Huckabee: America enslaved to Saudi oil

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by jterrell, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    WASHINGTON - Consumers are financing both sides in the war on terror because of the actions of U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday.

    The former Arkansas governor made the comments following what he suggested was a muted response by the Bush administration to a Saudi court's sentence of six months in jail and 200 lashes for a woman who was gang raped.

    "The United States has been far too involved in sort of looking the other way, not only at the atrocities of human rights and violation of women," Huckabee said on CNN's "Late Edition."

    "Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we're paying so that the Saudis get rich — filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas," schools "that train the terrorists," said Huckabee. "America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It's absurd. It's embarrassing."

    Huckabee said "I would make the United States energy independent within 10 years and tell the Saudis they can keep their oil just like they can keep their sand, that we won't need either one of them."

    Responding to the gang rape case in Saudi Arabia, the State Department expressed astonishment about the sentence of the Saudi court against the rape victim.

    The woman was convicted of being in the car of a man who was not a relative. The seven men convicted of raping her were given prison sentences of two years to nine years.

    Under Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, women are not allowed in public in the company of men other than relatives.

    The woman has said the 2006 attack occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male friend. While in the car with the friend, two men climbed into the vehicle and drove to a secluded area. She said she was raped by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend.

    The woman initially had been sentenced to 90 lashes after she was convicted of violating rigid laws on the segregation of the sexes. The Saudi court said the woman's punishment was increased because of what the court said was her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.

    State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that "when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment. But it is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it."

    Last Tuesday, the same day as McCormack's comments, President Bush telephoned Saudi King Abdullah, trying to get Saudi Arabia to co-sponsor this week's U.S.-organized conference aimed at working toward a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. On Friday, Abdullah agreed to send its foreign minister to the conference.
  2. Aikbach

    Aikbach Well-Known Member

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    A misnomer about Middle Eastern oil is that we are actually protecting other people's supply and not our own, we have a vested interest in keeping OPEC down but a majority of America's oil does not come from the crude found in Saudi Arabia which mind you is very expensive to refine because it is high is sulfur content.

    China and Europe are more dependent on Middle Eastern wells and reserves than the United States, our relationships in the Middle East are complex and sticky.

    They are not clear and cut oil greed as the simplistics would like to label it.

    Something that is overlooked is the fact that we picked up the slack for European imperial messes after the Suez Canal debacle.

    It was clear by the 1950s that Britain and France could no longer control their empire outposts in the region and called upon us to police what they had for a century before held.

    Much of the strain in Mesopotamia with the West goes back to before the First World War, we volunteered to step in because of Cold War strategy as the Soviet Union sought to cozy up to several states we sought to make sure the region was not in full alliance with Moscow.

    We also protected the lone democracy in the region, the fledgling Israel, although I think our blind and unconditional support for them has been unwarranted.

    Oil is not the chief reason for America's half century long entanglement in the Middle East.

    True actions have been taken to make sure the rest of the world's main supply is not usurped by tyrannical forces (although this is a matter of debate as it appears lesser evils have been the compromise) but America's own supply is not threatened directly by Middle Eastern conflict, indirectly through OPEC pricing it can be however.
  3. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Nice find JT.

    Sorry I never got back to you on the Hillary post, but I'm working 2 jobs now and I hardly even post on the Boys that much anymore.

    Did I mention I really like Huckabee.
  4. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    NP bro at all.
    Huckabee is rather interesting to me.
    I heard him described again last night as the candidate of the Christian Left.

    And I do support his energy independence ideals.

    I think if nothing else he makes an intriguing VP candidate for the Repubs which were lacking for one. He is a Southern Evangel so would be a boon to Romney or Guiliani if they could nab him. Then again he is picking up some steam and would likely win the southern states fairly handily so perhaps the nomination is not foregone.
  5. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    There is some truth to that but we are importing between 1.5 and 2 million barrels PER DAY from Saudi Arabia and that makes it the 3rd largest importer of US oil after our North American brethren.

    We have set up Saudi Arabia as the Middle East powerhouse and helped them ascend to WTO and other considerations in return for the influence they wield in OPEC and with the ME bloc in general.

    Obviously it is an unholy alliance where neither side is all that ideologically satisfied with the other but both sides benefit.

    SA exports most heavily to Asia actually not Europe.

    See next post for some detail.
  6. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    The World; The High, Hidden Cost of Saudi Arabian Oil

    Published: October 21, 2001

    DURING his presidential campaign, George W. Bush warned that the nation faced an oil crisis. He was right, but not in the way he foresaw. The crisis that came has nothing to do with prices at the gas pump, or environmental obstacles to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

    Rather, it has to do with the political and military price the United States must pay for its dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf.

    The terms of that dependence have been glaringly obvious since the attacks on New York and Washington. Immediately after Sept. 11, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, assured the United States that it would keep oil supplies stable.

    In turn, the Bush administration has refrained from criticizing Saudi silence over the American-led counterattacks against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, nor has it spoken out about evidence that Saudi citizens finance Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and other radical Islamic organizations.

    Moreover, although the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified most of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks as Saudis, Saudi Arabia has refused to provide passenger lists of flights to the United States, an act the Bush administration has been unwilling to criticize.

    ''The stark truth is that we're dependent on this country that directly or indirectly finances people who are a direct threat to you and me as individuals,'' said Edward L. Morse, former deputy assistant secretary of state for international energy policy under President Ronald Reagan.

    ''They won't give us information, won't help track people down, and won't let us use our bases that are there to protect them,'' Mr. Morse added.

    A major reason for that reticence is oil. Five percent of the world's population lives in the United States, but it burns about 19 million barrels of oil a day, or 25 percent of the global daily consumption of 76 million barrels. American cars and sport-utility vehicles alone consume 10 percent of that.

    The United States has been angling for influence in the Arabian peninsula since oil was discovered there 70 years ago. American oil companies helped create Saudi Aramco, the state oil company. They were kicked out during the 1973 Arab oil embargo, but the United States and Saudi Arabia quickly reconciled. Several groups of Western oil companies, led by ExxonMobil, will soon develop Saudi Arabia's huge natural gas fields.

    Saudi Arabia has all along made certain it was the largest supplier of oil to the United States, oil traders, diplomats and economists said. Saudi Arabia could make more money selling oil to east Asia, but has preferred to sell oil to the United States at lower prices in order to retain its coveted role.

    Over the decades, the Saudis' pursuit of American money and military protection melded perfectly with America's ever-growing oil appetite to turn the two nations into reflexive allies. Saudi Arabia and the United States worked together for years to shape the balance of power in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    From 1980 to 1988, the United States and Saudi Arabia armed Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. In 1979 , after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Saudis were part of an alliance formed by the United States to drive them out.

    ''We collaborated in the war in Afghanistan: the Saudis, the U.S. and Pakistan,'' said Gregory Gause, director of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Vermont. ''The Saudis had the money, the Pakistanis had the bases and we had the political oomph to get it together.''

    Because its interests were so densely intertwined with Saudi Arabia, the United States turned a blind eye to its ally's unsavory foreign liaisons and brewing domestic trouble.

    THE United States looked the other way, for instance, as the Saudi government and individuals sent money to the Taliban. Starting in 1999 and extending at least into mid-2000, Saudi Arabia exported 150,000 barrels of oil a day, gratis, to Pakistan and Afghanistan as foreign aid, according to Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, a trade publication. Among oil traders, it is widely believed that the shipments exceeded war-ravaged Afghanistan's needs, and that oil may have been resold to arm the Taliban.

    Saudi Arabia's aid to the Taliban points up the balancing act the ruling al-Saud family has to perform between its foreign and domestic interests. The Saudis consider themselves allies of the United States. But the glue that holds their kingdom together is a puritanical strain of Islam called Wahhabism. By supporting the Taliban and other Muslim groups, the al-Saud dynasty is able to retain the goodwill of the country's clerics. Already, in response to the tacit Saudi backing of the American antiterrorism campaign, a powerful mainstream mullah in Saudi Arabia has issued a fatwa excommunicating the royal family. Fearful of protests, the Saudis have not tried to arrest him.

    In fact, fear of losing power has led the Saudis to pay off just about everyone, which makes oil revenues so crucial. There is the welfare state to coddle the citizenry; the toleration of extremist clerics so that they do not stir up the masses; and the payoffs to other regimes, including a Pakistan with nuclear capability, to keep them friendly.

    But that protection money has not stemmed a growing domestic restiveness, as many Saudis have become fed up with a sprawling ruling family they believe is insatiably corrupt.

    ''For many of the princes,'' said one former cabinet secretary in Washington, ''the advantages of getting money exceed the advantages of keeping internal unrest down.''

    Many people in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East loathe the United States because they see it as the protector of a degraded regime in Riyadh. This has put pressure on the Bush administration, intent upon preserving the stability of its largest oil supplier and the appearance of Middle Eastern approval for its fight against terrorism, to toughen its stance on Israel. Prior to the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister, some kind of shift had been expected by many, including the Israelis.

    ''To a certain extent,'' said Philip K. Verleger, an independent economist and a senior adviser in the Carter administration, ''we let U.S. foreign policy be dictated to us by the house of Saud.''

    IT is unclear what the United States can do to loosen its ties to the Saudi regime, so long as it remains reliant on its oil. Mr. Bush urged the Senate last week to get to work on a comprehensive energy policy. But the White House and most Republicans want to focus on developing domestic oil supplies. Given the fact that the United States has only 3 percent of the world's known reserves, increased drilling will do little in the long run to decrease dependence on the Middle East.

    ''Sept. 11 should be an alarm bell that we need a balanced, comprehensive energy policy that addresses things we don't like to do: mandating more fuel-efficient vehicles, more domestic oil and gas drilling, becoming more energy efficient as a nation, '' said Bill Richardson, energy secretary under President Bill Clinton.

    That, in turn, could give Washington a bit more leeway in its relations with Saudi Arabia, freeing it to press for a reduction in official corruption or for reining in radical Islamic groups.

    Some people, like Dan W. Reicher, former assistant secretary of energy under Mr. Clinton, think that changes that reduce American dependence on petroleum are possible without Americans having to sacrifice the kinds of cars they drive or how they live.

    The question now, Mr. Reicher said, is whether Washington can find the political will to act before an oil crisis explodes.

    ''Will patriotism mean more than raising the flag?'' he said. ''Will it mean raising fuel economy?''
  7. acis516

    acis516 Member

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    "I think if nothing else he makes an intriguing VP candidate for the Repubs which were lacking for one. He is a Southern Evangel so would be a boon to Romney or Guiliani if they could nab him. Then again he is picking up some steam and would likely win the southern states fairly handily so perhaps the nomination is not foregone"

    i definitely believe a ticket of romney and huckabee is not beatable by any of the democratic possibilities. i don't necessarily mean romney as P and Huckabee as VP I think they win either way. I personally like Huckabee best.

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