Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

A report on the Saudi - US relationship from 1931-2002 and possible future paths.

Barely suppressed anger remains the dominant mode of U.S.-Saudi relations after September 11, and greater tests are likely to come. The consequences of America’s anticipated confrontation with Iraq, or of any decisive action by Israel against Yasir Arafat, are difficult to foresee. While Saudi Arabia’s present financial conditions seem to preclude use of the "oil weapon" in the near future, the kingdom could conceivably extend its denial of basing rights to a denial of overflight rights, seriously complicating an air war against Iraq. Another move reportedly under discussion in Saudi Arabia is to agree to an OPEC proposal switching the pricing of oil from dollars to euros, a decision likely to have significant effects on the value of the dollar.(127)

These possibilities cannot be dismissed lightly. Still, neither side seems able to locate a meaningful alternative to the other. The present crisis may well worsen, perhaps even to the dimensions of 1973-1974, or even beyond, given the absence of the Cold War framework. But the bonds of over half a century were never those of fondness or common outlook. Over the long term, the destiny of the relationship appears to be guided, as ever, by the relentless logic of energy and security in the hydrocarbon age.

< email | 10/15/2002 10:48:00 AM | link

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