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Scoop Feedback: US In Saudi Arabia & Kiwibank

US In Saudi Arabia Long Enough - Anderton’s KiwiBank Claims Problematic

US In Saudi Arabia Long Enough

Sir:

An article in the Washington Post today stated that Saudi Arabia is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the US's long 12 year presence in the Eastern Province. We laud Prince Abdullah for his role in speaking for the public and kudos to him!

It is about time that America realized that they have been here long enough. I think if a general vote was carried out, it would prove that most people think 12 years is much too long, and they are no longer needed here, and they are indeed 10 years late in leaving."Thanks for the help, but we no longer require babysitting."

"Senator Carl Levin, (D.Mich.) Chairman of the Arnewd Services Committee said this week that the US should consider moving its forces out of the kingdom. "We need a base in that region, but it seems to me that we should find a place that is more hospitable.. I don';t think they want us to stay there."

"Gen. Charles Horner, US Airforce Commander during the Gulf War said he argued "very hard to get all our (US) people out of there when most of the 500,000 US soldiers were withdrawn months after the US rout of Iraqi forces from Kuwait."

Actually if America closed their base there would still be plenty of US military presence in the Gulf in other countries. For what purpose have they so extended their stay in Saudi Arabia, as people here certainly don't feel threatened by their neighbors. Saudi Arabia is really not in need of America's base any longer, and I'm certain that our US tax dollars could be better spent in other ways, such as rebuilding demolished Palestinian homes.

Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed

Jeddah

***

Anderton’s KiwiBank Claims Problematic

Dear Editor

Jim Anderton's claim (Scoop, Jan 16) that his Kiwibank is providing benefits even before it opens it's doors, because 'Aussie' banks are offering better terms, is highly problematic.

Where is Jim planning to draw his customers from? Not the Taranaki Savings Bank, P.S.I.S. or the ASB, because these banks already offer satisfactory terms to patriotic New Zealanders. That leaves the overseas-owned and 'Aussie' banks. Naturally, they are now acting to retain potential Kiwibank customers and will probably succeed. Yet, Mr Anderton perceives the prospect of no customers as good news!

Then we have Jim Bolger defending the venture with an equal lack of logic. As some shops revolt, he is comparing the uncertainty surrounding Kiwibank to that which accompanied the opening of Lotto outlets in 1987. Surely, Mr Bolger is overlooking two significant differences. Lotto is a unique product - banking services are not. Lotto franchise holders were willing participants - Kiwibank franchise holders have no choice.

The Kiwibank is an outrageous waste of stolen taxpayer money. And 'stolen' is exactly the right word. The majority of New Zealanders, including thousands who are employees of or investors in existing private banks, do not want it and are being forced to fund it. Mr Anderton and Mr Bolger's attempts to defend the indefensible are contemptible.

Lindsay Mitchell

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