Dan wrote:

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia does have extensive -- around $100
billion -- foreign assets, which provide a substantial fiscal "cushion."

<end quote>


"Saudi investors have threatened to withdraw some of the $750bn (487bn; 766bn euros) they have invested in the US after families of 11 September victims filed a lawsuit against Saudi banks and charities for damages."


"Terrorist group tries to destabilize economies worldwide in an effort to devalue as much as $1 trillion of Saudi investments in U.S. stock markets"


"Commenting on the unprecedented step taken by Saudi investors, Bishr Bakheet, well-known financial adviser, told Arab News that it is estimated that Arabs had invested $1.3 trillion outside the Arab world.

"This figure is based on the analysis conducted by Merrill Lynch/Gemini Consultancy. According to them, it is estimated that Saudis have invested more than $700 billion in the United States."

That makes sense to me, given the low production and low price of oil in
the mid-80s and in the late '90s...actually it hasn't been at all high
until just recently.I'd guess that private investment also exists; but not $900 billion worth.

No, 1.3 trillion worth.

No. I'm telling you, with regard to political pressure, there is minimal
that can be done. You suggest freezing Saudi assets in the US, and that's possible, but I'm not sure how much the net leverage is. The next step I
can think of is war.

Which we don't have trouble making on countries that didn't attack us.

If the Saudi government actually ordered it; then we might have to pay a
high price to set an example. But, we were willing to let the Taliban
slide if they would stop protecting AQ. We let Pakistan slide with a great deal when they offered to cooperate. It appears to me that the Saudi
government has decided that paying protection money is not a good way to
keep AQ at bay and is now fighting them.

That is the front, anyway.

And if we did; we would have much of the world unified against us...because we would be acting against their economic best interests.

Now, yes, but in the days and weeks following 9/11 and with Saudi participation exposed who knows what we could have done.

Why the Saudi government would work with hand in glove with a group
dedicated to overthrow them in order to attack the country most responsible for their defense is beyond me. But, if you would argue that the Saudi
government looked the other way while protection money was being paid,
that's believable.

How about the idea that the Saudi government is divided into factions, one of which is overtly pro U.S., the other covertly anti-U.S.?

I have no doubt that the fact that the Saudi government
was cowardly in the face of AQ will be very embarrassing to them. But, I
don't think that this should be a grounds for going to war. It would be
worth threatening the government over, if the kept on paying the bribe
money. But, indications are that they have now decided they need to fight AQ; which is what we wanted from them.

I'm not so sure. I have little doubt that every time I fill my gas tank or turn on my heater, some of the money I fork over is going to forces that are killing and maiming our kids. They might have gotten better about laundering the money, but there are elements of the Saudi government that are funneling money to terrorists.


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