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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tell the Saudis to pound sand

Saudi Arabia just ordered Congress and the president not to pass a law the Saudis do not like.

America, we are about to see if Washington works for us or for some Muslim overlord.

From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
A free nation has no choice but to call this dictatorship's bluff.

Go ahead. Pull out. See if we care.

Given that the Saudis already are running low on cash, they likely have to sell anyway. If so, good. Some American will benefit from their fire sale.


  1. In practice it may just be a matter of semantics, but Saudi Arabia is actually a monarchy. A rather complex one, considering multiple lines of succession. As far as their threat, if they believe it is in their best national interest, go for it. Likewise, the US should do what is in our best national interest. - Elric

    1. UPDATE: I just watched a pretty good interview with my man, John Bolton. He says if the US has credible evidence that Saudi Arabia was in on the 9/11 attacks we shouldn't launch a thousand lawsuits - we should bomb them. I couldn't agree more. I wish he would have ran for President. - Elric

  2. Now that we can supply our own oil, the Saudis haven't got the leverage they once had.

    And I think they know it.

    1. It's not the oil they sell us, but the Treasury bonds they buy from us that give the Saudis leverage. We give them petrodollars for oil, and they use those dollars to buy guns and planes from our defense contractors. They also use the dollars to buy Treasury bonds, which the Obama administration needs to finance its annual budget deficits. So, if the Saudis (or Japan or China) stop buying our bonds, or stop turning their current Treasury holdings over for new issues, the US economic house of cards the Federal Reserve has been propping up since 2008 will collapse. There will be no more Obamaphones! No more payoffs to bankrupt solar energy scams to enrich Friends of Obama! In other words, a Saudi move to cash in their bonds would likely implode the US economy, and the Obama administration knows it.

      As for publicly releasing the documents that outline the possible involvement of the Saudis in the 9/11 terrorist attack, why not? It's one thing to hold the Saudi government itself responsible in some ways for the attack, and another to consider the possible roles of particular Saudi government officials. The documents thus far withheld from public view may tell us whether any specific individuals, likely members of the royal family I'd guess, had a role in directly supporting the terrorists, something for which they as individuals should be held legally accountable. The withheld documents may offer only suspicions, not proof, but it's time for our government to be straight with its citizens.

    2. Not to be too harsh on Iapetus, but if this is your understanding of trade, finances, and leverage, then you are woefully unprepared for international business at the negotiating table.

      Debt instruments and IOUs are worthless at this level of trade without an understanding of what they "finance". In short, goods and services are the lifesblood of trade and business, not currency. Currency "follows" goods, services, "wealth", not the other way around.

      You think that the Saudis are just worried about buying weapons from the US and that's all there is to it?

      Take a look at China.

      You think they devalue their own currency relative to the dollar so they can make less money?


      The reason why they need the dollar isn't for its own sake. They need what the dollar buys, and the most important goods to be bought aren't weapons, technology, or even oil.

      So what is it?

      I'll give you a hint; and it can be traced back centuries when the Chinese population exploded when the trade of this commodity became so "insignificant" that it was almost an afterthought to the more "valuable" commodities like opium and silver. Of course, once the trade in China collapsed, this "insignificant" and "Plentiful" commodity became scarce, dooming China to impoverishment and death.

      What is this commodity that every country from Egypt to Venezuela to China to Japan et al covets as surely as they covet life itself?

      It's teh reason why China instituted its One-Child Policy.

      It's the reason why Egypt's government fell during the Arab Spring.

      It's the reason why Saudi Arabia's, China's, Japan's et al threats of treasury dumps is a lot of hot air, because they know that they need to buy treasuries and devalue their own currencies - because their economies, their people, and (in the case of some rulers) their own necks depend on it.

      What is this commodity that they have no choice but to buy from America, and which America could withhold? (and it's not worthless paper/digital debt instruments although those can be canceled with a stroke of a pen, btw).

      People who know the answer can begin to be taken seriously.

      Because know this: America might experience economic and political upheavel, assuming its political leaders are bought off enough to refuse cancellation of bad debt.

      But Saudi Arabia and China will die en masse as they have before in history past when the empires supporting their economies were disrupted.

      And you think the people who own "paper" hold the cards?

      Please, child.

      Go back to your cubicle.

  3. And how many of the 9/11 terrorists came from or had ties to that country? One little, two little, three little Saudis, four little, five little, six little Saudis, seven little...ahh, you get the point...

    1. Ties? they all worshiped the moon god of mecaca.
      While several were not Saudi's, the majority and their master mind and financier were.
      The exceptions were Mohamed Atta from Egypt, Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad from the United Arab Emirates, and Ziad Jarrah.lso, the twentieth hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui was French.

  4. IIRC it was all, or all but one.

    1. Correct, sir. What we oughta be doin is flipping up those white robes, "swaddled arses" as R. Emmet Tyrrell once so brilliantly put it, and giving them a bit of Ned Beatty. Squeal like a pig, boy. I think they'll understand that. It's called Bakken, boy.

  5. How About them implicated in Supporting and Exporting Fanatical Terrorists to Syria and Iraq where Terror is spread to the rest of the World. you think the ISIS and Nusra Front war machine will Sustain with out their Financial help??!

  6. The golden rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules". In this case the Saudi's own lots of our debt. Since we are nearly as bankrupt as King Louis XVI just before he lost his head we may have no choice but to kowtow to them. We already have seen that Obama knows how to kowtow to the Saudi king.

  7. The Bush family has been kowtowing to them for years.

  8. The bill will allow the American civil tort system to bring the Saudi Government into its jurisdiction. No one wants to be subject to the American legal system, especially its civil side. The tort-hell locations and absurdities of the American courts as they decide liability based more on deep pockets and riled up jury sympathy is a world-wide farce that forces most world courts to ignore US judgments.

    Businesses use arbitration because the treaties allows recognition of the neutral, arbitration panels for commercial decisions. Adding to the farce is the way the US Government has kicked to the side most appearances of rule of law and now there are many many examples of the Government (DOJ and state AGs) extorting fines and fees for the privilege of continued doing business in the country. To many, these are more byzantine than the bribes expected in other countries, but business by bribery just the same.

    Bringing in a sovereign nation into the court system is a step outside of the normal US corruption and idiocy. Sovereign nations are normally immune to other nation’s citizens and its own (unless allowed by law) and relations between sovereigns is handled by international relations, not maddened civil juries seeking “justice” for causes. With AGs and perhaps DOJ seeking causes of justice for multi-nationals for the horrific crime of denying that climate change will kill the earth and peddling fossil fuels that allow our advanced society and wealth, I submit that adding countries to the jurisdiction of our civil system is madness.

    We allowed Iran to go before our civil system only after they left the bounds of normal international relations with the Iran hostage crisis. This was seen as a move against their going outside of international norms but short of war. Has Saudi Arabia left the normal international relations?

    Whether or not some minor functionaries in the Saudi Government wittingly or unwittingly helped the 9-11 hijackers does not mean that the Government of Saudi Arabia committed an act of war against the US. If they did, then there are actions that nations take against one another. However, anything that we allow our courts to do, it is the US Government doing the action and that is how it will be viewed internationally.

    Of course the Saudi’s will divest themselves of anything that could be attached or seized by our courts once they are subject to its whims. They will invest those funds in other countries. As most other advanced countries do not automatically recognize US civil court judgements, that money could likely flow to Europe and our economic competitors. Other nations will be more reluctant to invest on our shores as the likelihood that their assets are seized unreasonably will have dramatically increased.

    This is a large step to becoming a banana republic and we should not do it. Just as we should not allow the state AGs and the DOJ to punish large multi-nationals for the crime of not believing in the fraud called climate change.