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The House Stands up to Saudi Arabia

This should get the attention of Saudi princes really quick. The House of Representatives voted to cut off all foreign aid to Saudi Arabia:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to prohibit any aid to Saudi Arabia as lawmakers accused the close ally of religious intolerance and bankrolling terrorist organizations.


The prohibition, reflecting persistent tensions with the kingdom after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, was attached to a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated by the Senate.

It also faces a veto threat from the White House because of an unrelated provision.

A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment on the legislation.

In the past three years, Congress has passed bills to stop the relatively small amount of U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia, only to see the Bush administration circumvent the prohibitions.

Now, lawmakers are trying to close loopholes so that no more U.S. aid can be sent to the world's leading petroleum exporter.

"By cutting off aid and closing the loophole we send a clear message to the Saudi Arabian government that they must be a true ally in advancing peace in the Middle East," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat.

Funds to Saudi Arabia won't actually be cut off, but, nonetheless, this is a crystal clear message to the Saudi government that they cannot take American money for granted.


Comments (36)

I'm sure they (Saudi Prince... (Below threshold)
epador:

I'm sure they (Saudi Princes) are holding their breath.

[sacaster off]

For the first time ever rea... (Below threshold)
BlacquesJacquesShellacques:

For the first time ever reading Wizbang I am shocked. The USA gives aid to Saudi Arabia?

I now know the USA is doomed.

I have never heard of anything so stupid and pathetic in my life.

I am Canadian. I see big troubles ahead for us as you collapse into anarchic stupidity. I have always admired the USA. Not so much lately, electing the Democrats was an international catastrophe, and this really does shock me.

I thought many of our socialist Canadian governments were insane but Harry Reid, Pelosi, Hillary, Bush's amnesty for invaders, and more, and more, holy shit, the end is nigh.

Watch Bush, scumbag that he... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Watch Bush, scumbag that he is, find a way to veto this legislation just like he has with EVERY previous bill that banned any Saudi aid.

Good to know what his priorities are. (P.S. They're not you and I).

2 Questions:1. Why... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

2 Questions:

1. Why the hell are we giving aid to one of the richest countries on the planet, which has horrible wages for the workforce (many of whom are from reaally poor countries)?

2. Why are we still even dealing with them, since they have been completely uncooperative not since 9/11, but since Khobar Towwers '96?

Watch Bush, scumba... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
Watch Bush, scumbag that he is, find a way to veto this legislation just like he has with EVERY previous bill that banned any Saudi aid.

Why don't you show us where Bush has vetoed a bill that prevented financial aid to the Saudi's? Since he's only vetoed three bills in 6 1/2 years, I doubt you can find an example.

"foreign aid" is usually a ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"foreign aid" is usually a euphemism.

Aid to the Saudis? What th... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Aid to the Saudis? What the hell for?

Aid to the richest nation in the M.E. What a joke.

Pretty much my reaction too... (Below threshold)

Pretty much my reaction too.

Why are we sending aid to Saudi Arabia? Does that even make sense?

I think we should demand our Congress persons go over foreign aid from the top down and simply stop it in any case that isn't an emergency.

Granted, the world will hate us for it, but that's sort of a given no matter what.

It likely dates back to the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

It likely dates back to the Cold War - either we pay Saudi a 'token' amount to have them on our nominal side (as well as giving them US military goods and protection) or the Soviets would have, and gotten influence in the area. And just because the USSR dissolved didn't mean we could cut the payments - after all, China was getting more energy-hungry too.

Yes, I know it's basically buying friendship, but they've stayed pretty well bought over the decades. (Like the old joke - how can you tell if a politician's honest? He stays bought.)

First, let me say I'm surpr... (Below threshold)
marc:

First, let me say I'm surprised by those that are surprised.

How can you be so disconnected you never realized aid in some form didn't go the Saudia Arabia?

Then the ignorance is compounded by "OMG, aid to SA, what's world coming to."

Did anyone READ the article? Did anyone notice a piddling $2.5 million in '05-'06 was sent?

Did anyone bother to learn the cash was "used to train Saudis in counter-terrorism and border security and to pay for Saudi military officers to attend U.S. military school."

And before you jump my ass, I agree, a rich oil country like SA should be able to pay their own way.

But I hate to break it to ya, cash and diplomacy are for the most part one and the same.

Boy, this should have been ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Boy, this should have been a no-brainer. Let's stop sending aid to the country where (and I'm not quoting exact figures) something like 15 of the 19 Sept. 11th hijackers came from. Guess it took the demos controlling the congress to finally do it. But, Bush will protect his oil buddies with a veto. Man, I can't wait for '08. The voters of this country are going to send the Republican Party back to the Stone Age. I don't even think there will BE a Republican Party after '08. Just file them in with the Whigs and the Dixiecrats.

Stop sending money to the c... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Stop sending money to the country where almost all of the Sept. 11th terrorists came from? Nah. Let's invade Iraq.

"It likely dates back to th... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"It likely dates back to the Cold War_ JLawson"

You're essentially correct(post-WW2 Keynesian deficit spending programmes for reconstruction) but the reason it continues (despite our aid being itself borrowed money) is to keep up appearances lest "confidence" in the dollar as a world exchange currency (via WB, IMF, Settlement banks, etc.) be undermined, because confidence as a paper "note" (not bill) means everything. There is no intrinsic value since silver backing was finally removed to finance the Vietnam War. ("free" dollars hid the real cost)
You'll notice how inflation kicked in to re-adjust once the industrial stimulus of the war ended. The OPEC crisis was created to cover that bad policy (after all, US and western companies still controlled OPEC oil production as well as were corporate partners.)
We bribed OPEC then, we're bribing everybody now to trust the dollar. If China unloads US bonds, it will be a major economic disaster. We're bribing them by paying stupendous interests payments ad infinitum to play along. Plus giving their crap shelf space wherever there's a cash register. It's either that, or see the economy contract.
The elites would be very embarrassed and their internationalist policies put in danger.
(See Trilateral Commission, founded in 1976 in case the OPEC gambit didn't pan out. Jimmy Carter went from Governor of Georgia to the TC to POTUS on a super fast track! (2-3 years?) Note his economic contraction policies)

Marc, I pretty much agree w... (Below threshold)
John in CA:

Marc, I pretty much agree with you. To me, $2.5 million is a pretty low price to pay the Saudi's for whatever cooperation they give us in anti-terror efforts.

For whatever bad we can say about the Saudi's, they aren't openly undermining us. Yeah, the Wahabi movement spawned the Taliban and the Saudi terrorist hijackers from 9/11, but the Saudi government didn't spawn the attacks nor did the attack originate from SA.

Furthermore, the Saudi's have pretty much crushed the terrorist activity within their own country. That's one less enclave for terrorists to operate from That's only good for us.

For $2.5 mil we get some cooperation, they send their military to our schools, which means they probably use our tactics, we keep them in "our camp" and they buy billions of dollars in military equipment from us. Sounds like a good investment to me.

What gets me is this was a demo initiated amendment, and got primarily demo support (about 30 GOP votes). Yet, SanFranNan carried herself over to the enemy of the United States and Israel, terrorist sponsoring and supporting nation, number one ally and puppet regime of Iran and kissed the chinless opthalmologist's ass, but the demo's have their panties in a wad 'cuz we send $2.5 mil to SA. Pffft!

Additionally, her speakerness and her allies in the demo regime spurned the President of Colombia, and good friend in South America, because they aren't happy with Colombia's human rights record.

But, she can kiss Assad's ass and it's all good.

"Note his (Carter's) econom... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Note his (Carter's) economic contraction policies"

I think the term then was "soft landing". As opposed to Crash!

So bryanD,Now that... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

So bryanD,

Now that you've kicked some real knowledge, break down for me why we are still bribing OPEC, even as the price of crude oil is overinflated by at $15-$20 a barrel? Does this go back to again proping up the power off the dollar?

We give some money to the S... (Below threshold)

We give some money to the Saudis for the same reason we dole out aid to most countries on our list: because it promotes our national interests in some way.

Most people don't object to the foreign aid we deliver with clear humanitarian aims, but they seldom approve of that given for purely political reasons. This doesn't make the political aid any less valuable in the long run, of course.

Without substantial cooperation from the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, we would face a far greater threat from Islamist terrorists. Compared to the cost of our aid to Egypt and Pakistan, the Saudis are a bargain.

Ryan:But, Bush... (Below threshold)
marc:

Ryan:

But, Bush will protect his oil buddies with a veto.

Lets be correct shall we?

It's the world's "oil buddies," but if you want to be picky about it "Bush's oil buddies" are Canada & Mexico who are one and two based on imports.

SA is #3 and 15%, of U.S. crude oil imports. SA produces just less than 10 million barrels a day, the U.S. imports only about 1.5 million per day. That's less than one supertanker load per day.

If all that makes SA Bush's oil buddies in your mind Ryan I think most of us can see where you're coming from, and it ain't from an objective look at the facts.

Ah, another in the endless ... (Below threshold)

Ah, another in the endless series of illustrations of the ignorance of bryanD:

"If China unloads US bonds, it will be a major economic disaster. We're bribing them by paying stupendous interests payments ad infinitum to play along."


The US government securities owned by China and Chinese were sold at auction, as are all of our securities. The interest rates we pay are determined by that auction, and fixed thereby, and are the lowest of any government bonds in the world, because our government debt is the most secure place to store funds. A better return would be earned in equities, but at a correspondingly greater risk. Some choose to take risks for greater returns, while others accept lower returns for reduced risk.

Now, if China were to "unload" our bonds, as bryanD ominously fears, it would be on the open market. The market price of US bonds fluctuates inversely with the prevailing expected interest - if interest rates go up from the rate of the bond, its price falls on the market, but if interest rates fall the bond appreciates in value. All of which, however, occurs on the market, and affects the United States government not one bit.

Our bonds are issued at set interest rates. We will pay exactly those rates, no more and no less, regardless of the secondary market prices. Our bonds are contracts to pay a certain interest for a certain period. If the owner of a bond chooses to sell it before its redemption date, he may realize a profit or a loss, but we pay the exact same amount as specified nonetheless.

So, when stupidity mates with ignorance, we get bryanD.

Since there is another Ryan... (Below threshold)
Ryan D.:

Since there is another Ryan, now append a 'D' to my name to avoid confusion.

And this other Ryan is coming from the "How can I Bash America, Republicans, and anything they do?"
angle.

Ryan D:And thi... (Below threshold)
marc:

Ryan D:

And this other Ryan is coming from the "How can I Bash America, Republicans, and anything they do?"
angle.

Really, how can you tell, the shear ignorance of his comments? Or because he mimics bryanD[elusional]?

And BTW Ryan (w/o the "d" a... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW Ryan (w/o the "d" although your still [d]lusional) the U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil per day.

Just how much "ownership" can Bush claim on 1.5 million per day from the Saudis?

"Why are we sending aid ... (Below threshold)

"Why are we sending aid to Saudi Arabia? Does that even make sense?"

I haven't checked, but don't we still have military bases in Saudi Arabia? It's usual for the U.S. to provide aid in exchange for that privilege.

This is just a feel good pr... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is just a feel good provision and they know it has no chance of passing. SA is a bad guy, but it is our bad guy. ww

Lee:I haven't ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Lee:

I haven't checked, but don't we still have military bases in Saudi Arabia?

No, they were turned over to the Saudi's in 2003. The only U.S. personnel that remain in the Kingdom are diplomats and a few U.S. military at training missions in Jedda on the Red Sea and al-Jubail on the Arabian Gulf.

You are a cow, Ward.<... (Below threshold)
kim:

You are a cow, Ward.

Abdullah is now King. All your previous expectations are belong to us.
==============

The last I checked the cost... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

The last I checked the cost of the Iraq war was over 300 billion dollars.

That is exactly how much we gave SA for protection. It's exactly what they extract from us to protect their precious oil.

Stupid foolish Americanos.

cb, you are behind the time... (Below threshold)
kim:

cb, you are behind the times; the dollar cost is higher and there are lots of dead and injured Americans.

But 9/11 was a trillion dollar economic hit at a stroke. The campaign led by Bush has significantly decreased the risk to that kind of terror.

Unfeeling, uncivil, miscreant. You are the fool for the Regressives.
====================

By the way, Cow Ward, I do ... (Below threshold)
kim:

By the way, Cow Ward, I do invite you to re-visit the Libby threads to check on my credibility. I see you are still recently alleging my credibility is poor on the Plame/Libby business. You should read Cohen, and Rabinowitz about this case.

Fitzgerald lied to Tatel to put Judy Miller in jail. Now Tatel is on the three judge panel hearing the emergency appeal of Walton's order denying Libby bail on appeal. Tatel now knows Fitzgerald lied to him. Expect interesting news.
===================

CB:It's exactl... (Below threshold)
marc:

CB:

It's exactly what they extract from us to protect their precious oil.

Guess you missed the part about it being the world's oil.

Not that it matters, you'd post the same garbage on a thread about finding green cheese on the far side of the moon.

CB, you're a one trick pony and no one gives a fart in a ferris wheel what you think.

We should have cut off fund... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

We should have cut off funding when we found out 13 of the 9/11 terrorists on planes were Saudi..instead...we invaded Iraq that had no connection to 9/11....
A Republican dominated House could have done this...and did not...
Speaking of cutting funding...on Thursday Cheney's office said they were not required to submit to Security over site ..because the Vice-President is not a part of the Executive Branch...(just google news..Cheney Executive over site)
Dems now saying...if the VP is NOT a part of Exec Branch...it will no longer be funded under Exec Branch...

At what point in time...will even the most passionate of you...realize what is happening?

nogo:We should... (Below threshold)
marc:

nogo:

We should have cut off funding when we found out 13 of the 9/11 terrorists on planes were Saudi..instead...we invaded Iraq that had no connection to 9/11....
A Republican dominated House could have done this...and did not..

A Democrat led Senate couldn't accomplish it either.

BTW it was 15 not 13 of Saudi ancestry (facts challenge your feeble mind don't they?) the other jihadist-cut-throats on 911 were 1 Egyptian, 1 Lebanese, 2 from United Arab Emirates.

Should we cut off aid to those countries as well or are you just fixated on SA?

Speaking of cutting funding...on Thursday Cheney's office said they were not required to submit to Security over site ..because the Vice-President is not a part of the Executive Branch...(just google news..Cheney Executive over site)

Sorry the Cheney thing has nothing to do with cutting funding. Stay on topic or find a related thread.

"We should have cut off fun... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

"We should have cut off funding when we found out 13 of the 9/11 terrorists on planes were Saudi..instead...we invaded Iraq that had no connection to 9/11...."

nogo - don't prove to everyone that you are dumb as a brick with every post.

#1) we don't discriminate against a WHOLE country because of a few fruitcakes. if we did, the whole world would be one big parking lot. WE GO AFTER THE PEOPLE, NOT THE COUNTRY.

#2) we did NOT go into iraq because of 9/11. we went in because saddam snubbed his nose at the UN's mandates on several occasions. we gave him several weeks to come clean. he didn't - and he had only himself to blame for his embarrassment hiding in a hole.

grow up nogo and open your mind.

Abdullah has undertaken cha... (Below threshold)
kim:

Abdullah has undertaken changes which we don't know about. Mecca is holy to the Shia, too.
=============================

Uh, probably not, sock-pupp... (Below threshold)
kim:

Uh, probably not, sock-puppet.
=================

Mitts off Meshad.===... (Below threshold)
kim:

Mitts off Meshad.
===========




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