News U.S. says pulling virtually all military from Saudi Arabia

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kat

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PRINCE SULTAN AIRBASE, Saudi Arabia - The United States said on Tuesday it was ending military operations in Saudi Arabia and removing virtually all of its forces from the kingdom by mutual agreement after the Iraq war.
How do you think this will affect the ME? Saudi, Islamic fundamentalist views towards the U.S.? Saudi's human rights issues?
 

N_Quire

USA is pulling out of Saudi Arabia? Good. It's one of the most barbaric, sexist regimes in the Middle East. No more dollars to them than is necessary for America's self-interest.
 

BoulderHead

Originally posted by kat
How do you think this will affect the ME? Saudi, Islamic fundamentalist views towards the U.S.? Saudi's human rights issues?
Kat,
I think this is a good thing.
Regarding the ME, this should lower everyone's anxiety/panic/paranoia/hate level. If the Islamic fundamentalist view doesn't soften because of this move then I would hope to see them lose some credibility, but who knows. For Saudi's HR issues I'm not informed enough but to venture an ignorant guess that it will remain the same.
I must say that I am very pleased to learn of this news.
 

FZ+

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Seems like a good thing, but a note of caution.... Saudi Arabia was Bin Laden's major base. Now, for the time being at least, he is free to operate there....
 

N_Quire

Bin Laden had a base there owing to America's base. Now that the American base is gone, the bin Laden case is baseless.
 

damgo

Also, it lessens the pressure on the Saudi government from the fundamentalists there. There is less risk of Islamist revolution; and the Sauds should have more freedom to try and institute cultural reforms -- maybe they'll even finally get around to instituting that whole "voting" thing.

It'll also give allow the US a much better position to pressure the Sauds to crack down on terrorist funding, since Saudi bases and oil will no longer be critical to US interests.

And it pulls a major card from al Qaeda's hand. In a sense they just got a lot of what they wanted, though I doubt OBL's breaking out the champagne tonight... ;)
 

FZ+

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Playing devil's advocate, but what if Bin Laden would just declare this a victory for his side? "Hah, the americans are so scared they are running away!" What if he simply uses it among his followers to show that terrorism is working? Today Saudi Arabia, tommorrow Israel?
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by N_Quire
USA is pulling out of Saudi Arabia? Good. It's one of the most barbaric, sexist regimes in the Middle East. No more dollars to them than is necessary for America's self-interest.
Agreed. And we're pulling our troops and our money out of Germany as well.

Regarding the ME, this should lower everyone's anxiety/panic/paranoia/hate level. If the Islamic fundamentalist view doesn't soften because of this move then I would hope to see them lose some credibility, but who knows.
I'm not sure if you guys (its Boulder's quote, but several people echoed it) are being naive or what, but the MEs hated us LONG before 1991 and our presence in Saudia Arabia was for their PROTECTION. The MEs hate us simply because we exist and moving out of Saudia Arabia won't change that.
Playing devil's advocate, but what if Bin Laden would just declare this a victory for his side? "Hah, the americans are so scared they are running away!" What if he simply uses it among his followers to show that terrorism is working? Today Saudi Arabia, tommorrow Israel?
Yeah, I see that as the far more likely scenario. "We're winning - time to redouble our efforts and finish the infidels off."
 
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damgo

The MEs hate us simply because we exist
I don't buy this. Where is the evidence? And it doesn't make any sense; why the hell should they care what we do over here, if it doesn't affect them?

Of course, we will continue to affect the Middle East for a long time to come; and I'm sure OBL will not rest during that time. But that level of established fanaticism is not anything you can plan to realistically stop. What you can do is reduce the emotionally-charged issues that push young men (or women) in the Arab world into joining these fanatical groups.

Troops in Saudi was a big one. If Bush remembers that Israel/Palestine roadmap, and can somehow get the peace process back on track (I'm not holding my breath for that one), the major inciting issues will be gone, and al Qa'eda's rhetoric will find far fewer sympathetic ears -- and far fewer converts.
 

BoulderHead

I'm not sure if you guys (its Boulder's quote, but several people echoed it) are being naive or what, but the MEs hated us LONG before 1991 and our presence in Saudia Arabia was for their PROTECTION. The MEs hate us simply because we exist and moving out of Saudia Arabia won't change that.
Well, it may have happened a little too late for some, but one of the gripes of the OBL crowd was the presence of the US military in Saudia Arabia wasn't it? What if those troops had never remained there, what would 'that crowd' have complained about then?
Surely you heard the complaints of people expressing the view that the US wants to take control of that area. The absence of Troops could have gone a long way toward painting a different picture, IMO. The US suffers from not being seen to mind its own business (read; keeping its nose out of everyone elses). I'd like to hear any suggestions you might have to improve relations, though it seems you are saying this is impossible.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by BoulderHead
...but one of the gripes of the OBL crowd was the presence of the US military in Saudia Arabia wasn't it? What if those troops had never remained there, what would 'that crowd' have complained about then?
Yes, *ONE* of the gripes. If we had taken the troops out the next day they would have complained about all their other gripes - like the fact that we exist.
I don't buy this. Where is the evidence? And it doesn't make any sense; why the hell should they care what we do over here, if it doesn't affect them?
Damgo, Bin Laden (among others) has explicitly demanded that we convert to Islam or we will all be killed. One of 9/11's purposes was simply to kill as many Americans as possible just for the sake of killing Americans.
Troops in Saudi was a big one.
Damgo, seriously, aren't you older than me? I'm 27 and I remember quite clearly the terrorism that existed pre-1991. Hijackings, bombings, hostage taking, etc. Our troops in Saudia Arabia are nothing more than another meaningless excuse. Our removal of the troops will change NOTHING (positive anyway) in their attitude towards us. But I guess we'll see.
And it doesn't make any sense.
Major fallacy at work there: You're assuming they are rational people. ME's by definition are NOT RATIONAL. In order for a group to have a specific and reasonable gripe that can be addressed to their satisfaction, they must be RATIONAL. There are only two ways to deal with violent, irrational people - kill them or let them kill you.
 
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kat

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Originally posted by russ_watters

Major fallacy at work there: You're assuming they are rational people. ME's by definition are NOT RATIONAL. In order for a group to have a specific and reasonable gripe that can be addressed to their satisfaction, they must be RATIONAL. There are only two ways to deal with violent, irrational people - kill them or let them kill you.
This is one of the most racist, outragious comments I have yet to see on this board, just who do you consider ME"s??!! Christ.
 

GENIERE

If ME='s Militant Extremist, I see nothing outrageous or racist in Russ' comment.

Regards
 

kat

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Originally posted by GENIERE
If ME='s Militant Extremist, I see nothing outrageous or racist in Russ' comment.

Regards
ME, in a conversation regarding the Middle East is usually meant to be Middle East...but in the name of fairness, I'll withhold further judgment until Russ has a chance to reply.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by kat
This is one of the most racist, outragious comments I have yet to see on this board, just who do you consider ME"s??!! Christ.
Huge overreaction, Kat. Actually, I thought ME meant "muslim extremists." I am certainly not asserting that ALL muslims are extremists, but certainly the muslims that are terrorists are by definition extremists. And they're the ones we need to worry about. Extremists of *ANY* religion, political afiliation, etc. are not rational. Thats what makes them extremists.

I think you misunderstood my post.
 

BoulderHead

Russ,
Now you know we were talking about the Middle East how about giving us your thoughts again.
 

kat

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Russ-I'm very sorry, I was pretty amazed that someone who normally is so polite would suddenly be so..erm..not. Now I see..why.:frown: tip toes away
 

BoulderHead

Don't feel too bad Kat 'cause I thought the same thing you did. I was just waiting to see if Alias could top him.
 

FZ+

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Though I'll raise a minor quibble.... While extremists probably are irrational, they are not so by definition. They are simply "extreme", ie. on the fringes of the islamic society. But what they are doing can be very rational - just that their situation is radically different from other muslims so as to seem irrational to the others.

And there are always alternatives to killing them - converting them back, perhaps. And not every "extremist" wants to kill you - extremism goes both ways.

Example: I am sure that you were irrational and violent once. Say, when you were two. However, that didn't mean that you are now permanently marked or something, and that I should try to kill you now since you are trying to kill me. At least, I think you aren't trying to kill me. *dodges bullet*
 
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N_Quire

Christian fundamentalists are every bit at bad at the muslim variety. They are intolerant, prone to violence, incapable of dialogue, simplistic in their problem solving and spreaders of hatred to young and old alike. It's just that they happen to be our, western extremists and we put up with them.
 

Zero

Originally posted by N_Quire
Christian fundamentalists are every bit at bad at the muslim variety. They are intolerant, prone to violence, incapable of dialogue, simplistic in their problem solving and spreaders of hatred to young and old alike. It's just that they happen to be our, western extremists and we put up with them.
Let me add that Western extremists have recognized armies to fight, so don't resort to as much terrorism. Plus, in richer countries, they simply have more to live for! That's why you see the most violence in America among the poor. It is simple economics, I think..
 

damgo

Damgo, Bin Laden (among others) has explicitly demanded that we convert to Islam or we will all be killed. One of 9/11's purposes was simply to kill as many Americans as possible just for the sake of killing Americans.
Like I said, I don't buy it... can you give me a reference on that?

Actually I'm a few years younger than you, russ. :smile: But I do remember some of the terrorism that went on before. But it was at a lower level, and more directed towards Israel and regional governments than the USA. No, I don't think bin Laden and the hard-core terrorists will be dissuaded by moves like this; but the "angry Arab male" demographic that is their recruiting base will be.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by BoulderHead
Russ,
Now you know we were talking about the Middle East how about giving us your thoughts again.
Oh, I see now. Oops.
Russ-I'm very sorry, I was pretty amazed that someone who normally is so polite would suddenly be so..erm..not. Now I see..why. tip toes away
No problem. Clearly my reading comprehension needs a little work. But just a little quibble:
How do you think this will affect the ME? Saudi, Islamic fundamentalist views towards the U.S.? Saudi's human rights issues?
The second part isn't a complete sentence - but yeah, it would be redundant to say "muslim extremists" and "Islamic fundamentalist" in the same sentence(s?).

Now you know we were talking about the Middle East how about giving us your thoughts again.
Well, I think in light of this clarification you can probably tell my opinion, but I've screwed up this thread so bad, I don't know if its worth going back. But I'll give it a shot:

The middle east has a large and quite vocal (understatement) population of extremists. How large I don't know and I doubt anyone really knows. But since the peaceful, ordinary, just-trying-to-make-a-living types don't stand up and say "hey, we're not a violent religion, stop being violent," they may as well not exist. Our foreign policy is generally geared toward dealing with the people making the trouble.

Maybe thats a mistake. Maybe it should be geared more toward helping the rest of the people. I see the recent war as a step in that direction even if that wasn't Bush's primary motive (and even if it was, most people would never believe him anyway). Trouble is, helping the peaceful part of the population only angers the violent types more. So either way we MUST deal directly with the violent ones.

As far as the political issues this thread was meant to discuss, as I said before, I just don't see there being any effect except allowing us to put some more pressure on Saudia Arabia- which is a double edged sword since they don't really like us anyway.

Bottom line, terrorism existed in 1990 and it existed in 1991. The US presence in Sauda Arabia didn't create the terrorism and it didn't make it worse, so taking the troops out won't change anything either - we are just unlucky to have a lucky terrorist on the scene right now.

more later...(damgo)
 
Many people see Saudi Arabia as the holiest of holy lands, especially Mecca and Medina. Removing our troops from there will stop people from being pissed off and cut down bin laden's credibility.
 

iansmith

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Removing the troops from SAudi Arabia will satisfy some people but I don't think Bin Laden credibility will be hurt because you guys went to Irak and I think extremist will be use this.
 

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