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Button, Button, Who's Got The Big Red Button?

Reader comment on item: Might the Saudis Blow Up Their Oil Infrastructure?

Submitted by Yonason (United States), May 12, 2005 at 03:19

That sounds just a little too much like the delightfully demented animated cartoon "Twice Upon A Time" (George Lucas, 1983), wherein the goal of the profoundly evil villain, "Synonymous Botch," is to plunge the world into "nightmares forever" by pressing "The Big Red Button."

Of course, if Mr. Posner's claim is true, it would mean that the world might indeed descend into a very real and most unpleasantly extended nightmare.

It is hard, though not impossible, to imagine someone so deranged that they would commit such a foolish and unnecessary self-destructive act. But an irrational act of that magnitude would not only be indicative of very serious mental pathology, it would have to be shared by quite a few, to carry out such an extensive plan.

Really, just how likely is it that, if the US were to actually seize the oil fields, we would force the Saudi royals to significantly change their lifestyle? On the other hand, how likely is it that, if they attempted to send the world back to the stone age, we would not hold them speedily and painfully accountable? Knowing that, why would they jeopardize the power and wealth they so love and would doubtless retain, just to keep the oil out of US hands, when we would also probably still pay them for it?

Why would any sane ruler, who has a choice of maintaining power and the obscenely pampered lifestyle to which he's accustomed while only temporarily loosing some control over the source of his wealth, opt for plunging the world AND HIMSELF into suffering and poverty, not to mention international criminality? They would have to be loonier than Saddam, Bin Laden and Kim Il Jong all put together to pull a stunt like that.

It just makes no sense.

What does make sense to this "infidel" is the threat of such a scenario as an attempt to thwart, or delay, such an action. For that, what do they have to loose, especially if the information comes from outside their circle; their involvement thus being very plausibly deniable?

Of course, if it turns out that the Saudis are capable of setting up such a doomsday deadfall, what does that tell us about the national mental state and reliability of one of our "allies" in the "War On Terror?" And, on the other hand, if they aren't, what does that tell us about our mental state if we think they are?

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