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How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's

 
Saudi Arabia is old friend
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01/14/2012 02:19 PM
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How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
President Reagan met personally with Saudi Arabian officials both on the eve of the Saudis' 1984 decision to begin contributing $ 1 million a month to the Nicaraguan contras, and again on the eve of the Saudi decision in February 1985 to sharply increase that contribution by giving $ 24 million more to the rebels, according to informed sources and public testimony.

Robert C. McFarlane, Reagan's former national security adviser, discussed the second of those meetings -- between Reagan and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd -- in his testimony yesterday to the Iran-contra select committees.

The first meeting involving the president, sources revealed yesterday, occurred in the first week of May 1984, shortly before the Saudis began contributing $ 1 million a month to the contras. Reagan met at the White House with Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador in Washington, the sources said. The White House has found no notes on that meeting, the sources added, indicating there is no evidence of what was discussed.

In that same month of May 1984, the Reagan administration invoked an emergency procedure to bypass Congress and sell the Saudis 400 Stinger antiaircraft missiles worth $ 40 mil- lion.

In February 1985, Fahd paid a state visit to Washington and held a private conversation with Reagan, according to McFarlane's testimony yesterday. Reagan gave no indication to his aides that he and Fahd discussed aid to the contras.

McFarlane yesterday referred to Saudi Arabia only as "Country Two," using a code agreed on with the House and Senate select committees investigating the Iran-contra affair. After describing the Reagan-Fahd meetings, he continued:

"But within a day or so, I was advised by a resident official of Country Two [presumably Prince Bandar, the ambassador] that, whether in that meeting or not, that they, Country Two, had elected to carry on with their contributions they had made but to be at about double the monthly level it had been the previous year."

McFarlane said he advised Reagan a day or so later of this by putting a notecard in the briefing book the president read each morning. Reagan's reaction, McFarlane said, was one "of gratitude and satisfaction, not of surprise."

A spokesman for the Saudi ambassador issued a statement yesterday saying that "during the visit of King Fahd to Washington in February 1985, the issue of aid to the contras was not raised or discussed either by King Fahd or President Reagan."

The embassy also denied that Reagan and Fahd had met privately, though another Saudi source said previously that such a meeting had occurred.

Investigators in the Iran-contra affair are attempting to determine whether the Saudis expected or were improperly guaranteed foreign policy favors by the administration when the secret contra funding began.

In his testimony yesterday, McFarlane recalled that the unnamed ambassador from "Country Two" had expressed its hopes during various informal discussions with him "about assistance we could provide -- some cases arms sales -- and any of a dozen kinds of bilateral cooperation that was on his mind at the time."

According to bank records and other sources, the Saudis first offered to contribute $ 1 million in May 1984 and made their first actual payment in July. In May 1984, The Washington Post reported that the CIA had actively solicited Saudi aid to the contras the previous month.

During the memorial day weekend in late May, 400 Stingers were flown secretly to Saudi Arabia then transferred to the oil kingdom after the president signed a transfer order at 9:30 a.m. on May 29.

Sources said that the administration had initially placed strict conditions on the sale of Stingers but King Fahd, who was distressed about the conditions dispatched a long, personal letter to President Reagan through Prince Bandar.

Bandar carried the letter to the White House the first week of May 1984. After Reagan read it, he said, "We don't put conditions on friends," according to two sources who were present at the meeting.

White House spokesman Dan Howard yesterday said that eventually, however, the administration placed "the toughest conditions we've ever imposed on anyone for the sale of Stinger missiles." Howard said, "the missiles were sold for our own national interest," and had no relationship to the alleged contra assistance.

At the same time he authorized the transfer of Stingers, the president approved the deployment of a U.S. Air Force aerial tanker to assist in refueling Saudi jets, and the United States accelerated delivery by several months of $ 110 million worth of extra-capacity fuel tanks for Saudi F15s.

One administration source said the Saudis considered the administration actions "an important favor" at a time of heightened tension in the Iran-Iraq war and Saudi anxiety about a possible Iranian attack on its oil fields.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:20 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
The close, cozy relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia began with Ronald Reagan, not George W. Bush as some filmmakers and journalists contend.

When Reagan came to office in 1981, he inherited a turbulent Middle East. Oil prices had jumped from $3.39 per barrel to more than $21. The zealously anti-American Shiite leader Ayatollah Khomeini had recently replaced the American-friendly shah of Iran. The Soviet Union was reinforcing its position in Afghanistan and one step closer to the oil-rich Persian Gulf. In the words of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, the Soviet Union had "progressed from a continental power to a global one."

What few realized at the time was that these events would set the stage for the next two decades of U.S.-Saudi relations.

Reagan wanted not only to contain the Soviet Union but to "reverse the expansion of Soviet control and military presence throughout the world." The goal of the Reagan doctrine was to raise the costs of Moscow's foreign policy by championing democracy, outspending the Soviets on defense and supporting anti-Soviet insurgencies in the developing world.

The problem for Reagan was that his doctrine was expensive and America was exhausted. Still recovering from Vietnam, there was little public support for adventures in the Third World. But Reagan believed that his predecessors' failure to turn back Soviet advances in Angola and Ethiopia and elsewhere in the mid-1970s had only emboldened the Soviet Union.

To high-level administration officials, it became clear that to roll back the communists would be costly. CIA Director William J. Casey set out to find others to provide arms and money. The possibility of Saudi Arabian assistance dawned on the administration very early on. Not only could they provide the help Reagan wanted, but with the shah of Iran gone, the Saudis could also play a more prominent role as an oil-rich ally in a turbulent region.

Saudi Arabia had its own reasons for helping America fight the Soviets. First, the United States was instrumental to protecting Saudi oil fields and was a country with which the Saudi leadership wanted to stay on good terms. Second, Saudi Arabia was gravely concerned about the advancing Soviet Union. Riyadh interpreted Moscow's Afghanistan adventure as part of a Soviet-directed campaign to encircle the Arabian Peninsula with radical regimes and subvert the oil-rich monarchies. Soviet involvement in Yemen and Ethiopia bolstered that view. And third, it was awash in petrodollars, and could afford to help.

So the Reagan administration figured out how to integrate Saudi Arabian global concerns and surplus cash into U.S. foreign policy. In Afghanistan, the kingdom matched U.S. contributions dollar for dollar. Eventually, Washington and Riyadh poured about $3 billion into that broken country. Saudi Arabia also put $32 million into Nicaragua to fund the Contras, a fact that emerged in the Iran-Contra scandal. Saudi Arabia funneled money into Ethiopia's neighbor, Sudan, in order to pressure Ethiopia's pro-Soviet Mengistu government. Saudi Arabia assisted Angola's rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, in support of U.S. goals, by providing Morocco with money for a UNITA training camp. Yet Saudi Arabia provided more than just funding. The kingdom provided an ideologically compatible partner in the battle against godless communism. In a neat division of labor, America attacked communism and Saudi Arabia targeted godlessness. During his tenure, Reagan regularly rattled off a list of countries of concern: Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. What few realized was that Saudi Arabia was either directly or indirectly involved in four of these five cases. The close partnership inspired Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, to confide to a journalist in 1981 that "if you knew what we were really doing for America, you wouldn't just give us AWACS, you would give us nuclear weapons."

[link to www.cfr.org]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:29 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
How women are treated in Saudi Arabia:




Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:31 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
Wow...

What an old love story between Saudi Arabia and the USA!!!

Since the times of Republican president Ronald Reagan, in the 80's!!!

And the love story continued with Republican presidents George Bush, and George W. Bush...
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:39 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
Wow!

Women are treated much worse in Saudi Arabia than in Iran!

And nobody talks about bombing Saudi Arabia!

Saudi Arabia is considered an ally, a friend of the United States!

And this love story between USA and Saudi Arabia wasn't started by Obama! It exists since the 80's, with Republican president Ronald Reagan!

Wow!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:41 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:43 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
Now, what is the excuse?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:46 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:52 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 02:54 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/14/2012 03:17 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2012 05:48 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
5a
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2012 05:52 PM
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Re: How Republican president Ronald Reagan LOVED fundamentalist Saudi Arabia, back in the 80's
bump