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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

STRANGE BED FELLOWS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 13, 2010

Common enemies create unlikely coalitions.

The oft-quoted phrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” sums it up quite nicely.

On a micro level, the annoying, noisy neighbor next door becomes an unexpected ally when the even more annoying guy down the street keeps letting his out-of-control dog go rummaging through everyone’s garbage cans, leaving trash strewn everywhere.

The guy with the smelly armpits on the subway sitting next to me becomes an instant comrade when the naked-from-the-waist-down dude across from us starts hurling peanut shells, shouting expletive-rich, pro-Obama slogans.

Arguably, the most well-known example of this kind of thing on a macro level is the alliance between the United States and Soviet Union during World War II.

Common foe: Nazi Germany.

Yet, within seconds of the war ending, the Cold War was officially on.

In a world where the scourge of moral equivalency acts as a fertility drug of evil – and the rise of kindness to the cruel is matched only by the increase of cruelty to the kind – the very concept that the nation of Saudi Arabia would stand with Israel before the United States does is, to say the least, distressing.

Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Hugh Tomlinson of the Times Online writes:

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Odd times.

Saudi Arabia, obviously, is concerned about an ever-strengthening Shia. It is more than obvious, even to the Saudis, that Barack Obama’s United States of America cannot be counted on for cover.

Thus the backup plan.

And what, pray tell, is Plan B?

Let Israel take care of it.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

At least temporarily.
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BETTER RED THAN DEAD

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 12, 2010

I hate to be the bearer of bad news – unless, of course, it involves the defeating of Democrats and you happen to be one of those people who would find such news troubling – but for all of you entrepreneurs and moguls who had your hearts set on opening a little gift shop or flower store in Saudi Arabia, you may want to re-evaluate your strategy.

Nothing says “no” to free enterprise like Sharia Law.

Whereas in the business world being “in the red” is a financial negative, in Saudi Arabia, it has a far more serious connotation.

Saudi religious police launched a campaign Thursday to prevent hotels and stores from making any special preparations ahead of Valentine’s Day, celebrated worldwide on February 14.

Flower shops are forbidden to sell red roses. Toy stores have hidden red teddy bears and sweet shops put away the heart-shaped boxes they sell throughout the year for fear that the religious police might seize them.

‘Anyone who does not respond to our demands will be subjected to punishment,’ announced the police spokesman, known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

This is not to be confused with the Department of Throat Slicing and Advanced Decapitation, which generally stays out of areas of commerce.

Each year, a few days before Valentine’s Day, the commission warns shops, hotels and restaurants against celebrating it in any way. They also increase their presence in public parks and places where young people meet, to catch anyone who breaks the rules.

While gift shops comply with these rules, sales are reportedly up by 50 per cent over the past few days, despite the increasing prices that accompany the celebrations.

A few years ago, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh described Valentine’s Day as ‘a pagan holiday.’

Keep your head up, Mr. Business Tycoon.

Don’t give up.

The Saudi business climate can still be conducive to creativity and ingenuity. You might try a kosher deli in Medina, or a strip club in Mecca.

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