Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Britain and Saudi Arabia

Yesterday's Oz carried a version of this curious story from the UK Sunday Times; "curious" because of the gulf it reveals between UK and US understandings of the Saudi situation.

As far as the US is concerned, a fundamentalist-led revolution in Saudi Arabia, while hardly welcome, is a long way short of a "threat". The article quotes several sources to the contrary, but these are, with one exception, clearly all Brits who can't let go of their pith helmets*, or else privileged Saudis.

The exception is Daniel Benjamin, a former "official" (no level of seniority is given) in Bill Clinton's National Security Council.

If Saudi Arabia does fall to (even more) fundamentalist fascist psychopaths, I don't think that there'll be too much angst in the US at all. Of course, there will be a significant economic jolt - and not just in terms of oil. Saudi money has been washing through the West for decades, and the loss of fresh injections of it** would hurt quite a bit. But most of all in the London real estate market, methinks.

As for the Saudi oil executive who complained that "America has withdrawn its troops (from Saudi Arabia) and it is not going to go back to support the royal family" - diddums! If things turn really nasty, even the said exec's American citizenship won't necessarily stop him being locked up as an enemy of the state, based on the WWII internment of ethnic-Japanese American citizens.

And seeing the terror-sponsoring Saudi Royals and their hangers on finally get their just desserts is a scenario the average American (and me) would quite enjoy watching, I reckon.

* "It's like being in the film Zulu," he said. "We're just waiting for the hordes to come pouring over the walls." Gimme a break.

** Following a fundamentalist-led revolution, the US would most likely be at war with Saudi Arabia. While I'm no expert on the topic, such a state of war would appear to give the West a fair bit of leeway to (legally) expropriate the Western-invested wealth of the Saudi Royals et al. Alternatively, they won't be needing it where they're (hopefully) going.

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