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  1. Hi guys I dont want to look like I am trolling in anyway so please do not assume I am, but I would like to post two questions for us to discuss as follows:-

    Question 1

    If America is so concerned about calling for reforms in Syria, then why has Saudi Arabia been singled out and avoided,

    A few differences between Syria and Saudi Arabia

    1) In Syria a female is permitted to drive, Saudi Arabia they are prohibited.

    2) In Syria a female can go outside without a male guardian, in Saudi Arabia they are prohibited.

    3)In Syria there is no Sharia laws and follows a Secular mode, while in Saudi Arabia Secularism is deemed Haraam, and those who promote it are violently oppressed

    4) In Syria the majority of the people follow a soft form of Sufi Islam, plus they have other relgionous minorities such as Christians, while on the other hand in Saudi Arabia, they follow a militant Islam called Wahabism and deemed all who are not Wahabi, as Kaffirs including Sufis, Christians and Jews.

    Those are just a few points I could muster up.


    Question 2

    If the Untied States attacks Syria which according to Sen Graham is "very close", what would the consquences be for the region in your view? Plus Russia and China have vetoed any UN action on Syria, If America was to attack, wouldnt both Russia and China deemed that an attack on their interest, which will result to a similar situation as we witnessed in the K2 Airport in Uzbekistan back in 2005.

    Thanks

    Sources

    Sen. Graham: ‘Very Close’ to Time to Attack Syria -- News from Antiwar.com

    FT.com / Middle East & North Africa - Russia and China snub UN Syria talks
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Afghan_Kandak, I've seen a lot of this class of "if X, why not Y?" comments in numerous places, but they all make a consistent mistake.

    Just because we can't do everything, doesn't mean that we should do nothing.
     
  3. Another 'What if'
    What if whoever is running Syria (and I'm really starting to think that Assad is a glove puppet) decides to 'Hot pursue' whoever the insurgents are across the border into Turkey?
    Turkey, that NATO member state. Yes, That NATO- the one with the Article 5 that says that an attack on one is an attack on all.
     
  4. Welcome to arrse. you may have arrived.
     
  5. The House Of Saud has been a US ally since the 30s, it's maintenance is a vital interest, it's a major oil supplier and provides massive bungs in the form or arms purchases in return for protection. It's a reactionary country, the only time they held council elections the religious conservatives trashed the liberals. While the Saud royals have regularly reached for pragmatic accommodations with Israel at some political risk the population is virulently anti-semitic.

    The Baath regime in Syria has some more progressive policies but it has an even worse human rights record than the pretty brutal Saudis. It's an ally of Qom, a staunch, if for the last three decades largely passive enemy, of Israel and therefore DC. Given this status US criticism has actually been rather muted as it's regional allies all fear what could follow the fall of the Baath.
     
  6. In response to Question 1, the differences in the Muslim 'flavour' of each country is true but is irrelevant. USA is calling for political reforms from an oppressive dictatorship with no regard for the lives of its citizens in Syria. Saudi Arabia is not an oppressive dictatorship but is an absolute monarchy in a religious system which we consider oppressive. It is not the same thing. The Saudis aren't unhappy, the large majority adore King Abdullah and he has done great things for the nation. It is not perfect but is ours?

    Do you think King Abdullah can take on the Muslim clerics in the birthplace of Islam to introduce a Western style country which you might find more acceptable? What makes you even think he wants to?
     
  7. Syria is part of a wider set of alliances. It's like the children's game spillikins; pull the wrong straw and the whole lot collaspes. Intervention in Syria could result in Hezbullah firing rockets at Tel Aviv, Israeli mechanised divisions breaking out of their borders; or Iran closing the Straits of Hormuz. Everybody would like to see the whole mess unravelled but nobody wants to do it.

    Syria is a regional pest who destabilises Lebanon, threatens Israel with missiles and does the bidding of Tehran. It is also a country that is frightened of it's neighbours in turn - and is ready to fracture along internal faultlines. If Assad were removed there would either be a new strongman in place a day later, or an anarchic Ex Yugoslavia style collapse. Cue: more mass graves, ethnic cleansing, foreign intervention and land grabs, emergence of smaller backward states.......chaos in other words.

    Edited to add: The Saudi regime is (very quietly) inching towards change. They are aware of the internal social pressures and will try to bend with the wind. They are also a major oil producer, American strategic partner, major international investor - and have indirect access to Pakistani nuclear weapons whose development they funded...
     
  8. Because the USA / NATO / the West is not engaged in a moral crusade (whatever the propaganda says), it is fighting in defence of it's own interests. Where those interests intersect with the defence of human rights, all well and good. Like it or not, that's the way the world has always worked, regardless of how particular powers and individuals may have dressed up their military excursions. Caesar crossed the Rubicon, Mohammed stormed out of the desert, Urban II preached the First Crusade, Mehmed II destroyed Constantinople all to gain, consolidate or defend their power. It's a shitty way for a genus of mammal to treat one another, but there you go. If Benin, Afghanistan or Tonga had a massive GDP and aircraft carriers, they'd be doing similar things and don't kid yourself for one minute that they wouldn't.

    If you want to know why the US may be planning to attack Syria whilst turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia, Machiavelli - not Fox News or Al Jazeera - has the answer.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Thanks for your comments fellow Arse'ers.
     
  10. According to Cordesman Saudi and Syria have similarly bad scores on press freedom. Saudi is actually worse on democracy but scores much better on rule of law, governance and reining in corruption.

    My personnel impression with Saudis is they've become more reactionary in the past three decades as the kingdom fearing a Khomeini style revolution after the taking of the Mosque in Mecca swung away from reforms that were sweeping in after the wave of prosperity brought on by oil shock of the early 70s. It's a morbidly oppressive country socially. The current youth I've not had much dealings with, there are flickers of change according to some commentators, but older folk are respected and tend towards authoritarianism, pointing out that democracy has not exactly shone through as force for good in the Umma. Looking at Lebanon, the Pals and lately in the corrupt sink holes of Iraq and Afghanistan they have a point.

    Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is both a staunch conservative and a cautious advocate of incremental reform, at least economically. A capable King, he is pretty popular but so was that other freedom by inches advocate Assad before the rising kicked off.

    The Kingdom having had much trouble with its far right Takfiri appears unthreatened by progressive dissent at home but opposes the Arab Spring abroad with much more vigor and gold. An accommodation, with democracy particularly with the twelver Shi'a in Iraq and Bahrain is for them impossible. They are already at work in Cairo. If the Arab Spring does not fizzle out into minor management adjustments I think this will become an increasingly difficult relationship for the genuine conflicted Septics to maintain in the longer term and that will be to China's great advantage. The Godless but authoritarian Commies are actually looking like a more suitable partner ideologically.

    Which country is a bigger pest really depends on how seriously you take the threat of reactionary Islam as opposed to Israeli and at a stretch Lebanese security. The Saudi polity (if not state) is behind a great deal of our trouble with folks like the talibans and AQ. I tend to worry far more about Syria's wily chums in Qom.
     
  11. Pararegtom

    Pararegtom LE Book Reviewer

    **** off you orrible little **** Is that clear enough.
     
    • Like Like x 1

  12. Afghan_Kandak - You are a journalist suffering from a light news day. Your editor is breathing down your neck for a good story so you create an identity to come on to this forum and try to stir up emotions and get a scoop. You probably remember the Hugh Muir comments about the McConn threads and read about it on Gorkana.com (which for the rest of you is the ARRSE equivalent for Journos)

    You make simple posts to rack up your post count and look like a mucker.

    Why don't you spend some time generating some real news stories of your own.

    BTW - I hope you die soon you Goat ****ing kiddy fiddler - put that in your column.
     
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  14. He's actually been pretty tough on the Ulema, slapping them down when they infringe on his kingly power but you are right his whole legitimacy is really based on them and a formidable national guard he used to head. The most interesting reform was his attempt to introduce a form of deliberative council in the royal house itself, as I recall it did not go well. Other recent Saudi Kings have also been reform minded and have been thwarted, his focus on applying liberal ideas to the economy is practical and politically astute.

    Assad may also be boxed in somewhat by entrenched power centers. The difference with Syria is I think there is more potential in the population itself to support real bottom up reform, Saudi's extreme conservatism is widespread and that makes me pessimistic. The Syrians may fear Fitna but not the future.

    Prince Bander used to compare the 20th century US-Saudi relationship to a Catholic marriage, with many rows but till death us do part. I can't recall which Prince said it's now like a Muslim marriage, four wives all treated with fairness who can be divorced at will. Bush brought chaos and the Iranians closer to Saudis borders breaking the basic oil for security pact. Barry despite his bows and inshallahs has already greatly displeased the King by his principled failure to back Mubarak.