The Saudis and Israelis.

According to the CIA Fact Book, Israel is a country of 8,174,527 people, including the settler in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. If it were a US state, it would rank 13th in population, behind Virginia and ahead of Washington. Interestingly, the population density of Israel is 377/km2 which is roughly the same as New Hampshire. The images of Israel on the news show it as a crowded place, but that is not the case. There’s lot of nothing between the cities and towns.

If you put Israel into a search engine it returns 888 million results. If you put New Hampshire into the same search engine, you get 168 million results. No one, of course, cares much about New Hampshire, but just about everyone cares about Israel. Every American politician is required to have an opinion of Israeli and its difficulties with the Arabs. More important, they are required to have the correct opinion about Israel. This is even true of liberals as we saw with Obama and his last minute UN gambit.

Many people on the Dissident Right think the US and the world pays far too much attention to Israel. While there is an obvious cultural and historical attachment for the place in the West, the Israelis can handle themselves. Pat Buchanan would have us cut the cord entirely and leave Israel to her own devises. That would be part of a larger policy of abandoning the Middle East entirely. After all, the oil would still flow onto the world market as it has not where else to go. Who care who pumps it out of the ground?

The paleo-libertarians have a similar view of Israel and the Middle East, but theirs is more from the economic side of things. The cost of meddling far outweighs the benefits. Ron Paul looks at the endless wars and sees nothing but pointless expense. All we are doing, according to Paul, is turning a billion people into enemies for not obvious reason. It is hard to know for sure, but Ron Paul seems to be a guy who roots for the Israelis, but thinks they can handle their own affairs.

That’s probably the right position, but it is hard to see how that can ever happen. The Israelis have become adept at influencing American foreign policy. It’s not just the elaborate lobbying efforts in Washington. They are good at getting their side of things into the news media. Naturally, many Jewish Americans in the media are more than willing to play along. David Brooks is a big shot columnist for the NYTimes and his son is in the Israeli defense Force. It’s not hard to figure where he comes down on Israel.

It’s not just the Israelis. That big Saudi “cultural center” outside DC is not there for no reason. As is the case with Wahhabi mosques all over the world, it is primarily an intelligence facility, but it also serves as a handy clearing house for Arab lobbying efforts in Washington. The Saudis have had a long relationship with the Bush family, of course, but they have good relations with many other prominent politicians. John McCain, for example, can always be counted on to carry water for the House of Saud.

That’s where many on the Dissident Right miss the mark. Israel’s lobbying efforts in the US, and their vast espionage efforts, are as much a response to the Saudi efforts as anything else. The US has been in bed with the House of Saud since the 1930’s. It was US oil companies that first exploited the Saudi oil fields in the 1930’s. Soon after the end of World War II, Aramco was formed and then the headquarters was moved from New York to Dhahran. The point being that the US has a much longer and deeper relationship with the Saudis than the Israelis.

Even if America abandoned Israel entirely, the Saudis would still find ways to entangle us in the Middle East. The fact that the 9/11 hijackers were all Saudis is probably not a coincidence. There’s pretty good evidence that the Saudi family was financing at least some of the hijackers. While Israel could probably get along just fine without US support, the House of Saud evaporates without Uncle Sam protecting them, the oil fields and the Persian Gulf. Therefore, the royal family makes lobbying the US and spying in the US a top priority.

If the US was ever going to get out of the Middle East, it would start with pulling the plug on the Saudis, but no one will ever do it because no one knows what comes next. Despite the problems, the West can do business with the Saudis. US defense contractors operate all over the kingdom, officially and unofficially. They maintain the signal intelligence operations and provide logistical support for US military operations in the region. They also operate as an inlet for intelligence passed from the Saudis. That’s not easily replaced.

The result is the Saudis will exert an outsized influence on US foreign policy and the Israelis will try to counter it and augment it when it works in their favor. The fact that the Israelis and Saudis often work hand and glove to supervise the chaotic Middle East is one of the many contradictions that defines the general lunacy of the region. There’s no escaping this as long as oil is the primary source of energy in the world. Blaming Israel or the many supporters of Israel in the US is not going to alter this reality.

If American wants to get out of the Middle East, it need to divorce the House of Saud.

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47 Comments on "The Saudis and Israelis."

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Solomon Honeypickle IV
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Solomon Honeypickle IV

Seems like it would suit the U.S. if the house of Saud were to fall, and a bunch of Saudi nationals die in a Syria-like war. Our oil becomes more valuable, and we save our selves the cost and trouble of dealing with arabs. let china and europe worry about high oil prices, we have plenty.

Jak Black
Guest

I’m skeptical of this. Egypt is a good example of why it’s better to deal with the rotten ones we know.

Drake
Guest

Libya too. Hard to believe we had a Secretary of State so incompetent, she thought the place would improve without a strong-man running it.

random observer
Guest

C’mon. That’s one of the most qualified candidates ever to run for president…

Dan Kurt
Member
Given the increasing amount of Oil, Coal, Methane that is known to be recovarable, so called fossil fuels are here to stay. However, should the research and development for Thorium molten salt reactors be consummated the actual cost of electricity and process heat probably will tumble so low that fossil fuels will become a decreasing percentage of the energy equation. (BTW, Thorium reactors will actually burn most of the high and low level waste produced by standard reactors so waste disposal becomes a trivial problem.) The Chinese may be the ones to develop the Thorium reactor not the USA as… Read more »
alzaebo
Guest

Yes, but then the Green Blob can’t sue itself into unending riches.

antipater_1
Guest

If the Chinese develop the Thorium reactor, that will be good thing. Then the rest of the world can steal the design.

SamlAdams
Guest

It is ironic that the Chinese have availed themselves of most of the (now) publicly available research and design data that came out of the Oak Ridge National Lab before the Thorium research was shut down in the late 60s.

MSO
Guest

I don’t see how a population of less than 10 million could marshal the resources necessary to counter the historical oppression most of the world has focused on Israel. Today, much of the world will not openly participate in any actions taken against Israel because they fear US reactions. If the abandoned by the US, Israel wouldn’t last a decade.

In any case, money is not the issue. Currently, the US feeds almost 50 million of its own citizens, most of whom are anti-American in thought if not deed. Need to save money? Well there you go.

Sam J.
Guest

Typical Jewish thinking. 10 million Jews don’t have enough money just let 50 million Americans starve and give the money for their food to Israel. If they object well they must be “…anti-American…”. If they don’t want their food money to go to the Jews they deserve to starve.

alzaebo
Guest

Fuel for the military, first- isn’t that why Saudi became strategically important?

Very original thinking here, Zman. So insightful.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Other Al; IIRC, the original decision to rely on ME oil for military use was taken by the British Navy pre WWI. At that time, due to the extensive and powerful British Empire, there was little thought about this creating a strategic vulnerability: ‘Britannia ruled the waves’. Also at that time and past WWII, the US had more than enough oil for its own military use and was in fact supplying both the UK and USSR during that conflict. It was the unwinding of the British Empire in the 1950’s that created the strategic vulnerability of NATO should the ME… Read more »
james wilson
Guest
I am convinced that a neutral American foreign policy toward Israel, complete with zero monetary aid, would result in an Israel that is far stronger and more feared than today, that the flow of money and strings and bullshit peace processes are what enables her Arab enemies, feeds the Israeli socialist system, and the one million orthodox males exempt from the defense of Israel. Truman knew an Israeli state was against the interest of America. He did the right thing because it was the right thing. Going on this way seventy years is a terrible plan. Better that the Israelis… Read more »
Member
Folks tend to focus on the Moslem Broderbund (the Saudis hate them) instead of the Saudi Wahabbi missionary efforts (which Huma’s parents work(ed) for). But it is precisely the dawa branch of the Saudi enterprise that is responsible for some very large fraction of the trouble of in Dar al Islam. The Saudis fund a Wahabbi mosque down the street from some more quietist branch of the faith. They bring in a Saudi trained imam and shower it with money for various “services.” If the quietist imam is exceptionally capable or charismatic, then intimidation tactics are used in addition to… Read more »
Doug
Guest

There’s a way to deal with the Saudi’s, it called “Drill Baby Drill!”

Member
I was in high school when the Arab oil embargo hit. We were also in a recession. My econ teacher had us write papers describing how we would get the economy running, expecting us to concentrate on monetary and fiscal policy. I ignored these because I had been engrossed in reading about energy. One thing that I’d found was that there was a direct and proportional relationship between energy consumption and economic activity . There had never been a sustained economic expansion without a concomitant increase in energy consumption and that historically these correlated with the finding of new or… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Doc; Right you are_! Energy is even more basic. It’s what feeds us. Without cheap and reliable energy we’d have to revert to US Colonial Era levels of agricultural employment (~ 80% IIRC) leaving little productive capacity for anything other than producing food to sustain a much lower population. I believe that, aside from land and, now, machinery, energy in various forms is the largest factor cost in agriculture. It certainly isn’t labor, as demonstrated by the ongoing depopulation of the rural countryside. Oil makes the fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, drives the tractors and harvesters and provides the propane to… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Energy in the form of commercially recoverable profitable reserves is probably the most powerful and influential geopolitical factor in how the world behaves on the international scale. I think not even water or food is as important geopolitically. My dictum: The magnitude of energy resources is only eclipsed by the corruption involved in controlling it. Being a welder/coal miner, I’ve been in sent to so many coal mines in Appalachia I lost count. Having seen with my own eyes the amount of coal, the number of coal seams, there is just in WV alone, is beyond the scope calculation. There… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Doug; Coal was the original fuel of the industrial revolution, starting in England in the 1700’s. And it remained so until well into the mid 1900’s. It would be ironic if it could return to prominence via new processes. Coal-to-oil as an industrial process has been known since the 1930’s – kept the Third Reich in business despite being cut off in 1939. It just has never been cost competitive and is likely to remain so, given fracking. $1.75/gal out of the plant will not be either unless it already incorporates the distribution costs and taxes. Originally oil production was… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Oh ya! Coal early on didn’t have the benefit of technology we have today for it’s use as an energy source. Everything has changed in that respect. I worked on what is called a High Wall Miner. It is basically a system that uses a remote control mining head, a track cutter with a conveyer, which you sequentially attach cars, like a train, as the miner bores into the side of a mountain following a “rib” of coal. It is incredibly productive. Once a Highwall, or face, and a bench has been countered along a ridge or mountain, you mine… Read more »
soapweed
Guest

Doug: Thanks for your perspective. I am way pro coal being from the Colo/Wyo area, however know but zilch about the eastern methodologies. It would be good to listen to you over a beer, except that you are a damn yankee…………kidding…..Soapweed

Doug
Guest

Oh your welcome man. I’m a Copperhead now. Hey! Got some decent home-brew, and wine made from wild blueberries and black raspberries off my land be delighted to share with you. Palaver long into the night.
You guys have those gigantic Lignite seams in Wyoming. Lot of fellows from WV went out to work in wyoming since the the regime shut coal down here. Pay rate is excellent I hear. Buddy of mine sent some phone pics, those are humongus coal seams.

J Cass
Guest

Yep!

Doug
Guest

Very well said doc. I too remember what you describe, and man do you hit it on the nose. Not for nothing, I’m freakin’ fed up with being these corporate and political scums private piggy bank, seeing our great and prosperous nation strip mined and manipulated down to the last buck.
These crooks, and that is what they are, Saudi’s included have gone too far, have too much power, and have created an unmitigated disaster out of the world in pursuit of money.
It’s time to revolt you guys. Time to get rid of these scum running our country.

Doug
Guest

Maybe you guys have a perspective on another part of what Zman wrote about. This is my basic tenet, everything else aside, Isreal is pretty much the only remaining constitutional like Republic other than the US in the western hemisphere.
That in itself to me should be cause for our respective country’s to be allies.

Member

The trick will be in slowly diminishing our investment there in lives and treasure. And who better to do it than the guy who just won the presidency by spending half as much as his opponent?

Drake
Guest

We should slowly draw down the bribes we have been paying Israel AND Egypt since the Carter Administration to stop fighting each other.

SamlAdams
Guest
Seems to me that a return to a hard realpolitik view of the Middle East is the only viable option. Even the lukewarm support given Al-Sisi at least reflected a diversion from the lunacy that supported the Libya fiasco and the removal of Mubarak after Obama’s “Look at Me, I’m Stupid” speaking tour. Then there is the whole Assad mess…after getting their asses kicked by the Israelis enough times, Syria and Israel at least had a wary truce of sorts. And the Israelis wanted none of this rebel and Arab Spring BS…rightfully saw it as nothing but a great way… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Saudi Arabia is a tribal kingdom upon which a Westphalian nation-state was superimposed by the West. The rate of cousin marriage is approximately 60% and the *average* IQ is 84. For reference, the DSM fourth edition (pre-PC infection) identifies the IQ range of 70-84 as “Borderline Intellectual Functioning” and everything below as some form of Retardation. The Saudis are the textbook definition of inbred morons. The Saudi pattern of cousin marriage and IQ is repeated across most of the MENA countries. This is an entire geographic region full of inbred morons. The smart ones emigrate to the West, which exacerbates… Read more »
Davea
Guest

15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis because Bin Laden deliberately picked them to split US from Saudi.
If we left they’d be under the Ayatollah’s knife inside a year and the Israelis would have to nuke somebody.

Karl Hungus
Guest

you say that like it’s a bad thing.

Chiron
Guest

The Saudis and Israelis have the same enemies in the Middle-East: the Shia Muslims, Hezbollah, Iran, Assad,.. the former Israeli Ambassor to the US said himself that the Shia are the biggest threat to Israel, Sunni terrorists like Al-Qaeda or ISIS never attacked Israel and the former Israeli defense minister said he prefer Syria with Al-Qaeda than Assad.

Most of the Sunni States are effectively US protectorates and have unofffcial alliance with Israel.

Al from da Nort
Guest

Damn Z Man;

Nailed it_! Unlike the much discussed Israel lobby, Gulf Arab bribery is the (mostly) unheralded constant in US foreign (and now domestic) policy. Our entire ME ‘policy’ makes a lot more ‘sense’ if you view it as an ongoing contest about who pulls our strings and how.

Bribery, particularly competitive bribery, is the most unexamined factor in ‘political science’. The reason is obvious: Cloud Folks really don’t want any attention given to the subject, regardless of any other political differences.

Robert What?
Guest

On a tangential note, is Israel in favor or against the overthrow of Assad in Syria? If in favor, what do they think they stand to gain from it?

SamlAdams
Guest

I think they are categorically opposed. Assad Sr. learned his lesson fighting the Israelis and imperiling the Alawite regime by getting his ass kicked each time. With Golan as a buffer there was a long standing truce of sorts. Overthrowing Assad Jr. opens up multiple options, of which only one. western style democracy, is the both highly unlikely and the only one that would be an improvement from the current situation. All the others are negative. But living in a bad neighborhood makes one a realist.

Drake
Guest

What’s going on there is probably all good to them. Assad stays in power but is greatly weakened and everyone involved is too busy killing each other to threaten Israel.

Sam J.
Guest

No it was their idea to kill Assad. They fund it and provide arms and medical care to the people fighting Assad. The general idea is to fragment the Middle East into smaller portions that will be kept fighting each other rather than Israel.

kokor hekkus
Guest

American interference in the Middle East, which has occurred only after Truman’s harebrained decision to recognize Israel in 1948, has cost trillions of dollars, many American lives, and has saddled us with many undesirable immigrants. Yet Israel’s increasingly apartheid State has alienated much of the world, and has severely hampered American diplomacy…While I wish Israel well, I do not understand the case for continuing military and financial subsidization of Israel.

Guest
Guest

>> American interference in the Middle East, which has occurred only after Truman’s harebrained decision to recognize Israel in 1948

This statement is simply not correct. American oil companies were operating in the Middle East before WWII. Their involvement increased significantly when US signed the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement in 1944. Going forward from 1944, American policy in the Middle East was almost entirely about ensuring access to oil resources and pipeline routes. Any consideration about Israel is secondary.

Joseph Moroco
Guest
As someone who believes we should bring all the troops, planes and ships home and pursue a neutralist policy, I would not cry if KSA were eliminated and that would happen not to long after we left. I do respect the thoughts of Col. Lang and his committee of correspondence. He has mentioned that the Houthis next door are our natural allies. If we have to stay there, I am for giving the Houthis what they need to get to Riyadh. Had there been no oil beneath the desert, the world would have never heard of the House of Saud.… Read more »
Brooklyn
Guest
“The images of Israel on the news show it as a crowded place, but that is not the case. There’s lot of nothing between the cities and towns.” Part of the illusion is that most of the reporters and camera crews spend all their time in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem; they are more densely populated than other parts of the country so the image that gets transmitted out to the world is of a very crowded country. I’m sure that places like Singapore or Hong Kong pack more people into less territory relatively. That said, Israel isn’t a huge place either;… Read more »
Member

While there is an obvious cultural and historical attachment for the place in the West, the Israelis can handle themselves.

This is a common misconception here in America. The average European Christian is on the side of the Palestinians. And it’s not all about anti-Semitism. It’s also about the fact that the indigenous Christians in the region, descendants of the oldest Christian communities comma are also on the Palestinian side.

http://al-bushra.org/palestine/0palestine.htm

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