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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject: Saudi Arabia Reply with quote

There is a bill in the House which, if it passes, will allow the possibility for families of 11 Sept 2001 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for any role it may have had in facilitating the attacks. Remember--all but two of the 19 attackers were Saudi nationals working for the organization which was (at the time) still headed by an ex-Saudi national, Osama bin Laden (whose family still has a very lucrative construction business there). Anyway, they are getting their knickers in a knot and are threatening to sell $750 billion in Treasury securities they currently own.

We have been far too close to Saudi Arabia for far too long. It is no secret that I suspect them of pulling all the strings in the Middle East, including the strings tied to the IS, which is why the IS hasn't made any moves towards Saudi Arabia other than vague threats that it is the new Caliphate and that all other Islamic States are a subset of it. The IS allows the Sauds to keep the Middle East just off-balance enough to retain their control but not over the edge into complete chaos and region-wide warfare.

Obama is planning a tip to Saudi Arabia this week and he doesn't want this hovering over the trip.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't see how suing the country is viable...maybe the Bin Laden family, but not the country. Sounds like reparation claims to me...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is exactly what it is; it is also the reason the Saudi government is upset about it. I heard one market guy on the radio yesterday morning state that even if the Saudis sell all their securities the market would absorb that amount relatively easily--it won't crash the system or cause defaults anywhere else.

Was the Saudi government directly responsible? Of course not. Were they indirectly responsible for not doing more to stem terrorism coming out of their country? Yes, of course. Are their concerns overstated at this point? Yes, because even if the measure passes Congress it will be auto-vetoed by Obama.

This proposed bill couldn't have come at a worse time for Mr. Obama, especially since he and SecDef Carter are going to Riyadh today.


Quote:
President Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter are flying to Saudi Arabia today, where they are slated to meet with King Salman and leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The antiwar group CodePink is planning to stage a mock beheading at the White House later today to pressure President Obama to intervene on behalf of Saudi youth, including Ali al-Nimr, who are facing death sentences for participating in protests. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia faced massive protests after carrying out a mass execution of 47 people, including prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.


If he is lucky, the proposed legislation won't be brought up as a topic of conversation. I am pretty certain that the beheadings wont' be brought up, either.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you differentiate between direct and indirect responsibility?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely. France was indirectly responsible for Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany because they wanted to punish Germany at the end of World War I. If not him, personally, then someone else would have followed a similar path to reawakening that sort of mindless nationalistic fervor and jump-starting the economy with wartime manufacturing.

Does responsibility imply culpability? Of course not--France did not implement the Final Solution; similarly, while Saudi Arabia is not directly liable for 11 Sept but they really did not do enough about Al Queda inside their own country to make sure that things like that didn't happen.

Strangely enough, Saudi Arabia's position on terrorism which does not occur inside their own country is the correct attitude--if it isn't happening inside their borders then it isn't their problem--but the fact is that the foundation for the terror groups operating today was laid down by Al Queda in Saudi Arabia.

As noted, though, their concerns are overstated--Obama will veto the bill. This legislation is really about appearing to be tough on terrorism before an election.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really disagree about differentiating, but it's a sometimes tricky line. I also distinguish between responsibility and culpability to help define it.

If I give you a stick, and you use it to beat your neighbour's head in with, how far does my responsibility go. Indirect, probably. But I'm not culpable for your act. (Unless I suppose if I knew what purpose you would put it to.)

So while Saudi Arabia may be indirectly responsible, I don't think there is any culpability on their part. Rendering a suit a bit pointless.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:

So while Saudi Arabia may be indirectly responsible, I don't think there is any culpability on their part. Rendering a suit a bit pointless.

--A


I do not disagree with this assessment. I didn't draft the legislation and I am not one of the people seeking to sue. I am merely reporting the events are they are happening.

I didn't think private citizens could sue sovereign governments, in any event. *shrug*

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So they could be setting a bit of a precedent here huh?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, but I doubt it. I think this might be some politicians in Washington trying to pressure Riyadh. Something along the lines of "it certainly would be a shame if that legislation were to pass, wouldn't it? we wouldn't want to see that happen any more than you do, which is why we need you to work with us on this" (whatever "this" might be).

Incidentally, Seymour Hersh has a new book out which claims that Saudi Arabia assisted Pakistan in keeping Osama bin Laden essentially captured/detained.


Quote:
Next month will mark the fifth anniversary of the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. We speak with legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh about his new book, "The Killing of Osama bin Laden," in which he argues the official U.S. account of how bin Laden was found and killed was deceptive, and that Pakistan detained bin Laden in 2006 and kept him prisoner with the backing of Saudi Arabia. He suggests that the U.S. and Pakistan then struck a deal: The U.S. would raid bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, but make it look as if Pakistan was unaware.


Unfortunately, it seems to blur the line into conspiracy theory.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is pretty conspiracy-ish. Very Happy As for the law suit, you're probably right and it won't pass.

(Although that is technically a precedent too, isn't it?)

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, apparently the Senate did pass the legislation.

Quote:
The Senate has passed a bill that would let the families of September 11 victims sue Saudi Arabia for any role it played in the attacks. This comes as the Obama administration faces renewed pressure to release 28 classified pages of the 9/11 report, which are said to contain details on the Saudi role. Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off up to $750 billion in Treasury securities and other U.S. assets if the measure passes. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest opposed the bill.

Josh Earnest: "This legislation would change long-standing international law regarding sovereign immunity, and the president of the United States continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world."


I will disagree with Mr. Earnest on one point--legislation passed here cannot change international law. Still, the question remains unanswered: did Saudi Arabia have any role in 11 Sept? *shrug* Perhaps only tangentially because they never did enough to suppress Al Queda but probably not directly.

Why wouldn't the Obama Administration release those 28 pages, though? It wasn't his Administration when everything happened so anything found there cannot reflect negatively upon him in any way.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. I was not expecting that at all. Because yes, in theory it does open that door.

And that said, why shouldn't it? Maybe allowing government to be held accountable by people is not a bad thing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur--holding governments accountable is a good thing. Let's hope that people don't go overboard with it, though, and we start seeing lawsuits seeking reparations for the family's ancestral farm being bombed back in World War II or other such nonsense.

In Saudi Arabia's defense it never directly supported Al Queda and it had revoked bin Laden's citizenship back in the mid 90s. That being said, we cannot rule out that the rabid dog on the long leash wasn't useful to them every now and then.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm lost. If a relative was killed on 9/11, will I send a court order to the Saudi government, demanding they appear in court? If they don't show, will the judge issue a bench warrant and have the police drag them in?

Could it be that this is all done for the purpose of forcing the US government to release the 28 pages? Whether or not filing a lawsuit in a US court is binding on Saudi Arabia, it is binding in the US. Maybe the evidence would have to be presented.
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume that the Saudis would have to agree for the case to be binding in some sense if they were to appear in court (even were they to renege later). I assume that if lawsuits between citizens of one country and the government of another were to become a thing, they'd occur in international court?

Since the saudi government is not entitled to US citizenship, perhaps the case could be decided in absentia. After all, it's possible for immigrants to be ordered removed in absentia (and you can be evicted in absentia too!).
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, seems crazy though. Can we sue the UK for centuries of colonialism? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi Arabia also seems to have the ability to bully the United Nations.

Quote:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged he was coerced into removing Saudi Arabia from a blacklist of forces responsible for killing children, after the kingdom threatened to cut off funding to the U.N. An annual U.N. report found nearly 2,000 children were killed or injured in Yemen last year, a sixfold increase over the previous year. Sixty percent of those casualties were blamed on the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition. Ban Ki-moon described the decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition from the blacklist as "one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "The report describes horrors no child should have to face. At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would defund many U.N. programs. Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places would fall further into despair. It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure."


The decision was difficult, Mr. Secretary General, only because you are a ball-less coward who values money over the lives of children. You should have told Saudi Arabia "okay, defund the programs you support and then let's have a joint public news conference so you can explain to everyone why you are choosing to defund those programs".

On the other hand...I despise the United Nations. If Saudi Arabia can bully the UN into getting its way then why don't we? I know--it is because we choose to walk a higher road than Saudi Arabia does. Nevertheless, if the United States chose to defund the United Nations that organization would collapse completely--the majority of its operating capital comes from the United States.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like he's trying to have his cake and eat it too, as it were. Take the Saudi money but at the same time condemn them.

It's a strange tactic.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention a tactic that is likely to piss them off.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Checking contributions to the U.N. Regular Budget, and though Saudi Arabia's contribution is nothing to sneeze at, it made up about .86 percent of the budget. To give you some perspective, Mexico's contribution is over one percent, Spain's is over two percent, and the US pays 22 percent. (These are from 2015, btw).

Makes me wonder what Ki-moon is really playing at... Like maybe distinguishing whether children are killed by sovereign states or terrorists? I don't know...
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