Good constants and variables article
Excellent article by Noah Millman
on the mysterious Constant of US obedience to Saudi. He totally avoids all partisanship or subjective likes and dislikes; just the pure facts.
Starts in the 80s when we had a logical reason for alliance. We needed the oil and we wanted Saudi assistance in controlling the price of oil to collapse the Soviets. Runs through all administrations since then, showing how the variables have turned upside down. We were mostly pro-Russia during the 90s when Soros was ruining Russia for us, and now we're anti-Russia again. Now we don't need the oil, and Saudi price control hurts us more than it hurts Russia. The biggest variable of all, of course, is the Saudi attack on 9/11. You'd think the second Pearl Harbor would cause us to at least examine our friendship.
The first one certainly caused us to diminish our previous alliance with Japan for a while.
Nope. None of those changes disturbed our constant willingness to kiss the feet of the Princes. All of our presidents have made the Hajj to kiss the feet.
Millman asks: What's the magic charm? He doesn't have a good answer, and I don't either.
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A bit later: The Qatar thing raises the mystery even higher. Clearly the sudden dispute between Saudi and Qatar is a family thing. As I've noted before,
it's a mistake to classify Saudi as a nation. It's a pre-national family business/mafia/kingdom. Sudden disownings and changes of favor have always been common among family kingdoms. Similar switches happened often in Western Europe before the development of nation-states around 1800.
Still mysterious: Why does USA, presumably a modern nation-state, immediately HELP Saudi to push Qatar toward the Russian side? Qatar is geographically small but economically big. Why did we just officially tell them to go away?
This isn't the same as other recent flips like Turkey and Philippines. We were TRYING to hold onto those countries. They were dead-tired of our long craziness and decided this was a good time to get the hell out of the loonybin and join the comparatively sane side.
Labels: Asked and unanswerable