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Saudis Plan to End U.S. Presence
The New York Times ^ | 02/08/2003 (for editions of 02/09/2003) | Patrick E. Tyler

Posted on 02/08/2003 11:09:26 AM PST by GeneD

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 — Saudi Arabia's leaders have made far-reaching decisions to prepare for an era of military disengagement from the United States, to enact what Saudi officials call the first significant democratic reforms at home, and to rein in the conservative clergy that has shared power in the kingdom.

Senior members of the royal family say the decisions, reached in the past month, are the result of a continuing debate over Saudi Arabia's future and have not yet been publicly announced. But these princes say Crown Prince Abdullah will ask President Bush to withdraw all American armed forces from the kingdom as soon as the campaign to disarm Iraq has concluded. A spokesman for the royal family said he could not comment.

Pentagon officials asked about the Saudi moves said they had not heard of any plan so specific as a complete American withdrawal. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers involved were Saudis, members of both parties in Congress have urged broad reform in the conservative kingdom.

Until Abdullah actually issues the decrees, it remains to be seen whether he will be the first son of Saudi Arabia's modern unifier, King Abdul Aziz, to undertake significant political change.

The presence of foreign — especially American — forces since the Persian Gulf war of 1990-91 has been a contentious issue in Saudi Arabia and has spurred the terrorism of Osama bin Laden, the now disowned scion of one of the kingdom's wealthiest families, and his followers in Al Qaeda.

Saudi officials said the departure of American soldiers would set the stage for an announcement that Saudis — but probably not women, at least initially — would begin electing representatives to provincial assemblies and then to a national assembly, Saudi officials said.

The goal would be the gradual expansion, over six years, of democratic writ until a fully democratic national assembly emerged, a senior official said.

The debate over the need for reform is described by Saudi royal family members as part of the post-Sept. 11 reckoning to head off foreign and domestic pressures that threaten the royal family and its dominion over the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula.

As the United States prepares for what could be a long military occupation of Iraq, the Saudi royal family does not want to appear as if it were pressured into reform, according to Saudis familiar with the debate. To be seen as acting under American sway might undermine the monarchy's credibility before a population that is increasingly young, unemployed, pious and anti-American.

Still, the departure of all American military forces from Saudi Arabia would be a potentially troubling milestone in the history of the relationship that dates to World War II.

Since the Persian Gulf war, when the United States dispatched 500,000 troops to the Saudi desert, a security pact has endured to confront and contain Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Thousands of American engineers have built supply depots, air bases and a state of the art air operations headquarters south of Riyadh that were intended to join the two countries in long-lasting military collaboration.

Even if American troops do leave, Saudi and American officials said, security cooperation would likely continue, and they noted that the soldiers could return if the Saudi rulers faced a new threat.

The Saudi reform debate, according to one participant, has taken place in an atmosphere of opposition from senior princes, including Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the minister of interior, and to a lesser extent, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the minister of defense.

Prince Sultan, who family members say has been privately designated as the next crown prince by Abdullah, was described by a family member as "moderately against it or, stating it another way, very reluctantly for it."

One royal family member said that despite opposing views, senior princes "will support the decisions of Prince Abdullah when he makes them" because "the royal family will always stick together, especially in times of crisis."

The reported decisions have enthusiastic support from Saudi Arabia's influential business community, and from the second tier of senior princes in their 50's and 60's who have had the most contact with the West. Among those family members are Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Princeton-educated foreign minister, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, son of the defense minister and a former F-15 fighter pilot who has been ambassador to the United States since 1983.

For now, a senior prince said, Crown Prince Abdullah, the day-to-day ruler since King Fahd fell ill in 1995, has overcome resistance with the admonition, "Isn't it better if I do this now before I have to do it later?"

The senior prince added, "After the last shot is fired in Iraq, it will be a good time to say that we have won, and that we both agree there is no longer any need for American forces." He continued, "But the real politics of this is to win the hearts and minds of a majority of the people" in Saudi Arabia. "That is the way to really fight terrorism and the bad guys."

Another senior prince added, "The fact is, reform is imperative and not a choice, so is participatory government." There will always be opponents to reform, this prince said, however the family is capable of facing opposition "with resolve, but with understanding for the other view."

If he issues the decrees, Abdullah will have to contend with those religious authorities who will resist reforms and a change in the fundamentalist contract that has empowered a clergy who practice one of Islam's most conservative interpretations, based on the teachings of Sheik Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab and sometimes referred to as Wahhabism.

American specialists on Saudi Arabia said it appeared that Abdullah was seeking a national consensus to maneuver around the most conservative elements of the clergy by appealing to the influential Saudi business establishment, the military and tribal leaders. The aim, Saudi officials said, is to create an Islamic parliament that would be able to wrest some control over social policy — even basic questions like whether women can drive — away from the puritanical religious establishment.

"If this turns out to be solid," said Richard N. Murphy, a leading Arabist who served as President Reagan's assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, "it is a dramatic demonstration of leadership, which people have been worried about" since Abdullah took over day-to-day rule from King Fahd. "It also shows that they are capable of generating movement from within, which is where it had to come from if they are going to survive as a ruling family," Mr. Murphy added.

One royal family member said there was a great deal of frustration among younger princes who feel that the older generation, most in their 70's and 80's, have been unwilling to take on the religious establishment.

"There is nothing in the Koran that says that women cannot drive," one prince said. "But we never tested the theory that women could drive," he added, explaining that the royal family simply subordinated itself to clerical rulings because that was the historical bargain under which the House of Saud came to power.

"As it stands now, one religious leader can veto anything that you want to do," one prince said. "Eventually, we became the culprits under this system," the prince added. "And now, we have exhausted every inch of that coalition" with religious leaders. "It is time to move on to the next generation."

The last time Saudi Arabia purged itself of foreign military forces was 1963, when the late King Faisal ordered the Strategic Air Command squadron of nuclear-armed bombers to evacuate the base they had maintained at Dhahran since the 1950's.

The reason at that time was a streak of Arab nationalism coursing through the region with the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, said David E. Long, a longtime State Department specialist on the Saudis. "Our presence in a military base became a liability" for the Saudis, he said, "and we were asked to leave."

Saudi Arabia's dalliance with democratic process also dates to the early 1960's. King Faisal told President John F. Kennedy that he would create an assembly whose appointed deputies would advise the throne, but not make laws. But nothing came of the proposal until 1992, when King Fahd finally carried it out after the Persian Gulf war.

Whether Abdullah can push through the deeper change now apparently envisioned is unclear. The decision by some family members to air the debate seemed in part intended to nudge the Saudi leader forward.

"Doing political reform in Saudi Arabia is like publishing the Kama Sutra in the Victorian Age," said one royal family member, referring to the Hindu encyclopedia of erotica. But, he added, "The changes that Abdullah is doing show that he is willing to proceed with only a slim majority of religious support" and a significant amount of opposition.

In doing so, Abdullah has concluded that he will need to put distance between himself and the United States.

"I think they will step away from us, and I think it is healthy for both sides," Mr. Long said. "The median age in Saudi Arabia is now 15, and within this demography, there is an ideological justification for getting mad at American troops on your soil."

"But over and over again, we have given them the umbrella of our security, and our interest in them is that they own one quarter of the world's oil and can export a higher percentage of it than anyone else," Mr. Long said. "That has created a very strong relationship that is under a lot of strain, but I think it will survive."


TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; kingfahd; princeabdullah; princebandar; princesaud; saudiarabia
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1 posted on 02/08/2003 11:09:26 AM PST by GeneD
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To: GeneD
It's the usual NYTIMES and Saudi bllsht. No one knows a thing until Iraq is taken care of.
2 posted on 02/08/2003 11:12:23 AM PST by dennisw ( http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php)
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To: GeneD
Bookmarked for reding after we kill Saddam.
3 posted on 02/08/2003 11:12:54 AM PST by Cold Heat
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To: GeneD
I'd rather see the headline U.S. PLANS TO END SAUDI PRESENCE.
4 posted on 02/08/2003 11:18:43 AM PST by Loyalist
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To: GeneD
Maybe this means the U.S. State Department won't have to run covering operations for their embassy-staff slaves.
5 posted on 02/08/2003 11:18:53 AM PST by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: GeneD
>>>Saudi Arabia's leaders have made far-reaching decisions to prepare for an era of military disengagement from the United States...

Should this happen, I predict the US will be involved in a military conflict against the Saudi's, within 5-10 years!

6 posted on 02/08/2003 11:22:10 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: dennisw
The Saud Family PR release de jour.
7 posted on 02/08/2003 11:22:35 AM PST by MindBender26 (.....and for more news as it happens...stay tuned to your local FReeper station....)
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To: GeneD
>>Crown Prince Abdullah will ask President Bush to withdraw all American armed forces from the kingdom as soon as the campaign to disarm Iraq has concluded<<

Hey, Abdullah...

Who's there?

CANDYGRAM

8 posted on 02/08/2003 11:23:55 AM PST by Jim Noble
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To: GeneD
Sounds good to me. Hopefully they'll succeed, on all counts..
9 posted on 02/08/2003 11:25:51 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: GeneD
"The senior prince added, "After the last shot is fired in Iraq, it will be a good time to say that we have won, and that we both agree there is no longer any need for American forces." He continued, "But the real politics of this is to win the hearts and minds of a majority of the people" in Saudi Arabia. "That is the way to really fight terrorism and the bad guys." "

But, but, but… I was told that our presence in Iraq "would destabilize the region!"

10 posted on 02/08/2003 11:26:43 AM PST by elfman2
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To: GeneD
It'll be interesting to see where this goes. I dont mind us leaving that demonic land...we'll be in Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait so big deal. As far as the desire to wrest influence from the Wahillbillies...that's cool.

I dont mind this plan...as presented...at all.
11 posted on 02/08/2003 11:28:21 AM PST by VaBthang4
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To: GeneD
This sounds like a plan we would have suggested to them. The truth is, after we finish with Iraq, there is no reason to have any troops in Saudi Arabia. We can dismantle the bases and move them to Iraq where we will have permanent bases for decades.

I hope this plan is implemented, although I can't imagine the clerics supporting it. It would end their religious tyranny.

12 posted on 02/08/2003 11:30:13 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: GeneD
"If he issues the decrees, Abdullah will have to contend with those religious authorities who will resist reforms and a change in the fundamentalist contract that has empowered a clergy who practice one of Islam's most conservative interpretations, based on the teachings of Sheik Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab and sometimes referred to as Wahhabism"

Therin lies the problem. The house of Saud has allowed extremely narrow minded, cruel, bloodthirsty clerics far too much power for far too long. I sincerely hope that Saudi DOES adopt a form of representative government for it's people, but the attempt to move into the 18th century may have come too late.

13 posted on 02/08/2003 11:30:15 AM PST by cake_crumb (Without dictators, what reason would we have to keep the UN?)
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To: dennisw
"they noted that the soldiers could return if the Saudi rulers faced a new threat." So Typical, Let the US send in 500,000 troops to kick Saddam out of Kuwait and end the threat of Saddam overrunning the Saudi's. We go in and do the dirty work and get our troops killed to overthrow Saddam and the Saudies say thanks now it is time for you to go. But, if the kingdom is threatened again we will have to ask you to come back and save our royal asses again. Time to develop our oil fields and let the middle east rot.
14 posted on 02/08/2003 11:30:48 AM PST by sharkdiver
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To: Reagan Man
"Should this happen, I predict the US will be involved in a military conflict against the Saudi's, within 5-10 years!"

I predict we'll have so much propositioned equipment around some nice new Iraqi airfields and ports that any conflict would be over in a heartbeat.

15 posted on 02/08/2003 11:31:15 AM PST by elfman2
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To: Reagan Man
"Should this happen, I predict the US will be involved in a military conflict against the Saudi's, within 5-10 years!"

I dunno.

The Saudi family has a pretty good grip on it's military. Where they [military] falls on this issue is all that matters. If they agree with purging the Wahillbillies from influence then I dont see any reason for us to become engaged militarily.

If the Saudi military sides with the clerics...then, I'd agree with you.

We'll see...eitherway...anything is better than the status quo.

If the military sides with the clerics...then we get to wipe the clerics from the table [by force].
If the Military stays loyal to the Saud's then all is well [relatively speaking].

I think we'd all agree on one thing where the middle east is concerned..."change is good".

If it developes into extremist change...then we are big steps closer to taking out the extremists [as long as GW is calling the shots].

16 posted on 02/08/2003 11:34:28 AM PST by VaBthang4
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To: wirestripper
I have met some Islamics who say that King Fahd and King Abdullah of Jordan are not real Islamics, and they say that they need to be killed. If Saudi Arabia and Jordan know what some Muslims think if them, they will seek all of the protection from the USA that they can get.
17 posted on 02/08/2003 11:35:44 AM PST by tessalu
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To: VaBthang4
I dont mind this plan...as presented...at all.

I don't either. The more they move away from despotism and rule by 13th-century theocrats, the better off we'll all be. We don't need the military bases on their territory anyway, and having us pack up and leave voluntarily when asked sends a useful signal.


18 posted on 02/08/2003 11:37:20 AM PST by Nick Danger (Freeps Ahoy! Caribbean cruise May 31... from $660 http://www.freeper.org)
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To: tessalu
"I have met some Islamics who say that King Fahd and King Abdullah of Jordan are not real Islamics, and they say that they need to be killed."

The Islamics you were talking to were terrorist sympathizers - or maybe terrorists. King Fahd and especially King Abdullah are Muslims...but not extremist Islamists which is what the terrorists are.

Personally, I'm wondering if this announcement is the Saudi reaction to the veiled threat coming from the extremists protesting their embassy (in the UK) the other day. Considering how many of the bad guys there ARE in Saudi, that was probably no idle threat and appears to have made the Saudi royal family nervous.

19 posted on 02/08/2003 11:46:40 AM PST by cake_crumb (Without dictators, what reason would we have to keep the UN?)
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To: GeneD
"Isn't it better if I do this now before I have to do it later?"

Translation. Better that we put SOME form of democracy in place now (which we can control) than when the Americans are crawling ALL OVER Iraq instituting the same thing!

I heard a quote on conservative talk radio the other day to the effect that ALL effective diplomatic actions are preceeded by the absolute guarantee of military actions.

More and more each day, I support the taking of Iraq by our military forces!!!
20 posted on 02/08/2003 11:49:39 AM PST by HadEnough
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To: GeneD; *Bush Doctrine Unfold; randita; SierraWasp; Carry_Okie; okie01; socal_parrot; snopercod; ...
Thanks for posting this. The world is changing rapidly!

Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
  click here >>> Bush Doctrine Unfold <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



21 posted on 02/08/2003 11:55:23 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Nuke Saddam ( Bush is thinking about it ) and then what about Germany and France?)
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To: sharkdiver
My older brother (officer/lifer) was very involved in Saudi both during and after Desert Storm.

He told me lots of stories about hauling prince this and that around in Apaches, Abrams and Bradley fighting vehicles like it was Disneyland.

His impression of the Saudi armed forces is that THEY ARE A JOKE! After Saddam was contained, the Saudis purchased BILLIONS of dollars of the latest hardware on the condition that WE would perpetually man the gear. That's why this article saying that the royals want us out is bullsh*t, who are they going to hire??

The Saudi royals believe that everything (especially war) should be out-sourced.
22 posted on 02/08/2003 11:57:24 AM PST by HadEnough
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To: GeneD
I Iraq is defanged, who would be the Saudis natural enemy? I think the handwriting is on the wall for Iran as well. Their citizens are going to get increasingly restless with both Afghanistan and Iraqi citizens having their lots increased.

As self-determination comes to more individuals in the middle-east, the need for US troops wains. That's good, not bad.

If ever there was a need for the "Radio Free Europe" type of propaganda machine, there is one now for the middle-east. And I might add, perhaps we can get that force fed into the offices of the LAT, WP, NYT and other leftist rags. They don't seem to understand this nation's true intentions very well.

23 posted on 02/08/2003 11:57:29 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Freeper Caribbean Cruise May 31-June 6, Staterooms As Low As $610 Per Person For Entire Week!)
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To: GeneD
Saudi officials said the departure of American soldiers would set the stage for an announcement that Saudis — but probably not women, at least initially — would begin electing representatives to provincial assemblies and then to a national assembly, Saudi officials said.

Democracy and equal rights for the Saudis and their women. Right! The mullahs are going to go along with this. Sure, especially without a U.S. military presence. Maybe it will be a good thing for the Saudis to experience some of their own terrorism.

The goal would be the gradual expansion, over six years, of democratic writ until a fully democratic national assembly emerged, a senior official said.

Yep, I can see it working, no problem. Well, I guess anything can happen.

5.56mm

24 posted on 02/08/2003 12:02:21 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Nick Danger
We especially won't need to be in Saudi Arabia once we have our troops in Iraq. We'll make some new US bases in the new Democratic Republic of Iraq or any other name they decide to call it.
25 posted on 02/08/2003 12:03:41 PM PST by DeuceTraveler
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To: Reagan Man
I think what this means is that the Saudis are feeling the pressure to change their political structure. Once the U.S. and British troops disarm and defeat Saddam Hussein, they realize that the U.S. and British forces will no longer need Saudi bases to launch operations on terrorism. The Saudis know they would be surrounded by forces capable of conducting strikes at the heart of their culture in a matter of minutes, not months. Therefore, they have little room to negotiate and it would be only a matter of time before they would be taken down. This way they keep a large portion, albeit diluted power.

In defeating Iraq, the U.S. and British will be able to effectively impress change on the part of the world that has created, facilitated, and supported terrorism on the western world. If nations such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran insist upon conducting business as usual, they will risk the elimination of their current political power structure. We are already seeing the effects of our President's policy on terrorism. They and the Euroweenies can't stand it because it brings change to their lives and power base.

26 posted on 02/08/2003 12:12:21 PM PST by TennTuxedo
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To: GeneD
Give Mohammedans the vote and they'll vote for revenge, murder, war and mayhem.

The Saudi regime is not repressive enough for the Saudi citizens.
27 posted on 02/08/2003 12:18:31 PM PST by Guillermo (Sic 'Em)
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To: TennTuxedo
We might be in more agreement then we realize. But I have a slightly different take on this specific situation. Kicking out the US military, doesn't bode well for the future of Saudi Arabia. The war on terrorism has just begun and the Saudi's have supported terrorists like Usama Bin Laden from the get go. I will be the first to admit, I'm no expert on the Arab's, but closing off their nation to all US military force, will only isolate them further and possibly lead to the rise of more radical Islamic fundamentalism. In other words, more troublemakers!

Right now, however, these are only assertions being made in a leftwing rag and nothing more. We've seen the US and the Saudi's play this game before. Time will tell.

28 posted on 02/08/2003 12:27:01 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: GeneD
Just a note to all to remind them that the NY Times is
Anti-American and Anti-Bush and has been trying to split the Saudi and Americans for sometime now.

Just who does the NY Times support in this War with Iraq -- it sure doesn't seem to be our side?
29 posted on 02/08/2003 12:27:29 PM PST by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
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To: GeneD
Saudi officials call the first significant democratic reforms at home, and to rein in the conservative clergy

If they want to do this they better pull us closer than ever, because we are the only thing that can keep them from sleeping with the Shah of Iran.

30 posted on 02/08/2003 12:27:38 PM PST by and the horse you rode in on
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To: dennisw
Sounds to me like the Saudis have read the tealeaves.

After a successful Iraqi campaign, the US won't need bases in Saudi Arabia. Instead, Iraq will become our Middle East base of operations -- from whence we can prosecute the War on Terrorism without interference from the Saudis.

And, with a newly installed democratic and capitalist government installed in next door Iraq, the Saudis will be under significant (and intended) pressure to reform their own state.

The Saudis have seen the future. And they don't like it very much...but they'll go along. For now, at least...

31 posted on 02/08/2003 12:28:17 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: GeneD
Ok. No Problem. We'll just have to move all of our bases to Iraq.
32 posted on 02/08/2003 12:34:00 PM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: GeneD
Hope this is true. Get rid of Hussein and we do not need to be there. Move on towards another bug that needs squashing. Might be back later, in bugsquashing mode though.
33 posted on 02/08/2003 12:36:40 PM PST by L`enn
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To: GeneD
Trivial Pursuit question: On which day during the hajj would you get the most bang for the bucks dropping a largish H-bomb over mecca?
34 posted on 02/08/2003 12:37:37 PM PST by Cachelot (~ In waters near you ~)
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To: GeneD
....They noted that the soldiers could return if the Saudi rulers faced a new threat...

Unbeleivable statement. I am speachless..
35 posted on 02/08/2003 12:38:08 PM PST by tall_tex
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To: P-Marlowe; cardinal4
And round one goes the late but totally unlamented Usama Bin Laden. The expulsion of U S Forces from the pagan capital was the number one priority on his agenda.
36 posted on 02/08/2003 12:40:01 PM PST by Ax
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To: DeuceTraveler
We especially won't need to be in Saudi Arabia once we have our troops in Iraq.

Exactly. It almost makes me wonder whether we haven't coordinated this with them. We'll need so many troops in Iraq, at least to begin with, that we won't want to keep any in Saudi Arabia. This way they can look like they kicked out The Infidel, we can look like we left when asked -- see that, we're not imperialists -- everybody wins.

I suspect they are going to have a bumpy ride trying to push the Wahhabis aside, but that's their problem.

I think Saudis Plan Democratic Reforms, Will Form Elected Assemblies would have been a better headline. That is certainly the more significant development here.

The bottom line is that they are planning to do what we would have done had we taken the place over. This means that they understand exactly what the deal is. They will move toward a democratically-elected government, they will reduce the influence of the Mullahs, and who knows -- they might even let women drive cars. Getting those places out of the 13th century is Job #1. That's the only long-term way to stop the terrorism. If they want to do it themselves, that's fine. Good luck to them.

37 posted on 02/08/2003 12:40:39 PM PST by Nick Danger (Freeps Ahoy! Caribbean cruise May 31... from $660 http://www.freeper.org)
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To: Ax
I wouldnt really call it round one to UBL. Once it was demonstrated just where the saudis stood, leaving the Magic Kingdom is a mutual benefit; we are rid of a foolish and transparent ally and they can go on appeaseing the wahabbis. I give the House of Saud 20 years on the outside after their only buffer (The US) leaves. Good Bye and good riddance.
38 posted on 02/08/2003 12:44:33 PM PST by cardinal4 (The Clintons; second only to the Rosenbergs on hating America)
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To: Reagan Man
"Kicking out the US military, doesn't bode well for the future of Saudi Arabia. The war on terrorism has just begun and the Saudi's have supported terrorists like Usama Bin Laden from the get go. I will be the first to admit, I'm no expert on the Arab's, but closing off their nation to all US military force, will only isolate them further and possibly lead to the rise of more radical Islamic fundamentalism."

The Saudis won't be "kicking us out". They full well understand that we'll just be "moving next door."

"Even if American troops do leave, Saudi and American officials said, security cooperation would likely continue, and they noted that the soldiers could return if the Saudi rulers faced a new threat."

Our leaving the Saudi bases for Iraq will ease Wahabbist pressures on the Saudis. Our presence there, in the kingdom officially ascribed as "The Protector of the Holy Places", is a serious annoyance to the radical Islamists. Our departure will defuse the tension, not heighten it.

In the end, one of the most important moves in the War on Terror will be the moving of our base of operations from a hostile and compromised Saudi Arabia to a liberated and cooperative Iraq.

39 posted on 02/08/2003 12:46:40 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: GeneD
No problem.

We'll have major military bases in Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan, Turkey and ...Iraq.

40 posted on 02/08/2003 12:47:31 PM PST by Mark Felton
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To: GeneD
I'll believe it when I see it....
41 posted on 02/08/2003 12:47:43 PM PST by Rummyfan
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To: Reagan Man
Why would we go to war with the Saudis in 5-10 years? If you think about it, this plan, if true, sounds like a good deal for America--We pull our troops, they get rid of some of the crazys, and grant their people more freedom. What`s wrong with that?
42 posted on 02/08/2003 12:48:39 PM PST by bybybill (It`s just for the fish and then the children)
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To: GeneD
This is excellent. It's going to be a hard row to hoe for them, but I think they can succeed. The hard part is going to be to get the clerics under control. If that happens, they can make it.

We won't need a presense in SA as long as we remain in Iraq helping them to build their democracy, and the SA young people will become very interested when the Iraqui people are free and prosperous, and the Iranian students finally manage to bring democracy to their own country. This whole thing could result and a free, prosperous and PRO-AMERICAN middle east.

43 posted on 02/08/2003 12:49:14 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Reagan Man
Should this happen, I predict the US will be involved in a military conflict against the Saudi's, within 5-10 years!

No doubt, and we'll be striking them from our new base in Iraq...

44 posted on 02/08/2003 12:50:05 PM PST by ez ("`The course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others.'' GWB)
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To: Loyalist
You said..."I'd rather see the headline U.S. PLANS TO END SAUDI PRESENCE."

I say...." Hope you heard Bush's speach in reguards to Hydrogen power. Me thinks the oil era is beginning to end and all this talk of war and control is about oil as of now. Bush knows that we need to become energy independent despite his connections with big oil. My hats off too him!

45 posted on 02/08/2003 12:51:47 PM PST by Radioactive
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To: Nick Danger
"That's the only long-term way to stop the terrorism. If they want to do it themselves, that's fine. Good luck to them."

Actually, it is far, far better that they do it themselves.

For the U.S. to take over and attempt reform, a la Iraq, in Arabia would require us to also assume the role of "Protector of the Holy Places of Islam". That just isn't going to fly -- it goes beyond infeasible, perhaps, all the way to impossible.

Instead, in order to effect change in Arabia, we would've had to operate covertly, fomenting (and controlling) a revolution. Or employ surrogates, like Turkey and Jordan.

Either would be an operation that I'm certain we'd rather not do.

For the Saudis to undertake this on their own (with significant, but invisible, moral and physical support from the U.S. no doubt) is, indeed, the best of all possible worlds.

The media will never mention it, of course, but this particular development constitutes a major foreign policy victory for the Bush administration.

46 posted on 02/08/2003 12:58:53 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: GeneD
As long as ALL the reasons for the need to protect that peninsula are removed first,....
47 posted on 02/08/2003 1:19:00 PM PST by steveegg (The Surgeon General has determined that siding with Al-Qaeda is hazardous to your continued rule.)
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To: GeneD
One more thing; if we left Saudi Arabia, does anyone seriously think that Al Qaeda will suddenly stop attacking us? If so, I've got a hot news flash; Islamists don't stop until they're stopped cold.
48 posted on 02/08/2003 1:34:52 PM PST by steveegg (The Surgeon General has determined that siding with Al-Qaeda is hazardous to your continued rule.)
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To: dennisw
"Doing political reform in Saudi Arabia is like publishing the Kama Sutra in the Victorian Age"

What a fascinating comment for a Saudi Prince to make about his own country. He constructs a metaphore, using referents from Indian culture and British/Western history, to make a point about his own culture--and the point he makes is itself western in its focus and conceptual framework. The fact he is thinking and speaking about his own society in such terms is very revealing.

49 posted on 02/08/2003 1:39:40 PM PST by sourcery
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To: AntiGuv
Well now we know the real reason we built the new bases in Qatar. Someone high up in the payscale saw this coming.
50 posted on 02/08/2003 1:52:13 PM PST by txradioguy (HOOAH! Not just a word, A way of life!)
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