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Also different than selling them like 10Bil in arms. Europe, for example, has not invaded SA, but is not buddy buddy with MBS.

Also, it's clear that sanctions are a much more powerful weapon than invasion. Western sanctions (or embargo) on SA oil would certainly put them in a tight(er) spot.

No excuses!!!




Weapons sanctions are guaranteed way to hit the Gulf monarchies hard. They are extremely dependent on US tech as far as I know.


The russians would be very happy to help probably.


True. And? While I understand the need for a level of competitive relationships, would it be so terrible to put the burden of selling arms to gross human rights violators on other countries?

Of course, it COULD be bad. Real bad. Hand-waving away such concerns is irresponsible. Having a major oil source friendly to an often hostile nation could have real, even deadly drawbacks.

But so too does always turning a blind eye. If we had gotten into this relationship and worked to reduce the threat (such as investing in other energy sources) we'd be in a better position, we could be at a point to change the relationship at reduced risk. We didn't, and we need to face the concrete realities we're supporting out of fear of hypotheticals.

Because now we may be safer, but we're supporting what we proclaim to be against. When we wield moral superiority, it's undercut. When we tell our children to be patriotic, we know the legacy we're leaving them.


No probably about it.

Since the start of the cold war middle eastern states have balanced/played off against each other between the US (and the west) and Russia (previously USSR) when it comes to weapons and lots of other things.

I mean the Egyptians had soviet supplied fighters flown by actual soviet pilots fighting against the Isreali's in American and French supplied air craft.[1]

The US sold Israel better fighters, the soviets sold their potential enemies better SAM's.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rimon_20


Definitely, but the migration and retraining costs are non-trivial, not to mention that US tech is far superior in general.


There are also plenty of thieves in the world. Must we all become one "in order to remain competitive"?


Would the Yemeni rather fight Saudis armed with American weapons, or Saudis armed with Russian weapons?


You just need to estimate to level of sanctions so that the monarchy will still be able to stay in power, without risking an Islamic revolution.


What would an Islamist revolution risk for those that aren’t rulers in SA? Other Islamists regimes have done less harm than SA.


What's the net benefit of continuing to support the monarchy which exported wahhabism to the rest of the middle east?


You forgot the /s

Or Are you not aware that the monarchy is already Islamic, of the kind least tolerant towards personal freedoms?


The decision to let the arms keep flowing and to let SA to get away with a particularly vicious murder appeared to be made on camera by Trump during the Khashoggi saga. The episode was very depressing to watch. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/10/trumps-not-gonna-let...




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