The Washington Post

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s rulers answered the Arab world’s winter of rage with money: throwing $36 billion into housing and other social assistance channels in attempts to quell rumblings of dissent. Iran’s president offered more bombast as Tehran tries to project sympathy for protesters.

The two approaches this week – largess versus rhetoric – captures the style and stakes for the region’s heavyweight rivals as Iran hunts for gains and Saudi tries hard to stamp out any threats.

Found by Cinàedh.




  1. Nobody says:

    That’s the problem with revolutions – you don’t know if the rioters were peaceful democracy campaigners or terrorists until the new government decides whether to buy F15s or Su27s

  2. msbpodcast says:

    Saudi Arabia has a problem; they have put all of their military procurement into F-15s and other heavy-duty damage inflicting planes and ground hardware.

    But any of that is not like letting their cowardly thugs and goons rough up any women who’s ankle they can see. It causes real resentment and wouldn’t be any fun, the thugs could get their asses shot off, so they aren’t likely to want to play.

    Its a lot better to put some money into projects which will keep the masses happy for long enough for the anger and rebellion to pass.

    Later stop the funding long before you’ve actually spent any real money.

    Its actually cheaper and smarter to co-opt the protesters, than opening fire on people, like Qaddafi is doing. That just gets messy and lowers the real-estate values by blowing up the buildings,.

  3. Metis says:

    OK, they invested $36 billion to forestall dissent but apparently they have a dim understanding freedom trumps just about everything – so they also spent $60 billion on U.S. weapons as Plan B.

    The United States of America: facilitator of torture and mass murder by dictators around the globe – for generations! We’re so helpful! I wonder why most people in the Middle East and around the world don’t like us? I just don’t get it.

    After all, what’s more important here? The lives and freedom of a few million fellow human beings or driving to the corner store for super-fattening junk food two or three times a day?

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

  4. dusanmal says:

    36Bil for buying new houses and unemployment… Wait, didn’t Obama administration spend almost 800Bil for the same purposes here?

  5. 1873 Colt says:

    Obamacare to quiet the slaves in America.

  6. Metis says:

    #5 1873 Penis

    “Obamacare to quiet the slaves in America.”

    WTF? One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other thing. It appears you’re commenting on the wrong story on the wrong blog.

    You may need your reading and comprehension capacities upgraded, if that is at all possible.

    You know, when the Tea Bagger Idjit Club gives you a talking point for the day, you’re only supposed to use it where it is applicable, not totally at random.

    Get a brain! Morans. Go USA.

  7. bobbo, student of the haiku says:

    I thought Mubarak was going to ride out the storm once King Saud offered to replace any foreign aid revoked by the USA. Money: not just the root of all evil, but often evil itself.

    Where is “freedom” on your list of wants?

    Above food, clothing, shelter, healthcare?

    Above freedom of movement, association, dress?

    Above having kiddies, books, FREEEEEDOM of speech?

    Is my life “worth” being able to come on this blog and make fun of Alfie?

    FREEEEEEEDOM–a construct. Life–an experience.

    Pro’s and Con’s to all we do. but you don’t find direction in the wind from blowhards.

  8. AlrightyThen says:

    I spent 8 weeks in Saudi Arabia at a RADAR site in the desert while living in a 5 star hotel. I think conditions there are as bad or worse than anywhere in the middle east as far as the laws go. It’s just disgusting the way women in particular are treated. For some reason (OIL) the US looks the other way.

  9. JimD says:

    I believe the French have some Hardware the dissidents can use to deal with the Royal Family !!! Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it !!!

  10. Nobody says:

    >Saudi Arabia has a problem; they have put all of
    >their military procurement into F-15s

    The reason for buying F15s is that it puts the worlds media on your side. Part of the after sales service of buying US military hardware is that the Whitehouse approves everything you do.

    If Qaddafi had paid the extra $ to hire Haliburton ‘security consultants’ to put down the demonstrators rather than cheap african mercenaries we would be supporting his fight against terrorist insurgents.

  11. General Tostada says:

    We in the Anglo-European west are so used to trying to spread this thing we call “freedom and democracy” to other countries, but they won’t really grok it because they’ve simply got a different historical way of relating to each other than we do.

    I have a sinking suspicion that “freedom” in some dysfunctional/violent cultures is often interpreted as the freedom to just oppress other individuals or tribes whose politics etc. don’t agree with yours.

    Cognitive dissonance on a global scale.

  12. Mextli says:

    Looks like someone likes channeling Mel Gibson.

    FREEEEEDOM

  13. deowll says:

    I think they were giving every head of household something like $36,000 a year decades ago.

    Other than being a fairly orthodox Islamic police state it beat the crap out of living in most Islamic states at least for citizens.

    Even if the revolution succeeds you don’t have a camel in this race. Who ever is in charge is still going to think you are an infidel pig and that your death would make the world a better place even if they don’t feel compelled to kill you personally.

  14. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    They learned from Obama and the DNC, but in our case, its bankrupting the country.

  15. Yankinwaoz says:

    #13… did you know that KSA doesn’t have a single movie theater.

  16. chris says:

    Prediction: Of the group including Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia: 2 of the collection will not have the same governing group before the end of the year.

  17. cgp says:

    People just don’t get it. There is now a real risk that the Arab oil spigot is about to be switched off.

    No terrified alarmism nothing. And to think of the complete real catastrophe this will be. It makes AGW cold by comparison.

    I say go you Arabs shut the whole western oil addiction down. We need to be made to suffer the same pain that the next generation would incur.

  18. green says:

    Is it time to “drill baby drill” yet.

  19. mikejgoodman@gmail.com says:

    Is the building in this picture real? Or is it just a computer generated plan for one?

  20. Elmer Fudd, Armed to the Lithp says:

    #20 green

    Is it time to “drill baby drill” yet.

    No need to drill. There’s plenty of oil, floating near the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. We just gotta suck it all up.

    BP is still making record profits and it’s not like they killed a bunch of people because BP was reckless and greedy or anything bad.

    Let’s hire BP and force Death Row inmates to work on their rigs. Two birds with one stone. Perfect!

  21. 83Thomas says:

    “Is the building in this picture real? Or is it just a computer generated plan for one?”

    The building in the picture is the Kingdom Centre.

  22. dadeo says:

    Nobody #1 said it well