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07 December 2019


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exiled off mainstreet

This looks like a realistic view of the situation to me. By supporting the barbaric element against the civilized element in the Middle East, the US imperium crossed a red line, destroying rather than bolstering civilization. The destabilization of this area has brought a large number of the less than civilized fleeing from the destabilization into western countries, lowering the level of civilization there.

blue peacock

Col. Lang,

It seems the Gulf Arab sheikhs and the Al Saud family have been writing big checks to all the movers & shakers in the West, including the political and governmental elites, think tank sinecures, and of course many media personalities.

Tony Balir became a wealthy man with the money of the sheikhs. In an earlier thread you had posted, we read about the Lebanese man who was a conduit for Gulf arab money going to Hillary's campaign. Then there was the post-9/11 Republican administration of George Bush who along with the so-called liberal media and most members of Congress from both parties put a complete kibosh on investigating any Saudi role with respect to the 11 out of 15 terrorists of Saudi nationality.

We can see how Trump is already covering for the Saudis by saying the King was apologetic and will compensate all those killed and injured by the Saudi airman in Pensacola.

When American and western leaders are so easily purchased by the sheikhs, how can we have a re-appraisal of our relationships in the ME? The few who are calling for such a re-appraisal like Tulsi Gabbard are being smeared as Russian bots.


In the best of all possible worlds, what would a new set of relationships look like?

A. Pols

It has been time for a reappraisal for a very long time. They are our central enemy and that makes their protected status rather a bad joke. If we were ever to launch an aggressive war in the ME, it should have been against SA. Unlike Iraq, it would have been easy by comparison. But should have been done long ago, maybe back in the sixties when their population was lower. Why we treat them as an essential ally is a difficult question, for they are no friend of ours and, worse, are inimical to everything we in the West stand for. 9/11 was a Saudi operation. We had Saudis training at Pensacola? YGTBFKM...


Re-appraisal indeed.Quite funny given that the USA sold s.Arabia 40 billion dollars worth of arms.I was speaking to my Iranian friend the other day and he says Iran scares the Arabs,like in Yemen, who then run to the USA for arms.Grease for peace.That Saudi was part of the package deal for fighter jets s.arabia purchased.Looks like that part of the deal is going down the drain.Maybe the Saudis will get there training elsewhere from now on.
If don't eat your peas you can't have any pudding.

re silc

Your expertise in this area and this particular posting is one of your all time best. Much better than domestic politics.


re silc

As a Democrat you don't like what I write. Understandable but of no interest to me. I will keep trying to educate you politically.



We should withdraw our forces frm the region and stop taking sides in what are really internecine struggles for power. If the regional powers want to fight it out among themselves, so be it. IMO they will learn to live with each other. If not "tant pis pour eux."


I wonder how much the relationship is conditioned by fear that the Saudi royal family could be replaced by something even worse, overthrown by an ISIS-like rebellion. Given the huge stocks of weapons Saudi-Arabia has hoarded (even if they often don't know how to properly use them), that seems like a nightmare scenario to me. Are such concerns brought up as arguments for propping up the present system in Saudi-Arabia, bad as it is, or is it just all due to Israeli/Saudi lobbying and bribery, plus an obsession with Iran?



I have never heard the argument made for supporting the Sauds on the basis of what might come later might be worse. What would a jihadi rabble in charge do with the stockpile of weapons? the same people would still be in Saudi Arabia after the coup.

Babak Makkinejad

That is all fine but then why tell them to continue fighting in Yemen when they wanted to quit?

Babak Makkinejad

Without a reappraisal of their love affair with ancient and modern Israel, among Protestant Churches in US, nothing could change.

Babak Makkinejad

No, Arabs dislike Iran, although they may be scared of Iran as well.



as you know that wa a by-product of US anti-Iranian policy. What is the "why" question about? i have advocated total dis-engagement from the region. Pay attention.


Col Lang, you taught at West Point.
So I am wondering if you have a view of Tim Bakken's new book:
The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military
I am not trying to argue here, I have only been at West Point as an athlete competing against it.
Bakken book reviewed here:


you would want to differ elementarily on Philip Giraldi's first lines or paragraph?

Headline: Obama on Mount Rushmore: Move Over Guys, Room for One More Con Artist

I am on the emailing lists of both the Republican and Democratic Parties because I like to know what the enemies of the American people are up to.


Mathias Alexander

If the USA withdraws support from the Saudis then the Saudis might stop pricing their oil only in dollars. What effect would this have on the value of the dollar? Then again how much oil is left in Saudi Arabia? The ARAMCO shares sell off doesn't seem to be doing great buisness, maybe the market understands the situation better.



you may not have noticed that my friend Geraldi and I are not the same [erson. We are not required to have identical views . you are a trouble making troll.



Have not read it. what is his argument?


Excellent analysis from someone with a lot of experience with the Saudis. I copied it off and sent it to many of my friends and relations.


Telling that the government’s position on Pensacola seems to be that it’s too early to label the event a terrorist attack. Usually, that label is rapidly affixed to incidents where the attacker has ME background. Sounds a bit like USG is the dog that didn’t bark.

The label may be quietly applied in a few days or weeks when the news cycle has spun several times and attention has been directed elsewhere.


View from the outside and it's free....

If you break up with Saudi Arabia, you will have no friends left in the Middle East. You will have some protected clients but no friends at the level that matters.
And it's embarrassing. First, you will lose a large part of your freedom of action, but above all others will settle in this place. In global geopolitics, controlling the Middle East even without oil is vital.
This region is a religious powder keg practising overbidding and blackmail. The level of latent violence is extremely high and always ready to be exported.
You have to be there and watch these explosions. Your burden. But instead of injecting weapons that will rot in a corner of the desert, you should spread a touch of rationalism and find a way to intellectually disarm local fanatics. That's a big job for you, with a lot of disabilities, starting with the current Israel.

HK Leo Strauss

Col Lang,

Would you have been in a position at the time to know if there there were any Carter Doctrine contrarians within the FP/IC/DoD establishment in the late 70’s? Curious how extensive the debate over deeper ME engagement was at the time, or if it was all just a knee-jerk reaction to Revolutionary Iran.


HK Leo Strauss

I was teaching sat WP when the Iranian Revolution happened and went from there directly to being DATT in Sanaa. No idea.



No. The idea that we are trapped in the ME is untrue. We can manage what interests we have there by remote control using you french and the Russians as proxies.

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