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The Desert Fantasy

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

Submitted by Alo Kievalar (Saudi Arabia), May 12, 2005 at 15:33

I suppose I should save my comments until I read Mr. Posner's new book, but I've done this so many times in the past whenever "revelations" about Saudi Arabia are about to be "revealed" that this time I've decided to speak my mind before the "facts" finally are "revealed".

If Mr. Posner really believes that the Saudis have wired up their oil installations just in case the USA decides to take over the oil fields, then he's swallowed one of the more risible "rumors" about that country, string, hook and bait. Here are some more of these delicious tidbits that make up what I like to call the Desert Fantasy:

1. Saudi Arabia is an immensely wealthy country. Fact: No, it isn't. What it has is a lot of cash coming in which immediately is sent to the West…primarily to the US...for deposit. One thing this means is that with the flick of a pen, all Saudi "wealth" could be frozen within hours. Or, the cash is used to pay for all its consumer goods. Let me repeat that: all its consumer goods. Nothing is actually "produced" in the country. Therefore, one could say (but it's never said) the Kingdom's GNP is in fact, zero. All Saudi citizens of any standing have all of their wealth overseas in Western bank accounts. Many of them possess "Green Cards" just in case. (Do you know of any American that possesses a Saudi Green card? Pahahaha). (This is wealth?)

In fact, the Kingdom is just another 3d world country tooting its horn. (The country to really watch is Iran….a totally different story).

2. Even been to a Saudi city? It's an eye-opener. Atrocious public transportation, nothing really works, no civic responsibility or pride and so on. In fact, disregard the picture postcard images one often sees on the media and go into the downtown of any major Saudi city and you'd think you were in Dresden at the end of WWII. Everything is falling apart….everything.

3. Dr Pipes mentions that Posner says something like if the Saudi oil fields were to stop producing (for any reason), the US would be in trouble within 6 months. Perhaps. But I can tell you this: if the oil fields stopped producing oil, Saudi Arabia would be in trouble within a day…..one day. The entire system would collapse with a gigantic thud.

4. If the Saudi royal family were to "go", the country would be taken over by "fundamentalists". This is perhaps the most preposterous "rumor" that so-called Saudi "experts" have come up with. (Funny that no one ever mentions what the Saudi armed forces would do in a case like this). In fact, the "fundamentalists" are totally beholden to the royal family lock, stock and barrel…..and they know it. I could to on and on about this one, but, well, space and all that. (What most likely would happen is that the "country" would disintegrate into separate tribal enclaves).

5. The Kingdom is a thousand times more beholden and under the control of the US in more critical and fundamental ways than the US is to the Kingdom. How this fact was ever inverted so that the US public believes the opposite to be the case is beyond me.

What the Saudis are good at is perceiving the jaw-dropping credulousness and naivete of the American people even in the highest branches of government when it comes to international affairs and they have taken full advantage of this breathtaking ignorance. (So have others, of course, but its most extreme form shows up in the Saudi/US arena).

Anyway, have a nice day.

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