Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Senator Levin wants U.S. out of Saudi Arabia
UPI ^ | 1/16/02 | Pamela Hess

Posted on 01/16/2002 6:00:32 AM PST by truthandlife

Edited on 07/12/2004 3:50:36 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants the United States to close the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia and shift its air operation to another base in the region, possibly Bahrain.

The situation at the Saudi base seems very unclear. We may need to move that base," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., at a breakfast meeting with reporters. "I have an unease about our presence in Saudi Arabia. I think we may be able to find a place where we are much more welcomed openly."


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: mcsally

1 posted on 01/16/2002 6:00:32 AM PST by truthandlife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
And we want Levin out of the Senate! That is irresponsible for these DemocRATS to keep getting involved in foreign diplomacy matters. Wish they would all stay home and keep their mouths shut.

This morning the former CIA Director Woosley (who BTW quit the clinton administration when clinton didn't want CIA briefings), said that there are a lot of things the Saudi's do for us that do not make the news because of circumstances in their own country as they have some terrorists cells of their own just waiting to do something.

Now Levin is privey to this same information yet goes out and makes this statement. It is one thing for all of us to say it, but the man is a United States Senator. I am just flat out sick and tired of the grandstanding of the United States Senators!

2 posted on 01/16/2002 6:05:59 AM PST by PhiKapMom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
Levin's suggestions have some merit. If we can conduct our necessary missions based elsewhere, then there's no reason not to. The Saudis are bad hosts, ungrateful recipients of aid, and only barely friendly. They need us, probably, more than we need them; so why not leave them out to dry?
3 posted on 01/16/2002 6:13:55 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
This morning the former CIA Director Woosley (who BTW quit the clinton administration when clinton didn't want CIA briefings), said that there are a lot of things the Saudi's do for us that do not make the news because of circumstances in their own country as they have some terrorists cells of their own just waiting to do something.

Director Woosley is 100% correct in that statement.

The Saudi's are on our side.
4 posted on 01/16/2002 6:23:40 AM PST by wheezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wheezer
I agree with you and Woosley 100% myself. People need to look beyond the rhetoric of the press to see exactly what the Saudi's do for us. Without them, the oil prices would have been through the roof for one thing! The words in the press by the Saudi Government officials is for consumption of their own people but it seems our press corps cannot get that through their peabrain heads! Not to mention some of the Senators who know better!
5 posted on 01/16/2002 6:29:08 AM PST by PhiKapMom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
People need to look beyond the rhetoric of the press to see exactly what the Saudi's do for us. Without them, the oil prices would have been through the roof for one thing!

Wrong. The Saudis, along with the rest of OPEC, have been desperately trying to get all oil producers to agree to production cuts to ratchet up prices. The reason oil is so cheap? Russia has ignored OPEC (and Saudi demands); they agreed to the cuts, and then failed to comply. Thank Russia -- Saudi Arabia could care less.

6 posted on 01/16/2002 6:35:09 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
The Saudis are in a tight spot. Since 1991, the average person in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere among our Gulf allies know we're their friends. Yes, we back those Zionists over in "Palestine" to the hilt, but the Israelis have long been friendly to the United States, and it's not THEIR fault Arafat is a terrorist.

Furthermore, the United States did bail them out of a nasty situation, and they do feel at the very least, a strong debt to us. We've never wanted their territory, all our guys did was kick a creep who had attacked his brother Arabs back into his cage. We even showed restraint that may have contributed to 9/11 at the behest of the Saudis.

Woolsey is right, the Saudis are going to back us. It is out of a sense of obligation, due to the fact we came to their aid in 1990/1991 and possibly due to the fact that we held back from removing Saddam from power at their request. After this war, I have no idea how things will go, but they will back us 100%.

7 posted on 01/16/2002 6:42:15 AM PST by hchutch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
In December, the highest-ranking female fighter pilot in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Martha McSally, filed a lawsuit against the Defense Department

This is the real reason Levin wants to pull out of the air base. As I've said before, a low-ranking officer has no business shooting her mouth off publicly and interfering with our foreign policy.

The real problem is that it was a foolish mistake to assign a woman pilot to Saudi Arabia in the first place. Making her wear a burkha was demeaning, so the obvious solution was to avoid getting into such a situation. The clintonoid multiculturalists in the Pentagon were presumably responsible.

I have real doubts about Saudi Arabia as our faithful ally. They have produced and funded terrorism on a massive scale. But that's a whole different question. Lt. Col. Martha McSally is nothing but a distraction from the real issues.

8 posted on 01/16/2002 6:59:53 AM PST by Cicero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
Get out of Saudi Arabia and let them collapse under their own monarchical corruption, drill for oil and gas in the good ol' USA and evict all the American-Islamists. We'd never have to worry about middle-eastern public opinion again.
9 posted on 01/16/2002 7:09:45 AM PST by Rudder
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife; Dan from Michigan
. "I have an unease about our presence in Saudi Arabia. I think we may be able to find a place where we are much more welcomed openly."

I agree with Levin, there is a first time for everything yikes, the Saudis have taken advantage of us for long enough.

10 posted on 01/16/2002 7:16:49 AM PST by NeoCaveman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
"The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants the United States to close the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia and shift its air operation to another base in the region, possibly Bahrain."

Since when did the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee assume the role of Commander-in-Chief and take control of both defense and foreign policy?

You're right. A pipefitter sitting on a bar stool is free to offer opinions like this, but for a U.S. Senator in Levin's position to go public with such comments is nothing less than irresponsible.

Grandstanding is the word.

11 posted on 01/16/2002 7:25:50 AM PST by okie01
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
This speach by Levin was good, not bad. It gave Bush more options, not less. And it sent a very important message to Saudi Arabia that they need to hear.

To put this speach in proper context, it helps to start with the current situation in Saudi Arabia, so here's a short list:

1. The most popular man in Saudia Arabia is Osama bin Laden. Opinion polls are putting him in the 70% to 80% approval range.

2. The government of Saudia Arabia is nominally under the control of a very ill King. Actual control is with two feuding brothers. One brother is very likely our friend. The other, despite recent backtracking, is very likely our enemy.

3. Regardless of which brother ultimately wins out, the people of Saudi Arabia consider their government corrupt to the core. Bin Laden has been attempting to overthrow the government, and may even have come close in November.

4. Wealthy Saudis are the source of Bin Laden's money. The majority of the attackers on 9-11 were Saudis. The Wahabbi sect of Islam, the official religion of Saudi Arabia, is arguably the most extreme version of Islam.

5. If Saudi Arabia turned against us, we would have a problem protecting the people we had in-country at the time. We would also have a problem protecting the equipment based there. Any equipment we lose would be used against us in the future.

6. We would rather not have to fight more nations, all at once, than we have to. If we have to fight Saudi Arabia, we run the additional risk of unifying all Islam against us because Mecca is in their country. However, if we eventually have to fight them, why would we want to start with a lot of our people at risk, and an immense amount of very valuable equipment that they can easily capture?

CONCLUSION: The REAL significance of this article is the political signal Levin sent. He is the most powerful Democrat in this arena. He just sent the clear signal that if Bush wants to pull out of Saudi Arabia, the Democrats will support the move.

The WAY the message was sent is also very significant. He sent the signal in a high profile, public way. This puts him on record much more effectively than if he gave a promise behind closed doors. It also sends the message to two other groups that need to hear it: The Saudis (for obvious reasons); The Democrats (don't fight Bush on this).

Making it clear to the Saudis that Bush can pull out of Saudi Arabia without Democrat opposition strengthens Bush's hand enormously. When he talks turkey to the Saudis, they need know he is not bluffing. WE know he is not, but the message needs to be crystal clear to people who are used to a United States led by Billy boy. Just in case they think it is business as usual, this helps convince them otherwise.

Ultimately, this has strengthened Bush's hand. This means are LESS likely to have a problem with the Saudis, not more. You can bet that what he said was known and approved by the Bush administration in advance. Bravo for both of them.

BTW: If in the end we simply cannot avoid fighting Saudi Arabia, and we lose their oil for a time as a result, we will not suffer nearly as much as many people think. The world has enough surplus oil production capacity to make up the entire shortfall if Saudi production went to zero. The only way we have a crunch if the rest of the Islamic nations that produce oil also cut off the flow of oil at the same time. That would mean Bin Laden had succeeded in unifying all of Islam against us, and the world be in the midst of the worst war the world has ever seen.

12 posted on 01/16/2002 7:29:08 AM PST by EternalHope
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dubyaismypresident
I agree with what he SAYS here, but probably for different reasons. Levin is strictly anti-Military.
13 posted on 01/16/2002 7:29:17 AM PST by Dan from Michigan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
I agree with you and Woosley 100% myself. People need to look beyond the rhetoric of the press to see exactly what the Saudi's do for us.

Bingo. Glad to see you're keeping focused on the big picture.

I'm all for drilling the hell outta' Alaska and off the Gulf Coast so we can evetually tell the middle-east nations to get lost....but `til that day, the Saudi's are our most reliable partner in that region, and they are also in a very difficult position.
14 posted on 01/16/2002 7:29:38 AM PST by wheezer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
And we want Levin out of the Senate!

I'm trying here. It's an uphill battle, but we're trying.

ANDREW RACZKOWSKI FOR SENATE


15 posted on 01/16/2002 7:31:12 AM PST by Dan from Michigan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: silmaril
" Thank Russia -- Saudi Arabia could care less."

In fact, with a more equitable distribution of oil profits amongst mid-east populations, there will be natural pressures to force down prices. This is simply because the few rich arabs are too rich to be affected by the reduction in revenues due to lower production. Normal market forces of supply-demand are distorted by OPEC. It's a shame that this critical commodity of world economies is controlled by a cartel and the whims of a few sheiks and monarchs! Pulling out of SA may have some favorable impact on oil prices, after some brief turmoil that can be expected to displace the Saudi royals.

16 posted on 01/16/2002 8:37:29 AM PST by mikeIII
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: truthandlife
Bahrain is a much nicer place and is non Wahabbi.
18 posted on 01/16/2002 3:09:43 PM PST by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
The Saudis are opec members the oil prices are low now because Russia told the Saudis to go f*** themselves and are producing at capacity.
19 posted on 01/16/2002 3:11:09 PM PST by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: EternalHope
The brother who is our enemy is Abdullah the Crown Prince and religious fanatic. If 80% of the population approves of Bin Laden I say about 80% of the population of Saudi Arabia starting with the religious establishment police royals and upper class( except for the few genuinely pro American members) should be shot.
20 posted on 01/16/2002 3:14:32 PM PST by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
And we want Levin out of the Senate! That is irresponsible for these DemocRATS to keep getting involved in foreign diplomacy matters. Wish they would all stay home and keep their mouths shut.

The Senate, of course, does have a role in foreign policy. But Levin is nit-picking, apparently bent upon creating antagonism where there is none. The Saudis have a problem--as any but a damn fool would realize--in these days of radical fanaticism. (I do not know whether Levin is merely stupid or also malicious.) It is the same problem that is found even in Moslem sectors of London. The greater number of Saudis actually involved in terrorist actions is misunderstood to be a reflection of the attitude of the Royal house, but it is far more likely a reflection of a larger wealthy group than most Moslem countries. Revolution is always the play-thing of the affluent--such as bin Laden. They may recruit others, but the plotters are usually those who have the time to plot, not those struggling to survive.

What Senator Levin is actually promoting is to give bin Laden his principal wish. Surely that is not the proper response at this moment in history. I wonder what can be done in Michigan to make sure the man does not get reelected?

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

21 posted on 01/16/2002 3:26:02 PM PST by Ohioan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: silmaril
Wrong. The Saudis, along with the rest of OPEC, have been desperately trying to get all oil producers to agree to production cuts to ratchet up prices. The reason oil is so cheap? Russia has ignored OPEC (and Saudi demands); they agreed to the cuts, and then failed to comply. Thank Russia -- Saudi Arabia could care less.

Your comment is a thing of the moment. Over the years, the Saudis have striven for more stability in the oil market. Prices are for the moment abnormally cheap again. But when prices have been abnormally high on other occasions, it has often been a Saudi threat to open the flow, that has forced the rest of OPEC to be more responsible. I think that a fair longterm assessment would demonstrate that the Saudis are our friends, and should be treated as such.

Russia is not acting as our friend now, they are simply desperate for Dollars.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

22 posted on 01/16/2002 3:34:21 PM PST by Ohioan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: weikel
The brother who is our enemy is Abdullah the Crown Prince and religious fanatic.

Yes. Amazingly, he seems to have had at least a small attitude adjustment lately. Who knows, maybe he finally realized that his neck is in the noose right along with the rest of the royal family if the royal family is overthrown. Maybe we look like winners, and he wants to back the winning horse. Or maybe he is just biding his time, waiting to stab us in the back. Time will tell.

If 80% of the population approves of Bin Laden I say about 80% of the population of Saudi Arabia starting with the religious establishment police royals and upper class( except for the few genuinely pro American members) should be shot.

You could get your wish. Ultimately, the rabid anti-Americanism preached by the Wahabbi radicals has to stop. If it does not, eventual confrontation is inevitable.

Personally, I would rather clean up as much of the rest of the worldwide mess as we can first. We need time to rebuild weapon stockpiles (especially cruise missiles) and spare parts. We also need to make sure we have North Korea neutralized, and sufficient force in Taiwan to prevent a Chinese attack. Either place could explode almost without warning if we are perceived as too distracted by war elsewhere to respond.

23 posted on 01/16/2002 3:46:50 PM PST by EternalHope
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: EternalHope
Perhaps we should allow Japan to rebuild its military and allow it to handle China. Japan went psycho after WWI after Wilson got them screwed over at Versailles( and forced the British to break alliance with them).
24 posted on 01/16/2002 3:49:33 PM PST by weikel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Ohioan
Thanks for the facts on the Saudi oil. I had remembered over the years that without them, oil prices would have gone through the roof!
25 posted on 01/16/2002 6:18:20 PM PST by PhiKapMom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Ohioan
I think that your point about the long-term Saudi influence on oil prices is well-made. However, it ignores a couple of things....

I think that a fair longterm assessment would demonstrate that the Saudis are our friends, and should be treated as such.

Their record is mixed. That's the best one can say for them. Yes, they've (mostly) kept the oil flowing for us. But they cut it off entirely in 1973. And they helped prevent us from finding the Khobar Tower bombers. And their dangerous (and thoroughly anti-American) subsidizing of Wahhabism around the world is well-documented. Go to the MEMRI site and read what the official Saudi press puts out for domestic consumption; it's hardly the rhetoric of a friend. Given this, they deserve to be treated with a great deal of suspicion and caution.

Russia is not acting as our friend now, they are simply desperate for Dollars.

The same may be said for the medieval, tottering House of Sa'ud.

26 posted on 01/17/2002 4:52:30 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

This article in the LA Times is germaine to this subject.

Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit.com wrote, "Boo hoo. As a reader comments, this is like the Austrian line that 'Austria was Hitler's first victim.'"

27 posted on 01/17/2002 5:57:15 AM PST by silmaril
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: silmaril
We have a foot hold in Saudi Arabia, so lets just double, triple, quadruple our presence there. Force a coup and this war will be over except for the extended deprogramming and secularization of the country.
28 posted on 01/17/2002 7:45:57 PM PST by duckln
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Ohioan
Russia is not acting as our friend now, they are simply desperate for Dollars

Also desparate for trade and survival, like any country would be. We have more in common with Russia than we have with the Saudies and many other countries in the world.

Putin stated it best when he said, they, the US, and England ( and I would add Yugoslavia) is the only thing that will save western christian culture from the fanatical onslaught that's being racheted up.

29 posted on 01/17/2002 8:01:12 PM PST by duckln
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Rudder
The alternative to Saudi oil is quite frankly American coal and uranium however, we want to delay that choice as long as possible.
30 posted on 01/17/2002 8:36:06 PM PST by Righty1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
I vote we move our base to Bahrain only if they promise to turn around and bomb Saudi Arabia to dust and ashes.
31 posted on 01/17/2002 8:41:02 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Righty1
The alternative to Saudi oil is quite frankly American coal and uranium however, we want to delay that choice as long as possible.

Where I live in Ohio (and perhaps surprising to most people) there is abundant gas and oil. The local drillers say that if prices are sustained long enough above 30-35 dollars per barrel drilling here will commence (again.) This is also the case, as far as I know for Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and other midwestern states. Now we add in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico and ANWAR and we just might find enough domestic production to sustain ourselves. Using up the Saudi oil first is, of course, a good conservation practice. Someday, however, it will be that the cost in dollars and political capital for Saudi oil is not worth it. When that someday will be is the question we should try to answer.

32 posted on 01/17/2002 8:58:27 PM PST by Rudder
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: truthandlife
The senator has a reputation for presenting information that is liberally biased, since I am a conservative I question his assertions. That being the case I researched the Wahhabi and it's relationship to Saudi Arabia. According to http://www.al-islami.com/islam/truth_about_wahhabism.php they claim that the Saudi government does not support this group. With equal skepticism I question their assertions. Since both of them present opposite cases I do not believe either one. Senator Levin very often uses Anti-American rhetoric and promotes socialist positions. The Saudis often use Anti-American rhetoric and promote an Islmaic theocracy. Best advice disregard both positions.
33 posted on 10/02/2002 7:45:41 PM PDT by nicodemus born of spirit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hchutch
The thousands of dead on 9/11 they make a better argument against their Saudi murderers than any of you "zionist hating" crapola. That place is a festering ground for hatred of you and your children. But ninny that you be, so wrapped up in your own biases, you ignore your neighbors blood crying out -- love of hate.
34 posted on 10/02/2002 7:52:33 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
Fantasy! Utter fantasy. Idle what-if speculation that your own bias seeks out. The support of hatred and tryrants takes a heavy tax in all eras, direct or indirect -- freedom and liberty drop prices more sure, and Saudi Arabia is afraid of liberty, except when joined with hypocrisy on libertine vacations away from Mecca-land.
35 posted on 10/02/2002 7:58:45 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: bvw
You are replying to a post I made in January? Amazing!
36 posted on 10/02/2002 8:05:38 PM PDT by PhiKapMom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom
Why I did not notice that! How intempusorate of me.
37 posted on 10/02/2002 8:09:57 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: nicodemus born of spirit
Dash and all get out! What a fine mess your late arriving reply has caught me in. My mistake ... but to your point, what kind of balance weighs five drops of blood equal to five quarts of oil? Since both are five in number, are they equal?

They charge us fairly for a barrel of oil, but we are slack to charge them for the piles of blood their culture of hatred left on the sidewalks below the WTC in the mid-morning of Eleven September.

38 posted on 10/02/2002 8:19:07 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson