According to recent reporting Americans will spend $7 billion on Halloween this year, and I say…so what? Has anybody chastised the Saudis with their “out of control” spending lately? This is an Islamic country that squanders money like Obama treats Christians…without any concern whatsoever.
For most people, the mere mention of Saudi Arabia usually conjures up visions of sheiks, gold, and endless petroleum wealth, but with the falling oil prices the nation may be forced to go on the dreaded austerity program. According to an IMF report they may only have five more years before they blow through their monetary reserves, and they apparently have not hidden away nuts for the winter.
I wonder if the leftists who pick on the greedy American capitalists ever point out the outlandish spending that goes on in other countries? For example look at Saudi Arabia and some of the practical items the royal family chooses to spend money on, like golden toilets. The late King Abdullah gave one to his daughter as a wedding present just last year. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal just bought an Airbus A380 for $400 million, that includes a concert hall, Turkish spa, and 20 first class seats and beds. We all need one of those.
In a small way the Sauds remind me of the type of people, having no experience with money, who win the $500 million lottery, and then go crazy spending it on hotrods, twenty-four hour QVC shopping, and taking care of everybody and their brother. In 1937 little did the American surveyors know when they discovered the vast oil reserves in the Saudi region, that they were handing this Bedouin crowd the winning ticket.
It has been said that the royal family consists of about 15,000 members, but only 2,000 of those control the money, leaving the majority of the Saudi Arabian people poor. Roughly one third of the people are subsidized and, for now, peaceful as long as they are taken care of.
In a way, the Saudi princes buy the people’s silence. They don’t want any lip from their subjects about how to run the country. It reminds me of the set-up we have here in regards to those on welfare, ” Here is your allowance little Johnny now run along and don’t get into trouble.” Well, what happens when that money runs out? Little Johnny or in this case little Ahmed may get angry that his subsistence is next to nothing, and has no hopes for climbing any social ladder to better himself.
Remember, a large number of young Saudis are fertile soil for the likes of ISIS, and why wouldn’t they be? They are said to be attracted by the totality of commitment required by the jihadist group. Basically, these are young people looking for a cause in which to give their life because in reality the one they have now stinks.
Furthermore, it makes perfect sense that the people low on the totem pole look at their own royalty and see the hypocrisy of worldly living from a group that pushes strict, conservative Islam. This is the type of person ISIS capitalizes on.
How ironic that the Saudi Royalty may fall as a result of the very ideology it has peddled throughout the world, and this is the way much of the money was spent. Lavish living on one hand, while on the other creating swaths of people steeped in a Wahhabi or Salafist type ideology of Islam who end up joining affiliates like al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
In an article, Alastair Crooke, former MI-6, explains the complex duality of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom and it’s Wahhabi history. Many apparently have been horrified by the violence of ISIS and its draw over Sunni youth.
” But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, ‘Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?’ ”
It seems to be a perfect storm scenario, the fall of crude with the rise of ISIS. A Washington Times article states,
“According to the CIA’s World Factbook, some 47 percent of the kingdom’s citizens are under the age of 25. And there is debate about what the majority of them actually want.”
It continues quoting Joshua Landis, Center for Middle East Studies,
“When the Arab Spring began in late 2010, the ‘royal family was gripped by fear that they could be next, and so they began to just throw money at their youth bulge problem. They locked themselves into this mega spending based on $100 oil, and then the market collapsed.'”
We all know what can happen to a house of cards when the winds pick up in a storm. If this house falls the implications to the instability of the middle-east and the world would be particularly worrisome, especially as to who would be running this nation. It seems as though Saudi Arabia may experience the saying of what goes around comes around.