected to the PRI happen to like them, and want to see them do well.

    >Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?

    Nah, they are more into stuff like dumping their excess underclass off on us. If they didn't have the US as a safety valve, they might have to start considering what might happen to them if the resulting pressure for the bottom half of the Mexican social ladder gets a little too intense. They might actually have to work to improve things in their own country for ordinary people. Not to mention: if the border with the US was closed, all of a sudden they are stuck with the waves of Salvadorans and Guatemalans heading north, with all the goodies they bring from competition with Mexico's lower classes to additional fun for Mexico's ever-revolving security situation.

    Fortunately for them, their American counterparts are as eager to keep the valve open as much as they are. Which should make sense: after all, if the US were a bit more like Mexico Norte, the Bushes and their ilk could behave more like their Mexican friends, and not just in how many discounted domestic servants they can afford because they flooded the labor market. They could worry less about pain-in-the-ass, outdated things like legal accountability and the possibility of ever losing some power.

    So, what's not to like? And perfect stomping grounds for George P. Bush's future, because as we all know, a mix of The Market, fetus fetishism, and fluid borders supposedly produces "natural conservatives" to vote in droves.

    >Really? Someone is monitoring where Jeb Bush (who has spent about 3/4 of his adult life as a private citizen) vacations?

    I'm sure Jeb was just shocked when Raul was accused of drug trafficking and murdering his brother-in-law. I mean, he seemed like such a nice guy, so enthusiastic about Free Trade and everything. Thankfully, Carlos assured him he was innocent of anything those lying dogs printed.

  104. @Art Deco
    The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep.

    ??? Zapata Oil was sold in 1963. George the Younger was in the oil exploration business for about a dozen years. His company was folded into some other company about 30 years ago and he eventually left the business and landed a managerial position with one of the major league baseball teams. Brother Jeb was employed in banking and real estate (first in Houston, then in Miami). Brother Neil has cycled through a number of sectors in Texas and Colorado and ended up vending educational software. Brother Marvin lives in NoVa and has some sort of financial sector job. They have a cousin who has a managerial position with one of the NFL teams (Denver Broncos?), another cousin that owned a company providing supplies to medical service providers (I think it was software), another cousin who earned good coin for many years first as a radio announcer and then as host of fluff TV programs. (His career was wrecked when it was discovered he listened congenially to Donald Trump's dirty talk). Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?

    Jeb vacationed at the villa of a Mexican crimelord/politician and W’s open borders push was exactly what the Mexican vampire caste/elites wanted, coordinated with them or not.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Really? Someone is monitoring where Jeb Bush (who has spent about 3/4 of his adult life as a private citizen) vacations? And George Bush is deemed to have 'deep ties' to someone with whom he's never co-ordinated any activity?
  105. @Dave Pinsen
    Matt Gaetz, the Florida congressman who hired Darren Beattie, tweeted a video yesterday calling for extreme vetting of foreign military personnel and talking about how important it is for them to train here, but neither point makes much sense. Vetting is impossible for people from countries that are too corrupt or backward to have reliable records, and why do we need Saudis trained in American military systems? So we can work with them to bomb Houthis, about which, why are we helping Saudis bomb them anyway? It’s not as if we’re in some existential war against another super power where the Saudi military plays some crucial component.

    I remember Obama insisting that refugees from Syria were thoroughly vetted, in fact maximally vetted: it was claimed to not be possible to vet them any further, and I remember thinking, well, that extreme is probably very easy to hit when all of the relevant documents were burned in the war, so, yeah. What we’re seeing is credentialism run amok, ungoverned by phronesis: they’re saying the magic expert word, and cannot understand why it fails to impress the stupid flyover hicks.

  106. @Lot
    The Saudi regime seems quite stable to me.

    They have about ten years left, EVs and fracking will bankrupt them soon enough

    • Replies: @Lot
    Saudi oil is much cheaper to produce than oil from fracking (as well as the other growing non-OPEC+ source, Canada’s tar sands).

    I think we should encourage both fracking and EVs (and natural gas vehicles) because it hurts our strategic rivals in OPEC+, but I just am not so optimistic on how big the effect will be.

    China and the rest of east Asia will be happy to take all the oil Saudi Arabia can produce at a very profitable price.
  107. @YetAnotherAnon
    "or all his cynicism, in neither ‘The Power of Nightmares’ which deals extensively with the neocons or other pieces on the Middle East, Israel hardly comes up at all"

    I guess Adam Curtis still wants to be able, not just to make films, but to get them publicised in the Guardian/BBC/academia.

    Look at what's happened to Morrissey, who can't even get advertising hoardings in the UK for his new CD.

    It's amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?

    It’s amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?

    I think it’s more fundamental. After Iraq, many Americans turned to the Guardian online as an alternative news source. At the very least after that the Guardian expanded into the US and created a US office and online US edition of the Guardian. This meant the Guardian became infiltrated by some of the same kinds of silent veto that existed in US newsrooms. US staff, particularly editors and other higherups would likely have brought the greater Israeli bias and more US-style coverage of the Middle East as well as other things, like turbo social permissiveness and neoliberalism.

    Another event which may also have happened in conjunction with this was an orchestrated effort to put more of those kinds of people into the Guardian in a deliberate effort to silence an emerging ‘safe’ (You’d be surprised how many people are so bad at using the internet that they feel like anywhere non MSM is InfoWars) alternative source of news on Israeli and US foreign policy in the Middle East.

    It’s interesting to note that Mark Thompson became BBC (Another source Americans turned to in response to the US MSM uniformly pushing what they knew to be lies to support an invasion of Iraq) director general in 2004 and distinguished his long tenure with conspicuous pro-Israel bias.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#Accusations_of_pro-Israeli_editorial_stance

    Thompson would later have an odd career progression for a former BBC DG and became CEO of The New York Times Company immediately after leaving the BBC…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#President_and_CEO_of_The_New_York_Times_Company:_2012%E2%80%93present

    Thompson is fully English but married to an American Jewish woman from New York from a prominent family. (Her father was Baruch Samuel Blumberg, inventor of the Hep B vaccine)

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Reading between the lines of what you are saying, open anti-Semitism (in the guise of "anti-Zionism") is much more acceptable in UK Labour circles than in US Democrat circles. A lot of big city liberal Democrats in the US are either Jewish or married to Jews or work in the same circles as Jews, much more so than in the UK. And the money side of the Democrat Party is even more heavily Jewish - the top fund raisers and contributors.

    In order for The Guardian to be acceptable to mainstream liberal American circles they could not maintain the kind of strident anti-Israel line that is now common on the European left, where Israel is seen as some kind of apartheid pariah state like South Africa used to be. Most Americans, even "liberals" don't see Israel in that light.

    And you are going to see that kind of gap all across the spectrum. If in the UK (and I don't have actual poll numbers) 50% of mainstream and 90% of far left voters would agree that Israel is an apartheid state, in the US the corresponding numbers would be say 5% and 45% so even on the farthest left fringe you are not going to find universal agreement on this.

  108. @Dave Pinsen
    Matt Gaetz, the Florida congressman who hired Darren Beattie, tweeted a video yesterday calling for extreme vetting of foreign military personnel and talking about how important it is for them to train here, but neither point makes much sense. Vetting is impossible for people from countries that are too corrupt or backward to have reliable records, and why do we need Saudis trained in American military systems? So we can work with them to bomb Houthis, about which, why are we helping Saudis bomb them anyway? It’s not as if we’re in some existential war against another super power where the Saudi military plays some crucial component.

    Vetting is impossible but not for the reason you state. Muslims are prone to Sudden Jihad Syndrome where they seem to be fully adjusted to modernity and earn degrees in modern subject such as medicine or aeronautics but then one day something cracks and their inner 8th century tribesman comes out. So their paper trail is perfect up to that point – they seem to be exemplary citizens.

    2nd, once they go jihad, they are instructed by their recruiters to use deception and not to give off obvious signs that they are about to mount an attack. They often drop ample hints anyway but PCness causes the white people they are in contact with to dismiss them. “Mohammed doesn’t really mean it when he says that all infidels should die a painful and bloody death – it’s just a figure of speech in his culture.”

    As for training them in the US – you are right. The Saudis have lots of money. Let them set up their own flight schools closer to home. Being in contact with Western society is not really good for Arabs – they tend to go whoring and drinking and then they feel guilty because they have gone whoring and drinking and double down on the Islam stuff.

    • Agree: Jonathan Mason
  109. Anonymous[322] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco
    Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted

    IOW, he's a bachelor over a certain age.


    who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids.

    IOW, he's a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.

    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    Portman started supporting gay marriage shortly after his son came out as gay in 2011.

    Gaetz promoted gay adoptions as a GOP Florida state representative from a district in the Florida panhandle, the most conservative part of the state. Furthermore, he persuaded his father, a GOP Florida state senator from the panhandle, to support gay adoptions.

    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    You mean reporters in Fort Walton Beach were talking smack about Gaetz as a college student 15 years ago?


    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.

    Thanks for stealing that base. It was entertaining.

    Don't know the Portmans personally, but I'm familiar with their type. I'd be quite surprised to discover any evidence that Rob Portman and his wife have ever adhered to any viewpoint that would be considered outre in a country club setting in a given year. Here's a hypothesis: he allows himself to be jerked around by his late adolescent son because there just isn't much there there.

    I actually read Portman Jr's 'announcement' in the Yale student newspaper as it was put online. On the one hand, it's an exercise in exhibitionism, an answer to a question no one had asked. On the other hand, his account is stripped of anything that might be peculiar to him as an individual (in spite of his inclusion of witless detail like where he wrote the letter to his parents and the service he used to mail it to Ohio). Supposedly his parents ask him a long list of questions (none of which he cares to tell us), but they don't give him any pushback at all. He could have written that op-ed by filling in the blanks of a template supplied by the Human Rights Campaign.


    No clue about Gaetz. It's my sense of the matter, though, that if he's been striking a pose to keep his constituents off his back, this is one issue he'd avoid.
    , @S. Anonyia
    I live near this district. It’s conservative but not that much so. Right of center. Also a lot of rich gays (surprisingly) live around Pensacola, maybe his gay adoption position was a ploy for their support.
  110. @Altai
    Isn't this also the origin story of Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of modern 'political Islam'?

    This also reminds me of when an English RAF base hosted Libyan 'cadets' after the fall of Gaddafi to be trained in as the officer corps of a new national army. The men, though, were from basically tribal militias who were the West's 'friends' who turned out to be less progressive and culturally Western than Gaddafi. When allowed into town unaccompanied the recruits immediately set about engaging in sexual assaults against the local townsfolk and even raped a man, with several also going AWOL and claiming asylum.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-37656367
    Read the whole BBC article for more details of their rampages.


    Compensation has been paid by the Ministry of Defence to people sexually abused by Libyan soldiers in Cambridge.

    More than 300 cadets had been brought to the UK in 2014 for training at Bassingbourn barracks, Cambridgeshire.

    Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls.

    Lawyers for the male victim and one of the teenagers confirmed the MoD had agreed to pay them damages, believed to be tens of thousands of pounds.
     

    Per Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassingbourn_Barracks#Libyan_cadet_scandal

    In June 2014, the barracks reopened to train Libyan troops. Although nearby residents were originally informed that the Libyan cadets would only be permitted to leave the base on escorted visits the rules were subsequently relaxed. Shortly afterwards, a number of complaints of sexual assault were made against some of the trainees. Five were later charged with a series of sexual offences against both women and men: of these, two appeared before Cambridge Magistrates' Court and admitted carrying out a series of assaults on women in Cambridge's Market Square area on 26 October 2014, two were charged with raping a man in Cambridge, and the fifth was charged with three counts of sexual assault. As a result, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to terminate the training programme early, saying in a statement in November 2014: "Training was initially expected to last until the end of November but we have agreed with the Libyan government that it is best for all involved to bring forward the training completion date. The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days”. It was also discovered that a further five of the trainees had applied for asylum in the UK.

    On 15 May 2015, two Libyan cadets were each jailed for 12 years for raping a man in Cambridge in a prolonged attack in Christ's Pieces, a park in the city centre. Following the sentencing, Andrew Lansley, the South Cambridgeshire MP at the time that the attacks took place, told the BBC "mistakes had been made" adding that he hoped the sentencing would provide some "redress" and acknowledging that "discipline inside the base really fell apart". A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it "condemned" the incidents adding that such training "will not be repeated at Bassingbourn. Following the conclusion of the training the prime minister tasked the MoD with producing a report on the programme and the defence secretary has now presented its findings to the House of Commons".

    After the rape trial verdicts were returned, it was revealed that three other Libyans cadets had already pleaded guilty to unrelated sex attacks which had taken place in Cambridge on the same night. They had been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on 13 May but reporting restrictions had been in place until the rape case was concluded. Of the three defendants, one admitted two counts of sexual assault and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 12 months; the second admitted three counts of sexual assault, one count of exposure and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed 10 months; the third admitted two counts of sexual assault, one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and the theft of a bicycle and was jailed for 10 months. All three were put on the sex offender register for 10 years.
     

    The people in charge of our countries know what they’re doing, they love us and want us to thrive and be happy. Please everyone, let’s ignore the naysayers and rumourmongers who who say otherwise.

    “Two of them raped a man and, on the same night, three other cadets sexually assaulted four teenage girls”. The real tragedy would be if talking about this led to a rise in intolerance.

  111. @china-russia-all-the-way
    China is making lots of electric vehicles. Buy them when they come to a dealership in the US.

    Don’t hold your breath. Chinese vehicles have made almost zero inroads on the US vehicle market for a number of reasons and that is not going to change any time soon. Even if economic conditions would point to such a change, political conditions do not. The trade imbalance is already bad and the US is not going to let it get worse by having the Chinese take market share from US auto manufacturers. The Asians already ate half of Detroit’s lunch decades ago and we are not going to let the Chinese eat the rest.

    To some extent, the switch to electric negates the US manufacturer’s 100 year plus technological head start but not completely – an electric car is still a car.

  112. Meanwhile:

    Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops
    December 07, 2019
    […]
    The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally.

    Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.
    […]
    Concern among U.S. officials runs deep, partly because other surveys have also found a growing willingness in the U.S. to view Russia positively.
    […]
    “It is dangerous,” said Jorge Benitez, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who specializes in transatlantic relations, U.S. security and Russia.

    https://www.voanews.com/usa/pentagon-concerned-russia-cultivating-sympathy-among-us-troops

    “Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came”.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Honestly, a world where the US and Russia work to oppose/contain China is far preferable to the world the US Deep State is creating where Russia and China work to oppose/contain the US.

    I'm not all that surprised by the VOA article. For anecdotal evidence, one can go on YouTube and find hundreds of videos where US military/spec ops go and train with their Russian counterparts. Almost invariably the Western folks come away with friendly, favorable impressions of the folks on the Russian side.
  113. @Altai

    It’s amazing how nakedly globalist the Guardian has become, especially since UK police/MI5/6 went through all their computers. I wonder what kompromat they found?
     
    I think it's more fundamental. After Iraq, many Americans turned to the Guardian online as an alternative news source. At the very least after that the Guardian expanded into the US and created a US office and online US edition of the Guardian. This meant the Guardian became infiltrated by some of the same kinds of silent veto that existed in US newsrooms. US staff, particularly editors and other higherups would likely have brought the greater Israeli bias and more US-style coverage of the Middle East as well as other things, like turbo social permissiveness and neoliberalism.

    Another event which may also have happened in conjunction with this was an orchestrated effort to put more of those kinds of people into the Guardian in a deliberate effort to silence an emerging 'safe' (You'd be surprised how many people are so bad at using the internet that they feel like anywhere non MSM is InfoWars) alternative source of news on Israeli and US foreign policy in the Middle East.

    It's interesting to note that Mark Thompson became BBC (Another source Americans turned to in response to the US MSM uniformly pushing what they knew to be lies to support an invasion of Iraq) director general in 2004 and distinguished his long tenure with conspicuous pro-Israel bias.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#Accusations_of_pro-Israeli_editorial_stance

    Thompson would later have an odd career progression for a former BBC DG and became CEO of The New York Times Company immediately after leaving the BBC...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)#President_and_CEO_of_The_New_York_Times_Company:_2012%E2%80%93present

    Thompson is fully English but married to an American Jewish woman from New York from a prominent family. (Her father was Baruch Samuel Blumberg, inventor of the Hep B vaccine)

    Reading between the lines of what you are saying, open anti-Semitism (in the guise of “anti-Zionism”) is much more acceptable in UK Labour circles than in US Democrat circles. A lot of big city liberal Democrats in the US are either Jewish or married to Jews or work in the same circles as Jews, much more so than in the UK. And the money side of the Democrat Party is even more heavily Jewish – the top fund raisers and contributors.

    In order for The Guardian to be acceptable to mainstream liberal American circles they could not maintain the kind of strident anti-Israel line that is now common on the European left, where Israel is seen as some kind of apartheid pariah state like South Africa used to be. Most Americans, even “liberals” don’t see Israel in that light.

    And you are going to see that kind of gap all across the spectrum. If in the UK (and I don’t have actual poll numbers) 50% of mainstream and 90% of far left voters would agree that Israel is an apartheid state, in the US the corresponding numbers would be say 5% and 45% so even on the farthest left fringe you are not going to find universal agreement on this.

    • Agree: Lot, Jesse
    • Replies: @Lot
    “ And the money side of the Democrat Party is even more heavily Jewish – the top fund raisers and contributors.”

    The UK is interesting in that money is a lot less important in politics. They have no primary elections and short campaign seasons. The elections themselves are nationalized and the major parties get their message out for free on BBC.

    The long campaign before the Brexit vote was closer to a mega-donor American style election.

    “ The campaign to leave the European Union was mostly funded by five of the UK’s richest businessmen, a new study has revealed.

    The five donors – including Leave.EU’s Arron Banks, Crystal Palace co-owner Jeremy Hosking, investment billionaire Peter Hargreaves, motoring entrepreneur Robert Edmiston and hedge fund manager Crispin Odey – contributed £14.9m out of the total £24.1m in donations and loans given to the leave campaigns in the five months leading up to the referendum.”
  114. @Sean
    Israel was originally backed by the Soviet Union. Through Czechoslovakia Stalin had sent Israel vital weapons in 1948 while the West embargoed it. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion worried lest the Korean war might escalate and sever Israel's lifeline in the Mediterranean so there was a pivotal re aligning with the US. The Suez war was complained about by America, but in 1958, radical nationalist forces were threatening the western client regimes in Lebanon and Jordan. Eisenhower sent U.S. troops to Lebanon and sent strategic aid to Jordan.. Saudi Arabia refused to allow use of their air space, and that gave Israel its chance. It was happy to cooperate with its new protector/ paymaster,.

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ike-was-pro-israel-heres-why/
    This was reflected in the August 1958 memorandum submitted to the National Security Council by the NSC Planning Board, which concluded:

    “It is doubtful whether any likely US pressure on Israel would cause Israel to make concessions which would do much to satisfy Arab demands which—in the final analysis—may not be satisfied by anything short of the destruction of Israel. Moreover, if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, then a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only pro-West power left in the Near East.”
     

     
    Unfortunately, and as happened with the Diem regime in South Vietnam, America has got nothing but trouble from its supposed ally. They cannot be used against the problem of radical nationalist Arabs who think the Arab population should be the beneficiaries of their regions natural resource wealth instead of the Western created artificial Gulf States designed to separating the population from the oil. And the US army cannot be kept in Saudi Arabia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khobar_Towers_bombing#Attribution_to_al-Qaeda

    In May 1996 Bin Laden and his entourage moved from Sudan to Afghanistan. As if to make the point that they might have been chased out of Sudan by Saudi Arabia and the US they were not leaving with their tails between their legs, al Qaeda struck again: The June bombing of Khobar Towers. The Saudi authorities were at pains to implicate Shi'i militants backed by Iran in this attack, since the embarrassing truth that they had their very own homegrown militancy problem was inadmissible; they did not want to give the impression that there was domestic opposition to the deployment of US troops on Saudi soil.
     

    The threat from Iran, now with a continuity extending through the majority of Iraq, means the Saud family regieme cannot win if it merely lets the situation develop: either the their own people outraged at the presence of an infidel US army, or the Persians will topple them. The only option is to destroy Iran.

    Excellent post, especially the fact that Russia introduced and lobbied the 1948 UN resolution that made Israel a nation.

    The turnover of the latest American radar to communist Czechoslovakia in 1949 was treason and the Jewish pilots and other Jewish military men who flew the radar to Czechoslovakia were traitors who should have been punished as the Rosenbergs were.

    Interesting that the tiny percentage of Jews who go into our military like the Vindeman twins end up in such strategic positions where they can do the most damage?

    I can see it in civilian occupations, but the military?

  115. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.
     
    So says Corvinus, whose political philosophy is based on violating the last three commandments of the Decalogue, and condescends to school the unwashed with his brilliant Biblical hermeneutics and dispositive Constitutional interpretations.

    “So says Corvinus…”

    No, so says the Founders.

    “whose political philosophy is based on violating the last three commandments of the Decalogue…”

    You mean protecting their sanctity.

    “and condescends to school the unwashed with his brilliant Biblical hermeneutics and dispositive Constitutional interpretations.”

    Thank you for recognizing my greatness.

  116. @Dave Pinsen
    Matt Gaetz, the Florida congressman who hired Darren Beattie, tweeted a video yesterday calling for extreme vetting of foreign military personnel and talking about how important it is for them to train here, but neither point makes much sense. Vetting is impossible for people from countries that are too corrupt or backward to have reliable records, and why do we need Saudis trained in American military systems? So we can work with them to bomb Houthis, about which, why are we helping Saudis bomb them anyway? It’s not as if we’re in some existential war against another super power where the Saudi military plays some crucial component.

    We’re helping the saudis bomb them so we can sell more bombs and warren buffets portfolio improves.

  117. Anonymous[163] • Disclaimer says:

    You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?

    You know, Steve, you can’t expect someone to remain a good friend when you are stealing land from their people and ethnic cleansing them. This man was set off by US complicity in the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You know, Steve, you can’t expect someone to remain a good friend when you are stealing land from their people and ethnic cleansing them. This man was set off by US complicity in the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

    No one's land was stolen. That aside, Nejdi and Hijazi Arabs weren't living in those Ottoman subprefectures.
    , @Jack D
    The rest of the Arab world doesn't give a god damn about the Palestinians. This is clear from they way they have treated the Palestinian refugees in their countries. A Guatemalan is 1/2 way to being an American the minute he crosses the border fence but Palestinians that have been in Saudi Arabia for 70 years are still not Saudi and never will be.

    The 9/11 guys and this guy don't want the Americans out of Israel, they want them out of the holy land of Saudi Arabia. Palestine is something that excites Western Leftists and right wing anti-Semites much more than it excites non-Palestinian Arabs.

    Lately, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been getting along rather well because Iran is their common enemy. Never mind that Israelis are Jews and Iranians are Muslims. They hate Iranians much much more.
  118. @(((They))) Live
    They have about ten years left, EVs and fracking will bankrupt them soon enough

    Saudi oil is much cheaper to produce than oil from fracking (as well as the other growing non-OPEC+ source, Canada’s tar sands).

    I think we should encourage both fracking and EVs (and natural gas vehicles) because it hurts our strategic rivals in OPEC+, but I just am not so optimistic on how big the effect will be.

    China and the rest of east Asia will be happy to take all the oil Saudi Arabia can produce at a very profitable price.

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    Yeah I know that, but their issue is that they need a certain oil price to pay for the ever growing population, they will always be selling oil at a profit, but they need $100 a barrel to balance the budget

    They are slowly going broke, which is why a small piece of Aramco was sold off

  119. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    The Saudis and other Gulf states own a significant portion of the American capital markets.
    Wall Street and Silicon Valley demands we be friends with Saudi Arabia- a barbaric, low-IQ, theocracy that uses their money to fund terror attacks on Americans

  120. @ATBOTL
    Who are the moron white Evangelical Southerners voting for this guy? North Florida has a reputation as being one of the dumbest places in America, but damn. We need a nationalist party now. The GOP will never be any good.

    He’s a third generation politician.

  121. @Jack D
    Reading between the lines of what you are saying, open anti-Semitism (in the guise of "anti-Zionism") is much more acceptable in UK Labour circles than in US Democrat circles. A lot of big city liberal Democrats in the US are either Jewish or married to Jews or work in the same circles as Jews, much more so than in the UK. And the money side of the Democrat Party is even more heavily Jewish - the top fund raisers and contributors.

    In order for The Guardian to be acceptable to mainstream liberal American circles they could not maintain the kind of strident anti-Israel line that is now common on the European left, where Israel is seen as some kind of apartheid pariah state like South Africa used to be. Most Americans, even "liberals" don't see Israel in that light.

    And you are going to see that kind of gap all across the spectrum. If in the UK (and I don't have actual poll numbers) 50% of mainstream and 90% of far left voters would agree that Israel is an apartheid state, in the US the corresponding numbers would be say 5% and 45% so even on the farthest left fringe you are not going to find universal agreement on this.

    “ And the money side of the Democrat Party is even more heavily Jewish – the top fund raisers and contributors.”

    The UK is interesting in that money is a lot less important in politics. They have no primary elections and short campaign seasons. The elections themselves are nationalized and the major parties get their message out for free on BBC.

    The long campaign before the Brexit vote was closer to a mega-donor American style election.

    “ The campaign to leave the European Union was mostly funded by five of the UK’s richest businessmen, a new study has revealed.

    The five donors – including Leave.EU’s Arron Banks, Crystal Palace co-owner Jeremy Hosking, investment billionaire Peter Hargreaves, motoring entrepreneur Robert Edmiston and hedge fund manager Crispin Odey – contributed £14.9m out of the total £24.1m in donations and loans given to the leave campaigns in the five months leading up to the referendum.”

  122. “Sources identified the suspected gunman as Saudi Air Force aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani”

    WTF ! I thought we learned our lesson after 9/11. We are still teaching these POS how to fly. Next thing you know they will hi-jack maybe an F-115 loaded with shit and fly it into some building in DC.

    How F******g stupid are our leaders! Or maybe itz just greed.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Mark Steyn on how we remember nothing: https://www.steynonline.com/9896/too-stupid-to-survive-cont
  123. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    The tribes responsible should have been napalmed. Napalm is something these people understand.

    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals.

    The tribes responsible should have been napalmed. Napalm is something these people understand.

    I dunno. At least they were defending home turf from invaders.

    I would respect the West more if it castrated or scalped all the migrant-invaders pouring into US and Europe. That oughta send a message.

    But it seems PC has castrated white pride and cucks to wholesale immigration-invasion.

    There was a time when, if non-white foreigners routinely violated US sovereignty and illegally invaded American territory, entire white mobs would have set upon the marauders and taught them a lesson. Those were better times.

  124. @Corvinus
    "When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic."

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that "test", i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those "good" and "bad" deeds.

    “That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.”

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist.

    • Replies: @Boy the way Glenn Miller played

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist.
     
    I believe that he got that one from Nancy Pelosi a few years ago.
    , @Corvinus
    "Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist."

    "Separation of church and state" is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    Were you asleep in Civics class?
  125. @Anonymous

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.
     
    Portman started supporting gay marriage shortly after his son came out as gay in 2011.

    Gaetz promoted gay adoptions as a GOP Florida state representative from a district in the Florida panhandle, the most conservative part of the state. Furthermore, he persuaded his father, a GOP Florida state senator from the panhandle, to support gay adoptions.

    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.

    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    You mean reporters in Fort Walton Beach were talking smack about Gaetz as a college student 15 years ago?

    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.

    Thanks for stealing that base. It was entertaining.

    Don’t know the Portmans personally, but I’m familiar with their type. I’d be quite surprised to discover any evidence that Rob Portman and his wife have ever adhered to any viewpoint that would be considered outre in a country club setting in a given year. Here’s a hypothesis: he allows himself to be jerked around by his late adolescent son because there just isn’t much there there.

    I actually read Portman Jr’s ‘announcement’ in the Yale student newspaper as it was put online. On the one hand, it’s an exercise in exhibitionism, an answer to a question no one had asked. On the other hand, his account is stripped of anything that might be peculiar to him as an individual (in spite of his inclusion of witless detail like where he wrote the letter to his parents and the service he used to mail it to Ohio). Supposedly his parents ask him a long list of questions (none of which he cares to tell us), but they don’t give him any pushback at all. He could have written that op-ed by filling in the blanks of a template supplied by the Human Rights Campaign.

    No clue about Gaetz. It’s my sense of the matter, though, that if he’s been striking a pose to keep his constituents off his back, this is one issue he’d avoid.

  126. @Anonymous

    You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?
     
    You know, Steve, you can’t expect someone to remain a good friend when you are stealing land from their people and ethnic cleansing them. This man was set off by US complicity in the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

    You know, Steve, you can’t expect someone to remain a good friend when you are stealing land from their people and ethnic cleansing them. This man was set off by US complicity in the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

    No one’s land was stolen. That aside, Nejdi and Hijazi Arabs weren’t living in those Ottoman subprefectures.

  127. OT: The World’s Most Important Graph reaches the mainstream Youtube world:

  128. @J.Ross
    Jeb vacationed at the villa of a Mexican crimelord/politician and W's open borders push was exactly what the Mexican vampire caste/elites wanted, coordinated with them or not.

    Really? Someone is monitoring where Jeb Bush (who has spent about 3/4 of his adult life as a private citizen) vacations? And George Bush is deemed to have ‘deep ties’ to someone with whom he’s never co-ordinated any activity?

  129. @Corvinus
    "When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic."

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that "test", i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those "good" and "bad" deeds.

    There is no “separation of church and state” clause in the Constitution. At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.

    Idiot.

    • Replies: @Dannyboy
    LOL...Corvie thinks Frankfurt School Jews actually founded America.
    , @Jim Don Bob

    At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.
     
    Not just official religions, but religions that were supported by tax money, The you-cant-say-a-prayer-at-a-football-game BS was started by Madelyn Murray O'Hare (sp?) and has been supported and expanded by the Left to destroy religion in the USA and piss off the Deplorables.
  130. @Magic Dirt Resident
    "That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution."

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn't exist.

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist.

    I believe that he got that one from Nancy Pelosi a few years ago.

  131. @Anonymous

    You know … maybe the Saudis aren’t really our natural best friends forever?
     
    You know, Steve, you can’t expect someone to remain a good friend when you are stealing land from their people and ethnic cleansing them. This man was set off by US complicity in the Jewish conquest of Palestine.

    The rest of the Arab world doesn’t give a god damn about the Palestinians. This is clear from they way they have treated the Palestinian refugees in their countries. A Guatemalan is 1/2 way to being an American the minute he crosses the border fence but Palestinians that have been in Saudi Arabia for 70 years are still not Saudi and never will be.

    The 9/11 guys and this guy don’t want the Americans out of Israel, they want them out of the holy land of Saudi Arabia. Palestine is something that excites Western Leftists and right wing anti-Semites much more than it excites non-Palestinian Arabs.

    Lately, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been getting along rather well because Iran is their common enemy. Never mind that Israelis are Jews and Iranians are Muslims. They hate Iranians much much more.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Disagree. They have a certain stance on Israel's conflicts with neighboring Arabs and have maintained that stance for over seven decades. What they're not going to do is inconvenience themselves on behalf of that Arab population above and beyond foregoing commercial trade with Israel (which has an economy of modest dimensions) and paying some protection money to gangsters in that Arab population. Jordan was willing to absorb refugees from the former mandatory Palestine (and other Arab migrant populations) on roughly equal terms with their indigenous Arabs (King Hussein's third wife and King Abdullah's wife were both from that strand of the population). The franchise of those on the UNRWA rolls in Syria were supposedly proximate to those of Syrian citizens, though they were prohibited naturalization. Lebanon could not grant them citizenship without upsetting the confessional balance in the country and the Gulf Emirates hardly naturalize anyone because citizenship there is a fantastically valuable commodity and foreigners seldom reside there for longer than a discrete span of years, so it's nuttin' personal.
  132. @William Badwhite
    There is no "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution. At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.

    Idiot.

    LOL…Corvie thinks Frankfurt School Jews actually founded America.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    I sometimes wonder if he's a troll - he's such a weird combo of being constantly wrong while also being insufferable. I have him on "commenters to ignore" but sometimes see others responding to him and get curious and look and...nope he's wrong again.
  133. @Colin Wright
    '... It’s reported that three of them filmed the shooting as it happened...'

    Dimwits. Didn't they realize that only Jews are allowed to film terrorist attacks as they happen?

    But the Saudis are now BFF with Israel.

  134. @Jack D
    The rest of the Arab world doesn't give a god damn about the Palestinians. This is clear from they way they have treated the Palestinian refugees in their countries. A Guatemalan is 1/2 way to being an American the minute he crosses the border fence but Palestinians that have been in Saudi Arabia for 70 years are still not Saudi and never will be.

    The 9/11 guys and this guy don't want the Americans out of Israel, they want them out of the holy land of Saudi Arabia. Palestine is something that excites Western Leftists and right wing anti-Semites much more than it excites non-Palestinian Arabs.

    Lately, Saudi Arabia and Israel have been getting along rather well because Iran is their common enemy. Never mind that Israelis are Jews and Iranians are Muslims. They hate Iranians much much more.

    Disagree. They have a certain stance on Israel’s conflicts with neighboring Arabs and have maintained that stance for over seven decades. What they’re not going to do is inconvenience themselves on behalf of that Arab population above and beyond foregoing commercial trade with Israel (which has an economy of modest dimensions) and paying some protection money to gangsters in that Arab population. Jordan was willing to absorb refugees from the former mandatory Palestine (and other Arab migrant populations) on roughly equal terms with their indigenous Arabs (King Hussein’s third wife and King Abdullah’s wife were both from that strand of the population). The franchise of those on the UNRWA rolls in Syria were supposedly proximate to those of Syrian citizens, though they were prohibited naturalization. Lebanon could not grant them citizenship without upsetting the confessional balance in the country and the Gulf Emirates hardly naturalize anyone because citizenship there is a fantastically valuable commodity and foreigners seldom reside there for longer than a discrete span of years, so it’s nuttin’ personal.

  135. @Reg Cæsar
    Back in 1977, the Navy base in Orlando was crawling with nuclear students in caps that read "Imperial Iranian Navy'.

    Kinda says something about the shortsightedness of the MIC: seems foolhardy to have exchange programs with foreign militaries that are friends-of-convenience.

    At least they were identifiable: the Fifth Column of important enemy nations tend to blend in a little better (being white[-ish] and having fellow-travellers in the indigenous population).

    Folks get het up about individual acts of malice, while they largely ignore other shit that imposes costs orders of magnitude higher.

    Obviously it’s a rather up-close-and-personal issue for the individuals actually being shot to death (and their next of kin)… but in aggregate it’s a pinprick.

    .

    Data is interesting.

    People are more likely to be killed by a cop, than by an Arab terrrrrrrrist – by more than 2 orders of magnitude, even including outliers like Foreign Policy Blowback Day.

    inb4 dummies start conditioning on race, criminality etc. Pigs kill ~30 unarmed, non-aggressing white guys a year.

    Overall cops kill more people per week than terrrrrrists kill in the median year. (Most of the vics deserve it, amirite? Makes total sense for a society to vest almost-unconditional judge/jury/executioner power in people who were high-school washouts).

    In fact people are more likely to die as a result of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (~320 deaths/yr; lifetime odds 1:10,000), than as a result of a scowling bearded numbskull (median: 6 deaths/yr; mode: 0 deaths/yr; lifetime odds strictly less than 1:600,000).

    A note on the data:

    The “scowling bearded numbskull” numbers are wildly overstated, because the ‘terrrrrrist‘ deaths includes people killed by anti-abortion activists, Tim McVeigh, and even the Unabomber (it’s all deaths recorded as terrrrrrrist-related since 1970).

    Of all the radical-Muzzie-orchestrated terrrrrist deaths since “Foreign Policy Blowback Day“, to be a victim required you to be at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on the night of June 12 20i6. (That reduces the conditional risk significantly, if you live outside of America’s Wang).

    .

    Let’s assume a VSL* of ~$5 million – almost certainly an over-estimate. (My considered estimate of the VSL at the median is $1.5m – but I’m a bit of a misanthrope)

    What is the effective death toll caused by the funnelling government funds towards the preferences of people whose first loyalty is not to the country whose bureaucracy pays their salaries?

    .

    Eisenhower indicated that he had a handle on this in his “Cross of Iron” speech –

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    That’s fine as far as it goes – a fairly clear exposition of the notion of opportunity cost – but it’s still missing government misfeasance that has nothing to do with military affairs. This was a smaller part of government expenditure in the West in the 1960s, but people like Bastiat understood the scale of the problem a century earlier.

    The death toll from policies that raise the cost of energy (notionally in a bid to reduce the planet’s average temperature 80 years hence), will be in the tens of millions in the West. Nobody gives a fuck because the ‘perp’ doesn’t have a beard and a scowl.

    * VSL: Value of a Statistical Life. Estimates are generally poorly-specified – they tend to focus on an individual’s valuation of the mitigation of a specific risk (e.g., what an individual is prepared to pay to reduce your risk of death by 0.01% over the next year).

    This has – as a foundational premise – that a 0.01% risk of death is a meaningful quantity to the person being asked (i.e., it’s within their cognitive framework). At the very least this implies that they must know what their all-cause risk is, to 2 decimal places.

    That’s a very bad premise because most people are innumerate – and a lot of people who are numerate use bad inputs (e.g., they get their guess at risk based on media representations of the relative risk of different things).

    It is well-established that the average person understands the ramifications of “billions” or “trillions” in the same way a dog understands carburettors; that is also true when things get into small-ish percentages.

    People intuitively recoil in horror if their credit card APR is 19%, but they don’t care (much) if they can get a 30 basis-point rebate on the MER on their mutual fund; the second thing has long-term consequences that outweigh the credit card APR.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    Kinda says something about the shortsightedness of the MIC: seems foolhardy to have exchange programs with foreign militaries that are friends-of-convenience.
     
    Yes and no.

    Those same foreign militaries are apt to stop buying all the expensive MIC toys if they are not able to crew them with semi-competent citizens.

    Providing training allays the crewing fears and supplies yet another revenue stream for the MIC.
  136. anon[710] • Disclaimer says:

    Why do Americans believe that brown people from distant lands share the same a corresponding value system?

    First and foremost, and the reason Michael Jackson ran to the Saudi’s after his boy hole was raided is the upper echelons of the Arab world are overrepresented by boy butt-fu*kers.

    Until recently, they would buy Paki orphan boys for the primary intent of butt-f*cking them, morning, noon, and night. They would bring them in as “camel jockys,” strapping 3 year old boys on the backs of camels for betting events, then butt-reem the boys in their off time.

    Since it was brought out into the open, around 2003, it’s been outlawed. Now they use “robots,” but I can’t imagine orphan Paki toddler butts are not being utilized under a different guise.

    The Muslim world is a dark world, regardless of anyone’s western political fantasies. As Rudyard Kipling tried to point out long ago, ignore the fundamental discrepancies and there will be tears.

    They’re not our “friends,” because ultimately, they can’t be.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    Why do Americans believe that brown people from distant lands share the same a corresponding value system?
     
    US Americans really need to believe that inside every foreigner there is a US American waiting to emerge, like a butterfly from a chrysalis. This is because they believe that the US system is a fine 'ol solution for mankind.

    The Muslim world is a dark world, regardless of anyone’s western political fantasies.
     
    Correct. The Han Chinese and Burmese are the groups that are currently demonstrating the most correct approach to solving the problem.
  137. @Lot
    Saudi oil is much cheaper to produce than oil from fracking (as well as the other growing non-OPEC+ source, Canada’s tar sands).

    I think we should encourage both fracking and EVs (and natural gas vehicles) because it hurts our strategic rivals in OPEC+, but I just am not so optimistic on how big the effect will be.

    China and the rest of east Asia will be happy to take all the oil Saudi Arabia can produce at a very profitable price.

    Yeah I know that, but their issue is that they need a certain oil price to pay for the ever growing population, they will always be selling oil at a profit, but they need $100 a barrel to balance the budget

    They are slowly going broke, which is why a small piece of Aramco was sold off

  138. @Ron Mexico
    You are correct. All governments are Satanic in that they are not Of Christ, but Of the World. I admire our Founders for trying to set up a New Jerusalem, but that Temple will always be torn down. Regardless, as Franklin intimated, this isn't the best government, but I'm not sure we could do better.

    Oh brother, it’s hard to tell if this is satire.

    Don’t you realize the idea that America was founded for the purpose of some special religious destiny is the root of all our current problems? It sets up ideological traps and emotional baggage for both the right and left.

    An America that is an unapologetic pioneer nation founded by fortune-seekers is an America capable of interstellar travel.

  139. @Anonymous

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    The rumors actually go back to his salad days when he was in his early 20s and his father was a GOP state senator.

    IOW, he’s a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.
     
    Portman started supporting gay marriage shortly after his son came out as gay in 2011.

    Gaetz promoted gay adoptions as a GOP Florida state representative from a district in the Florida panhandle, the most conservative part of the state. Furthermore, he persuaded his father, a GOP Florida state senator from the panhandle, to support gay adoptions.

    It was personal for Portman and the Gaetzes.

    I live near this district. It’s conservative but not that much so. Right of center. Also a lot of rich gays (surprisingly) live around Pensacola, maybe his gay adoption position was a ploy for their support.

  140. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Whiskey
    This post and the comments on them shows the biggest issue with "our guys": overly moralistic, seeing complicated matters in Black and White, prone to scapegoating, and unable to understand simple economics.

    The Saudi people are primitive tribesmen who if they had no oil would be the Afghanistan of the ME. Unfortunately for the world they not only have oil but are the SWING producers. Meaning they can ramp up production and drive prices down or reduce production and drive them up. No other nation alone can do this. Which means if we want to keep unstable, erratic, America running we'd better have affordable oil and prop up the rotten, even more unstable Saudi regime.

    When the Crown Prince hangs his cousin upside down in the Marriot Ballroom and has him beaten on the soles of his feet until he coughs up most of his cash, that's an unstable regime. Muslitms from Saudi going on a Jihad rampage while filming for World Star Jihad Hop is no shock. It was stupid to have them trained anywhere in the US. Since this is utterly predictable. But if you like gas at an affordable $4.00 a gallon (here in SoCal) instead of say $20 or $30 then propping up the Saudis is required.

    Russia and Iran are not our friends -- they are based on a corrupt network as bad as the Saudi model of corruption, patronage, various princelings, but with much less swing capacity for production and enough robust militaries they don't need our military protection in exchange for keeping the oil price where the US wants it -- which means you keep your car and you're not herded off into a camp for a "final solution" to the White man problem if Warren or Bernie come into power to make their backers happy (you: dead; them: owning your stuff).

    The Saudis both people and rulers, awful. But who and what does anyone propose take over their swing production of oil? Wakanda? Star Fleet? Darth Vader? There is literally no one else to keep your car's tank filled. Oil is mostly (not exactly) fungible, and with rising Chinese demand we have less margin to keep the world price low and thus not having mobs of vibrants demanding your stuff and you dead.

    When they can no longer swing the price of oil, then we have to face our issues straight up, and that’s good.

    Anyone who has ever been in the “alternate energy” business knows the story: people get interested when oil is high for long enough that the pain is registering. But the very instant oil drops back down they lose interest immediately.

    Natural gas is the way to go for vehicle in the short term. If they can build a battery out of stuff we can mine economically here in the US and if we can build out nuclear power and charge only at night to level off the crest factor of power demand, then electric vehicles will make sense but otherwise not.

    Oil needs to go high and STAY HIGH and investors need to be guaranteed it will sty high long enough to guarantee payback on infrstructure.

    So, DIE, cheap easy to lift Saudi swing crude! DIE, DIE, DIE!!!!

  141. anon[411] • Disclaimer says:
    @Whiskey
    This post and the comments on them shows the biggest issue with "our guys": overly moralistic, seeing complicated matters in Black and White, prone to scapegoating, and unable to understand simple economics.

    The Saudi people are primitive tribesmen who if they had no oil would be the Afghanistan of the ME. Unfortunately for the world they not only have oil but are the SWING producers. Meaning they can ramp up production and drive prices down or reduce production and drive them up. No other nation alone can do this. Which means if we want to keep unstable, erratic, America running we'd better have affordable oil and prop up the rotten, even more unstable Saudi regime.

    When the Crown Prince hangs his cousin upside down in the Marriot Ballroom and has him beaten on the soles of his feet until he coughs up most of his cash, that's an unstable regime. Muslitms from Saudi going on a Jihad rampage while filming for World Star Jihad Hop is no shock. It was stupid to have them trained anywhere in the US. Since this is utterly predictable. But if you like gas at an affordable $4.00 a gallon (here in SoCal) instead of say $20 or $30 then propping up the Saudis is required.

    Russia and Iran are not our friends -- they are based on a corrupt network as bad as the Saudi model of corruption, patronage, various princelings, but with much less swing capacity for production and enough robust militaries they don't need our military protection in exchange for keeping the oil price where the US wants it -- which means you keep your car and you're not herded off into a camp for a "final solution" to the White man problem if Warren or Bernie come into power to make their backers happy (you: dead; them: owning your stuff).

    The Saudis both people and rulers, awful. But who and what does anyone propose take over their swing production of oil? Wakanda? Star Fleet? Darth Vader? There is literally no one else to keep your car's tank filled. Oil is mostly (not exactly) fungible, and with rising Chinese demand we have less margin to keep the world price low and thus not having mobs of vibrants demanding your stuff and you dead.

    The Saudi’s are no longer the primary swing producer. The US is effectively petroleum independent.

    There is confusion around US refiners preference for heavier crude, but suffice it to say we import heavier oil and export lighter grades. It’s both more difficult and more profitable to refine heavier oil. The fact we refine a different grade than we produce makes little difference.

    The US has nothing in place to limit oil production when prices become unprofitable, which has led both Russia and SA to offset at least some of the US growth.

  142. @captflee
    Reg,

    Yep.

    SM/QM A school?

    An IQ-related story. Signalmen and quartermasters (i.e, navigators to any ground forces guys reading) were separate ratings in the Navy, but combined in the Coast Guard. Coastiest thus went through both six-week schools, on the same base.

    We regularly dominated the top of the continent’s class. If anything was odd about ours was that the best Navy guy finished ahead of our bottom (#6) man. (Kind of like one of Wilson’s West Virginia electors in 1916; that state went 7-1 for Hughes.)

    The veteran instructor asked the class on the very last day why this was so. We chewed over hypotheses like we’d had experience as deckies rather than coming fresh out of basic, or that most of us were college dropouts.

    We discovered the real reason a few weeks later, in the QM class. We were definitely not at the top of that, just spread more normally.

    Quartermasters were simply smarter than signalmen, who are just as nerdy, but closer to the mean.

    I’m sure there are academic counterparts to this situation. Are there classes that draw from two divergent strains, one of which dominates the other?

    • Replies: @captflee
    Reg,

    I left NTC Orlando mid-77, following a year's sojourn on one WLB in San Juan , bound for another in Mobile. We picked our next duty stations based on class rank in SM school, which I thought was a fairly damned effective motivational tactic from the bastards, so the 5 Coasties in the class also finished 1-4 and 6, same as your class.

    Alas, the quality of available billets left a bit to be desired, as they ranged from me at #1 to "Mort the Snort" at #6, off to the lush island life of Adak. Probably should have picked that WHEC in Seattle, which unbeknownst to me was going to go through a long shipyard and thus avoid many unnecessary months of getting one's brains beaten out in the Gulf of Alaska, but that would have changed my future, and I am by and large a satisfied man. Better that that billet went to my UT dropout buddy,who bested me to take top place in QM school for at least a Coastie 1-2. Where Jim, Uncle Weenie, and Mort finished, I do not recall, but your experience with the squids doing relatively better than in SM school doubtless held true here as well.
  143. @Corvinus
    "When you consider that Satanism is the inversion of Christianity and all it stands for, and that the government breaks all ten commandments on a daily basis, you realize it’s literally Satanic."

    Assuming that our government and the actions of our officials are, or ought to be, squarely based on the Ten Commandments. That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    Were you asleep in civics class?

    Furthermore, you must take each individual act and subject it to that "test", i.e. whether it broke a Commandment, and look at the totality of those "good" and "bad" deeds.

    That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.

    No, we don’t. We have a separation of church and Congress. Go back and read it.

    It is one of the ironies of our constitutional history that at the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, including its requirement that the newly created federal government refrain from establishing religion, churches established by state law not only were permitted by state constitutions of the time, but also were common…

    Early constitutions, such as those of New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, required anyone seeking public office to profess a belief in Christianity and Protestantism. North Carolina and Pennsylvania required citizens to take strict belief oaths before holding public office, and Delaware required ‘‘all officeholders to profess belief in the Trinity and the divine inspiration of the Bible’’.

    https://uscivilliberties.org/historical-overview/3703-disestablishment-of-state-churches-in-the-late-eighteenth-century-and-early-nineteenth-century.html

    Eventually, these states got on the bandwagon, or, more to the point, joined the choir.

    The disestablishment of the church in the United States has been the most significant privatization in American history. At no time, before or after, has any important economic sector so dominated by the government been turned over so completely to private enterprise.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2138662?seq=1

    Disestablishment was our first experiment in anarcho-capitalism. That’s why The anti-Friedmanites and other market-bashers on this forum hate it so. What better example of American failure is there than the First Amendment?

    • Replies: @Lot
    Seems like state religions were long unpopular in the USA, as the Supreme Court didn’t incorporate the EC against the states until 1947, but no state had a state religion.

    Kind of a sticky question, but I think Justice Thomas is right.

    https://www.lawliberty.org/2019/11/29/incorporating-the-establishment-clause-wrongly/
    , @Corvinus
    There was to be no "state", i.e. national, interference in the establishment, NOT exercise, of religion. What each community did and how each community worshipped was NOT a federal affair. Hence, one community that was Protestant and one community that was Baptist would NOT have to worry about the state imposing its will on ONE official religion. Thomas Jefferson later said the central government was “interdicted from intermeddling with religious institutions”. Such were state matters. Church and state were distinct in that the Federal Government could not elevate one denomination over others. Hence, there is a "separation of church and state" under this context.

    With freedom of conscience assured, conflict became less likely. The First Amendment was an insightful compromise between church and state, federal and local authorities. The Framers sought to avoid the religious controversies which had engulfed Europe.

    As James Madison warned in Federalist 10, “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man;...A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points...ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power...divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good.”
  144. @Art Deco
    The ties between some segments of our elites-the Bush family is a particularly notorious example-and Mexican oligarchs go deep.

    ??? Zapata Oil was sold in 1963. George the Younger was in the oil exploration business for about a dozen years. His company was folded into some other company about 30 years ago and he eventually left the business and landed a managerial position with one of the major league baseball teams. Brother Jeb was employed in banking and real estate (first in Houston, then in Miami). Brother Neil has cycled through a number of sectors in Texas and Colorado and ended up vending educational software. Brother Marvin lives in NoVa and has some sort of financial sector job. They have a cousin who has a managerial position with one of the NFL teams (Denver Broncos?), another cousin that owned a company providing supplies to medical service providers (I think it was software), another cousin who earned good coin for many years first as a radio announcer and then as host of fluff TV programs. (His career was wrecked when it was discovered he listened congenially to Donald Trump's dirty talk). Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?

    Diaz Serrano for Senior? Ernesto Ancira and Guillermo Avila? Raul Salinas? Enrique Fuentes Len? Carlos Hank Rhon? The Barrera brothers? These names ring a bell? They all have something in common: “Amigo de Bush”. The “special relationship” they’ve had with Mexico, or at least the people who dominate it, has been there long before 2001.

    Strangely enough, there might be a correlation between typical Bush Chamber of Commerce-worthy policy beliefs concerning things Mexico related, and how much Mexican oligarchs and politicians connected to the PRI happen to like them, and want to see them do well.

    >Are Mexican oligarchs deep into software for elementary school teachers and medical office personnel?

    Nah, they are more into stuff like dumping their excess underclass off on us. If they didn’t have the US as a safety valve, they might have to start considering what might happen to them if the resulting pressure for the bottom half of the Mexican social ladder gets a little too intense. They might actually have to work to improve things in their own country for ordinary people. Not to mention: if the border with the US was closed, all of a sudden they are stuck with the waves of Salvadorans and Guatemalans heading north, with all the goodies they bring from competition with Mexico’s lower classes to additional fun for Mexico’s ever-revolving security situation.

    Fortunately for them, their American counterparts are as eager to keep the valve open as much as they are. Which should make sense: after all, if the US were a bit more like Mexico Norte, the Bushes and their ilk could behave more like their Mexican friends, and not just in how many discounted domestic servants they can afford because they flooded the labor market. They could worry less about pain-in-the-ass, outdated things like legal accountability and the possibility of ever losing some power.

    So, what’s not to like? And perfect stomping grounds for George P. Bush’s future, because as we all know, a mix of The Market, fetus fetishism, and fluid borders supposedly produces “natural conservatives” to vote in droves.

    >Really? Someone is monitoring where Jeb Bush (who has spent about 3/4 of his adult life as a private citizen) vacations?

    I’m sure Jeb was just shocked when Raul was accused of drug trafficking and murdering his brother-in-law. I mean, he seemed like such a nice guy, so enthusiastic about Free Trade and everything. Thankfully, Carlos assured him he was innocent of anything those lying dogs printed.

  145. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    Of course, we could declare the Wahhabi mind virus to be equivalent to Nazism (it’s worse IMHO) and declare all-out war on it, but we won’t because it’s the approved cat’s paw of Israel.

  146. @Lot
    The Saudi regime seems quite stable to me.

    I dunno, man. Poisonous mushrooms don’t change their spots just because they happen to live in a moist forest. Deep inside, I got a gut feeling about that society. Shaky foundations. It’s not North Korea. And not really because of the oil issue, because I’ll be the first admit I’m not great with economics. (On the to-do list.)

    The real problem is that the place is structurally rotten to the core behind the shiny veneer of US bought weapons, because they don’t have enough competent people to handle anything resembling moderately more negative conditions. (The same problem is visible in the United States, its just that we have a bigger margin for error-though our structures, like anything else man-made, can only take a finite level of battering. Anybody warned our elites?) The old problems are still there, meaning that stability still relies off having insane amounts of money and getting potential troublemakers out of the country.

    Now that the sons of Ibn Saud are gone or marginalized, the Crown Prince is trying to rule in a more solitary fashion. That has its pros-it’s what I’d do in his position, if I were him. It is easier to get stuff done and to force changes through the mouths of fundamentalist clerics. But it also means that he’s not as easily replaceable if *hit hits the fan, in any way, and there’s no shortage of people who want him dead despite his strict hand on the tiller of social controls.

    It’d be wonderful if Saudi Arabia could be simultaneously gradually liberalized, and stabilized for the long-term future. Gives us time to figure out what we’re going do ourselves. But it isn’t going to be easy or assured.

    • Replies: @Lot
    They will gradually get poorer as population rises as they can’t do anything but export oil and gas (low human capital and resource curse).

    I guess they have tourism too.

    Their per capita economic decline however should be pretty slow as a long term secular trend.

    Yet they survived the sudden collapse in oil prices twice already, in the 80s and 00s.

    Iran is another dictatorship with a lot of oil, but whose population growth has been high enough they cannot live on it alone anymore. Yet the regime is also looking pretty stable, and unlike the Saudis, they have a giant international effort to destabilize them.
  147. @Reg Cæsar

    That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.
     
    No, we don't. We have a separation of church and Congress. Go back and read it.

    It is one of the ironies of our constitutional history that at the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, including its requirement that the newly created federal government refrain from establishing religion, churches established by state law not only were permitted by state constitutions of the time, but also were common...

    Early constitutions, such as those of New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, required anyone seeking public office to profess a belief in Christianity and Protestantism. North Carolina and Pennsylvania required citizens to take strict belief oaths before holding public office, and Delaware required ‘‘all officeholders to profess belief in the Trinity and the divine inspiration of the Bible’’.

    https://uscivilliberties.org/historical-overview/3703-disestablishment-of-state-churches-in-the-late-eighteenth-century-and-early-nineteenth-century.html
     
    Eventually, these states got on the bandwagon, or, more to the point, joined the choir.

    The disestablishment of the church in the United States has been the most significant privatization in American history. At no time, before or after, has any important economic sector so dominated by the government been turned over so completely to private enterprise.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2138662?seq=1
     
    Disestablishment was our first experiment in anarcho-capitalism. That's why The anti-Friedmanites and other market-bashers on this forum hate it so. What better example of American failure is there than the First Amendment?

    Seems like state religions were long unpopular in the USA, as the Supreme Court didn’t incorporate the EC against the states until 1947, but no state had a state religion.

    Kind of a sticky question, but I think Justice Thomas is right.

    https://www.lawliberty.org/2019/11/29/incorporating-the-establishment-clause-wrongly/

  148. @nebulafox
    I dunno, man. Poisonous mushrooms don't change their spots just because they happen to live in a moist forest. Deep inside, I got a gut feeling about that society. Shaky foundations. It's not North Korea. And not really because of the oil issue, because I'll be the first admit I'm not great with economics. (On the to-do list.)

    The real problem is that the place is structurally rotten to the core behind the shiny veneer of US bought weapons, because they don't have enough competent people to handle anything resembling moderately more negative conditions. (The same problem is visible in the United States, its just that we have a bigger margin for error-though our structures, like anything else man-made, can only take a finite level of battering. Anybody warned our elites?) The old problems are still there, meaning that stability still relies off having insane amounts of money and getting potential troublemakers out of the country.

    Now that the sons of Ibn Saud are gone or marginalized, the Crown Prince is trying to rule in a more solitary fashion. That has its pros-it's what I'd do in his position, if I were him. It is easier to get stuff done and to force changes through the mouths of fundamentalist clerics. But it also means that he's not as easily replaceable if *hit hits the fan, in any way, and there's no shortage of people who want him dead despite his strict hand on the tiller of social controls.

    It'd be wonderful if Saudi Arabia could be simultaneously gradually liberalized, and stabilized for the long-term future. Gives us time to figure out what we're going do ourselves. But it isn't going to be easy or assured.

    They will gradually get poorer as population rises as they can’t do anything but export oil and gas (low human capital and resource curse).

    I guess they have tourism too.

    Their per capita economic decline however should be pretty slow as a long term secular trend.

    Yet they survived the sudden collapse in oil prices twice already, in the 80s and 00s.

    Iran is another dictatorship with a lot of oil, but whose population growth has been high enough they cannot live on it alone anymore. Yet the regime is also looking pretty stable, and unlike the Saudis, they have a giant international effort to destabilize them.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >I guess they have tourism too.

    The annual hajj does bring in some serious bucks, I'll concede that.

    My guess is that Iran's more stable because the regime will, in the end, find enough people in the country who will fight for them even if things are sour. Only way I can see that changing is an alternative that can present itself as sufficiently nationalistic to discredit mullah propaganda: and such a group would have to at least prove that they aren't American "lackeys". Saudi Arabia is also developing into a government centered around one person. Iran's not like that at all: you have a bunch of corrupt competing interests jockeying for position. That has weaknesses in what you can do for your people, but paradoxically, it means that you need a heavier degree of subversion to bump off enough key people to set off chaos.

    I just don't see a willingness to *fight* for the Sauds if the Saudis ever faced that kind of economic crunch, and my thesis here is it wouldn't take something that extreme given the level of comfort they are used to, a level of comfort that only continued to grow during the low oil price era of the 1980s. And this is not just because the Saudis can't fight militarily (everybody who goes there to train them knows that, they are far too spoiled and arrogant) and would have a hard time leading a crackdown unless it was geared toward the socially despised Shi'ites in the east. Key here is that the Iranians have a basis in social cohesion revolving around near uniform ethno-cultural loyalty that most everybody else in the region lacks: with the glaring exception of Israel. This is tricky, because like, say, Russia, Iran is in reality a multi-ethnic place. But, like in Russia, Persian identity is an old, strong beast.

    I don't see that kind of "bond" between government and governed in Saudi. A predominantly bribery based model of government can work, but if your people are conditioned to expect very very large bribes, and you can only afford very large bribes for whatever reason, and you've got a bit of a radical young man problem spread throughout the globe...

    Again: all this might be a big piece of hullabaloo (and I'm aware I've broken my promise, I need to get off after this-for what it is worth, always enjoyed talking to you, even when we didn't agree). It's just my gut. It's been wrong before, it's been right before. In this case, I actually hope you are right and I'm wrong.

    It's been fun, y'all.

  149. @Johann Ricke

    The House of Saud has been consequential in the Nejd since the early 19th century and have been sovereign over the Nejd and the Hijaz since 1925. The rest of the world might benefit from that degree of ‘instability’.
     
    I'd say it's stable, but that makes it the exception in the realm of Muslim royals. There are elements of Muslim tradition that make royal houses inherently unstable, starting with the fact that there is no divine right of kings in the Muslim world view. This is how Muhammad's direct line was killed on the battlefield. While the progeny of Muhammad's uncles and so on have benefited, via the Hashemite line, from their association with his name, no one views their reigns as somehow religiously ordained.

    The al-Sauds lack even an association with Muhammad except in the sense that their legitimacy was earned on the battlefield against his kin, the Hashemites. The problem is - those battlefield honors were earned a century ago. The factional intrigues that have felled many a Muslim dynast could rear their ugly heads in a decisive fashion yet again.

    If you say so. To the best of my knowledge, among the ruling houses of the Gulf emirates, the least venerable took the throne in 1833. Quite a mess of Muslim monarchies were eliminated between 1917 and 1979, but none since, AFAIK. Two of the three most recent losses – the Pahalvi dynasty in Iran and the Senussis in Libya – didn’t have much of a pedigree: those dynasties endured for just 50-odd years. Haven’t done the numbers, but I’m not sure they’ve proved more brittle than monarchies in Europe or the Far East or the Indian subcontinent.

  150. @Bragadocious
    So where did the gunman get his weapon? Don't tell me the military are giving away guns to flight trainees from Saudi Arabia.

    Also, was this workplace violence? Sure sounds like it.

    So where did the gunman get his weapon?

    One recalls that Bill Clinton issued an Executive Order strictly prohibiting military personnel from carrying arms inside military facilities.

    Baby Bush did not rescind the order during his eight-year reign, and Barry O was of course delighted to keep it in place as well. It’s almost as if TPTB are afraid of a military coup.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWL06waOAGw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOd5lGVXOZw
  151. @Reg Cæsar
    An IQ-related story. Signalmen and quartermasters (i.e, navigators to any ground forces guys reading) were separate ratings in the Navy, but combined in the Coast Guard. Coastiest thus went through both six-week schools, on the same base.

    We regularly dominated the top of the continent's class. If anything was odd about ours was that the best Navy guy finished ahead of our bottom (#6) man. (Kind of like one of Wilson's West Virginia electors in 1916; that state went 7-1 for Hughes.)

    The veteran instructor asked the class on the very last day why this was so. We chewed over hypotheses like we'd had experience as deckies rather than coming fresh out of basic, or that most of us were college dropouts.

    We discovered the real reason a few weeks later, in the QM class. We were definitely not at the top of that, just spread more normally.

    Quartermasters were simply smarter than signalmen, who are just as nerdy, but closer to the mean.

    I'm sure there are academic counterparts to this situation. Are there classes that draw from two divergent strains, one of which dominates the other?

    Reg,

    I left NTC Orlando mid-77, following a year’s sojourn on one WLB in San Juan , bound for another in Mobile. We picked our next duty stations based on class rank in SM school, which I thought was a fairly damned effective motivational tactic from the bastards, so the 5 Coasties in the class also finished 1-4 and 6, same as your class.

    Alas, the quality of available billets left a bit to be desired, as they ranged from me at #1 to “Mort the Snort” at #6, off to the lush island life of Adak. Probably should have picked that WHEC in Seattle, which unbeknownst to me was going to go through a long shipyard and thus avoid many unnecessary months of getting one’s brains beaten out in the Gulf of Alaska, but that would have changed my future, and I am by and large a satisfied man. Better that that billet went to my UT dropout buddy,who bested me to take top place in QM school for at least a Coastie 1-2. Where Jim, Uncle Weenie, and Mort finished, I do not recall, but your experience with the squids doing relatively better than in SM school doubtless held true here as well.

  152. @Eagle Eye

    So where did the gunman get his weapon?
     
    One recalls that Bill Clinton issued an Executive Order strictly prohibiting military personnel from carrying arms inside military facilities.

    Baby Bush did not rescind the order during his eight-year reign, and Barry O was of course delighted to keep it in place as well. It's almost as if TPTB are afraid of a military coup.

  153. @Lot
    They will gradually get poorer as population rises as they can’t do anything but export oil and gas (low human capital and resource curse).

    I guess they have tourism too.

    Their per capita economic decline however should be pretty slow as a long term secular trend.

    Yet they survived the sudden collapse in oil prices twice already, in the 80s and 00s.

    Iran is another dictatorship with a lot of oil, but whose population growth has been high enough they cannot live on it alone anymore. Yet the regime is also looking pretty stable, and unlike the Saudis, they have a giant international effort to destabilize them.

    >I guess they have tourism too.

    The annual hajj does bring in some serious bucks, I’ll concede that.

    My guess is that Iran’s more stable because the regime will, in the end, find enough people in the country who will fight for them even if things are sour. Only way I can see that changing is an alternative that can present itself as sufficiently nationalistic to discredit mullah propaganda: and such a group would have to at least prove that they aren’t American “lackeys”. Saudi Arabia is also developing into a government centered around one person. Iran’s not like that at all: you have a bunch of corrupt competing interests jockeying for position. That has weaknesses in what you can do for your people, but paradoxically, it means that you need a heavier degree of subversion to bump off enough key people to set off chaos.

    I just don’t see a willingness to *fight* for the Sauds if the Saudis ever faced that kind of economic crunch, and my thesis here is it wouldn’t take something that extreme given the level of comfort they are used to, a level of comfort that only continued to grow during the low oil price era of the 1980s. And this is not just because the Saudis can’t fight militarily (everybody who goes there to train them knows that, they are far too spoiled and arrogant) and would have a hard time leading a crackdown unless it was geared toward the socially despised Shi’ites in the east. Key here is that the Iranians have a basis in social cohesion revolving around near uniform ethno-cultural loyalty that most everybody else in the region lacks: with the glaring exception of Israel. This is tricky, because like, say, Russia, Iran is in reality a multi-ethnic place. But, like in Russia, Persian identity is an old, strong beast.

    I don’t see that kind of “bond” between government and governed in Saudi. A predominantly bribery based model of government can work, but if your people are conditioned to expect very very large bribes, and you can only afford very large bribes for whatever reason, and you’ve got a bit of a radical young man problem spread throughout the globe…

    Again: all this might be a big piece of hullabaloo (and I’m aware I’ve broken my promise, I need to get off after this-for what it is worth, always enjoyed talking to you, even when we didn’t agree). It’s just my gut. It’s been wrong before, it’s been right before. In this case, I actually hope you are right and I’m wrong.

    It’s been fun, y’all.

  154. @SFG
    Saudi Arabia is Israel without the ethics and sense of fairness due to Western influence.

    I'm serious.

    ‘Saudi Arabia is Israel without the ethics and sense of fairness…’

    Considering the ethics and sense of fairness in question, that could only be an improvement.

    However, the whole comparison is nonsensical. We’ve no business allying ourselves with either one, but that is about all they have in common. Kind of like comparing a Nigerian scam artist to an American child molester. Both bad; not particularly similar.

  155. @Paul Jolliffe
    Hmm.

    "Alshamrani penned a hate-fueled manifesto on Twitter just hours before the attack, according to an intelligence group who tracked down his account" ????

    The "intelligence group" in question is SITE.

    SITE's founder, Rita Katz, on her own website, informs us that not only has "Ms. Katz tracked and analyzed global terrorist and jihadi networks for over two decades, and is well-recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and reliable experts in the field", but more interestingly "Ms. Katz has infiltrated terrorist fronts undercover . . ."

    Ms. Katz has dedicated her professional life to "the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization specializing in tracking and analyzing online activity of the global extremist community . . .
    her insights have been featured in scores of major publications, including Washington Post, Time, The Daily Beast, VICE, and others. "

    So our heroine here, the world's greatest expert at tracking terrorism via social media and purveyor of information to the FBI itself ("Ms. Katz received special recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for her “outstanding assistance to the FBI in connection with its investigative efforts.”), a woman whose life's mission was to PREVENT terrorist atrocities, instead was reduced to merely reporting interesting information about the dead Saudi after the fact?


    Did (((someone))) - oh just musing here, couldn't possibly be anything, never really heard of an "intelligence group" manipulating a dimwit into some violent act before, nope that's never happened - maybe figure this thug could be a "useful idiot"? Could that same (((someone))) have made sure our heroine here was ready to go with the press release on Friday?

    Of course, with the MSM on the case, all the relevant questions will be answered fully in no time, thanks to the integrity, independence of thought and the intelligence of today's professional journalists . . .

    https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Corporate/about-site.html

    Eh, as much as I enjoy bashing Jewish people every chance I get, this strikes me as suspicious. Israel and Saudi Arabia are allies, and there was a recent story on how Turkish intelligence believed that the House of Saudi is actually Jewish in origin.

    I can’t see Israel doing anything to threaten that relationship.

    Perhaps this would put pressure on the dissidents within Saudi Arabia, those who believe the ruling regime is corrupt. The regime then cracks down on potential insurgents, in the interests of cleaning up after the US shooting.

    Just a wild stab in the dark.

  156. @Whiskey
    This post and the comments on them shows the biggest issue with "our guys": overly moralistic, seeing complicated matters in Black and White, prone to scapegoating, and unable to understand simple economics.

    The Saudi people are primitive tribesmen who if they had no oil would be the Afghanistan of the ME. Unfortunately for the world they not only have oil but are the SWING producers. Meaning they can ramp up production and drive prices down or reduce production and drive them up. No other nation alone can do this. Which means if we want to keep unstable, erratic, America running we'd better have affordable oil and prop up the rotten, even more unstable Saudi regime.

    When the Crown Prince hangs his cousin upside down in the Marriot Ballroom and has him beaten on the soles of his feet until he coughs up most of his cash, that's an unstable regime. Muslitms from Saudi going on a Jihad rampage while filming for World Star Jihad Hop is no shock. It was stupid to have them trained anywhere in the US. Since this is utterly predictable. But if you like gas at an affordable $4.00 a gallon (here in SoCal) instead of say $20 or $30 then propping up the Saudis is required.

    Russia and Iran are not our friends -- they are based on a corrupt network as bad as the Saudi model of corruption, patronage, various princelings, but with much less swing capacity for production and enough robust militaries they don't need our military protection in exchange for keeping the oil price where the US wants it -- which means you keep your car and you're not herded off into a camp for a "final solution" to the White man problem if Warren or Bernie come into power to make their backers happy (you: dead; them: owning your stuff).

    The Saudis both people and rulers, awful. But who and what does anyone propose take over their swing production of oil? Wakanda? Star Fleet? Darth Vader? There is literally no one else to keep your car's tank filled. Oil is mostly (not exactly) fungible, and with rising Chinese demand we have less margin to keep the world price low and thus not having mobs of vibrants demanding your stuff and you dead.

    Utter bilge, like everything you post.

    Oil costs money. If you have it, you can by it. It doesn’t require us to prop up this or that corrupt regime. Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Canada, Australia – any number of countries – have just about zero influence in the middle east, and yet are able to maintain quite high living standards.

    Is there anything you’ve ever said that wasn’t abjectly stupid, you bloviating nitwit?

    • LOL: William Badwhite
  157. @Kronos
    In terms of political finance, the Saudi money is too good to ignore. They might not have a true political equivalent to AIPAC but their influence is certainly felt.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian crisis PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

    Does anyone know any good books on Saudi Arabian PR after 9/11? If any country needed a good PR firm it was Saudi Arabia after 9/11.

    They certainly had some excellent travel agents after 9/11.

  158. @bjondo
    Why would any blame go to them?

    There’s always been US unease in regards to relations between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Royal Family. Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; certainly not Iraqi or Iranian. Saudi Arabia plays a central role with the US “petrodollar” and thus essential for US debt binging. The US foreign policy establishment (except for a few especially nutty neocons) didn’t want an angry public confrontation (much less invasion) with Saudi Arabia. So imagine the potential danger of some 9/11 hijacker having worked with an Al-Qaeda aligned “Wasabi Wahhabist” Prince to support terrorism. (Keep in mind there are like 15,000 princes alone, each one has like 20 kids.)

    /news/2015-02-04/911-conspirator-admits-saudi-royal-family-funded-al-qaeda-attacks

    • Replies: @Kronos
    Here’s the full link.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-04/911-conspirator-admits-saudi-royal-family-funded-al-qaeda-attacks
    , @Art Deco
    . Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; ce

    No, several were Egyptian, among them the ringleader, Mohammed Atta. The Bin Ladens originated in Yemen and have been in Saudi Arabia for only a couple of generations.
  159. @anonymous
    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in

    Chick-Fil-A has not caved in

    Right. And Col. Sanders is a military leader.

  160. @Kronos
    There’s always been US unease in regards to relations between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Royal Family. Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; certainly not Iraqi or Iranian. Saudi Arabia plays a central role with the US “petrodollar” and thus essential for US debt binging. The US foreign policy establishment (except for a few especially nutty neocons) didn’t want an angry public confrontation (much less invasion) with Saudi Arabia. So imagine the potential danger of some 9/11 hijacker having worked with an Al-Qaeda aligned “Wasabi Wahhabist” Prince to support terrorism. (Keep in mind there are like 15,000 princes alone, each one has like 20 kids.)

    /news/2015-02-04/911-conspirator-admits-saudi-royal-family-funded-al-qaeda-attacks

    https://cdn.newspunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/petrodollar-death-500x352.jpg

  161. @Redneck farmer
    It appears some here need to spend less time deep-diving into "the Jewish Conspiracy" and more time deep-diving into "Oil-backed Dollar". Also you need to factor in inertia.

    It appears some here need to spend less time deep-diving into “the Jewish Conspiracy” and more time deep-diving into “Oil-backed Dollar”.

    It really helps explain why US debt is so high yet interest rates on it are so low.

    The US debt is certainly “bigly.”
    https://usdebtclock.org/

  162. @Old Prude
    Agree. Evil, in pushing mass degeneracy by force on it's population, and Foolish by sponsoring the mass importation of barbaric and/or hostile peoples into its homeland.

    The acceleration of Globohomo is alarming. It’s becoming worse in the United States, but not quite as bad as in the United Kingdom. Just recently, the UK passed a new law that mandates imprisonment for six-months and up to six years for anyone who “ridicules” someone who identifies as a member of the LGBT community. This law includes verbal and written acts of “humiliation”. Globohomo continues to force degeneracy and unnatural behaviors by suppressing free speech — if even such a concept still exists?

  163. @Kronos
    There’s always been US unease in regards to relations between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Royal Family. Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; certainly not Iraqi or Iranian. Saudi Arabia plays a central role with the US “petrodollar” and thus essential for US debt binging. The US foreign policy establishment (except for a few especially nutty neocons) didn’t want an angry public confrontation (much less invasion) with Saudi Arabia. So imagine the potential danger of some 9/11 hijacker having worked with an Al-Qaeda aligned “Wasabi Wahhabist” Prince to support terrorism. (Keep in mind there are like 15,000 princes alone, each one has like 20 kids.)

    /news/2015-02-04/911-conspirator-admits-saudi-royal-family-funded-al-qaeda-attacks

    https://cdn.newspunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/petrodollar-death-500x352.jpg

    . Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; ce

    No, several were Egyptian, among them the ringleader, Mohammed Atta. The Bin Ladens originated in Yemen and have been in Saudi Arabia for only a couple of generations.

    • Replies: @Kronos
    The Saudi nationals still made up a good majority of the hijackers.

    https://i.redd.it/28cjwzc88qzy.png

  164. @Magic Dirt Resident
    "That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution."

    Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn't exist.

    “Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist.”

    “Separation of church and state” is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    Were you asleep in Civics class?

    • Replies: @Boy the way Glenn Miller played

    “Separation of church and state” is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson...
     
    Paraphrased by whom?
    , @Magic Dirt Resident
    It means Congress cannot make it illegal to adhere/not adhere to a certain state mandated religion. It doesn't mean the government must be religiously neutral and not promote Christianity.
  165. @Reg Cæsar

    That is why there we have a separation of church and state clause in our Constitution.
     
    No, we don't. We have a separation of church and Congress. Go back and read it.

    It is one of the ironies of our constitutional history that at the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, including its requirement that the newly created federal government refrain from establishing religion, churches established by state law not only were permitted by state constitutions of the time, but also were common...

    Early constitutions, such as those of New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, required anyone seeking public office to profess a belief in Christianity and Protestantism. North Carolina and Pennsylvania required citizens to take strict belief oaths before holding public office, and Delaware required ‘‘all officeholders to profess belief in the Trinity and the divine inspiration of the Bible’’.

    https://uscivilliberties.org/historical-overview/3703-disestablishment-of-state-churches-in-the-late-eighteenth-century-and-early-nineteenth-century.html
     
    Eventually, these states got on the bandwagon, or, more to the point, joined the choir.

    The disestablishment of the church in the United States has been the most significant privatization in American history. At no time, before or after, has any important economic sector so dominated by the government been turned over so completely to private enterprise.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2138662?seq=1
     
    Disestablishment was our first experiment in anarcho-capitalism. That's why The anti-Friedmanites and other market-bashers on this forum hate it so. What better example of American failure is there than the First Amendment?

    There was to be no “state”, i.e. national, interference in the establishment, NOT exercise, of religion. What each community did and how each community worshipped was NOT a federal affair. Hence, one community that was Protestant and one community that was Baptist would NOT have to worry about the state imposing its will on ONE official religion. Thomas Jefferson later said the central government was “interdicted from intermeddling with religious institutions”. Such were state matters. Church and state were distinct in that the Federal Government could not elevate one denomination over others. Hence, there is a “separation of church and state” under this context.

    With freedom of conscience assured, conflict became less likely. The First Amendment was an insightful compromise between church and state, federal and local authorities. The Framers sought to avoid the religious controversies which had engulfed Europe.

    As James Madison warned in Federalist 10, “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man;…A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points…ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power…divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good.”

  166. @Corvinus
    "Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist."

    "Separation of church and state" is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    Were you asleep in Civics class?

    “Separation of church and state” is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson…

    Paraphrased by whom?

  167. @Anonymous
    I've met a fair number of Saudis and not one that I have ever met impressed me as being anything but stupid and in some cases basically savage. I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that's exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    We could of course take over Saudi Arabia, kick the House of Saud out on their asses, slaughter the Wahhabi root and branch, and take their oil but I think we are actually better off without it. The Russians don't need it either, the countries that really do are not likely to be our rivals except for China, and if we quit buying their shit and made it unprofitable for American companies to manufacture there they'd be in heap big trouble.

    … I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that’s exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.

    Methanol economy!

    A few points:

    — The US-Saudi relationship was never primarily about oil for the US. In the early years we had our own oil, and later could import from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada. Rather it was about keeping our allies in oil, keeping the post-War “American system” going and keeping the Saudi oil out of the hands of some Soviet client state–which have given the Soviets a huge lever to jerk around the West and the world economy.

    Now with the shale revolution the US is basically energy independent again and needs to import very little of its oil. And little of that from Saudi.

    — The anti-nuke “environmentalists” have done considerable damage to the US and the world. Despite the industry’s issues, developing this technology was the way forward. Clinton shuttering breeder research–and it’s gone. People don’t have jobs you lose expertise, you have to rebuild from scratch. How anti-nuke is squared with all this “global warming” hysteria? (If that’s an existential crisis then the nuke issue is small beer.) … well it’s not. Unicorns, rainbows and happy trees.

    — With the shale revolution we have very cheap natural gas. It’s just flat out ridiculous not to be turning that into methanol and powering our transportation with it. Methanol is a perfectly fine automotive fuel. Just requires the same sort of alcohol friendly modifications as required to use to ethanol–E85 capable vehicles. (My guess is you could toss in alternate half-fills of gasoline and methanol into an E85 vehicle and be fine.)

    Mandate that new vehicles be capable of running any combination of gasoline, ethanol, methanol and let the market sort out the issues.

    Finally

    — No other issue compares to insanity/damage of mass immigration. But energy is another of those 2nd tier issues that our oh so smug Ivy-educated elites have completely botched as well.

    We have the most credentialled and arrogant and utterly incompetent and destructive elite that any major civilization has ever had. They’ve taken a nation on-top-of-the-world and run it into the ditch in the space of 50 years.

    In the end there is no substitute for having an elite that is not just smart, logical, practical, capable and faresighted but critically … an elite is of and cares about the nation’s people.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    The US-Saudi relationship was never primarily about oil for the US. In the early years we had our own oil, and later could import from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada. Rather it was about keeping our allies in oil...
     
    Yes and no. Oil is a global commodity and is fungible. Shut down one significant area of oil production and the price goes up everywhere.
  168. @Dannyboy
    LOL...Corvie thinks Frankfurt School Jews actually founded America.

    I sometimes wonder if he’s a troll – he’s such a weird combo of being constantly wrong while also being insufferable. I have him on “commenters to ignore” but sometimes see others responding to him and get curious and look and…nope he’s wrong again.

    • Agree: Dannyboy
  169. @Art Deco
    . Essentially, all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi; ce

    No, several were Egyptian, among them the ringleader, Mohammed Atta. The Bin Ladens originated in Yemen and have been in Saudi Arabia for only a couple of generations.

    The Saudi nationals still made up a good majority of the hijackers.

    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
    Overwhelming evidence -- peek between your fingers & look:

    "9-11 - ISRAEL DID IT":

    -- ( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it )
    , @bjondo
    If only they could pilot
    a plane beyond a balsa wood plane -
    hand tossed.

    5ds

  170. bush the cretin (small letters for the extremely small man) stated ‘the saudis (small letter, same idea) are our friends’ after 75% of the hijackers were saudis. what he really meant is that the house of saud (small letters again, same reason) is a friend of the bush family.

    the saudis are NOT our friends and ally. bush is a liar who is friends with those whose people did the 9/11 job. ‘great amerikan leadership’ on display.

    johnson, first bush, second bush: jackasses from the same corral that have done extensive damage to this nation.

  171. anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:

    They’re our friends because oil is purchased with dollars which supports the US economy, making the dollar the world’s reserve currency. They buy multi-billions of dollars worth of military hardware from us. They cooperate and fund US policies in the region such as the recent assault against Syria. In return we protect them. This is with the ruling family who are in charge there. The average person there though, not so much. But does anyone care about what they think or bother to even ask? Hardly.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  172. @AnotherDad

    ... I hope their light sweet crude runs out and the sooner the better. We have become their whores for that light sweet cheap to lift crude.

    Forcing the US to run on its own coal, gas, and nuclear power along with oil and hydro (but fuck bullshit sources like wind and solar) would be a big benefit for us and that’s exactly why the deep state is determined we do not do that.
     
    Methanol economy!


    A few points:

    -- The US-Saudi relationship was never primarily about oil for the US. In the early years we had our own oil, and later could import from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada. Rather it was about keeping our allies in oil, keeping the post-War "American system" going and keeping the Saudi oil out of the hands of some Soviet client state--which have given the Soviets a huge lever to jerk around the West and the world economy.

    Now with the shale revolution the US is basically energy independent again and needs to import very little of its oil. And little of that from Saudi.

    -- The anti-nuke "environmentalists" have done considerable damage to the US and the world. Despite the industry's issues, developing this technology was the way forward. Clinton shuttering breeder research--and it's gone. People don't have jobs you lose expertise, you have to rebuild from scratch. How anti-nuke is squared with all this "global warming" hysteria? (If that's an existential crisis then the nuke issue is small beer.) ... well it's not. Unicorns, rainbows and happy trees.

    -- With the shale revolution we have very cheap natural gas. It's just flat out ridiculous not to be turning that into methanol and powering our transportation with it. Methanol is a perfectly fine automotive fuel. Just requires the same sort of alcohol friendly modifications as required to use to ethanol--E85 capable vehicles. (My guess is you could toss in alternate half-fills of gasoline and methanol into an E85 vehicle and be fine.)

    Mandate that new vehicles be capable of running any combination of gasoline, ethanol, methanol and let the market sort out the issues.

    Finally

    -- No other issue compares to insanity/damage of mass immigration. But energy is another of those 2nd tier issues that our oh so smug Ivy-educated elites have completely botched as well.

    We have the most credentialled and arrogant and utterly incompetent and destructive elite that any major civilization has ever had. They've taken a nation on-top-of-the-world and run it into the ditch in the space of 50 years.

    In the end there is no substitute for having an elite that is not just smart, logical, practical, capable and faresighted but critically ... an elite is of and cares about the nation's people.

    The US-Saudi relationship was never primarily about oil for the US. In the early years we had our own oil, and later could import from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada. Rather it was about keeping our allies in oil…

    Yes and no. Oil is a global commodity and is fungible. Shut down one significant area of oil production and the price goes up everywhere.

  173. @europeasant
    "Sources identified the suspected gunman as Saudi Air Force aviation student Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani"

    WTF ! I thought we learned our lesson after 9/11. We are still teaching these POS how to fly. Next thing you know they will hi-jack maybe an F-115 loaded with shit and fly it into some building in DC.

    How F******g stupid are our leaders! Or maybe itz just greed.

    Mark Steyn on how we remember nothing: https://www.steynonline.com/9896/too-stupid-to-survive-cont

    • Replies: @bjondo
    We remember Mark Steyn
    is Israel 1st. He lied, deceived,
    pushed US to fight Israel's wars.

    Stain should pack his bags and
    return to Canada with his buddy,
    Frum, or to somewhere like Guantanamo.

    Worthless immigrant to America.

    If I want facts or opinions,
    it ain't coming from the sewer.

    5ds

  174. @William Badwhite
    There is no "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution. At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.

    Idiot.

    At the time of the ratification, a number of states had official religions.

    Not just official religions, but religions that were supported by tax money, The you-cant-say-a-prayer-at-a-football-game BS was started by Madelyn Murray O’Hare (sp?) and has been supported and expanded by the Left to destroy religion in the USA and piss off the Deplorables.

  175. @Mr. Anon
    One almost might get the idea that it isn't a good idea to permit Saudi nationals to come to the United States for flight training. Well, as long as it's just this one isolated instance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hani_Hanjour

    We wouldn't want to let this effect our commitment to diversity - that would be the greatest tragedy.

    I knew an Iranian student named Hani in the UK a lifetime ago (Shah days), smooth talker and dresser, studying engineering but his main interest was young English ladies.

    One day he was relating his Saturday night, he’d got a girl back from the disco to his place.

    “She was just standing there by the mantelpiece, looking in the mirror, so I came up behind her and started unbuttoning her blouse. She turned round and slapped my face!”

    “What did you do when she hit you?”

    “I hit her back, of course”.

    • Replies: @bjondo
    I knew close to a dozen
    Iranian students in engineering/math/science.
    None would have unbuttoned nor returned the slap.

    They weren't of the Shah-era west-suckled Persian.

    More Islamic and decent.
  176. @Cagey Beast
    Meanwhile:

    Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops
    December 07, 2019
    [...]
    The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally.

    Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.
    [...]
    Concern among U.S. officials runs deep, partly because other surveys have also found a growing willingness in the U.S. to view Russia positively.
    [...]
    “It is dangerous,” said Jorge Benitez, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who specializes in transatlantic relations, U.S. security and Russia.
    ...
     
    https://www.voanews.com/usa/pentagon-concerned-russia-cultivating-sympathy-among-us-troops

    "Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came".

    Honestly, a world where the US and Russia work to oppose/contain China is far preferable to the world the US Deep State is creating where Russia and China work to oppose/contain the US.

    I’m not all that surprised by the VOA article. For anecdotal evidence, one can go on YouTube and find hundreds of videos where US military/spec ops go and train with their Russian counterparts. Almost invariably the Western folks come away with friendly, favorable impressions of the folks on the Russian side.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Honestly, a world where the US and Russia work to oppose/contain China is far preferable to the world the US Deep State is creating where Russia and China work to oppose/contain the US.

    I'm Canadian and I wish our Five Eyes countries were doing what you describe. Unfortunately that's not what the big money people want for a bunch of reasons. They will be calling the shots for the foreseeable future.
  177. @Kratoklastes
    Kinda says something about the shortsightedness of the MIC: seems foolhardy to have exchange programs with foreign militaries that are friends-of-convenience.

    At least they were identifiable: the Fifth Column of important enemy nations tend to blend in a little better (being white[-ish] and having fellow-travellers in the indigenous population).

    Folks get het up about individual acts of malice, while they largely ignore other shit that imposes costs orders of magnitude higher.

    Obviously it's a rather up-close-and-personal issue for the individuals actually being shot to death (and their next of kin)... but in aggregate it's a pinprick.

    .

    Data is interesting.

    People are more likely to be killed by a cop, than by an Arab terrrrrrrrist - by more than 2 orders of magnitude, even including outliers like Foreign Policy Blowback Day.

    inb4 dummies start conditioning on race, criminality etc. Pigs kill ~30 unarmed, non-aggressing white guys a year.

    Overall cops kill more people per week than terrrrrrists kill in the median year. (Most of the vics deserve it, amirite? Makes total sense for a society to vest almost-unconditional judge/jury/executioner power in people who were high-school washouts).

    In fact people are more likely to die as a result of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (~320 deaths/yr; lifetime odds 1:10,000), than as a result of a scowling bearded numbskull (median: 6 deaths/yr; mode: 0 deaths/yr; lifetime odds strictly less than 1:600,000).

    A note on the data:

    The "scowling bearded numbskull" numbers are wildly overstated, because the 'terrrrrrist' deaths includes people killed by anti-abortion activists, Tim McVeigh, and even the Unabomber (it's all deaths recorded as terrrrrrrist-related since 1970).

    Of all the radical-Muzzie-orchestrated terrrrrist deaths since "Foreign Policy Blowback Day", to be a victim required you to be at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on the night of June 12 20i6. (That reduces the conditional risk significantly, if you live outside of America's Wang).

    .

    Let's assume a VSL* of ~$5 million - almost certainly an over-estimate. (My considered estimate of the VSL at the median is $1.5m - but I'm a bit of a misanthrope)

    What is the effective death toll caused by the funnelling government funds towards the preferences of people whose first loyalty is not to the country whose bureaucracy pays their salaries?

    .

    Eisenhower indicated that he had a handle on this in his "Cross of Iron" speech -


    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
     

    That's fine as far as it goes - a fairly clear exposition of the notion of opportunity cost - but it's still missing government misfeasance that has nothing to do with military affairs. This was a smaller part of government expenditure in the West in the 1960s, but people like Bastiat understood the scale of the problem a century earlier.

    The death toll from policies that raise the cost of energy (notionally in a bid to reduce the planet's average temperature 80 years hence), will be in the tens of millions in the West. Nobody gives a fuck because the 'perp' doesn't have a beard and a scowl.

    * VSL: Value of a Statistical Life. Estimates are generally poorly-specified - they tend to focus on an individual's valuation of the mitigation of a specific risk (e.g., what an individual is prepared to pay to reduce your risk of death by 0.01% over the next year).

    This has - as a foundational premise - that a 0.01% risk of death is a meaningful quantity to the person being asked (i.e., it's within their cognitive framework). At the very least this implies that they must know what their all-cause risk is, to 2 decimal places.

    That's a very bad premise because most people are innumerate - and a lot of people who are numerate use bad inputs (e.g., they get their guess at risk based on media representations of the relative risk of different things).

    It is well-established that the average person understands the ramifications of "billions" or "trillions" in the same way a dog understands carburettors; that is also true when things get into small-ish percentages.

    People intuitively recoil in horror if their credit card APR is 19%, but they don't care (much) if they can get a 30 basis-point rebate on the MER on their mutual fund; the second thing has long-term consequences that outweigh the credit card APR.

    Kinda says something about the shortsightedness of the MIC: seems foolhardy to have exchange programs with foreign militaries that are friends-of-convenience.

    Yes and no.

    Those same foreign militaries are apt to stop buying all the expensive MIC toys if they are not able to crew them with semi-competent citizens.

    Providing training allays the crewing fears and supplies yet another revenue stream for the MIC.

  178. @anon
    Why do Americans believe that brown people from distant lands share the same a corresponding value system?

    First and foremost, and the reason Michael Jackson ran to the Saudi's after his boy hole was raided is the upper echelons of the Arab world are overrepresented by boy butt-fu*kers.

    Until recently, they would buy Paki orphan boys for the primary intent of butt-f*cking them, morning, noon, and night. They would bring them in as "camel jockys," strapping 3 year old boys on the backs of camels for betting events, then butt-reem the boys in their off time.

    Since it was brought out into the open, around 2003, it's been outlawed. Now they use "robots," but I can't imagine orphan Paki toddler butts are not being utilized under a different guise.

    The Muslim world is a dark world, regardless of anyone's western political fantasies. As Rudyard Kipling tried to point out long ago, ignore the fundamental discrepancies and there will be tears.

    They're not our "friends," because ultimately, they can't be.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mapsiw8iy8A

    Why do Americans believe that brown people from distant lands share the same a corresponding value system?

    US Americans really need to believe that inside every foreigner there is a US American waiting to emerge, like a butterfly from a chrysalis. This is because they believe that the US system is a fine ‘ol solution for mankind.

    The Muslim world is a dark world, regardless of anyone’s western political fantasies.

    Correct. The Han Chinese and Burmese are the groups that are currently demonstrating the most correct approach to solving the problem.

  179. Maybe the Israelis aren’t really our Best Friends Forever.

  180. @Kronos
    The Saudi nationals still made up a good majority of the hijackers.

    https://i.redd.it/28cjwzc88qzy.png

    Overwhelming evidence — peek between your fingers & look:

    “9-11 – ISRAEL DID IT”:

    — ( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it )

    • Replies: @Kronos
    Oh that’s a completely different discussion. I’m discussing how the Saudi Monarchy/US government passed the 9/11 hot potato to Iraq. The Israeli connection is viable, but if Saudi Arabia or Iraq were the intended “backlash target” is debatable. Regardless, the 9/11 fallout became one of the ultimate “ok Boomer” memes of the early 21st century. I was in elementary school when 9/11 occurred and the consequently disastrous US invasion of Iraq (and no WMDs) just became a horrendous joke. Many “boomer cons” gritted their death and supported Bush II out of Republican loyalty. (Boomer Democrats did the same for Obamacare and that was likely more financially painful. That’s also not including Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on day 1 of his Presidency and subsequently overthrowing Gaddafi and inciting a failed regime change in Syria.)

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7TgH2cO-XS8/TpZpgaAKsQI/AAAAAAAACHE/L8IykCzw4GU/s320/saddam+hussein+funny_1.jpg
  181. @MikeatMikedotMike
    I wonder how Alshamrani's grades and performance were flight school.

    <I wonder how Alshamrani’s grades and performance were flight school.

    He was probably flunking out.

  182. @Art Deco
    Matt Gaetz is a GOP congressman long rumored to be closeted

    IOW, he's a bachelor over a certain age.


    who promoted gay adoption to grade school kids.

    IOW, he's a tiresome careerist like Rob Portman.

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.

    Rep. Gaetz is 37. It’d be interesting to know what percentage of never-married, 37-year-old American White men, are homosexual. It’s probably substantial, but not a majority.

    When you factor in being a successful, high-status man (such as a member of Congress…which he’s only been since 2017, but presumably he was also no slouch prior to his election), I fear that percentage likely creeps above 50 percent, alas. But it’s not like we really have any data on this. Or if we do, I don’t know where to find it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.
    , @Art Deco
    The Census Bureau reports: ss of 2010, about 23% of the men of an age between 35.0 and 40.0 had never married. So, maybe 9% homosexual and a somewhat smaller % bisexual.

    His verifiable personal embarrassments include routine disregard of the vehicle and traffic law, for which his license has never been lifted. He had a DWI charge some years back. The particular nightclub he'd been at wasn't a gay joint, FWIW.
  183. @Kevin O'Keeffe

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    Rep. Gaetz is 37. It'd be interesting to know what percentage of never-married, 37-year-old American White men, are homosexual. It's probably substantial, but not a majority.

    When you factor in being a successful, high-status man (such as a member of Congress...which he's only been since 2017, but presumably he was also no slouch prior to his election), I fear that percentage likely creeps above 50 percent, alas. But it's not like we really have any data on this. Or if we do, I don't know where to find it.

    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    I think up until about 20 years ago, marriage rates were such that you could expect about 95% of the male population to marry. Rates have imploded in the intervening years.


    Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    Don't think so.
    , @Anonymous

    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.
     
    Never was it everyone, but it was most people. A far higher percentage than today.
  184. @Kronos
    The Saudi nationals still made up a good majority of the hijackers.

    https://i.redd.it/28cjwzc88qzy.png

    If only they could pilot
    a plane beyond a balsa wood plane –
    hand tossed.

    5ds

  185. @YetAnotherAnon
    I knew an Iranian student named Hani in the UK a lifetime ago (Shah days), smooth talker and dresser, studying engineering but his main interest was young English ladies.

    One day he was relating his Saturday night, he'd got a girl back from the disco to his place.

    "She was just standing there by the mantelpiece, looking in the mirror, so I came up behind her and started unbuttoning her blouse. She turned round and slapped my face!"


    "What did you do when she hit you?"

    "I hit her back, of course".

    I knew close to a dozen
    Iranian students in engineering/math/science.
    None would have unbuttoned nor returned the slap.

    They weren’t of the Shah-era west-suckled Persian.

    More Islamic and decent.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    There were other engineering students at the same university who later became Mujahideen commanders in Afghanistan, but this guy was a very middle-class, westernised Persian.
  186. @Thea
    An interesting read on Freud’s nephew revolution in marketing: https://markmanson.net/insecurity

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

    He doesn’t have a marketing background. He has a market research background. Major difference.

  187. @Thea
    An interesting read on Freud’s nephew revolution in marketing: https://markmanson.net/insecurity

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

    I’m surprised our host hasn’t written more about this with his marketing background.

    He doesn’t have a marketing background. He has a market research background. Major difference.

  188. @The Wild Geese Howard
    Honestly, a world where the US and Russia work to oppose/contain China is far preferable to the world the US Deep State is creating where Russia and China work to oppose/contain the US.

    I'm not all that surprised by the VOA article. For anecdotal evidence, one can go on YouTube and find hundreds of videos where US military/spec ops go and train with their Russian counterparts. Almost invariably the Western folks come away with friendly, favorable impressions of the folks on the Russian side.

    Honestly, a world where the US and Russia work to oppose/contain China is far preferable to the world the US Deep State is creating where Russia and China work to oppose/contain the US.

    I’m Canadian and I wish our Five Eyes countries were doing what you describe. Unfortunately that’s not what the big money people want for a bunch of reasons. They will be calling the shots for the foreseeable future.

  189. @bjondo
    I knew close to a dozen
    Iranian students in engineering/math/science.
    None would have unbuttoned nor returned the slap.

    They weren't of the Shah-era west-suckled Persian.

    More Islamic and decent.

    There were other engineering students at the same university who later became Mujahideen commanders in Afghanistan, but this guy was a very middle-class, westernised Persian.

  190. @Jim Don Bob
    Mark Steyn on how we remember nothing: https://www.steynonline.com/9896/too-stupid-to-survive-cont

    We remember Mark Steyn
    is Israel 1st. He lied, deceived,
    pushed US to fight Israel’s wars.

    Stain should pack his bags and
    return to Canada with his buddy,
    Frum, or to somewhere like Guantanamo.

    Worthless immigrant to America.

    If I want facts or opinions,
    it ain’t coming from the sewer.

    5ds

  191. @anonymous
    According to an account in the New York Review Of Books, During WW2, American airplane crews who came down in remote areas of Saudi Arabia after engine failure or fuel problems were castrated and then murdered by the locals. Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to bomb them in retaliation but FDR said they were basically backward savages and what would be the point.
    Meeting the Saudi king in early 1945 was among FDR's last acts. For whatever reason there seems to be kid glove treatment for the Kingdom, at times rivalling that for Israel.

    In what issue of the NYRB did this appear?

  192. @Kevin O'Keeffe

    IOW, he’s a bachelor over a certain age.
     
    Rep. Gaetz is 37. It'd be interesting to know what percentage of never-married, 37-year-old American White men, are homosexual. It's probably substantial, but not a majority.

    When you factor in being a successful, high-status man (such as a member of Congress...which he's only been since 2017, but presumably he was also no slouch prior to his election), I fear that percentage likely creeps above 50 percent, alas. But it's not like we really have any data on this. Or if we do, I don't know where to find it.

    The Census Bureau reports: ss of 2010, about 23% of the men of an age between 35.0 and 40.0 had never married. So, maybe 9% homosexual and a somewhat smaller % bisexual.

    His verifiable personal embarrassments include routine disregard of the vehicle and traffic law, for which his license has never been lifted. He had a DWI charge some years back. The particular nightclub he’d been at wasn’t a gay joint, FWIW.

  193. @Anonymous
    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    I think up until about 20 years ago, marriage rates were such that you could expect about 95% of the male population to marry. Rates have imploded in the intervening years.

    Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    Don’t think so.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Well, not everybody - there were always "confirmed bachelors". But (if you go back far enough) there were also a lot of men who, if they lived in the present, would be gay but because of societal expectations married and had children and either repressed their gay urges or had a double life.

    Just this morning I saw a promo for an interview with the father of Elizabeth Smart (the Mormon girl who was kidnapped a few years ago) because he has just left his wife and come out as gay (and I suppose written a book that he was promoting on TV). And who can forget ex-NJ governor Jim McGreevey. In retrospect both of these guys gave off light in the loafers, Neil Patrick Harris type vibes but people chose not to see them. Mormons, Catholics and church affiliated blacks (along with Orthodox Jews and Muslims) probably have more men still living "on the down low" than other groups because their religions do not accept people with an openly gay identity.

  194. @Corvinus
    "Gonna need a citation on that one. Hint, it doesn’t exist."

    "Separation of church and state" is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson and used by others in expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

    Were you asleep in Civics class?

    It means Congress cannot make it illegal to adhere/not adhere to a certain state mandated religion. It doesn’t mean the government must be religiously neutral and not promote Christianity.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "It means Congress cannot make it illegal to adhere/not adhere to a certain state mandated religion."

    I had said that, just in a different way.

    "It doesn’t mean the government must be religiously neutral and not promote Christianity."

    Actually, it does mean the government is religiously neutral. It must refrain from promoting ANY specific faith, or allow faiths to be practiced without interference.
  195. @Art Deco
    I think up until about 20 years ago, marriage rates were such that you could expect about 95% of the male population to marry. Rates have imploded in the intervening years.


    Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    Don't think so.

    Well, not everybody – there were always “confirmed bachelors”. But (if you go back far enough) there were also a lot of men who, if they lived in the present, would be gay but because of societal expectations married and had children and either repressed their gay urges or had a double life.

    Just this morning I saw a promo for an interview with the father of Elizabeth Smart (the Mormon girl who was kidnapped a few years ago) because he has just left his wife and come out as gay (and I suppose written a book that he was promoting on TV). And who can forget ex-NJ governor Jim McGreevey. In retrospect both of these guys gave off light in the loafers, Neil Patrick Harris type vibes but people chose not to see them. Mormons, Catholics and church affiliated blacks (along with Orthodox Jews and Muslims) probably have more men still living “on the down low” than other groups because their religions do not accept people with an openly gay identity.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Thanks for the issue of your imagination. Been an education.


    A dear cousin of mine lost her husband a couple of years back. He'd been sliding downhill for a couple of years prior. Her comment on that was that she'd been married to one man for 42 years and then this stranger appeared. Eventually, the neurologist tells her that we have a name for that: 'frontotemporal dementia'. She'd been expecting to spend long years supervising him, but, as it happened, he died in his sleep some months later.

    The social ideology of our time doesn't permit of anyone in authority to examine and investigate Smart's behavior. (The news accounts, that he announces of Facebook that he's dumping his wife and no one says boo about it are not credible).

    As for McGreevey, he is, by all appearances, an omnivorous sociopathic grifter. I wouldn't take seriously one thing he's said about himself.
  196. @Pat Kittle
    Overwhelming evidence -- peek between your fingers & look:

    "9-11 - ISRAEL DID IT":

    -- ( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it )

    Oh that’s a completely different discussion. I’m discussing how the Saudi Monarchy/US government passed the 9/11 hot potato to Iraq. The Israeli connection is viable, but if Saudi Arabia or Iraq were the intended “backlash target” is debatable. Regardless, the 9/11 fallout became one of the ultimate “ok Boomer” memes of the early 21st century. I was in elementary school when 9/11 occurred and the consequently disastrous US invasion of Iraq (and no WMDs) just became a horrendous joke. Many “boomer cons” gritted their death and supported Bush II out of Republican loyalty. (Boomer Democrats did the same for Obamacare and that was likely more financially painful. That’s also not including Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on day 1 of his Presidency and subsequently overthrowing Gaddafi and inciting a failed regime change in Syria.)

  197. @Jack D
    Well, not everybody - there were always "confirmed bachelors". But (if you go back far enough) there were also a lot of men who, if they lived in the present, would be gay but because of societal expectations married and had children and either repressed their gay urges or had a double life.

    Just this morning I saw a promo for an interview with the father of Elizabeth Smart (the Mormon girl who was kidnapped a few years ago) because he has just left his wife and come out as gay (and I suppose written a book that he was promoting on TV). And who can forget ex-NJ governor Jim McGreevey. In retrospect both of these guys gave off light in the loafers, Neil Patrick Harris type vibes but people chose not to see them. Mormons, Catholics and church affiliated blacks (along with Orthodox Jews and Muslims) probably have more men still living "on the down low" than other groups because their religions do not accept people with an openly gay identity.

    Thanks for the issue of your imagination. Been an education.

    A dear cousin of mine lost her husband a couple of years back. He’d been sliding downhill for a couple of years prior. Her comment on that was that she’d been married to one man for 42 years and then this stranger appeared. Eventually, the neurologist tells her that we have a name for that: ‘frontotemporal dementia’. She’d been expecting to spend long years supervising him, but, as it happened, he died in his sleep some months later.

    The social ideology of our time doesn’t permit of anyone in authority to examine and investigate Smart’s behavior. (The news accounts, that he announces of Facebook that he’s dumping his wife and no one says boo about it are not credible).

    As for McGreevey, he is, by all appearances, an omnivorous sociopathic grifter. I wouldn’t take seriously one thing he’s said about himself.

  198. Of course the Saud’s are some of the USA’s Military Industrial Complex best customers. There almost single handedly, keeping the Boeing F-15 assembly line in operation near St. Louis. I would further make an educated guess, the Saudi government pays the USA full list price to train there aviation cadets. I can make a further guess, there very reluctant to wash Saudi pilots out of the program at the same rate American candidates (unless there female/minority) get washed out. But I wonder if this guy was about to flunk out, despite the benefit of the doubt. Of course it wouldn’t be his fault but the fault of devilish White Christian instructors…….

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Sales to Saudi Arabia fluctuate a lot year to year. Per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, gross output in the aerospace industry, shipbuilding, and military vehicles was about $252 bn in 2012. Saudi purchases that year amounted to $8 bn.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    I read a report saying he was incensed because someone gave him the nickname of Porn Stash.

    No sense of humor. Every aviator gets a nickname and some are not complimentary. I know a helo pilot nicknamed Crash.

    OT: Saw the documentary Apollo 11 in IMAX today. Original clips and audio with no narration. The Saturn 5 rocket weighed 7 million pounds. Armstrong's pulse was 156 during the lunar descent as he tried to avoid the lunar rocks.

    Brought home just how near run the whole thing was and how we could not do it again today, because can do white guys with ties and crew cuts who smoked cigarettes and waved American flags and who actually knew WTF they were doing would not be allowed to run things.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11_(2019_film)
  199. @Magic Dirt Resident
    It means Congress cannot make it illegal to adhere/not adhere to a certain state mandated religion. It doesn't mean the government must be religiously neutral and not promote Christianity.

    “It means Congress cannot make it illegal to adhere/not adhere to a certain state mandated religion.”

    I had said that, just in a different way.

    “It doesn’t mean the government must be religiously neutral and not promote Christianity.”

    Actually, it does mean the government is religiously neutral. It must refrain from promoting ANY specific faith, or allow faiths to be practiced without interference.

  200. @George Taylor
    Of course the Saud's are some of the USA's Military Industrial Complex best customers. There almost single handedly, keeping the Boeing F-15 assembly line in operation near St. Louis. I would further make an educated guess, the Saudi government pays the USA full list price to train there aviation cadets. I can make a further guess, there very reluctant to wash Saudi pilots out of the program at the same rate American candidates (unless there female/minority) get washed out. But I wonder if this guy was about to flunk out, despite the benefit of the doubt. Of course it wouldn't be his fault but the fault of devilish White Christian instructors.......

    Sales to Saudi Arabia fluctuate a lot year to year. Per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, gross output in the aerospace industry, shipbuilding, and military vehicles was about $252 bn in 2012. Saudi purchases that year amounted to $8 bn.

  201. @George Taylor
    Of course the Saud's are some of the USA's Military Industrial Complex best customers. There almost single handedly, keeping the Boeing F-15 assembly line in operation near St. Louis. I would further make an educated guess, the Saudi government pays the USA full list price to train there aviation cadets. I can make a further guess, there very reluctant to wash Saudi pilots out of the program at the same rate American candidates (unless there female/minority) get washed out. But I wonder if this guy was about to flunk out, despite the benefit of the doubt. Of course it wouldn't be his fault but the fault of devilish White Christian instructors.......

    I read a report saying he was incensed because someone gave him the nickname of Porn Stash.

    No sense of humor. Every aviator gets a nickname and some are not complimentary. I know a helo pilot nicknamed Crash.

    OT: Saw the documentary Apollo 11 in IMAX today. Original clips and audio with no narration. The Saturn 5 rocket weighed 7 million pounds. Armstrong’s pulse was 156 during the lunar descent as he tried to avoid the lunar rocks.

    Brought home just how near run the whole thing was and how we could not do it again today, because can do white guys with ties and crew cuts who smoked cigarettes and waved American flags and who actually knew WTF they were doing would not be allowed to run things.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11_(2019_film)

  202. @Anonymous
    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.

    Never was it everyone, but it was most people. A far higher percentage than today.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Higher, not far higher. About 4.4 million people got married in this country in 2017. The population between their 25th and 30th birthday was estimated at 22.4 million, or about 4.5 million per age cohort. Of course, a great many people getting married at any one time are double- and even triple-dippers. (I haven't found current data on how many of those 4.4 million are getting married for the 1st time).
  203. @Anonymous

    In the old days getting married and having kids was like paying taxes, or serving in the army. Everybody did it whether they liked it or not.
     
    Never was it everyone, but it was most people. A far higher percentage than today.

    Higher, not far higher. About 4.4 million people got married in this country in 2017. The population between their 25th and 30th birthday was estimated at 22.4 million, or about 4.5 million per age cohort. Of course, a great many people getting married at any one time are double- and even triple-dippers. (I haven’t found current data on how many of those 4.4 million are getting married for the 1st time).

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