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Old 07-31-2004, 05:45 PM   #1
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Kerry off on wrong foot with Saudis

They're already bashing him:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...saudi_kerry_dc
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Old 07-31-2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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Hmmm, where have I seen this before...oh yeah you already posted it in another thread.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:08 PM   #3
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I'll be honest. I don't give a what the Saudi government says about anything or anybody. Why? Because I can't stand the Saudi power structure. Neither can even a member of the Saudi royal family, who is the main character in Jean Sasson's "Princess Trilogy" about the plight of women in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has always been in cahoots with the ultraconservative Wahhabist sect of Islam. This sect of Islam has always put alot of emphasis on the concept of jihad as "holy war", when actually it's a teaching in the Islamic religion about man's struggle with sin. They also severely restrict women's rights. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, leave their houses without being covered with veils and such, go anywhere without a male relative, and it gets worse. They have a "religious police squad" that does nice things like bust women for being with men they don't know, and either kills them or, in the case of them being young virgins, gives their fathers the right to administer justice for these so-called "crimes". This usually results in "honor killings". Because it is claimed that these girls have ruined their family's honor, they get killed in cold blood. Read "The Princess Trilogy". Sasson is no flaming radical; she supported the Iraqi war. She is also very well informed on Middle Eastern issues, having lived in Saudi Arabia and visited Iraq. The books are downright shocking. I felt crummy for about three days after I read them because it's shocking what women have to put up with in that country thanks to their wonderful officials. The Saudi Crown Prince, who is the real ruler of that country, is routinely rated as one of the world's worst dictators. Saudi Arabia is basically a police state. Political parties are not allowed to exist. The government is an absolute monarchy. The only religion allowed in the country is Wahhabism. They don't even tolerate Shi'ite Muslims. Non-Muslimis? Forget it. No infidels allowed. I'll shut up now, but you get the idea. There are some wonderful people in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately none of them have any power.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:21 PM   #4
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Very true Verte. But the fact remains, no matter WHO we have as president, we are no more popular. Anyone who believes relations with the Arab nations will improve if we get rid of Bush are living in a dream world.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: Kerry off on wrong foot with Saudis

Quote:
Originally posted by BluberryPoptart
They're already bashing him:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...saudi_kerry_dc

Well, according to the story, they're not bashing him. They're only criticising a remark Kerry made (about being less reliant on the Saudi royal family). The Saudis also make some good points of their own:
Quote:
The United States itself is to blame for its dependence on foreign oil imports to meet more than half its petroleum demand, the Saudi official said.

He pointed out that the kingdom has urged the United States to produce vehicles with better gasoline mileage, but U.S. consumers keep buying gas-guzzling SUVs.

"We're not making them (SUVs)," he said.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

The Democratic Party platform calls for the United States to end its dependence on Middle East oil and develop crude supplies from countries such as Russia and Canada which are outside the OPEC (news - web sites) cartel.

Kerry also wants to develop alternative energy sources and boost the fuel efficiency of U.S. cars and trucks to reduce oil and gasoline demand.
I mean, you can argue all you want about the USA being the biggest economy and such (and thus also having the biggest demand for oil), but then the consumption is still disproportionately higher. The USA consumes more oil than the next 6 highest oil consumers (Japan, China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, India). So instead of drilling in environmentally protected areas the USA can also try to be less reliant on foreign oil by consuming less, i.e. being more fuel efficient.

The article also does not suggest that foreign relations with Saudi Arabia will be horrible when Kerry is president. They criticised a comment he made, they did not state they didn't want to have anything to do with him. I think Kerry can build/strengthen foreign relations, instead of cutting them off.

C ya!

Marty

P.S. The oil information is from http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/ene_oil_con an excellent site with all kinds of statistical data of countries all over the world.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:58 PM   #6
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There are alot of problems in the Middle East. If you ask me the Wahhabists are responsible for many of them. We wouldn't have had 9/11 if it weren't their misguided approach to jihad. Osama bin Laden is a product of this system. What to do about the Wahhabists? Quite frankly, I don't know. It's frustrating because their power in Saudi Arabia is so entrenched. It goes back to the eighteenth century when the Saudi royal family were local aristocrats and took up with a Sunni reformer, Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who founded that sect of Islam. It's a fiercely puritanical, intolerant brand of Islam that rejects, for example, any notion that political philosophies can exist outside of its framework. Basically, this means that you either swear allegiance to the religious police or you're screwed. It's the worst hijacking of a religion I've ever seen in my life. I'm not condeming the Islamic religion; rather, I'm condeming the hijacking of it by certain nuts and thugs. I don't know what can be done about this, quite frankly.
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Old 07-31-2004, 08:29 PM   #7
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Its sad when people forget the vital role that Saudi Oil has played around the world for the past 60 years. It was FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT who started the intense and long lasting relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi Oil has kept the price of energy LOW which impacts virtually everything in any industrialized society, especially for those on the lower end of the economic ladder.

The fact is that we live in a GLOBAL MARKET. The GLOBAL Market price of energy is determined by the overall supply of energy as well as the overall demand for energy, worldwide. The Global Market price for energy has the greatest effect on the price you pay at the pump in Mississippi, County Cork, Iceland, or Australia.

Oil is the cheepest and largest source of energy currently. Whether or not the United States gets its oil domestically, from Russia or some other country other than Saudia Arabia, Saudi Arabia will continue to significantly impact the energy market worldwide. The price you pay at the pump in Texas for Gas or to heat your home will continue to be effected by Saudi Oil even if the United States does not directly import one drop of oil from Saudi Arabia itself!
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Old 07-31-2004, 08:31 PM   #8
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Wouldn't it then be a better idea to try and develop an energy policy that isn't dependent upon fossil fuels? Or is that just liberal nonsense?
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Old 07-31-2004, 08:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ThatGuy
Wouldn't it then be a better idea to try and develop an energy policy that isn't dependent upon fossil fuels? Or is that just liberal nonsense?
No, that is important. But, the entire planet has to move towards that, not just the United States and a couple of other countries. Regardless of what is done in this regard, the planet will continue to be dependent on fossil fuels for at least the next two decades and policy TODAY must be conducted based on that fact.

Oil will run out at the current rate of consumption by 2075. As the world gets closer to that point, oil will start to become increasingly more expensive so hopefully a cheaper alternative will be found or else the planet will be headed towards economic ruin.
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Old 07-31-2004, 09:16 PM   #10
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There is an interesting push being made right now to include oil sands reserves into the global crude oil reserve numbers.

Currently, the government in Canada is one of the main proponents of the idea, because if oil sands reserves were included, Canada would in fact then contain 315 billion barrels compared to the Saudi 262 billion barrels, pushing it to the forefront for the time being. I am wondering if the Kerry campaign when they speak of utilizing oil from Russia and Canada are taking into account oil sands numbers rather than simply proven crude oil deposits.
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Old 08-01-2004, 04:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
No, that is important. But, the entire planet has to move towards that, not just the United States and a couple of other countries.
But many countries have moved towards more fuel efficiency, however not the USA. In other countries there are fuel efficient cars, more fuel efficient (i.e. less polluting) factories, etc.

I'd wonder what will happen when gas will be $4/gallon, as the prices roughly are in Europe.

C ya!

Marty
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Old 08-01-2004, 04:49 AM   #12
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I still say that we should go nuclear, we have the technology now and the resources for nuclear fission plants and in time we may be able to develop nuclear fusion that beats the break even point (bubble fusion has had some good results). Nuclear power beats fossil fuels on so many levels, it is not a monster of the atomic age, it is the way of the future and it should be embraced with vigour.
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Old 08-01-2004, 05:48 AM   #13
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A_Wanderer:
I think nuclear power would be an interesting option if we knew that to do with the nuclear waste.
Using depleted uranium in the army is one idea but we can't start enough wars to get rid of all.
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Old 08-01-2004, 06:11 AM   #14
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The advantage of nuclear fission, should it become a viable option, is that there is far less nuclear waste (and IIRC also less dangerous nuclear waste) than with the current nuclear power plants. Should it be possible to have nuclear fission with hydrogen then we will have an unlimited supply of fuel (until the oceans run dry that is ).
*still hoping the breakthrough will come soon*
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Old 08-01-2004, 06:12 AM   #15
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Popmartijn clarifier, controlled nuclear fusion is the principle means that we use today by using the energy of decaying uranium, it breaks it down and some of the particles are converted into energy. Nuclear fusion can be done in a Hydrogen Bomb blast where the atoms are fused together, hence fusion. The thing with fusion is containment because to achieve the reactions there must be a tremendous ammount of energy, that is why outside of extreme situations (like trillions of tonnes to gas in a star) fusion is difficult, containing the plasma for any duration and managing to release more energy than that required to start the reactions are the key problems. Bubble Fusion is emerging in an interesting way thats where they use high pressure sound waves in contained fluid with Deuterium to initiate the fusion reactions.

The Nuclear Waste produced can be buried in stable pieces of continental crust (I think that Central Australia is good, Pangea era, little siesmic activity good political situation) and you forget that burning coal itself produces more radioactive contamination than any well maintained nuclear power plant. The Depleated Uranium is used for many things such as balast in airplanes and ships and some other industrial purposes. Fission is allright but nuclear fusion, that is where its at. Get some DD Fusion going and produce Tritium that would be really great. The effort needs to be directed towards achieving contained nuclear fusion, that is where the money must be going because it is plain better than any "renewable" source in that it runs on readily avalible materials and its products either have extremely short half lives or practical uses.
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