I'm back from the Middle East with a head screwed on all wrong!
Reality veers sharply to the left, in Islamic lands and I forgot how much I love that. It has been two weeks since I’ve flipped open a computer or typed a word. Two weeks since checking the surf or surf gossip or responding to emails. Two glorious weeks.
I set off, if you recall, to free a boat from civil war torn Yemen and sail her up the Red Sea with two of my best friends. Thirteen years earlier, the three of us explored the coast of Yemen, from one end to the other. I had been back multiple times since, motorcycling one end to the other, driving a gorgeously beat Land Rover one end to the other, driving a clunky Land Cruiser one end to the other. These days, though, one cannot even fly one end to the other. Planes veer sharply to the left, following the new reality, upon leaving Oman and circle as far as they can off the coast before jerking back to their proper heading over Africa. Al-Qaeda, who have taken over the eastern half of the country, have ground-to-air missiles apparently and have them aimed at passengers in the skies.
The plane I was on, anyhow, landed first in Ethiopia and then Djibouti, at the mouth of the Red Sea and the adventure began. I had only a vague notion of Yemen’s civil war in full swing just 90 miles across the Bab al Mandab. I knew a tribe in the north had taken the country’s inland capital, Sana’a, which invoked a wild response from Saudi Arabia. They invaded and bombed with feckless abandon. Like commercial aircraft, Saudi pilots fear the missile so loose payloads very high in the sky. Much too high to accurately target, thus thousands of women and children have been killed. In the south, it is open revolt and Al-Qaeda owns the east.
And the water? It belongs to the Saudis too. They have used their navy to stop arms, food, etc. from reaching the tribes, Al-Qaeda, whomever. Did you know that the Saudi’s spend the third most on their military in the entire world? The United States, first, China, second, Saudi Arabia, third. 87 billion dollars a year. Almost twice the per capita spending of the US, by far more and away the most in the world. Completely and utterly crazy.
A version of garbage Islam that tells them because they are male they are superior and because they are Saudi they are superior and because they are rich they are loved by Allah. Little powdered sugar pieces of shit. And these are the fools running the country today.
Saudi is a total shit bag, in case you were wondering. A human slough. When I used to spend my time in the region I remember seeing Saudis and their goddamn boys and the boys were almost always eating powdered sugar donuts. Powdered sugar dusted their fat cheeks and their fat white man dresses and their black wedge sandals and it would have been impossible to draw up a more reprehensible human being. Those fat powdered sugar boys had entitled sissy ass shit bred directly into their genes. A version of garbage Islam that tells them because they are male they are superior and because they are Saudi they are superior and because they are rich they are loved by Allah. Little powdered sugar pieces of shit. And these are the fools running the country today. These are the powdered sugar dusted leaders spending 87 billion dollars a year on dangerous toys. The Saudis don’t usually/never fight in wars and so trillions of dollars worth of military plane, boat, gun and bomb is being dropped on their poor, oil-less southern neighbor.
The drop in global oil price, though, is straining the kingdom’s financial flexibility and the ill-advised Yemen war against no true enemy is burning resources. It is becoming what Vietnam became to the U.S. What Afghanistan became to the U.S.S.R.
The country is also burdened by crippling unemployment because the powdered sugar boys don’t want to work. They want to sit home and get paid oil revenue simply for being Saudi.
But the leaders have a plan, one they released while I was sweating in Djibouti’s unforgiving clime (Djibouti is the hottest country on earth). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s way forward, called Vision 2030, is, in part, to build gun factories that will employ its children. Brilliant.
Anyhow look at me, veering sharply to the left with this story, into the economics and social realities of Saudi Arabia. A country with no surf. I’ve become what a very small, dark Djiboutienne man called, “a true Arab.” What he meant by that, I think, is a person who blathers on and on and on both endlessly and pointlessly. Tomorrow I’ll come correct and we shall talk pirates and running naval blockades but today, thank you for having me back. I missed you all.