The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Death of Saudi Arabia

The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole

The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain recently cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and launched an embargo, stating that they wanted the media outlet Al Jazeera shut down, and support for the Muslim Brotherhood ended.

Or, more colloquially, and good for a belly laugh, for these entities to “stop supporting terrorists,” which coming from any of those countries–and especially Saudi Arabia–is so flamingly hypocritical it puts the sun in shadow.

Oh my God.

Unfortunately for Saudi Arabia and its allies, Qatar has yet to give in, and it has been backed up by Turkey (who sent troops), and Iran (who is sending food).

Then we have the war against Yemen. Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen, with a huge coalition, and US support, and, well, what have they accomplished? I suspect the main accomplishment will be crippling Yemen’s next generation by starving them when they were young.

And, some time back, Saudi Arabia decided to lower oil prices to push out Western producers and…Oh, look! Oil prices are too low to support Saudi Arabia.

The joke in Saudi Arabia, I understand is, “My grandfather rode a camel, I drive a car, my grandson will ride a camel.”

Saudi Arabia is doomed. The current king is an incompetent, thrashing around trying to solve problems and making them worse.  He, as with his forbears, sees foes everywhere; unlike his predecessors, he isn’t willing to simply sit and let sores fester. He wants to do something about them, and so far, what he’s done has made them worse.

This is fairly standard: All dynasties go bad eventually because the kings-to-be grow up in wealth and power and think their privilege is the natural state of things. They believe they are brilliant and deserve it all, when it was handed them on a platter. Perhaps they are good at palace intrigue and think that extends beyond the palace.

It doesn’t.

But this is worse than that; Saudi Arabia is just an undeveloped country sitting on oil. It’s that simple. Their particular ideology did not allow them to control their population, and the source of their power, oil, was always going to be replaced as the world’s most important energy source at some point. That “some point” is now close.

Electric cars are coming. It is that simple. And when they do, oil will never recover.

As with all such windfalls, the only correct way to deal with resource windfalls is to siphon them off from the regular economy and develop the new economy. That is almost never done, and the story is always the same. Sometimes it takes decades, sometimes centuries, but the resource is always either replaced or depleted and the country or area, never having developed an actual economy, goes into terminal decline.

I live near one such place: the Canadian Maritime provinces. Once, this was the main supplier of ships’ masts in the British Empire. As the entire empire ran on sailing ships, this made it important. When steam took over, there were no ship masts left, and the Maritimes have never recovered.

Alberta, Canada’s oil patch, will likely experience the same story, with the added problem of having destroyed much of its soil, so that it cannot even go back to its full, agricultural roots.

Saudi Arabia is DONE. Like other rich and powerful countries, and Saudi Arabia has been a great power (though not a super power), its death throes will be terrible. Yemen is collateral damage; part of the early collapse. Likewise, Qatar. From the long point of view, this all just has to play out; for those on the ground, it will be ugly.

There are good Saudis, even as there are good Americans, and they have my sympathy, but I have little hope to offer them. Saudi Arabia is a classic example of over-development, on top of resource sickness: The land cannot support the population, and relatively soon, in historical terms, it will not be able to afford the necessary imports.

Civil war and implosion, famine and catastrophe are all next to certain. If you live in Saudi, it is probably time to get out. What is to come is unlikely to be avoided; it would take vast amounts of luck. Luck Saudi Arabia, in making so many enemies, has made unlikely to occur.

And a lot of people, close or far from Saudi, will suffer as it destructs.

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Why There Is More Reason to Hope Today than in Decades


The End of Cash; The End of Freedom


  1. V. Arnold

    Ian, you jump from hope to no hope in the blink of an eye.
    Frankly, I’m old and find it increasingly difficult to give much of a shit what happens…
    Oh the horror; I don’t care about the children, women, and down trodden; I must be a monster in my old age…
    To those saying such (and I’ve heard it before); stand in front of a full length mirror and tell what you’ve actually done to stop the carnage!
    If you’re a Usian; you probably haven’t dared to take a deep look at who you are or what you’ve done.
    I’ll tell you what you’ve done…NOTHING; except bitch and moan and rail to the gods and who ever else will listen to your impotent wailings; and probably voted or some such bullshit action; which in the end is no action at all.
    Why aren’t you out on the streets?
    Why aren’t you boycotting everything capitalist and Israeli?
    Why are you paying taxes?
    Why aren’t you going bankrupt to get out of debt?
    Why are you still voting?
    Why are you still reading MSM; print and online?
    Why are you commenting on blogs instead of actually doing something? Yeah, bite me…
    Opinions are like assholes; everybody’s got one (unless you’ve had a colostomy; but you can still have an opinion).

  2. StewartM

    Spot on; though I think the decision-making mechanism in Saudi Arabia is also a consequence of our neoliberal economic ideology that we exported across the world. This ideology elevates market-driven decision-making based on short-term consequences (i.e., like next quarter’s profit margins) above all else. You can’t run a company nor a country that way without driving it into the ditch.

    Your point about ‘entitled nepotism’ among the leadership, who see themselves as brilliant and deserving is also correct, but that’s not just a facet of the Saudi monarchy and leadership; we have it here too (both Teams Obama and Trump exhibit it, they just have different rules on how one joins the elite club). In short, as your other examples point out, this is not just a Saudi thing.

    The advantage of some sort of overall management and direction of an economy is that it *can* have some sort of long-term plan. Even Henry Ford, as problematic as he was, realized he couldn’t build decent cars and answer to a group of idiots with a vision no farther than a quarter or so ahead and who knew absolutely nothing about car-making second-guessing his every move. You have referenced Ha Joon, and in the Middle East the difference between a Nasser (no saint when it came to human rights) and Mubarak was that with Nasser at least the real incomes of ordinary Egyptians doubled, whereas under Mubarak who drank the US orthodoxy Kool-Aid the economic status of many ordinary Egyptians worsened.

  3. rkka

    Ian, Saudi Arabia does not support terrorists. Saudi Arabia supports Freedom Fighters!

    On a more serious note, you can find in the writings of civilized Muslim countries going back a couple of centuries, much criticism of the Wahabis as un-Islamic, because they use their ostentatious religiosity to justify to themselves their raids on more civilized Muslims.

    And then the headchoppers happened to be where oil was discovered, and were not at all averse to Anglo-American bribery, so they used the cash to turn their war against every other interpretation of Islam up to 11. So is a town in Europe a victim of terrorist attacks? Look for the local Saudi-trained and paid imam, in a Saudi funded mosque.

    But their main victims are other Sunnis, who disagree with the teachings of Muhammed Ibn Abd al-Wahab and are therefore apostates.

  4. The Stephen Miller Band

    I agree, Ian, and have said as much many times over the past 5-10 years.

    The Final Decline, not just for Saudi Arabia but other countries as well, is going to be Gruesome — even more Gruesome than it is now, and yet, Clever Interlopers will manage to profit from it because The Shock Doctrine and Disaster Capitalism will be in play until the Very End.

    A blind, starving former Fat Cat counting his Mountain of Money atop a Mountain of Rubble comes to mind because that’s the image of The End.

  5. someofparts

    This topic gives me a chance to pose a question that has been on my mind lately.

    Since the U.S. greenback is a petro-currency, what happens to that arrangement as the world switches to renewables?

    Sounds like our future may be as bad as what the Saudis are in for.

    You guys in Canada may be the ones that really do need a big wall on your southern border.

  6. The Stephen Miller Band

    If you’re a Usian; you probably haven’t dared to take a deep look at who you are or what you’ve done.

    I’ve done a lot of what you’ve said I haven’t done on that long list you’ve provided and what I’ve received in turn from you and so many others is vitriolic excoriation & opprobrium. But, I didn’t do any of it to receive credit, I did it and still do it because it’s the right thing to do if you live an examined life.

    What I’m not going to do is move to Thailand and screw children.

  7. Blissex

    «The joke in Saudi Arabia, I understand is, “my grandfather rode a camel, I drive a car, my grandson will ride a camel.”
    Saudi Arabia is doomed.

    This is ridiculous optimism, well meaning, but really not very realistic…

    Saudi Arabia has 4-5 times the population its environment can support, both as to food and water, and in particular as to water it relies on oil-powered desalination plants.

    Context: graph of Saudi Arabian population since 1950 and photo of Jeddah in the 1930s, when it had a sustainable population:

    When the oil runs out the desalination plants stop and either 15-20 million people die of thirst, or they emigrate in mass by invading neighbouring countries. Climate change (ongoing desertification) in the neighbouring countries probably means they won’t be able to take an extra 15-20 million, so there will be huge massacres on either side.

    The saudis have put in an order of 15-20 nuclear power plants to power the desalination plants, but that was 7 years ago, and no progress has been made, for obvious reasons. One nuclear power plant built by a south korean company has been opened instead in the UAE, “coincidentally ” within short flight time of a large USA base.

  8. Synoia

    The Saudis should invest in water, and agricultural methods that minimize the use of water. They could desalinate water with the Sun, there is their free energy source.

    Foreign war are a useless expense. Yemen has no resources.

    Israel is one of the leaders of reduced-water-agriculture.

  9. GH

    “Clever Interlopers will manage to profit from it because The Shock Doctrine and Disaster Capitalism will be in play until the Very End.”- The Stephen Miller Band

    I don’t believe we are going to see a highly structured/organized force replace our current institutions as they start to decay. There just isn’t any indication that something bigger/newer is ready to emerge.

    The Clever Interlopers will be profiting from something….. but it will far less productive than what we currently have.

  10. GH

    “Since the U.S. greenback is a petro-currency, what happens to that arrangement as the world switches to renewables?” – someofparts

    We transition from “PAX Americana” to “Fortress America”.

  11. different clue

    @V. Arnold,

    “What have you done, etc. etc. etc.?”

    Well . . . what could we do? We could run away, like you did. And then give us advice from a faraway safe place, like you do.

    You could come back here and show us how its done in person. But you won’t do that, will you? Oh no, not you . . .
    You have better things to do with your time.

    Had fun on the Patpong lately?

  12. different clue

    @V. Arnold,

    Ooooo . . . here’s a good one from your Little List . . .

    ” Why are you commenting on blogs instead of actually doing something?”
    Like you just did?

    That is a very good question . . . yes, why is it that you are commenting on blogs instead of actually doing something?

    Oh wait, you did do something, didn’t you? You ran away to Thailand. And you share the good life of the Coup-Making Bangkok elites against the upriver and upcountry majority of Thais. Have fun with your Patpong.

  13. different clue

    Every time an Arab Regime falls, the successor condition is worse. If the House of Saud falls, the outcome will be even worse.

    Quite possibly the Bitter ex-Baathists who created and organized ISIS in Iraq will sneak en masse into Arabia and organize an Islamic Caliphate of Wahabistan in that peninsula. And we will all learn the meaning of “things could always be worse”.

  14. different clue


    Large parts of America will remain inhabitable at a subsistence or near-subsistence level even if Higher Civilization breaks all the way down.

    Whereas large parts of Saudi Arabia will not be inhabitable at all. And the neighboring countries will have the Armies and Security Border Forces needed to make sure that not one single Saudi gets into their countries.

  15. Jeremy


    “A blind, starving former Fat Cat counting his Mountain of Money atop a Mountain of Rubble comes to mind because that’s the image of The End.”

    Yup – here it is!

  16. > This is fairly standard: all dynasties go bad eventually because the kings-to-be grow up in wealth and power and think it’s the natural state of things: that they are brilliant and deserve it all, when it was handed them on a platter. Perhaps they are good at palace intrigue and think that extends beyond the palace.

    Best quote from an excellent article.

  17. Peter

    It’s entertaining reading a denizen of one oil monarchy trash-talk about another oil monarchy. Good old Amerikan tight oil production with a little help from Canadian dil-bit is what burst the oil price bubble and growing production from these fields is what’s keeping the price down. The Saudis could only react to the price collapse first trying to save market share but now with production cuts.

    The statement as fact so many people make about oil being replaced as the world’s primary motor fuel always lack any description of a replacement fuel because there is none. Governments have to pay people to buy EV’s and when those costly subsidies end sales of EV’s plummet as just happened in Hong Kong where new Tesla sales dropped to zero. So long as Elon Musk can sweet-talk the politicians into subsidizing his business model he’ll do fine and everyone will celebrate affluent people driving EV’s that only function as urban status symbols.

    Oil producers such as the Saudis, the US, Russia and Canada do face an uncertain future because of Peak Oil Demand which the growing EV market may effect. No one in the industry seems to have any ideas of how to survive no or negative demand growth because all their planning is based on endless growth.

    The Saudis have plenty of a commodity that everyone needs and will continue to buy and they are modernizing their economy to meet future challenges. They irrigate and farm large productive lands and they produce fresh water from desalinization plants. Their young people are urban and educated even if they are also terrorist supporting Wahhabis who vacation in France.

    I read that the Saudis and other Gulf nations with oil wealth are investing some of that money in ventures that will try to capture NEO asteroids to mine for elements such as Cobalt and other valuable and needed metals. Saudis in Space may be the new terror threat driving the saudiphobes fear and loathing.

  18. V. Arnold

    DC & TSMB, et all
    My, my, what infantile responses; I mean really.
    I left in response to Bush’s barbarous attack on Iraq and a job offer (after being unemployed for over a year, at 58 yo) from an American toy company with a factory here in LOS.
    Believe me, until you grow up and face the world as an adult (apparently too much for some of you) you’ll never understand your genuine plight as an American prisoner of war. Say what you will about the coup here; but all you’re spouting is nonsense gotten second hand.
    In the course of human history many people have self exiled, some quite famous.
    But, you choose to childishly condemn me for being in Thailand, with utter absurdities such as Thailand’s reputation as a sex tourism venue, as though that had anything to do with me.
    I’m sorry for you; you illustrate the worst in people with your petty misunderstandings of the world around you, with self righteous judgments of some twisted moral superiority.
    I will not justify my life to you further, as it is wholly my business and none of yours…

  19. Al Coovert

    I think what you write is spot on. Except the part about the electric car. The electric car is vaporware. It’s never going to happen. The automobile is “man’s greatest mistake.” Billions of humans driving around in cars, no matter if they are gas powered or electric, is making our biosphere sick. But the automobile is the most important produce of corporate capitalism and oil is the food that feeds the automobile.

  20. V. Arnold

    Al Coovert
    July 17, 2017
    …The electric car is vaporware…

    A thought provoking post, well worth considering.
    But Usian’s will never (at least in the forseeable future) give up their automobiles in whatever form…
    It’s one rationalization, after another, after another, ad infinitum…
    A nation that has made an artform of denialism…

  21. jackiebass

    I believe the lowering of oil prices was orchestrated by the US to wage an economic war on Russia. It’s an indirect attempt to bankrupt Russia. Even though the US is trying to shore up S.A. I think your assessment is correct. They are on their way to destruction. The same could be said about the US imperial aspirations. For many of the same reasons it is collapsing.

  22. realitychecker

    @ V. Arnold

    Why aren’t you protesting against the burgeoning child sex trade right there where you choose to be?

    I know it would bother me more than what happens on a blog ten thousand miles away.

    What have YOU done to stop the carnage against these helpless children?

    Tipping doesn’t count. 🙂

  23. V. Arnold

    Grow the fuck up!!!
    Over and out…

  24. realitychecker


    Is that what you tell the child prostitutes?

  25. Peter


    We don’t have a state oil company to orchestrate any such policy but we do have many private producers and investors out to make money on the tight oil bonanza. It wasn’t just US production that burst the oil price bubble but lower demand worldwide leading to a worldwide glut.

    The Chinese are taking advantage of the low prices and are buying and stockpiling as much cheap oil as they can find or build storage for.

  26. Alberta Oil Patch worker

    Have you ever been to Alberta?? Ruined most of its soil? Do your research bud. The reclamation process returns the mined land into better condition from which it was found in the oilsands region. By removing the oil from the surface which is naturally there , or close to surface mixed in with soil and sand , the land gets put back together and returned to an even healthier eco-system.
    Furthermore , Canada is leading the world in carbon capture type operations.

    So I question the rest of your article based on these facts alone.

  27. The Stephen Miller Band

    I believe the lowering of oil prices was orchestrated by the US to wage an economic war on Russia.

    You believe correctly. I surprised the price per barrel hasn’t risen yet under Trump. It’s going to, guaranteed. High Oil Prices are a direct tax by The Rich on The Little People and they’ve sacrificed that tax to punish Russia but I believe The Rich are growing weary of it and want that tax back in place, so, my guess is oil will be back around $100/barrel or more by the end of 2018.

    Peter wants us to believe it’s supply & demand as if supply & demand even exists in the aggregate, or could be measured accurately, for something as ubiquitous and widely distributed & consumed as oil. The price of oil has been set for quite some time now. It’s no longer linked to the difficult if not impossible to calibrate vicissitudes of supply & demand.

    The Igor Sanction

  28. The Stephen Miller Band

    Removing oil from tar sands is the Effrontery of Fools. The amount of energy used to get the energy is ridiculous not to mention the damage to the habitat especially to increasingly precious fresh water. Tar Sands Oil is a Boondoggle — one of many still to come as EROI heads to Less Than Zero.

    The Tar Sands Sell-Out

  29. Lemonhead

    You’re such a faggot. This post is gay

  30. realitychecker

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 🙂

  31. someofparts

    Alberta Oil Patch worker – do you have any links to descriptions of the soil reclamation work you speak of? Not saying this to be snarky. Would like to know more about the practices you describe. Seems like the sort of thing the companies in charge would promote the dickens out of. So… if there is information about this out there, could you share it?

  32. different clue


    Thank you for your reply to my comment. I see you are still ” commenting on” this blog “instead of actually going something.”

    Enjoy your nice life there in Patpongistan.

  33. The Stephen Miller Band

    Showdown Looming For Alberta’s Oilsands Over Cleanup Of Tailings Ponds

    Alberta’s oilsands could be heading for another showdown over tailings ponds after an independent assessment found that the cleanup plans of six major operators don’t meet new rules.

    Suncor’s intentions have been rejected by the Alberta Energy Regulator and a clean-energy think tank says its analysis has concluded plans by other producers have similar shortcomings.

    “All companies have submitted plans that are not consistent with Alberta’s tailings management framework,” said Jodi McNeill of the Pembina Institute. “We expect the regulator to reject other deficient plans.”

    Last July, the regulator released a directive requiring producers to outline how they will deal with the extensive toxic ponds that cover more than 220 square kilometres and contain almost 1.2 trillion litres of contaminated water.

    Toxic materials include bitumen, naphthenic acids, cyanide and heavy metals. They pose a threat to wildlife and release air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Research suggests they are leaching into groundwater.

    A spokesman for the regulator said the Suncor decision shouldn’t be seen as a precedent.

    “AER’s decision on Suncor’s tailings management plan is without prejudice to any applications that Suncor may submit, or to the other six tailings management plan applications that the AER is currently reviewing,” Ryan Bartlett said in an emailed statement.

    But the plans filed by six major producers for eight projects reveal big problems, said McNeill.

    The directive was intended to check the ponds’ growth. But Pembina found that, taken together, tailings volumes won’t start dropping until 2037 – 17 years after the government’s original target.

    The new rules were also supposed to push producers to progressively clean up the ponds and to have sites ready to reclaim no more than 10 years after a mine closes.

    Pembina suggests the filed applications don’t meet the spirit of those rules. Estimates for full reclamation range from 15 years to more than 70 years.

    Suncor’s Millennium and Steepbank mines are to close in the early 2030s and take until 2095 to reclaim.

    I pulled the following quote from the Commentary to the article above. I agree with the Commentator.

    Lol, 15 -70 years? Anyone foolish enough to think that the strategic plan isn’t to just kick the can far enough down the road that it becomes a taxpayers’ problem. Hand over the remediation to some BS company and watch it close the doors five years later, bingo – no one is responsible.

    Certainly not the first time this approach has been taken. How’s all that arsenic and mercury doing in the mine under Yellowknife (adjacent to the lake)? And who’s paying for it?

    Make money, obfuscate and mitigate the liability and then make a corporate escape with some well considered legal manoeuvring.

  34. Willy

    I remember watching Ice Road Truckers, and seeing all the environmental cautions the individual truck drivers had to go through to help preserve the summertime sport fishing industry at Great Slave Lake.

    Meanwhile, large corporations apparently get to screw up as they please as long as the right palms are greased.

  35. Peter

    The appearance of a tar sands booster is a great addition to the comments here. Yankee oil protesters and activists have no idea what they face from the Canadian earls of oil. These moguls make a Texas oilman look like a tree-hugging liberal and they have plenty of acid pits that need filling before the wonderland they are creating can be finished.

  36. Ghostwheel

    So about when do we expect Saudi Arabia to keel over?

    I’m no longer young, and before I die I want to watch it on television.

    Should I be keeping up my health in anticipation?

  37. realitychecker

    The Death of Saudi Arabia?

    Rest In Piss

  38. Max Osman

    People have been claiming that the saudis are just Beverly Hillbillies who hit the big time for a while, but they’ve been smarter than everyone else and have been eating their lunch.

    Don’t hold your breath unless you have good enough health insurance to pay for a ripped lung.

  39. james

    Alberta Oil Patch worker – pray tell what they do with the countless tailings ponds with the polluted water where the birds die regularly? i am sure the money has been good screwing the land for ‘tar sands’ but the too will end..

    v. arnold – you appear to not have read the article.. the writer is a canadian, not an american as you seem to think, and indeed people who live in glass houses are advised to not throw stones..

  40. Harquebus

    “An important frequent shortcoming in the discussion on availability of lithium is the lack of proper terminology and standardized concepts for assessing the available amounts of lithium. Published studies talk about “reserves”, “resources”, “recoverable resources”, “broad-based reserves”, “in-situ resources”, and “reserve base”.”

    “Enormous hopes are linked to electric cars as the solution to the automotive industry’s climate problems. However, electric car batteries are eco-villains during their manufacturing. Several tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) are generated even before the batteries leave the factory.”

    “But lithium is only one key component of the lithium-ion battery—the backbone of the latest energy revolution. Cobalt makes up some 35 percent of this mix, and it’s shaping up to be Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) bigger concern.”

    “My grandfather rode a Camel, my father rode a Camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a Camel” — Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum

  41. V. Arnold

    Well, well, Bernhard over at MoA picked up your piece Ian; likes it.

  42. Hugh

    Saudi Arabia is an oppressive dictatorship, an autocratic monarchy, an extremist theocracy, run by a super rich, super corrupt, super entitled royal family numbering in the thousands who have funneled off hundreds of billions for their private use. Saudi Arabia, or as it is often referred to the KSA, as has been said, is a vastly overpopulated desert.

    And it along with the Emirates are the biggest funders of international terrorism. It was no accident that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi or that Osama bin Laden who headed al Qaeda came from one of the richest and most influential families in the KSA.

    If you want to know why an overpopulated country needs a million foreign workers, it is because of a deep cultural prejudice to manual labor. Manual labor is essentially equated with slavery and this explains the horrendous conditions under which so many foreign workers work. And there is also the despicable, deplorable status of women who are treated as somewhere between property and third class citizens. The Saudis are committed to throwing half of their citizens and labor force away.

    Then there is oil. The Saudi policy on oil, that is oil pricing is nuts. It’s been a long time since the Saudis had the heft to dictate oil prices. The new Iron Law of oil runs something like this. If oil prices are high, everyone will pump everything they can to maximize their profits, and if oil prices are low, they will pump everything they can because they have no choice, just to stay afloat.

    And now the Saudis have decided to embark on a jihad against Shia Islam as witnessed by their bombing of Houthis in Yemen, their intervention in Bahrain, their obsession with Iran, and their embargo of Qatar initiated by a false flag hack originating from their friends in the Emirates.

    Many of us have said that Saudi Arabia is an impossible state, that it is not a question of if but when it will implode. That process appears to have begun.

  43. different clue

    If indeed KSA implodes, let us all hope that Shia Iran and Iraq can successfully separate all the oil fields (which lie under the feet of KSA’s Shia minority) away from Arabian control and bring them under a combination of Shia Iraqi and Iranian control. Otherwise, the money made from them will go to terrorism even more than now.

    Ideally, let us hope that every province Nejd conquered goes free and all Nejdi-Wahhabi sympathisers/ supporters/believers are all driven at gunpoint into Nejd . . . which would then be surrounded with an electrified poison-tipped razor wire fence. Then the humanitarians can throw dates and blankets in over the fence to keep all the Nejdis humanitarianly alive.

  44. The logo/graphics designer on one of my open source projects lives in Saudi, I hope he comes through the mess ahead there ok. I have no idea what his politics or religion are, his day job is as an art director and he does fantastic work.

  45. Peter

    I understand and even join the criticizing of the House of Saud. But some people seem to want to see the Saudi people, the about 30 million Saudis not in the House of Saud, suffer because their country must be destroyed for some peoples strange personal vendetta.

    The real disturbing fantasy was offered by DC with the Persian theocracy awarded the rich oil lands of someone else’s country. Life for Saudis under the Iranian Supreme Leader and Mullahs might improve somewhat with no more beheading but many more executions including hanging queers from crane cables. Women would continue to be publicly beaten for violating dress codes.

    Low oil prices are causing the Saudis to restructure their economy and they seem willing and capable of making tough decisions including privatizing part of their oil industry. The fact that they are able to lead a multinational coalition force to support the legal government of Yemen while they are attacked by the Iranian proxy force of Ansar Allah along with purchasing $90 billion worth of US arms seems to show they have good credit and are moving forward not retreating.

    This may be why some people are so anxious for their downfall, they fear their new independent foreign policies and their development of forces to confront Iran directly on the ground.

  46. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    I think most who hope for a Saudi downfall do so because those motherfuckers have cynically spawned the terrorist wave that has allowed our bastards to turn us into a police state.

    If it makes you feel any better, I will only hope for the death and/or misery of all the ruling family members. 🙂

  47. different clue


    And also only all of the Wahhabi clergy, from the top to the bottom. Each of them. All of them.
    And every collaborator and supporter of the Saudi Wahhabistan concept. But no one else.

    There. See? I can be nice, too.

  48. different clue

    In fact, lets get even more specific. Let us hope that each and every member of the Saudi family falls into the hands of the Hashemis and the Rashidis.

  49. Willy

    The good old days of Dubya and Prince Abdullah holding hands and kissing seem so far away…

  50. realitychecker

    They got kissed, we got fucked. 🙁

  51. Peter


    My feelings are not an issue here, I’m worried about other’s knee-jerk attitudes. I though they could be caused by a remaining over-reactionary, long lived response to the oil embargos of the ’70s but you list more recent and dastardly machinations deserving an inquisition.

    Your, and many other’s, version of history with the Saudis responsible for our police state is creative using revisionist history, confusion and repetition to deflect responsibility from an all Amerikan program. Our police state certainly used 9/ll to publicly justify and codify its expansion but that was already happening and it was spawned even before COINTELPRO in the ’60s.

    There are many good reasons to despise the House of Saud but the terrorist wave you fear was a response to the US foreign policies not a House of Saud spawned cynical plan. The Russians share the blame for the opportunity they gave Jihadists coming to Afghanistan to rally against the godless commies.

    The HoS allowed funding to flow to OBL so he could bring the hot-heads, that they also feared, into the battle with the commies and keep them out of the KSA. This may have been cynical and the end of the war made it dangerous for the HoS when OBL and AQ returned to the KSA as heroes demanding to be sent to Kuwait as a HoS vanguard. Within a short time the HoS denounced OBL and AQ who fled from the KSA and then OBL was stripped of his Saudi citizenship. From that point on the HoS and AQ were and remain enemies bent on each others destruction.

    The more recent charge of the HoS supporting terrorists in Syria depends on people’s submission to Putin/Assad propaganda claiming that anyone who opposes the Assad regime with arms is a terrorist.

  52. realitychecker

    Peter, I really try to be open to your POV on some issues, as you are clearly very intelligent, but the Saudis deserve condemnation for the devil’s bargain they made with their radical imams.

    Also, the police state transition took a quantum leap on 911, and you must be aware of that.

    So, Saudi Arabia gets no sympathy from me.

    BTW, I also despise them for their treatment of women and foreign workers.


  53. Randje

    Good news then. Everything that has a beginning has an end…and not a moment to soon.

  54. Peter


    As I wrote before we have many good reasons to despise the HoS so what purpose is served by parroting false narratives about their behavior.

    I think the Saudi clerics would be best described as ultraconservative imams but they certainly bring out the Islamophobia and orientalism of many people in the West. Their madrassas are feared by many as being terrorist training schools and some terrorists must have attended them. The only Islamists group who trace their roots directly to a madrassas is the Taliban and they have never attacked us or any other country.

  55. Realist

    If Saudi Arabia’s current regime collapses, I will NOT shed a tear one bit for bit! In fact I’ll be celebrating this (along with many millions of people around the world, a sizeable chunk of those rejoicing being Muslim)! Time for the House of Saud and the Wahhabi cleric establishment that backs them to get their just desserts! If that means them being overthrown and wiped out Bolshevik-style, so be it! It is because of them (and their oil money) that the ideology that propped up evil terrorist scum like Al Qaida and Daesh spread out in the first place! Then don’t forget the horrific ways they deal with women, religious/ethnic minorities, and foreign workers!

    This upcoming collapse will legitimately put to the test just HOW COMMITTED the Western governments truly are to their professed ideals of “democracy”, “freedom”, and “human rights”! If they even lift a finger (or spend a single cent) trying to prop up that repulsive regime, then they have NO RIGHT to consider themselves defenders of those ideals! It’s either one or the other, and you cannot have it both ways! My ideal replacement for that country will be an Ataturk-style secular regime, who should lay down the law fast and hard by getting rid of all the pro-Wahhabi opposition as swiftly and as mercilessly as possible! There is NO point negotiating with such fanatics! 😀

  56. Realist

    *I will NOT shed a tear one bit for it!

  57. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    Well, I guess this is one more issue where I will have to assume you have ideological blinders on.

    Hard to reconcile with your incisive observations on many other issues, I must say.

  58. Future Insurgent


    The Saudi monarchs are a nasty piece of work and the warped interpretation of Islam they try to push on Sunnis around the globe is vile indeed. However, you give them too much credit and are missing the part where the US, UK and pretty much every other Western nation happily do business with the al-Saud clan and helpfully look the other way when they execute people for witchcraft and wage war on the poorest country in Western Asia using the shiny new guns and bombs the West sells them.

    The US and other nations are not helpless before the mighty al-Sauds. Their governments willingly choose to collaborate with the KSA just as they do with Israel and other nasty regimes. Al-Qaeda was effectively recruited by the Carter administration to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, just as the Trump and Obama administrations support them in Syria. The Manchester bomber was known by MI6 to be a fanatical Islamist but that’s okay because he went to Libya to fight Gadaffi and was allowed to settle in the UK, no questions asked. You can’t blame the amoral and duplicitous nature of Western business interests and politicians on the Saudis.

    The blame rests solely with the Western powers who have absolutely no trouble supporting Wahhabi-inspired mercenaries when it suits their regime change agenda and selling the al-Saud dynasty more weaponry and military gear than to any other regime ever. Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabian’s problem and Westerners in denial about the blood on the hands of their own countries bleating from the sidelines about women’s rights sound very much like, well, arrogant Westerners promoting a double-standard.

    It’s not that you are wrong about the repression there but those in glass houses had best pause before chucking stones at others in righteous outrage. Consider for a moment how you as an American or Westerner would respond to a Saudi citizen cataloging the transgressions of the US and UK and ranting about how the evil West is to blame for the shitty situation in which he finds himself. He would be right the transgressions..both the West and the Saudis have much blood on their hands, but for one to blame the other and absolve themselves of any responsibility is not only poor form it is rank hypocrisy and possibly a symptom of a deep state (pun not intentional) of denial. It is also demonstrably wrong.

    If you want someone to blame for terror attacks in the West, look in the mirror and ask yourself why you do nothing, as your government kills millions waging war on countries whose only “crime” is wishing to remain independent of vampiric Western capitalists and bankers who wish to loot and plunder them dry.

    Post-WWII the United States military alone has killed many millions of civilians via covert and overt warfare and economic sanctions in countries that posed no threat to its “homeland.” Why do you let your government get away with this and passively watch as it support terrorists and sell billions of dollars of weaponry and military hardware to some of the most repressive regimes around? Why are you not outraged at this being done in your name?

    The problem with the West is that it largely escapes consequences for the war crimes and brutalities it commits and sponsors in Africa and Asia. This has made even well-meaning Westerner insufferably arrogant and self-righteous. and, most of all, ignorant of the crimes committed in their name.

  59. realitychecker

    @ Future Insurgent

    You ASSUME, incorrectly, that I am unaware of all the points you made in your last comment.

    If you were not a newcomer here, you would not have made such a mistake. (I assume, lol.)

    There is plenty of blame to go around, and I condemn ALL the bad actors, ours and
    theirs, equally.

    My issue has always been, when and how shall we punish them?

    Somehow, we never get around to answering that question in any coherent fashion.

    Because most on the left are total pussies, and happy to remain so.

    Safe Spaces R’Us, dontcha know?. 🙁

  60. Peter


    I don’t know what ideological blinders have to do with my trying to understand what drives groupthink and some people’s dependence on an aberrant storylines to justify their hate and desire for destruction of the KSA. DC shows his reasons clearly by championing the other Islamist dictatorship, Iran .

    We just finished a long discussion about lies and lying liars and here we have an entertaining use of lies or at least half truths to promote a rather pathetic fable to justify the desire for the fall of the HoS.

    It’s telling that no one, who parrots the fables of the US or the HoS intentionally spawning political Islam, will give the Russians the recognition they deserve for setting the stage for this drama to develop on. Without the Russian invasion of Afghanistan there would have been no AQ and OBL might still be building roads. The US invasion of Iraq helped the movement to grow and gave political Islam a new focal point but they began fighting the godless commies.

    I can’t help but think that some people are still in denial and hold a grudge against the US, the HoS for helping the Afghans humiliate the USSR in Afghanistan and accelerate their collapse.

  61. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    I don’t do the relative morality thingy.

    All bad actors become bad actors by making bad choices.

    It’s up to each of us to know and do the right thing at all times. Or at least fucking try.

    The U.S. doesn’t try, the Russians don’t try, and the fucking Saudis certainly don’t try.

    And it’s not all about Afghanistan, as much as you may say it is. Most Middle Eastern countries are ruled by fear and force, rather than by the values of freedom and human rights.

    Not much to admire there, unless you need to fill your tank. And they don’t deserve any moral credit just for having oil under the sand.

  62. Peter


    I also try to avoid any relativism and I didn’t make comparisons of that type only discreet descriptions of the parties who influenced political Islam from Afghanistan to Iraq. The Saudis are not blameless for thinking they could control AQ and OBL and turn them off at the end of the war. I read recently that China was also deeply involved in training and arming tribal fighters in Afghanistan with training camps in China during that war.

    You’re correct that Afghanistan is only one part of political Islam but it was the first jihad and it is still the center of the movement for many militants.

    Passing a judgment of death on the KSA while living in the warm safety of Amerika seems a bit exceptional to me. Just as the US is not going to collapse because we wish it to the KSA shows no signs of performing wish fulfillment for Westerners. This type of fixation on their collapse can only create more anger and frustration for the people stuck in that fantasy.

  63. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    We can certainly agree that wishing ain’t the same as accomplishing lol. Not there, and not here, either.

  64. Ghostwheel

    >>>>The Saudi monarchs are a nasty piece of work and the warped interpretation of Islam they try to push on Sunnis around the globe is vile indeed.

    Warped interpretation?

    The interpretation of Islam practiced by the Saudis, the Taliban, and ISIS and other jihadi groups is not a “warped” version of Islam, but highly doctrinal.

    Whenever a terrorist attack takes place, we’re told “it’s not real Islam, which is a religion of peace.”

    Yes, it’s real Islam.

    To be a Muslim means following in the example of Mohammed, who practiced jihad, and commands his followers to also practice jihad.

    Until you actually study Islam, you don’t know what it truly is. So you’ve got to clear the cobwebs and do the work. And it will take some time, because most of us have so very many false and mistaken ideas about Islam.

    The lectures of Bill Warner and Robert Spencer might be helpful here:

    * The Center for the Study of Political Islam:

    * Jihad Watch Video:

  65. Win

    Meanwhile USD depends on petrodollar and guess who was selected linchpin? Whole debt mountain depends on petrodollar and petrodollar recycling.
    “How a legendary bond trader from Salomon Brothers brokered a do-or-die deal that reshaped U.S.-Saudi relations for generations.”
    Former Saudi advisor predicts collapse of Saudi Arabia
    How Petrodollars Affect The U.S. Dollar
    Moneywatchers: Petrodollars — a great benefit to the US
    Meet the System That Will Collapse the U.S. Dollar
    The Rise of the Petrodollar System: “Dollars for Oil”

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