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Your opinion on Saudi Arabia?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by diamount, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. ubersonic


    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,572

    Didn't they have a rebellion around the same time as Libya? but our media kept quiet about it and concentrated on what was happening in Libya while SA slaughtered its rebels, or was that another "friendly" country I'm thinking of?
  2. Devlish


    Joined: Jan 12, 2004

    Posts: 5,333

    Location: London

    Very simplistic view, but yes there was 'agitation' although there was no mass slaughter going on - nothing like a revolution though. Why? well the populace shares in the wealth to a degree, and whilst there is high unemployment social welfare is pretty established. The dissatisfaction in SA doesnt stem from a very poor majority vs the wealthy minority elite, but from boredom and frustration by the young middle class.

    Then on the other hand SA has produced, and keeps on producing Islamic extermists partly as a response to wealth which has been going on for decades, think of Bin Laden and how rich his familay are, and of course the very poor will always have frustrations. To some degree the ability to actually study rather than scrabbling for a living is a factor - something the authorities are keen to keep a lid on. And of course that perennial chestnut for the entire region, the Shia/Sunni divide.

    The west has no precentage from intervening in any way. SA produces oil, we would hardly benefit from a regime willing to use oil as a political or religious tool (not even factoring in the massive disruption resulting from a civil war) so keeping a lid on it by supporting the monarchy seems sensible.

    So no, there was no conspiracy of silence, youve had a handful of deaths that were well reported, the frustrations voiced, the terrorism continuing and it all looks quiet compared to Syria.
  3. Lagmeister


    Joined: Nov 17, 2005

    Posts: 931

    A lot of the problems in Saudi stem from the amount of control given to the ruling Islamic councils, the king while having the illusion of absolute power actually has very little power in the grand scheme of things. He in general is a reformist and is actually slowly bringing the country more and more in line with the more 'westernized' Arabic countries, but he can't do much with the hardcore ultra religious sects that dog the more visible changes.

    I agree that there are problems there, much of the population is very repressed and fairly poor and the country has a large issue with the use and abuse of migrant workers (to be fair they know the risks and still come for the pay, not that its ideal or that I agree with it but that's the reality).

    Also actually having been out there, most people are as you would expect them, fairly welcoming and friendly as long as you follow their social conventions, those conventions are slowly changing, but you cant just switch one culture for another quickly it has to take time and the changes have to come from the people there.
  4. diamount


    Joined: Sep 3, 2008

    Posts: 2,668

    Indeed. Also, just to add something to the mountain of hypocrisy that is the Saudi royal family. The king did a speech to the Arab lead regarding a resolution to the Syria issue, calling for 'democratic reforms'. Despite riots going under his roof with a protester getting fatally shot by the SDF.
  5. diamount


    Joined: Sep 3, 2008

    Posts: 2,668

    The way I see it, their power is in teh Oil exports. They've been made filthy rich because of it. Once the oil runs out, so do the contracts and any support from the West.
  6. Xordium


    Joined: Apr 8, 2009

    Posts: 12,702

    Yes, but my post was not addressing that it was addressing the comparison you made with Iran which in my eyes had no substantiation behind it. Two very different countries - two different strategies.
  7. diamount


    Joined: Sep 3, 2008

    Posts: 2,668

    My comparison was that they are both theocracies, both rank extremely low on the human rights index. I just think it's hypocritical to condemn countries that are similar in some ways but continue to do business with them.
  8. Xordium


    Joined: Apr 8, 2009

    Posts: 12,702

    Saudi Arabia is not a theocracy. It is an absolute monarchy that uses Islamic Law. In Saudi Arabia the tension is between the population and the Sauds.

    Iran is has a theocratic framework but is way more complicated that a simple theocratic system with several branches that not only don't answer to each other but are in open opposition. In Iran the tension is between the well everyone at the moment.

    Just because they both use ulama doesn't mean they are similar especially when they are not of the same 'flavour'.

    The US has a poor rights records and more blood on its hands. The world never affords us a good solution that satisfies all - all it does it offer us the choice between differing levels of harm and how you compare and quantify those levels of harm is very very relative.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  9. panthro


    Joined: Nov 19, 2004

    Posts: 11,621

    Location: Wokingham

    A friend of mine travelled to KSA on a business trip. They refused him entry because his middle name is Jacob and his surname is of Jewish origin. My friend does not classify himself as Jewish but they denied him entry for lying about being a Jew. Therefore he had to wait in a room at the airport for the next available flight back to the UK.
  10. Yas786


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 46,586

    Location: All over the world...

    Doesnt surprise me at all, pretty sure muslims wanting to go to Israel would face the same problems.
  11. panthro


    Joined: Nov 19, 2004

    Posts: 11,621

    Location: Wokingham

    the point is that ksa will not allow ANY jew to enter the country.
  12. zoomee


    Joined: Dec 15, 2004

    Posts: 5,773

    Location: Hudds, UK

    you need to brush up on your facts dude.

    The Saudi Embassy in Washington said rumors regarding passenger flight restrictions on Saudi Arabian Airlines were “completely false.” Jews most certainly can go to Saudi Arabia, and Fred Wolfson, who is Jewish, is the only non-Saudi to ever receive their highest medal of honor -- he captured the terrorist who blew up a Saudi passenger plane.

    It's actually Israeli's that aren't allowed into KSA.

    There are several countries that do not allow you to fly to or from Israel for political reasons just as Americans can not fly to Cuba from America.
  13. Castiel

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Jun 26, 2010

    Posts: 63,651

    This isn't true..did your friend have an Israeli stamp in his passport? I had issues with entry because of an Israeli stamp in my passport and I'm not Jewish, nor do I have a Jewish name, although I was not ultimately refused entry it was time consuming and inconvienent at the time. This also applies in Israel with people of Arab descent or who have passport stamps from certain countries. Basically you can expect delays and questions.
  14. panthro


    Joined: Nov 19, 2004

    Posts: 11,621

    Location: Wokingham

    Yes he had been to Israel. I was under the impression it was Jewish people, not just israelis. He was ultimately refused though. He was on business.
  15. anything I don't mind


    Joined: Dec 28, 2009

    Posts: 13,054

    Location: london

    I don't agree with western government relationship with these middle eastern countries, i think it is goes against western principles to associate with such regimes. But if a western company has interests in that region and wants to maintain that, I don't realy see a problem with that. In fact i think it would be wise to try and get as much natural resources from foreign countries as possible generally speaking. But the government assist the private interests by engaging in such relationships that encourage economic activity in spite of the practices.

    I think it is possible for the governments of the west to have a negative attitude towards them regarding certain practices that violate certain western principles, without negatively impacting economic activity.

    As a country, I find it unfortunate that such a culture ended up in that region because it is a very nice region in terms of environment and climate. I would very much like a dubai with western laws where i could (hypothetically speaking) hug my girl friend on the beach without being sent to jail and so on.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  16. StriderX


    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 21,489

    What principles?

    Those are simply desired in times of need and used for profit in times of desire.

    The middle east will conform eventually, when they finally become useless to us.
  17. indup


    Joined: Jan 16, 2009

    Posts: 158

    one of the most ignorant/uninformed statements ive read in a long time
  18. Evangelion


    Joined: Dec 29, 2007

    Posts: 22,855

    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    They don't.

    By contrast, Arab and non-Arab Muslim nations in the ME will give you plenty of hassle if you're Jewish and/or travelling to or from Israel.
  19. Muzza1875

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Dec 22, 2010

    Posts: 2,255

    Location: West Lothian

  20. Craterloads


    Joined: Dec 26, 2009

    Posts: 8,360

    Location: North

    They do, my brother in law went last year. Treated them like ****, restricted movement, abuse, constant demeaning practices.