Originally published 8/10/97 much before the subject became popular in the media:
TERRIBLE SAUDI OIL POLICIES
Expect oil prices "to drop in the second half of 1997 between two and three
dollars a barrel". Wall Street Journal, 7/9/97
MER - Washington - 8/10/97:
It's great for the Americans and Europeans of course -- ever-cheaper oil prices to
further lubricate and expand their economies.
It's terrible for the hundreds of millions of Arabs spread out from Morocco to the
Gulf, however, for not only do their economies remain underdeveloped and not only do they
lack even a common market among themselves, but the wealth of the Arab world, the black
gold of the modern era, continues to be squandered in huge quantities to the West at
prices -- corrected for inflation -- even lower today than in the days of the quickly
aborted "oil embargo" of the 70s!
The main culprit in all this is the government of Saudi Arabia -- i.e., the royal
family of Saudi Arabia -- which has mismanaged OPEC and oil supply/prices even worse than
it has failed to assert Arab interests in international politics. While the Palestinians
are turned into landless and jobless "natives" of what was once a
self-sufficient Palestine -- relegated to "autonomous" homelandssurrounded by
road-blocks, electrified fences, and tanks -- a small number of sheiks in
"Saudi" Arabia continue to supply the Americans, and indirectly the Israelis,
with all the oil they have ever dreamed of...and at absurdly low prices! Rarely if ever in
history has a people so rich in a central world resource so squandered its wealth as well
as the political value that could have resulted from it.
Moreover, these selfish and decadent Sheiks of Arabia don't even invest the
petrodollars in building up their own Arab countries -- rather they further squander it
all in absurdly lavish life-styles, save and easy growing investments in Western countries
(rather than their own!), secret foreign bank accounts, and ever-growing "arms or
cash" purchases that serve to recycle even the petrodollars back to the West!
It's a terrible scandal of historical proportions. And only by ever- harsher repression
and suppression can the Saudi regime, and the associated American-controlled "client
regimes" in today's Arab world, continue in power.