It’s Never Wise To Feed Feral Dogs (Or Negotiate With Armed Robbers)
In the complicated, interconnected web of international finance and investment, it turns out that Western capital ofttimes ends up funding its enemies. In this way, it’s like feeding a feral dog, hoping to domesticate it, or at least that if it bites someone, it won’t be you. This is never wise.
In Saudi Arabia, for instance, Western, specifically American, dependence on oil has sent billions, if not trillions, of dollars to the Saudi kingdom to purchase oil. This investment has enriched Western energy companies and pleased the citizenry with cheap gas. But we were feeding a feral dog.
It blindsided us when on 9/11 we were finally bitten.
In the preceding decades, US administrations and businesses largely ignored the reality of the founding house of Saud’s allegiance to the Wahhabi branch of the Sunni sect of Islam. A rigid, fundamentalist sect, it continues to be instrumental in Saudi domestic and foreign policy. It inculcates a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam committed to denouncing and destroying Western values by subjugating them to Sharia Muslim law.
The public face of the Saudi monarchy gladly takes western money along with industrial and technological support for its only valuable resource, oil, while behind the scenes that same dynastic family placates fanatic Islamic extremists with “benevolent” gifts to Islamic charitable organizations that are sometimes little more than cutouts for jihadist terrorist groups. When confronted, or exposed, that same royal family is willing to brutally kill its opponents. See, the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
For decades, practices like these caused the West to fund its enemies. Then, we were shocked and scandalized when those wild dogs we kept feeding out of our pockets turned and bit us in a brutal terrorist attack. But, since American blood was drawn, the American military responded to put down the dogs. Maybe…
Maybe not. Because now, we’re shocked that our ally, Saudi Arabia, won’t condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s simple really. They’ve found a new benefactor they think will feed them better.