Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by takyon on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the idle-threat dept.

The New York Times reports (and Yahoo! News repeats without any paywall) that the government of Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell $750 billion in treasury securities and other unidentified assets if Congress passes the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. The bill would allow foreign governments to be sued by 9/11 victims and their families. The threat was issued by Saudi Arabian foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir to unnamed US lawmakers while he was visiting Washington sometime last month, on the grounds that these assets could be in danger of being frozen by US courts.


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. President to Visit Saudi Arabia; Arms Sales Expected 51 comments

Ahead of the US president's visit to Saudi Arabia, a series of multi-billion-dollar arms deals have been outlined. The previous US administration suspended some supplies because of human rights concerns.

Deutsche Welle

When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.

Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.

After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. “They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,” a senior White House official said.

[...] The most concrete part of the idea is a mammoth U.S. arms package for Saudi Arabia that Trump will also announce in Riyadh. Final details are still being worked out, but officials said the package will include between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales. Over 10 years, total sales could reach $350 billion.

The sales include huge upgrades for the Saudi army and navy to include Littoral Combat Ships, THAAD missile defense systems, armored personnel carriers, missiles, bombs and munitions, officials said. Some of the production and assembly could be located in Saudi Arabia, boosting MBS’s project to build a Saudi domestic defense industrial capability. But most of the items would be built by American defense contractors.

The Washington Post

Additional coverage:

President Obama to Veto Bill Allowing September 11 Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia 45 comments

President Obama plans to veto a bipartisan bill that would create an exception to the sovereign immunity doctrine, allowing victims of state-sponsored terrorism to sue foreign governments:

President Barack Obama will veto a bill that would allow terror victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, to sue Saudi Arabia, the White House said Monday. "That's still the plan," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said when asked if the President planned to veto the bill. The White House had previously suggested Obama would not sign the bill when it first passed the Senate in May saying it would complicate diplomatic relations. [...] Lawmakers are expected to attempt to override the veto, and if successful, would mark the first time in Obama's presidency.

The bill passed in the House and Senate unanimously.

Also at The New York Times , Reuters.

S.2040 - Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

Previously: Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sell $750 Billion in US Assets If 9/11 Bill Passes


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough

Mark All as Read

Mark All as Unread

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:48AM (#333015)

    And now you know why we fight pointless wars over oil to protect the interests of Saudi Arabia.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:52AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:52AM (#333019)

      But the internet keeps telling me that 19 trillion in debt is no big deal.

    • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05AM

      by Dunbal (3515) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05AM (#333025)

      That's ok you think the US can't make all their expensive military weaponry obsolete and non functional with a satellite signal? America would be extremely stupid selling them weapons that the Americans could end up fighting. What is money to a dead person?

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Gravis on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:23AM

        by Gravis (4596) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:23AM (#333098)

        America would be extremely stupid selling them weapons that the Americans could end up fighting.

        apparently you don't know about our politicians.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:14AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:14AM (#333211) Journal

          This is why we really should give credit to the USSR. If you look at the weapons they sold to the third world? they were ALWAYS the "M" models..know what they called the M models? Monkey models, as in "we don't trust these monkeys with the good stuff". For an example the "T-72" they were sold was the T-72M, which didn't have a targeting computer, no ATGM capability, and they swapped out the night vision for an early 60s T-54 setup.

          Compare this to the USA which ever since Reagan (to Carter's credit he only sold the F-5, which was a more primitive fighter built just for the third world) has sold our latest weapon tech to plenty of dictatorships that later turned hostile. Of course that is how the MIC two step shuffle is played, 1.- Sell the latest tech to a dodgy country, 2.- When they turn hostile say "They have the latest tech! That is why you need to buy our SUX 7000 super duper weapon package!" lather rinse repeat. After all if we would have followed the Soviet example all we would be facing is cold war era crap from both sides...can't have that now can we?

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 18 2016, @11:30AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 18 2016, @11:30AM (#333702)

            In the digital age, any enemy would be brave/foolish to go up against the manufacturer of their weapons with their own weapons - how easy is it to install a "cheat code"?

            • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Monday April 18 2016, @12:15PM

              by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday April 18 2016, @12:15PM (#333707) Journal

              Except our "digital tech" is such crap our "cheat code" would most likely blow our own shit up while unlocking theirs! I have a buddy that works on military tech (he doesn't have time to deal with his relatives so he sends them to me, along with doing all their home theater work) and its really sad, we're talking DIP switches and code that makes Win 95 look like cutting edge tech.

              This is again something we should have learned about from the USSR as you look at their "M" models and its impossible to turn them into the legit versions without replacing so many critical systems you would be better off just buying a legit version. If you want to see just how bad they gimped the tech they sold to the dodgy regimes (as well as how stupid one of those regimes were) look up "Failed Tanks:Asad Babil". If we would have taken a similar stance the most advanced planes Iran would have had was the F-105 Thunderchief and the most advanced anti-air we would have given Osama would have been the Redeye missile from the early 60s.

              The only "positive" I can say is if we sell them our cutting edge tech? the code is so fucking buggy it'll be more likely to break than work in the heat of battle...but the same is true of our versions, see the record of the Phalanx CIWS for how bad our software is.

              --
              ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by mhajicek on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:32AM

        by mhajicek (51) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:32AM (#333104)

        But then they get to throw even more money at it to fight against our own weapons. This has been the pattern for decades.

      • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:06AM

        by q.kontinuum (532) on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:06AM (#333184) Journal

        And the people fighting / dying / trying to live in the expected target areas are the same which decide / benefit from the weapons deal? I don't think so... It's not Americans against non-Americans, it's rich against poor for a couple of decades already. Trust that with all big trade agreements, all wars, all weapons deals some already rich people will benefit while some poor people somewhere else will bare the consequences.
        Until a couple of years / decades ago, while the concept was the same already, the average person of a rich country benefited as well. Nowadays - due to globalization - the split between rich and poor is not that much restricted by country borders anymore. The whole national pride thing, racism and so on is a huge smokescreen to distract the now-average and soon poor majority from looking at the real problem. I think there was a nice quite from Warren Buffet on the topic. The war of our age is not between countries, religions or ideologies, it's rich against poor. And the rich won already. If I find a reference, I'll post it later.

        --
        Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:38PM (#333361)

        They do not have to do that.

        They just cut off the supply chain to those weapons.

        Most of our military equipment has parts in it that *must* be replaced at particular intervals or they basically stop working.

        It is why there are so few of the old fighter planes remain. Without the extensive supply chain for them they are basically unusable. Then on top of that to be qualified to fly/use these things you have to put in hours of work. You can only get that by using them. That time is basically consumable. Our whole military is like that.

        The Russians have a different view. They sell you fairly sturdy equipment that is not quite so finicky and easy to get parts for. However, it is usually 1950s/1960s generations of equipment. It is however dominated by anything newer.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:35AM

      by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:35AM (#333041)

      What I find deeply amusing is that you and others looked at the Saudis and how they do things and thought there was some sort of mask...

      Either you are hopelessly ignorant of the country (more specifically their ruling class) or completely morally bankrupt as to think only after they threaten the finances of the US do they become reprehensible. Or both...

      There are only a few people on this earth I would wish a bloody and horrible death to, the saudi royal family and their ilk are one example.

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:50AM (#333042)

        You sure put a lot of words in my mouth buddy.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @06:47AM

          by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @06:47AM (#333160)

          I did not put a single one in actually, I have no interest in your mouth whatsoever.

          I was quite clearly calling you either ignorant, corrupt or both.

          Try to keep up dear. (note: my money is on ignorant now...)

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:35AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:35AM (#333167) Journal
            Despite your insistence to the contrary, there is clearly a mask here. Why else would the Saudis do this secretly rather than buying Superbowl ad space? It's because they don't want to project a public image of making threats. That's exactly what masks are about - creating a public face which is different from what you do or are.

            In that light, masks can and do slip in various ways to reveal the secrets behind them. Here, it looks like the threat was spread around to too many people and someone blabbed to the press, perhaps exaggerating in the process.
            • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:32PM

              by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:32PM (#333360)

              I think you are going to need more evidence than just hand waving and poorly thought out speculation since it is your side that is making the claim that a mask exists.

              The saudis are explicitly evil and have been for as long as anyone can remember. If you are so naive that you think their investments were in any way to help america or their pulling out has anything other than to do with protecting their supporters of terrorism from legal ramifications then there really is no point in talking to you.
              The fact that these evils bastards were allowed to buy the stocks in the first place should be a shameful admission. (much as it would if north korea was found to have)

              But I think I agree now that the mask exists. YOU are wearing it. It is one of ignorance and naivety.

              • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:50PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:50PM (#333364) Journal

                I think you are going to need more evidence than just hand waving and poorly thought out speculation since it is your side that is making the claim that a mask exists.

                One doesn't need more than that. This isn't rocket science.

                The saudis are explicitly evil and have been for as long as anyone can remember. If you are so naive that you think their investments were in any way to help america or their pulling out has anything other than to do with protecting their supporters of terrorism from legal ramifications then there really is no point in talking to you.

                "Explicitly evil"? Of course not. Do we need to dredge up some Saudi Arabian propaganda to demonstrate your error here? I wouldn't be surprised in the least, if the vast majority of them think they're doing good for their citizens or worldwide Moslems. To use a Godwin analogy, Hitler didn't think he was evil and his propaganda most certainly didn't spin him as being evil.

                But I think I agree now that the mask exists. YOU are wearing it. It is one of ignorance and naivety.

                Maybe we could discuss this further once you've pulled your head out of your ass? Dumb statements like this just indicate you're not thinking.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:12AM (#333051)

        There are only a few people on this earth I would wish a bloody and horrible death to, the saudi royal family and their ilk are one example.

        You and Osama bin Laden both.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:36AM (#333066)

        There are only a few people on this earth I would wish a bloody and horrible death to, the saudi royal family and their ilk are one example.

        Well, OK, but are you ready to accept the blowback if that were to ever happen? What's that? Were you really thinking that a democratic government with a guarantee of personal liberties would magically rise from the ashes? How splendidly naive of you!

        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @06:42AM

          by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @06:42AM (#333159)

          I did not say I would do it, I would WISH it. As in hope it happens by accident or due to bad karma.

          Nice try hidden coward, but fail sauce is all you get for dinner.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:35PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:35PM (#333390) Journal

            I did not say I would do it, I would WISH it. As in hope it happens by accident or due to bad karma.

            And that will make the blowback better how?

    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:56AM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:56AM (#333202) Journal

      Obligatory all wars are bankers wars [topdocumentaryfilms.com] link for those that have not seen it yet. And always remember the words of Mayer Amschel Rothschild "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:52AM (#333018)

    They don't need us to protect their oil interests. They just don't want to get their own hands dirty. If there is definitive proof that Saudi officials helped with 9/11, then I have no problems with them getting sued.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05AM (#333027)

      They are getting their hands dirty in Yemen.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:01AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:01AM (#333084)

      The courts (US and elsewhere) can be a frightful nuisance to the innocent. If I had the power of the Saudi Royals, I wouldn't sit idly by as US lawmakers move toward putting Billions of my assets in jeopardy of seizure / being tied up for decades while a foreign court decides if I have any responsibility for some idiot nephew who went out and did boneheaded things without my knowledge, permission, or blessing.

      And, there's probably just enough dirt, just enough innuendo and rumor and radically leaning family members to lend credence to claims that the Royal Family did back the attacks. Why let a foreign country threaten to seize your assets when you can threaten to demolish their economy first?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:05PM (#333245)

        And, there's probably just enough dirt, just enough innuendo and rumor and radically leaning family members to lend credence to claims that the Royal Family did back the attacks.

        Over a decade ago the House of Saud was roughly 30,000 people. [theatlantic.com] Even the upper tier, official princes, number at least 4,000. Any group that large is going to have outliers in all directions.

  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:04AM

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:04AM (#333023)

    When terrorist acts are sponsored by another state, it is called war. It would be fought as such if only states and nations did exist, but, alas, the system is one already.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:06AM (#333049)

      Which terrorists are we talking about now? Do you mean the terrorists that USA has been sponsoring through years? The military coups in Latin-America, in Middle-East, in Africa...

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:41PM

        by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:41PM (#333476)

        I do not think that the USA is going to war with itself, this weeds out all the ones you cited.
        The fact that they have no problem overthrowing governments makes my POV stronger.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by richtopia on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:04AM

    by richtopia (3160) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:04AM (#333024) Homepage Journal

    For context, the total foreign debt of the USA is roughly 6 trillion (2014). 750 billion is a sizeable portion of this debt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States#Debt_holdings [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:09AM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:09AM (#333030)

      so, time to short? Ideological sales never go well....

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by M. Baranczak on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:56AM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:56AM (#333045)

      The Saudi government doesn't have anywhere close to $750 billion in US treasuries. First, note the summary: "$750 billion in treasury securities and other unidentified assets ". Here's a spreadsheet [treasury.gov] that was cited as a source in the Wikipedia article you linked. It says that "Asian oil exporters" (a group that includes Saudi Arabia) hold $228 billion in US treasuries. And bear in mind, this includes all the people who live in those countries and own treasuries, it's not just national governments.

      The Saudi king probably told his accountant to estimate the total value of all his US-based assets, then doubled that estimate, and arrived at a figure of $750 billion. It's all rather murky, since we don't know what assets they're talking about, but my guess is that this would hurt the Saudis worse than anyone else. If you're trying to sell that much of anything, it'll take many years. And if everyone knows you're in a hurry to sell, then you'll have to sell it for much less than you would have otherwise.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:13AM

        by Whoever (4524) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:13AM (#333122)

        Let's not forget also that Saudi Arabia is spending through its sovereign wealth fund already (because of the low price of oil). So the Saudis are probably already selling US assets.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SanityCheck on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:47PM

          by SanityCheck (5190) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:47PM (#333252)

          Indeed. This looks like BS grand standing. They have to sell these assets to stay afloat. So what they will do is act like they are beginning to sell them to try to get concessions. Those guys can go fuck themselves. They are pumping oil now through the roof to put US companies out of business. At the same fuckin time when Oil was at $100 / barrel and we were suffering cause of it, these motherfuckers did nothing! They have overplayed their hand and now the world is moving towards renewables. We will leave them in their shitty desert penniless and their own people will eat them alive once they money runs out. All things they fuckin deserve.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:05PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:05PM (#333301) Journal

            Those guys can go fuck themselves.

            If what you say is true, then they already are.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:03AM (#333047)

      > For context, the total foreign debt of the USA is roughly 6 trillion (2014). 750 billion is a sizeable portion of this debt.

      If they dump a huge pile of it on the market it will (temporarily) depress the value so they will have to sell it cheap.
      That would be a good time for the US to buy it back.
      Might not be so bad for the US, but definitely bad for the saudis.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:04AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:04AM (#333048)

      750 billion is a sizeable portion of this debt.

      While non-negligible, maybe it's a good way to drive the US dollar down and make the US manufacturing be competitive again.

      But... the real danger is the drop of USD as the base for petrodollar and World Reserve Currency.
      While it may well be a coincidence (do you think so?), here are two things:
      * Saddam started to sell petrol in Euro around 2000 [rferl.org]
      * Gadhaffi started to want gold (based currency) instead of USD around 2009 [thenewamerican.com]

      Maybe we are seeing high production/low oil prices only as a way to disrupt the run from USD as the base for petrol prices (and World Reserve Currency) initiated [globalresearch.ca] by BRICS [globalresearch.ca] countries [theinternationalforecaster.com] (too big/stable to invade?).

      You know, any of the above would really make USA lose its special status and force it to compete without resorting on monetary tricks.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:22AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:22AM (#333056)

        Dont forget that one of the first things we did after knocking heads in Iraq was to put them straight back onto the petro dollar for their oil transactions. The US would have played any excuse they think they could get away with when it comes to protecting their economic livelihood.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:33PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:33PM (#333313) Journal

        But... the real danger is the drop of USD as the base for petrodollar and World Reserve Currency. While it may well be a coincidence (do you think so?),

        It is a coincidence. The Iraqi war would have been too expensive in foresight to be justified on those terms (and the enormous profiteering potential from the war and aftermath would have dwarfed any finance side interests). Meanwhile the Libyan adventure was spurred by France who obviously doesn't have a stake in the petrodollar. Personally, I think it's a waste of time to attribute such mystical significant to money. It's just not that valuable even to an owner of a currency.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Non Sequor on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:15AM

      by Non Sequor (1005) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:15AM (#333053) Journal

      Here's the thing, if they actually tried to move all of their treasury bonds there would be enough buyers to prevent a drastic drop in price/spike in interest rates. Any investor holding corporate bonds or anything else that typically trades in lock step with treasury bonds would be foolish not to sell their corporate bonds and buy treasuries when a major asset holder is offloading them. If there are more sellers than buyers in the market for treasuries, the yield on them goes up. If that yield goes over the yield on corporate bonds, then you can get a safer asset than you're currently holding with the same return by selling your corporate bonds and buying treasuries.

      Not to mention that if Saudi Arabia sells $750b in assets, they have to buy $750b of something else (even if it's just currency that they buy). More than likely they would be buying the same assets that other people would be selling to buy treasuries.

      --
      Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:18AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:18AM (#333034)

    Start with women's rights, then move to human rights. The ruling monarchy keeps all the money, most of the kingdom lives in poverty. The majority of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. There is a ton of evidence Saudi Arabia finances terrorist cells around the globe.

    The only good thing about them is they have oil that they're willing to sell for cheap. I for one am willing to pay an extra buck a gallon or so in return for letting these backwards fucktards descend into a Syria like civil war.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:29AM (#333061)

      I for one am willing to pay an extra buck a gallon or so in return for letting these backwards fucktards descend into a Syria like civil war.

      To be sure, that would certainly be emotionally satisfying on one level. But think this through carefully. It would be the wet dream of both ISIS and al Qeada if civil war were to erupt in KSA. Do you really want ISIS taking over one of the largest suppliers of the world's oil supply? Seriously? The KSA is bad enough; let's not make this any worse than it actually is already. I'm afraid our best option right now is to work this one with patience and calm.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:11AM (#333089)

        The relationship of Trump and Cruz to the Republican Party is weirdly analogous to the relationship of ISIS and Al Qaeda to the ruling party of Saudi Arabia. In both cases, the parents refuse to acknowledge their logical offspring.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:34AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:34AM (#333106)

          The same can be said for Bernie Sanders. The difference in the dangers -- we know how to escape theocracy. The priests disrobe themselves [youtube.com]. Cultural revolution on the other hand -- well, we've never seen a successful uprising against that kind of government.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:19PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:19PM (#333308) Journal
            What is a "cultural revolution" and what does it have to do with governments?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18 2016, @05:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18 2016, @05:13AM (#333600)

        Do you know what Saudi Arabia has that is worth even more than all that oil?

        Mecca and Medina.

        SA is the Jerusalem of Islam (ignoring for the moment that many religious sites in Jerusalem also have significance to Muslims). Meaning that just like all Jews are supposed to pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and Catholics to Rome (and Jerusalem and elsewhere as applicable), Muslims are expected to make a pilgrimage to Mecca (and Medina? I don't remember the full specifics.)

        Point being that destablilization of Saudi Arabia could make the religious war Daesh/ISIL/ISIS, Al Qaeda and other religiously charges Muslim groups are fighting just that much worse. If one of them were to take the religious centers from Saudi Arabia tens of thousands if not millions more Muslims would be looking to join the new Caliphate backed with the will of God (as show by their newfound territorial control of the very foundations of Islam.) Assured that their holy war was fully backed by the will of God they would not be as easily disenfranchised as Daesh's forces have turned out to be. Furthermore retalitory strikes against the sites after that would only assure them the ends of days had come and this was their glorious last battle as prophesized in their religious texts.

      • (Score: 1) by Delwin on Monday April 18 2016, @08:00PM

        by Delwin (4554) on Monday April 18 2016, @08:00PM (#333929)

        KSA falling into civil war because oil is no longer worth much (due to electric cars and widespread adoption of renewables) on the other hand would be an interesting turn of events.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by bitstream on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:30AM

      by bitstream (6144) on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:30AM (#333063) Journal

      The choice seems to boil down to sponsorship of various bloody organizations or access to oil and investment money.

      If the west gets rid of the dependence on hydrocarbons then one can also drop the engagements in the middle east.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:49AM (#333075)

        If the west gets rid of the dependence on hydrocarbons then one can also drop the engagements in the middle east.

        I seriously doubt this. While the west is the majority of the world economy, it is not the entire world economy. Even if we were to completely drop all dependence on hydrocarbons in the west, we would still have to deal with the ramifications--economic and otherwise--of instability in the middle east. Methinks you haven't thought this through very carefully.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:12AM (#333120)

          we would still have to deal with the ramifications--economic and otherwise--of instability in the middle east.

          Which we caused? Damn, that's rich. Syria wasn't destabilize until Israel and the Elite Central Bankers decided they needed to call their US lapdogs in to destabilize the nation. Jews want a "greater Israel" and the bankers hate countries that aren't using debt based currency that they own printing rights to.

          You want to end the destabilization? Get rid of the private central bakers who are the cause of every major war. [youtube.com]

        • (Score: 2) by bitstream on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:56AM

          by bitstream (6144) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:56AM (#333136) Journal

          It means it will be possible to take a stand on viewpoints that they don't like. The current situation is a lot of cowtowing because we just got to have that oil. Leaving them to become a new North Korea is of course a bad idea.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday April 18 2016, @12:41AM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday April 18 2016, @12:41AM (#333491) Journal

        If the west gets rid of the dependence on hydrocarbons then one can also drop the engagements in the middle east.

        No, they cannot. They don't want to let the Russians or Chinese to grow fat and dangerous. In order to starve them, they have to scorch the earth.

    • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:03AM

      by q.kontinuum (532) on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:03AM (#333206) Journal

      You realize that the ones suffering would be, once again, the poverty stricken population (due to violence), the western lower- and middle-class (where transport is a substantial part of their monthly expenses, directly and also indirectly through food prices), and the poor bastards sent there to fight later on?
      Beneficiaries would be the already rich, because huge changes always provide huge opportunities one way or another, especially when you are one of those manufacturing the changes in the first place and therefore have inside knowledge.

      The Saudi royal families will do fine either way.

      --
      Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Appalbarry on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:33AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:33AM (#333039) Journal

    I assumed it would be China who eventually grabbed North America's balls, squeezed hard, and said "Bend over."

    Ship a large part of your economy, and half of your essential manufacturing to a repressed foreign regime?

    Yeah! Good for business!

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:12AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:12AM (#333052)

      I assumed it would be China who eventually grabbed North America's balls, squeezed hard, and said "Bend over."

      Oh, but they started [examiner.com] to do it [telegraph.co.uk].

      It may be the reason for the oil super-production and low prices - an attemp to drive a lot of small players' economy into the ground before getting away from the UDS.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:38AM (#333151)

      Really? Offtopic? SN is dying.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:40AM (#333195)

        You didn't know? It would have been even worse, if you had merely mentioned that things like, for instance, Plutonium or certain by-products of nuclear power generation are highly radioactive.

    • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Monday April 18 2016, @05:23PM

      by cubancigar11 (330) on Monday April 18 2016, @05:23PM (#333833) Homepage Journal

      Repressed? [twitter.com] You would be better off in China than in USA if you stopped drinking the cool-aid.

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:02AM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:02AM (#333046)

    What Would Trump/Cruz/Sanders/Clinton Do? Both by their rhetoric and what you think they'd *actually* do.

    Is Clinton the only one to have actual experience negotiating a situation in this area (as Secretary of State)?

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:30AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:30AM (#333062) Journal
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:02AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:02AM (#333086)

        With such a friend [democracynow.org], who needs enemies?

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:21AM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:21AM (#333095) Journal

          And Obama has since called Libya his "greatest mistake":

          http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/ [theatlantic.com]
          http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/04/obama-clinton-libya-mistake [vanityfair.com]

          He was being charitable. Letting Hillary Clinton dictate his foreign policy was his greatest mistake.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:59PM

            by SanityCheck (5190) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:59PM (#333256)

            Yes I need to roll out a map and see where this bitch will take us next if we don't make America Great Again. Fucked and Fucked.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:54PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:54PM (#333274)

              To tie things together, all BRICS needs for a credible push to move away from USD is TPP/TTIP/TISA. I'd bet bitcoins if I had them that Clinton does a 180 on her current position on those treaties, which she only holds so she can maximize her votes in the primary, back to the position she held as Secretary of State when she's POTUS. Those treaties conspicuously leave out BRICS and seek to turn the Western world into one giant economic zone (with plenty of internet censorship since megacorps will be able to sue to bring down more than just copyright violations as I understand TISA).

              What the superwealthy interests Clinton represents are gambling is that they don't need China and India to make cheap shit for the masses and that those two countries in particular won't be able to manage a transition to a modern economy where their own manufacturing is driven by their own middle class.

              I'm still on the fence about Trump, and it's yet to be seen if he can carry a contested convention. I supported Sanders, but it's becoming clear now that there's simply no way he can win. Somehow, despite her husband's latest flub, Clinton will carry most of New York as the black demographic seems to be suffering from mass hypnosis as far as I can tell. (It's pretty clear that black "leaders" are all in her pocket, and I wouldn't even be surprised if she's the one sending protesters with Bernie signs in hand to Trump rallies--if there is somebody bankrolling those protesters.)

              In the event Cruz or Roboromney get the nomination, I'll definitely abstain from the general election. Kasich is the only candidate that beats Clinton in the polls (whereas Sanders beats pretty much all of them), but I doubt he'll somehow get the nomination. I guess if he does, I'd need to research him more deeply. There are people predicting WWIII if Trump gets in office. I'm not sure if the world will be a safer or more dangerous place given some of the things he's said like arming Japan and South Korea with nukes, but I am certain that while he's no business genius, Trump isn't a dummy either. Even if we all chuckled a bit when he said he'd call up Bill Gates about shutting the internet off, I gained some respect for him. At least he knows he's no expert, and he has no problem finding the experts and listening to them. (I could see Bill Gates putting him in contact with an actual expert, but the point is that Trump knows he doesn't know.)

              WWIII is much more likely with the direction the superwealthy elites have been taking the West. I've been thinking it's a distinct possibility since about mid last year. It just so happens that Clinton was their ordained choice, which wasn't clear a year ago, at least not to me. I thought there was something seriously weird about how the West handled the Arab Spring. Somebody up there made the connection: the West is dead-set on keeping oil in USD only. BRICS is on the verge [wikipedia.org] of creating its own independent monetary infrastructure. Of course they'll want to use some other currency than USD to trade for oil.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dyingtolive on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:50AM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:50AM (#333114)

      Trump would say to damn the torpedos, and not give a damn.

      Cruz would do much the same, citing that Christians don't need to kneel down to "others".

      Sanders would probably try to find some compromise that would be good natured but a little too weak.

      Clinton would go to Goldman Sachs and ask them what she should do.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
  • (Score: 4, Touché) by sjames on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:22AM

    by sjames (2882) on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:22AM (#333057) Journal

    I'm guessing if the Saudis try to make good on that, we'll discover a clandestine WMD program soon after.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:34AM (#333065)

    $750 billion divided by 3000 (approximate number of 9-11 dead) is $250 million. That's far higher than the typical damages awarded for wrongful death. For the haircut they'd take in a sale to be preferable, they must expect a marked lack of sympathy from the U.S. courts.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:51AM (#333077)

    The US should have confiscated all Saudi oil after 9 / 11 and sold it to help the world's poor.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:04AM (#333116)

    The towers were too costly to keep renovating since they had asbestos. ((Silverstein)), who purchased the WTC property just before 9/11, couldn't demolish the towers legally because it would be too expensive due to the asbestos. This is why he agreed to allow the building to be used in the PSYOP to manufacture consent for war. [conspiracy-watch.org] ((Silverstein)) took out an insurance policy that covered terrorist attacks. He was awarded over $2 billion in damages due to the 9/11 "attack", which more than covered his investment, but he sued the insurance company because there were TWO terrorist attacks on his property (one for each plane)... And he won, thus more than doubled his investment via a payout of over $4.5 billion.

    It's far more likely that it was an inside job coordinated with US covert ops and the Israeli Mossad along with other Jews like Silverstein. So, of course you can see why Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia would be pissed when the rent seeking legal shakedown comes to town when everyone with half a brain knows it wasn't remotely their fault.

    Would you like to know more? [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:03AM (#333170)

      wrong, 9/11 wasn't a conspiracy.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by shortscreen on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:57AM

        by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:57AM (#333203) Journal

        Not a conspiracy? You mean the hijackers just spontaneously sprang into action without any prior coordination?

      • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by HiThere on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:56PM

        by HiThere (866) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:56PM (#333299)

        Saying is wasn't a conspiracy is mind-blowingly stupid. Arguing about what kind of conspiracy it was is wasting time due to lack of and concealed evidence.

        There is considerable evidence that the FBI knew that SOMETHING was about to happen. How much they knew is not determinable. There is dubious evidence that the towers were sabotaged. The wreckage was hauled away before being analysed in situ, so you aren't going to be able to prove anything either way. Etc.

        The government has a long history of hiding the evidence and making arguments that are somewhere between inconclusive and fraudulent. Did Oswald shoot Kennedy? The evidence is inconclusive. Was the Twin-Towers an inside job? The evidence is inconclusive.

        You get your choice of whether the government is incompetent, corrupt, or both. But do remember the government is not a unitary entity. That one section is incompetent or corrupt doesn't prove anything about some other section.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by boxfetish on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:30AM

    by boxfetish (4831) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:30AM (#333124)

    I say pass the bill and let them sell off the assets. We should have stopped having any relationship (diplomatic, cultural, or economic) with this true axis of evil a long time ago. This will give us the excuse to sever ties.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by tftp on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:37AM

      by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:37AM (#333149) Homepage

      We should have stopped having any relationship (diplomatic, cultural, or economic) with this true axis of evil a long time ago.

      Drop cultural relations? NFW! How could we even exist without their sculptures and paintings that depict people and animals [stackexchange.com]? Without their opera, without their photography [blogspot.com], and, finally, without their movies [quora.com] and their beautiful actresses... Oh horror!

  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:47AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:47AM (#333169) Homepage Journal

    One country passes a law, that allows its citizens to sue the government of another country? Um...how does that work? Domestic courts within one country have no jurisdiction over the second country. The second country can tell the citizens and courts to stuff it.

    Not that I'm defending the Saudis here, but I genuinely don't see how this works legally.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by FakeBeldin on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:19AM

      by FakeBeldin (3360) on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:19AM (#333173) Journal

      US courts don't have jurisdiction over SA the country. US courts do have jurisdiction over objects, contracts, and events on USA soil. If SA has $750billion of assets (buildings, corporations, etc.) in the USA, US courts could decide to hand over that $750billion of assets to others in civil cases, if those courts would deem that appropriate under US law.

      If you own something in country X, your continued ownership is subject to the laws of country X.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:04AM (#333183)

      You mean, you read an entire 1000+ word article from one of the better US news agencies about a proposed law and there was no mention of what the law was about? There were quotes from 911 victims' parents and their feelings but no description of the law? Stories about political dirty tricks? Wars in 3rd party countries? Pages of this shit, but nothing about the actuall law. Welcome, you must be new to America. How did it *feel* when you realized there was no content in the news? Poll reports show you feel slightly concerned. In the next hour segment, we'll talk about that poll and how you feel about all these polls.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:23PM (#333283)

        Did you read the entire article? It specifically addressed the OP's question.

        ... These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.

        The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.

        Obama administration officials counter that weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”

        The bill’s sponsors have said that the legislation is purposely drawn very narrowly — involving only attacks on American soil — to reduce the prospect that other nations might try to fight back.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:48AM (#333179)

    Does this then mean citizens of other countries can sue the US government too?

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:40AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:40AM (#333215)

      Only for assets held in that other country.

      --
      (Score: tau, Irrational)
      • (Score: 2) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Monday April 18 2016, @01:15AM

        by fido_dogstoyevsky (131) <{axehandle} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday April 18 2016, @01:15AM (#333506)

        [Can citizens of other countries sue the US govt?] Only for assets held in that other country.

        And only if they want to be given democracy.

        --
        It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Monday April 18 2016, @02:58AM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Monday April 18 2016, @02:58AM (#333551)

          "We're from America and we're here to help...."

          --
          (Score: tau, Irrational)