Trump in Saudi Arabia

  • Posted: June 14, 2017
  • Category: Blog
  • 1 Comment

 

 

The late 1970’s and early 1980’s was an era of iconic movies. Forever etched in my mind’s eye is the awe inspiring Imperial Star Destroyer slowly tracking overhead in the opening scene of Star Wars. I admit to gripping my seat as the tension built to ridiculous heights while an unseen Alien murdered the crew of the Nostromo, one by one. How about that rolling boulder chasing Indiana Jones out of the treasure cave only to run into a wild tribe of headhunters in the Amazon? What movie since is even close to the psychic impact of those groundbreaking movies?

As sure as the sun rises in the east, a great iconic movie creates a sequel, ET being the inexplicable exception. Sequels are loved by the suits and handy cash registers for the talent, but are a dicey proposition for the audience. Of course, we remember that both the Star Wars and Alien franchise followed up initial success with sequels even better than the original. Unfortunately, the Indiana Jones franchise didn’t clear the bar. Its own sequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was a major disappointment.

But the movie did have its moments. One such was Indiana Jones waking up in the back of a Ford Tri-Motor after a wild car chase through the streets of Shanghai while escaping the bad guys. Along with his sidekick, Short Round, and love interest, Willie Scott, Indy wakes up to find the crew bailing out of the airplane. Stumbling into the cockpit, Indy sees the airplane flying straight into a Himalayan mountainside. It’s a good visual for our prospects for a peaceful world right now.

Over the past decades we have trusted our betters, the good and great, the Ivy League graduates to lead us. I affectionately nickname them “The Adorables”, for that is what they are and how they think about themselves. We have entrusted our Ship of State to them and left them to it. Most of the Deplorables have families to raise and mortgages to pay. We believed them when they told us, with more than a hint of condescension, that they were the anointed ones, heirs by education and training to the responsibilities once held by giants such as Eisenhower, Marshall, Keenan, the Dulles brothers, Kissinger, et.al.

The Adorables have guided us for most of my lifetime. Some profess to be conservatives and some profess to be progressives, but they have much more in common than that which separates them. And today, at this moment in the history of our precious Republic, it looks like the people we have elected or entrusted to pilot our Ship of State are bailing out, leaving Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw to crash into the looming mountain. As an aside, I fancy myself in the role of Short Round.

To be sure, in this real life version of the movie an actor more resembling Rodney Dangerfield or W.C. Fields is playing the role filled by Harrison Ford. But for better or worse, he is our President and we look to him. In the movie the racist image of sinister Chinese pilots abandoned Indy to crash into the mountain, so too are the Adorables abandoning the Deplorables in our hour of need. Of course it was our Adorable pilots who got us into this situation, but it seems they have decided to take their ball and go home. They will watch in smug condescension as those ignorant deplorable people try to work the controls and get us out of this mess.

As we, the unlettered electorate – the deplorable ones, gaze with fearful eyes into the windscreen at the approaching mountains we see so many strange things. How did we get here? What on Earth is going on? We are unsophisticated and ignorant of so many things, but we recognize trouble when we see it. The world is rapidly becoming a scary place. The Adorables sniff, holding up their noses while sneering at us for being simple rubes, ignorant of how the world really works. What did we expect when we fire the professionals?

But when we look at where we are, the rubes are tempted to make a different assessment. Perhaps the Adorables aren’t so smart after all. Looking around it is hard to see that they have practiced any vision or understanding for a long time. If I may stretch a metaphor (a dubious practice indeed), the Adorables have proven their ability to fly an airplane, but have shown little evidence of any ability to navigate. And now we find ourselves in the middle of the Himalayas.  We find ourselves with Rodney Dangerfield as our pilot and the people who put us here bailing out, shouting over their shoulder as they jump that it serves us right.

Rodney Dangerfield’s, er, I mean Donald Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East is a case in point. President Trump proudly announced that Saudi Arabia will be allowed to buy $ 100 billion worth of advanced US military hardware. Of course, a big part of this announcement is meant to imply US jobs. Even in today’s world $ 100B is real money. On the other hand, this $ 100B will probably do a lot more for consulting firms of the Adorables than for Appalachia or the Rust Belt.

Well, we can console ourselves, even if it doesn’t put Joe the Steelworker back to work, this will show those Ayatollahs! These colors don’t run and we stand by our friends! How true. This idea is used by the Adorables to play us. Their use of it only shows how little they think of us, how easily we can be quieted. But no deal of this magnitude and heft is put together overnight. This has been in the works for a while and the fingerprints of the Adorables are all over it. Perhaps not those in the progressive camp, but not all Ivy League graduates are left handed.

This deal is intended to put those Ayatollah devils in Iran and those thugs in Moscow on notice. America is showing unequivocal support for our staunch allies, the Saudis. Of course, the Adorables acquiesced some years ago into tacitly allowing nuclear capability to those Ayatollah devils in Iran. And it is also true that those thugs in Moscow have been nuclear capable for seventy years. Oh well, the Adorables have always believed it a wise move to raise the pot when drawing to an inside straight.

It doesn’t matter. The United States stands by our friends no matter what the cost. And the Adorables have been friends of Saudi Arabia for my entire lifetime, now stretching into more years than I care to admit. By chance, it so happens that 2017 is the 55th anniversary of a movie celebrating the sympathetic nobility of Saudi Arabia’s Founding Fathers. Lawrence of Arabia was and remains a movie beloved by Adorable trendsetters, winning multiple Academy Awards on its release and being celebrated ever since.

But we rubes have cause to wonder about the Adorables choice of friends. How many of those terrorists hijacking those jets and sending them crashing into the World Trade Center were Saudi’s? Where is it again that Osama bin Laden came from? What country is by far the largest source of funds for Islamic terrorist organizations? Which country has used their oil production to hold us hostage again and again over the past forty-five years?

Well, maybe the Saudi’s aren’t good Christians, but they are our staunch allies in the fight against ISIS. ISIS is a monstrous cult, beyond redemption and an existential threat to human rights. ISIS cuts off heads and they treat women like slaves. They massacre innocent people. They are an abomination deserving extinction and we must have allies in the Islamic camp or our civilization will be swept away in a wave of barbarity.

ISIS is a terrible terrible thing, a cult of Satan himself. On the other hand, are they really an existential threat to the West? To use Joe Stalin’s assessment of the Pope’s importance in World War II, “How many divisions do they have?” And before we pull out all the stops against ISIS, let’s review some disturbing thoughts about our chief ally, Saudi Arabia. You don’t want to be caught gawking in Deera Square, located in the modern city of Riyadh, around 9 AM in the morning if you are at all squeamish. Deera Square has the nickname of “Chop Chop Square” for good reasons.

Good grief, who knew that the Saudi’s decapitate people in public? Who are they, the Tudors? They execute people for adultery. I mean who does that in this day and age! The Saudi’s execute people for “sodomy”. What does that even mean? We dare not bring up the L, the B and the T words. Women aren’t second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia, they are not even citizens at all.

Speaking of slavery, Saudi Arabia is designated as a Tier 3 human trafficking country by our own government, their dearest friends the Adorables. Joining them in Tier 3 are well-regarded fellow travelers like Sudan, North Korea, Cambodia, Togo, etc. Where are our Adorables when we need them? Speaking of massacring innocent people, does anyone care what is going on in Yemen? Do our Adorable leaders ignore their most cherished beliefs, their commitments to human rights, simply because these people have oil? But hey, we always cut our friends a little slack and the Saudi’s are the Adorables friends. No matter the ideology or the political party, money has always been a ticket into the tent where the Adorables gather.

That weakness (?) of the Adorables has been good for the Saudi’s because ever since the days of T.E. Lawrence, the Saudi’s have had money. Or at least the sheiks have money. Over time the hoi polloi have elbowed their way into getting a trickle from the tap to keep the streets quiet. But a funny thing happened on the way to the free market. The “Fracking Revolution” in America happened and the tap started to cough up air instead of money. The Saudi’s have a dirty little secret. They are not short of oil, but they are running short of money.

Make no mistake about it, Saudi Arabia still has more crude oil than the Earth Mother. But that isn’t as important as it once was. Contrary to what the Adorables have been teaching us for decades, our old used and abused Earth is awash in crude oil. Almost everywhere. The Saudi’s are not simpletons and they were not fooled. They are shrewd and they are smart. Con men almost always are. Don’t forget, the grandfathers of these smooth men rubbing shoulders with the Adorables spent a big part of their lives cooking goat meat over camel dung fires.

The Saudi’s recognized the threat posed by “fracking” early on. They co-operated and facilitated with market forces to create a precipitous drop in oil prices. In the space of a few months, the price of crude oil dropped by 70%. Quite reasonably, the Saudi’s expected the overextended upstart “frackers” in America to go bankrupt. After all, the Saudi experience of the oil business is Exxon competing with Shell in sucking up to ARAMCO.

Instead free enterprise came through again, as it usually does. “Fracking” oil production in America is higher than ever, in fact US oil production is at an all-time record high, no thanks to either Exxon or Shell. Meanwhile Saudi oil market share continues to drop. And while Saudi revenue crashed, Saudi expenses didn’t.

It’s not easy to give up the lifestyles of the rich and famous. There are a lot of princes. After all, if you have a lot of wives and concubines its reasonable to expect a lot of kids. Young men, and old, have become accustomed to being fawned over by French-speaking concierges at 5-Star hotels while enjoying the exclusive companionship of bevies of expensive party girls on ever-larger yachts. And in proof that feminism has even made its way to Saudi Arabia, the ultra high-end stores in the luxury malls of Dubai and Europe are full of women blanketed in the black robe of Saudi Arabian women called the abaya.

To make matters worse for the Saudi’s, they are learning that appeasement is an expensive alternative to restiveness in their country. There are an ever-growing number of Imams requiring regular and generous donations to keep the faithful in line. Even the hoi polloi have become accustomed to certain amenities, such as a freedom from work. The Saudi’s are running out of money.

The Saudi’s have a national current account deficit of over 8%. The United States, itself no paragon of fiscal virtue, is running a current account deficit of only 2%. But unlike us, the Saudi’s can’t print money when they spend more than they have. Things are going to get tough in Saudi Arabia. It’s hard to afford Lamborghini’s and Kensington town houses on a reduced dole. As a result, the crown jewel of Saudi Arabian wealth generation, ARAMCO, is being sold piecemeal to investors. The sale of the family heirlooms by feckless descendants is an old and familiar tale in many times and places.

Hopefully that $ 100B of arms sales announced on the recent trip isn’t on credit. To be sure, I do have some sympathy in my heart for our friends in Saudi Arabia. After all, they are simply a real life version of the Clampetts in that old TV series, The Beverly Hillbillies. And they are our friends, generations of Adorables have seen to that.

Perhaps I am being unfair. People in power have to make hard decisions and deal with uncomfortable choices. We don’t even know what the choices are. But let me ask you this: Do you trust the Adorables to make decisions in the best interests of the United States?

There is a verse in the Bible that comes to mind as I write this post:

“Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.”

Isaiah 1:23

The prophet Isaiah was describing a corrupt elite in Israel some 2700 years ago. But it is a warning equally applicable today. The only problem is, I am not sure whether this verse, this admonition from our Lord, applies to us or to the Saudi’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Trump in Saudi Arabia”

  1. esbenshade says:

    We have a new leader in Wash DC. We arenot going to preach to Saudi’s or any other

    nation. As a nation we will not tell the leaders of Saudi Kingdom your women must

    drive. Only people to people will change things. Make more Saudis college students

    expose to people who follow Christ not Islam that might change people. WE want to

    trade and keep Iran under wraps.

    If Europe wants USA troops, money, equipment, all 28 NATO members will come to the

    aid of NATO more money and manpower, we are not footing entire bill anymore.

    If South Korea doesnot want to stand up with force against KIM we take our 28,000

    troops and go home.

    I am glad to see the old State Dept employees retire its time for a new

    direction. $20 trillion national debt and 10,000 baby boomers retiring everyday

    the nations tax dollars are going to old people and intrest.

    Change is hard as we have seen on proposed cuts to federal programs.

    No one wants their program cut.Not only do we to cut the State Dept

    but many many, others

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