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Monday, February 15, 2016

Bad Idea

I don't like Saudi Arabia's ruling family. They are the worst sort of tyrannical despots, living lives of unimaginable luxury while oppressing their people with a brutal and efficient secret police force. We won't talk about how their rule has engendered terrorist activities around the globe, nor will we mention how their capricious decisions on oil production has wide ranging impacts on the world's economy. All you have to know is that they are the biggest villains on the world stage. Somebody should do something about them.

Like we did with Iraq. At the time, I thought we should have attacked Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq. Saddam Hussein was bad actor, but he was a clown compared to the Saudi's. But, hey, we took down Saddam, maybe it's time for us to focus our sights on the Sauds.

That could be a very bad idea. First off, there is a sizable population in Saudi Arabia who are emotionally invested in the current royal family. Some people like them, some hate them, and some are just comfortable with the status quo. Take them out and replace them with anything else and you can practically guarantee that everyone in the country will hate the new overlords, the Kent Brockmans not withstanding. That's the normal kind of pushback you get with any kind of regime change, but it won't be the big problem.

The big problem will be that everyone else in the world will be angry that anyone has anointed themselves the supreme ruler of the biggest oil patch of earth, and if we can go in and take it by force of arms, everyone else is going to feel like they have the same right. After all, who died and made us king? It doesn't matter whether they would succeed or not, it just be something we would have to defend against. If we do nothing, people can hate the Sauds, we sporadically get really cheap oil and sell them boatloads of exotic, very expensive munitions, which keeps our armaments industry humming. And they can defend themselves, so to speak.

The people of Saudi Arabia will continue to suffer, but that seems to be the fate of the entire Mideast and North Africa, everywhere where it is insanely hot, dry and Mohammed is the one true prophet. Europe went through a period of almost continuous warfare for several hundred years (I'm thinking 1,000 A.D.* till last week), and it might be that the Mideast will need to go through the same exercise before they become properly civilized / pacified.

* I specify a starting date of 1,000 A.D. because my knowledge of history for the first thousand years of the 'Common Era'** is weak.

** Stupid Metric System.

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