Just before the Crown Prince #MBS allowed women to drive cars (June 2018) he had leading Saudi feminists arrested
2018 protest in solidarity with our sisters in Saudi Arabian prisons
Read Human Rights Watch article about how remnants of guardianship system oppresses
Don't forget them. Read this 2020 Al Jazeera article Click here
Keys extended to jailed Saudi feminists
1) Kathy Kelly "Overview of the Civil War and Proxy War"
2) Rabyaah Althaibani "How the Destruction of Yemen Affected Family and Friends"
1) Kate Alexander "Countering U.S. Support for the Saudi Attacks - Convincing Congress"
2) Summer Nasser "How Yemen Aid Works and Helps Yemenis"
1) Nick Mottern on the U.S. Drone Attacks in Yemen
2) Panels Suggest How to Go Forward
1. Aramco, the kingdom-owned fossil fuel colossus, is the single company most responsible for CO2 increase in the air (since 1880). It caused some 3% of the rise in carbon dioxide all by itself.
2. Saudi Arabia has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, some 266 billion barrels. It intends to pump all of it out. Burning this Saudi oil would in itself use up a huge amount of the carbon dioxide "budget", (by one estimate 1/3 of the budget) that we have left before we go over the tipping points to uncontrolled warming.
3. Renewable energy use is presently just 1% in Saudi Arabia. A much touted renewable energy program there was slated to bring that total up to 4% by 2020. To compare, the U.S. at the start of 2017 got 19% of its energy from renewables. It's huge solar promises has come a cropper (see below)
4. In 2015 the year of the Paris climate talks, the Saudis did all they could to block moving the goal of climate efforts to a vitally necessary 1.5 degree Celsius limit. The goal was not lowered. The played the same role (along with Russia and the U.S.) at COP in Poland in 2018.
5. Though the world has far more fossil fuel than it can safely use Aramco is still hunting for more. It’s investing in shale gas drilling and expects to double its methane gas production in a decade.
6. Prince Salman’s kingdom does all this even though scientists predict that within a few generations extreme heat waves in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf will make work outdoors impossible!
7. Moody's revealed on 4/1/19 that the Saudi oil company Aramco had made a profit in 2018 of $111 billion dollars, far surpassing the world's second most profitable company in the word, Apple whose profit that year was $59 billion.
In March 2018 an immense solar project is was touted, but note the
Washington Post article says "take it with a grain of salt"
And then the project was frozen Oct 2
"No one is working on the project" says the Wall Street Journal
After the Khashoggi murder became known businessmen even suspended cooperation with a Saudi "City fo the Future" which supposedly was going to be all solar powered.
To be clear it would be GREAT if the Saudi regime went solar and kept its oil IN THE GROUND. That's never been the plan. It intendeds to pump out all its oil AND go solar.
So Trump says that while he’s thinking of “severe” punishment for Saudi Arabia he doesn’t want to lose the $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi princes and the “500,000 jobs” it would create in the U.S. The New York Times looked into his claim and noted that Trump’s own Pentagon says the amount of new signed orders with Saudi Arabia was $14.5 billion and Trump’s State Department said the number of jobs created by these orders was in the tens of thousands. So Trump fudged it a little. He merely exaggerated by a multiple of ten or 15.
Let’s leave all morality aside here (like big tough politicians and think-tank “strategists”) and not worry [bitter sarcasm] about the murder of one measly Washington Post columnist (remember as Trump reminds us Khashoggi was a non-citizen of the U.S., only a resident). Let’s not worry about the tens of thousands killed by the Saudi-Obama-Trump war on Yemen.
Let’s just be “realists” and consider only dollars and cents.
Certainly arms sales bring profits to the corporations involved and they do create jobs, but what about the COSTS of doing business with the Gulf, “protecting the oil” and the kings, and emirs, princes, prince-lings and other royals? Recall just recently Trump said the Saudi King wouldn’t last “two weeks” without U.S. support.
Chuck Hagel, who was one of Obama’s Defense Secretaries, said in 2013 that the U.S. would keep 35,000 military personnel in the Gulf region, some 10,000 of whom were army soldiers with armor or helicopter gunships. In addition, some 40 US naval vessels then patroled the Gulf waters, including an aircraft carrier battle group. We have bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. Sometimes we go to war. To “liberate” Kuwait and give it back to the al-Sabah family we warred on (admittedly nasty) Saddam Hussein in 1991 and then a decade later Bush (George W.) launched “shock and awe” to protect the region and “the world” from Saddam’s (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction and that cost what, $3 trillion, $6 trillion (not to speak of American lives lost because we’re not bleeding hearts).
Back in 2011 Princeton professor Roger Stern estimated that we had spent $8 trillion to protect the “oil flow” from the Persian Gulf over 35 years. How much more now, another trillion or two? The funny thing is the USA doesn’t even use that much of the oil. Stern established the U.S. was the destination of less than 10 percent of the oil. That was in 2011. Now with fracking and the gargantuan amount of oil pumped out in the U.S. (and deadly greenhouse gases liberated) the U.S. needs even less of Persian Gulf oil.
So you hard-boiled, hard-headed, stone-for-hearts realists, look at all the dollars and cents, the losses as well as the gains. Is protecting the royal tyrants worth it?
The Staggering Amount of Money That's Been Spent to "Defend" the Gulf
Based on the work of a study by Princeton professor Roger Stern, Time magazine wrote that as of 2007 the U.S. had spent $6.8 trillion "to protect the flow of oil" from the Persian Gulf. As of 2011 Stern estimated over $8 trillion had been spent. He regards it as waste. Stern believes "Iran and other nations in the region have just as much, if not more, need to keep the oil flowing than the U.S." Here's a link to Stern's study.
In 2013 professor Juan Cole wrote a blog post about this noting that then Sec. of Defense Hagel said, "Hagel said that the "US had and would keep 35,000 military personnel in the Gulf region, some 10,000 of whom were army soldiers with armor or helicopter gunships. In addition, some 40 US naval vessels patrol the Gulf waters, including an aircraft carrier battle group. Cole's post was entitled "Solar would be Cheaper: US Pentagon has spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil" Cole argues that not only would it be cheaper, it's absolutely necessary to drastically limit oil use because of what global warming gases are doing to the climate.
This oil industry website uses the $8 trillion figures and quotes Stern as noting that only 10% of the oil from the Gulf actually comes to the U.S.
In May of 2015 Ali Al Ahmed of the Institute for Gulf Affairs wrote that the hyper spending on military for the Persian Gulf was the result of the "Carter Doctrine" which he says should be abandoned..
The origin of the U.S.-Saudi alliance dates from 1945 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt met the Saudi king. They met on the USS Qunicy in the Great Bitter Lake along the Suez Canal. Andrew Glass wrote, “Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, had come from Jidda on an American destroyer, the USS Murphy, with an entourage of bodyguards, cooks and slaves, plus an astrologer.” The U.S. started sending the Saudis weapons and getting access to Saudi airfields.
After discussions with Kennedy in 1966 King Ibn Saud issued a decree abolishing slavery (a century after the U.S. did so).
Relations weren’t always friendly. In 1973 when support for Palestinians was at its height in the Arab world Saudi Arabia took part in an oil embargo and refused to sell oil to the West. It was part of the OPEC embargo that started after the U.S. resupplied Israel after its 1973 war with Egypt. The U.S. considered using military force to break it. In a conversation between then Defense Secretary Schlesinger and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Schlesinger said, “We have been talking about using the Marines. Kissinger replied, “We should have a plan before we move troops. It is ridiculous that the civilized world is held up by 8 million savages.” Eventually the embargo ended when Israel left the Sinai and started talks with Sadat.
The U.S. leaned heavily on the Saudis to make sure OPEC never again supported the Palestinians and the Saudis would increase oil production whenever other countries tried to use their oil politically.
In August 1990, after seeing the Iraqis occupy Kuwait called in the Americans. “King Fahd gave the United States the go-ahead to deploy its troops inside Saudi Arabia. By the time President George H.W. Bush met with King Fahd in Jeddah in November, there were 230,000 U.S. troops inside the country.” This may have protected his dynasty from a rather remote threat from Saddam Hussein, but roused the ire of Osama bin Laden who was outraged at the number of non-Muslims in the Kingdom and started on his road to create al-Qaeda.
Bill Clinton met King Fahd bin Abdulaziz in 1994 and peddled a contract for ATT to modernize Saudi phone service.
George W. Bush met with bin Abdulaziz twice. After 9/11 in 2001 the Saudi U.S. relationship came under fire since 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi Arabians and Bin Laden was also from the kingdom. A number of familiesof the 9/11 have suspected direct Saudi government involvement in the attacks and have been suing ever since. In 2109 the U.S. revealed the name of the mid-level Saudi official suspected of giving aid to the 9/11 attackers under conditions that they not reveal it to the public. However on May 12, 2020 the FBI accidentally revealed that the official was Mussaed al-Jarrah when it improperly released a document to a court.
In his eagerness to make a nuclear/sanctions deal with Iran, President Obama bent over backwards to satisfy the Saudis. When they attacked Yemenis in March 2015 Obama gave full support to what the Saudi’s claimed would be a brief military action. No weapons were held back until after considerable public protest. In the last months of Obama’s presidency the U.S. Defense Department stopped sending cluster bombs and suspended delivery of “precision munitions”.
Trump has made Saudi Arabia a key ally. It was his first foreign visit after he became president. He boasts constantly about the enormous weapons deals he’s made with the kingdom. He’s vetoed every attempt by Congress to end U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen which in 2020 was entering its sixth year.