The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

The United States Should Confront Saudi Terrorism Sponsorship

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 321 times Debate No: 92828
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




Round 1: Opening Arguments
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 [1], 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 [2]. 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.



I will be arguing against Pros affirmation "The United States Should Confront Saudi Terrorism Sponsorship"

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.
Debate Round No. 1


There is evidence that Saudi Arabia is using federal finances to support Wahhabist extremists in the middle east and in agendas against Western values [1] [2] [3] [4].

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.



Pros has not provided us with any concrete examples of Saudi Arabia sponsoring terrorism. I will go through the sources Pro provided one by one:

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.
Debate Round No. 2


It seems with your criteria of getting your form of factual information is a little too high than what a DDO debater can get. I'm assuming the type of information you're attempting to receive is United States Department of State Official Reportage of Saudi Arabian Expenses Report with a receipt that reads - "1 terrorism bought by Saudi Arabia to the shop of Al Qaeda.".

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".


Throughout the course of this debate Pro has NOT provided a single example of their claim that Saudi Arabia and "their people" were using the "federal budget to endorse groups of the mujahideen in a war against the Civilized World." And, if the United States is going to confront Saudi Arabia for sponsoring terrorism, we're going to need concrete evidence that such sponsorship has actually taken place. Claims written by people at the Huffington Post or the Salon that aren"t backed up by a single shred of evidence are NOT anywhere near sufficient.

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.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Amedexyius 4 months ago
@szexiv One of my arguments in the debate is exactly that Saudi Arabia is no longer a national interest. In fact, they've proven to be against national interests.

You, being an American, and supporting your 'freedom of ideology' is exactly the foundation of beliefs that state funded terrorism by Saudi Arabia is targeting.
Posted by szexiv 4 months ago
@Amedexyius, that's exactly my point. Even the most "advanced" countries/cultures fall well short of what ought to be considered, by any rational person, civil. I may be being subjective here, but I have travelled the world, and in my experience, people, generally speaking, are people. every one believes that they are "the good guy", and whoever is opposing them is the human incarnation of evil.

perhaps my perspective is a bit biased. I am an American, and I believe in FUNDEMENTAL American beliefs (freedom of ideology). in so far as that, it would be asinine to chastise a nation for pursuing what they believe to in their best interests.
Posted by Amedexyius 4 months ago
@szexiv Civilized Worl applies from Tokyo to Beijing to Moscow to Berlin to Washington. Not just the Western World. While the West does use extremely questionable forms of advancing their interests, they are still the most advanced group of nations on Earth and I'd be biased not to acknowledge that. I'm not going to exaggerate the amount of war crimes that the West has committed in the past 30 years because as much as I hate to admit it, my own country (Russia) isn't all that innocent, but I still support Russia with more patriotism.

@WAM There is a proven link to federal Saudi funding towards terrorism, just like Iran to Hezbollah. Although Saudi Arabia funds 3x more than Iran does, and Hezbollah is confined to the Arab World to advance a Shi'ite leftist agenda. Saudi groups are committed to global terrorism and Wahhabist theocracies. The US commits many coups, but they can't be prosecuted because they aren't a member of the International Criminal Court of Justice or any other International Organization dedicated to resolving disputes of violations of the Geneva convention or articles of peace of the UNSC. The US has 'a right' to advance their interests, and they will with their unquestionable role as a super power but there isn't a fine line to how much is too much. I chose Saudi Arabia specifically in this debate for confrontation because Saudi Arabia no longer has any reason to be supported, unlike in Syria, where understandably the primary goal is to counter Russian influence and Ukraine where the goal is also to counter Russian influence. I hate American foreign policy for their NATO advancements in eastern Europe, but as a person who knows and takes the initiative to study political foreign analysis, I understand why the US does this, and much of the world is powerless to stop it.
Posted by szexiv 4 months ago
lol@ the western world being "civilized".
It's not just the comments. This debate is troll...
Posted by WAM 4 months ago
Maybe the U.S could talk if they were not the worst offenders of supporting international terrorism and coups... Like in Iran, Guatemala, Syria, Indonesia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Afghanistan and many others. And with these there is a clear link towards the U.S. Government, while, at least to my knowledge, no such direct link is known between Saudi Government and terrorism.

Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt that there are supporters of international terrorism within Saudi Arabia, but if extends into government I do not know.
Posted by Amedexyius 4 months ago
bball is being a troll, I got that 'kebab' reference from a well known comic called polandball that anyone with political or economic familiarity could read. I like it myself.
Posted by That1User 4 months ago
I strongly disagree with this statement bball and I'd be willing to debate you on that.
Posted by bballcrook21 4 months ago
The best way to confront terrorism is to bomb Mecca and then release cyclone B final solution style on the entirety of the kekab east and the dindu north.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KeyserSoze115 4 months ago
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Total points awarded:32 
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.