The United States Should Confront Saudi Terrorism Sponsorship
Debate Rounds (3)
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Ending Arguments
As most people know, and how it is backed by evidence, Saudi Arabia has a serious history of their people and their federal budget to endorse groups of the mujahideen in a war against the Civilized World. Understandably, the United States had interests in Saudi Arabia that extended from cheap oil prices to combating Russian influence that had taken form in Iran and their Shi'ite allies, even if it was controversial, it was reasonable. Now that Iranian normalization of relations has begun and fracking has turned the US into a path of energy independence , Saudi Arabia's role as an American 'friend' is diminishing. I believe the United States should confront Saudi Arabia with the already well known fact that they endorse radicalist terrorism against all nations with any non-Sunni ideals in international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council . If Saudi Arabia denies, sanctions and isolationist policies will be introduced pressuring Saudi Arabia to stop their endorsements.
After all, these is no logical argument to allowing a nation to fund groups that are known for targeting civilians through kidnappings, ransom, murder, bombings, and mass executions. The United States had once followed "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" but the United States should have known that while Iran and Saudi Arabia may not be American enemies, Saudi Arabia is definitely not a friend.
The reason the United States should not confront Saudi Arabia for terrorism sponsorship is because there is no evidence Saudi Arabia is sponsoring terrorism. There are many things that the US State Department has addressed with the Saudis including their exceedingly harsh punishments for ordinary crimes and the difficulty in tracking how money is being spent by wealthy individuals who wire funds to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. The State Department has even raised concerns that some of this money may end up in the hands of terrorists. But to be clear - this is NOT the Saudi government sponsoring terrorism.
In their opening statement Pro uses statements like "as most people know" and "it's a well known fact" in regards to Saudi Arabia's supposed sponsorship of terrorism. But when we check the source Pro provided to support these claims (Wikipedia) the article clearly states that Saudi Arabia is a " secondary source of funds" (meaning its individuals not the state) and that any direct sponsorship is "alleged".
Allegations are NOT grounds for international commendation or sanctions. If we are to confront Saudi Arabia with such a damning charge than we are going to need - at the very least - concrete evidence for such sponsorship that can be verified by independent parties.
There is evidence that Saudi Arabia is using federal finances to support Wahhabist extremists in the middle east and in agendas against Western values    .
If you read the entire Wikipedia article on S.A instead of the first sentence, you would realize how the Saudi state uses 'secondary' funding and direct. Saudi Arabia has government connections with families and control the majority of nearly all markets and industries in the country meaning the government is connected with nearly all transactions made nationally and abroad.
Officials and families close to and working with/for the Saudi government uses their huge profits to directly and indirectly fund the Wahhabist agenda of radical Islamist terrorism. In source 3, for example it states "In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent an estimated $100 billion exporting its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide." The Saudi government financing branch also directly funds 'charities' and 'organizations' in the Islamic world who are known for spreading radicalist beliefs. These churches then tunnel the money to violent extremist connections. Source 1, also states "Worst of all, the Saudi monarchy has funded dubious schools and “charities” throughout the Islamic world. Those organizations have been hotbeds of anti-Western, and especially, anti-American, indoctrination." which later in the article leads and supports the indirect tunneling of money from the primary beginning of the Saudi State financial branch.
I hope my 4 sources are 'concrete' enough for for you to acknowledge the well known fact of Saudi sponsorship.
The first source cited comes from the CATO Institute and is a paper full of empty assertions. There are no sources provided and the author gives us no specific examples to support their conclusions. There is simply no way that we can address the validity of the quotes Pro pulled from this paper like, "the Saudi monarchy has funded dubious schools and "charities" throughout the Islamic world". We do not know which schools are being referenced, why they"re "dubious", or what they have to do with supporting terrorism.
The second source provided is a Huffington Post op ed that links religious leaders in Saudi Arabia to deeply anti-western rhetoric. While this in itself is extremely disturbing- and should be condemned - it is NOT an example of Saudi Arabia sponsoring terrorism. Rhetoric is not monetary sponsorship.
The third source provided is an article from the Salon (and if you"re having to cite the Salon as a source you might need to reconsider your position). Almost the entire article is dedicated to covering the excessively harsh punishments for everyday crimes handed out by the state. Again, this is (1) not terrorism and (2) has been condemned by the US State Department. Towards the end of the article it makes the extraordinary claim that Saudi Arabia has spent a 100-billion dollars funding terrorism. But when I follow the link provided to support this claim it takes me to. . .
. . . the fourth source provided by Pro which is an article about the about the making of a documentary and the difficulties of explaining the Quran in just one hour. The article states that - in the documentary - the claim was made that Saudi Arabia spent 100-billion dollars on promoting Wahhabism. While Wahhabism is not strictly terrorism in and of itself this would at least be SOMETHING. However, there was no explanation of who came up with this 100-billion dollar number, how this number was determined, which Wahhabist groups were supported, or when the money was supposedly given. Once again, another empty claim.
When I said, "before we confront Saudi Arabia we need concrete evidence that can be verified by independent parties" - I mean just that. A specific example of Saudi Arabia giving monetary assistance to a terrorist organisation and evidence of that transaction. Opinion pieces are NOT evidence. Unsupported claims are NOT evidence. Pro has not given us a single example or piece of evidence the US could take to Saudi Arabia and condemn them for sponsoring terrorism.
With your reasoning, you can strike down any news source online or Wikipedia article because it isn't linked to an official report. With that reasoning, you may also refute CNN for saying Obama won a 2nd term simply because they didn't post the exact number and names of the electoral college voters.
I'm also assuming you only skimmed through most of the articles as for example, Source 4, it stated that S.A promoted and financed "violent Wahhabist radicalism." which is the vocabulary equivalent of terrorism.
As I also said which you did not argue against in Round 2, Saudi Arabia's economic system is virtually completely controlled by the government. That means family members and workers affiliated with and sponsor terrorism who may not directly work with the government do have connections with the Saudi Monarchy.
And to put an end to this argument, I never said "state-sponsored".
In order to make such an extraordinary claim we are going to need rigorous standards of evidence. To use Pros own metaphor as an example, we know Obama won a second term as president - not simply because CNN reported it - but because CNN was able to provide the specifics of how they came to that conclusion. They provided county by county results for every single state and showed the sources from which they got that information. For the 2012 election we knew who was voting, when they voted, what mechanisms were in place to count their vote, and how the votes were tallied so that Obama came out as the winner.
However, in the case of Pros argument, we don"t have anything like that. We don"t know who was supposedly sponsoring who, we don"t know when the supposed sponsorship(s) happened, and we don"t know how this information was collected or sourced. Pros standards of evidence are so low there"s no way to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Without evidence, there"s no way to tell the difference between false claims and true claims.
In closing, as we don"t have any evidence that Saudi Arabia is sponsoring terrorism, the United States should not confront them. The time for such a confrontation would be AFTER we could show they were funding terrorists. Not before.
I would like to thank Amedexyius for putting up this debate and hope we can revisit this or a similar topic in the future. Best regards.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KeyserSoze115 4 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It seems the evidence con is looking for is the 28 classified pages in the 9/11 commission report allegedly detailing Saudi involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. So unless you can get the U.S. Government to declassify the 28 pages I agree that there is not enough evidence to satisfy the burden of proof that Saudi Arabia directly sponsored terrorism. However in my view the exportation of Wahhabi madrassas world wide that promote an ideology of Salafist jihadism essentially saying they that theirs is the one true religion and anyone who disagrees should be murdered and sent to hell is enough to warrant sanctions. While this is not the same thing as sponsoring terrorism it is certainly inciting it. The proliferation of this form of ideology is a direct threat to the global community and must be stopped.
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