By Ray Hanania
It never fails that when the price of oil fluctuates up or down, everyone wants to blame “the Arabs.” But “the Arabs” are not to blame and in fact, Arab oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia have been the best supporters and allies of the United States.
When the price of oil goes up, driving gasoline to skyrocket to an unbearable financial burden on the public, everyone in America starts screaming and blaming “the Arabs.”
And guess what?
When the price of oil drops, everyone starts blaming “the Arabs” again. The main target of anger is always focused against the Saudi government.
What’s the truth?
The truth is the Saudi government has been one of America’s most reliable allies, enough though it is often used as a scapegoat for domestic American politics.
They’re just one country, the most influential, no doubt, but still just one country.
This week, the cost of a gallon of gas has slipped from its past heights of $4.50 a gallon (super premium) to only $2.85. If you have an 18-gallon tank, then the cost of a fill-up has fallen from $81 to $51.30. For most Americans, that shift downward has been miraculous. The prices of oil and gasoline around the country have been driving up costs on every commodity and service.
Food prices skyrocket when oil prices rise because of increases in transportation costs. Vacation and business travel has become far more expensive because of oil increases. It’s the same across every industry.
Of course, when the price drops, these industries do not reduce their raised prices. With the dramatic fall in oil, we haven’t seen any measurable or proportional drop in food costs. We haven’t seen the outrageously overpriced costs of airline tickets go down.
That’s why they have to brainwash everyone into believing that the problem is with “the Arabs,” like the Saudi government, rather than admit the truth and point out the real problem is with America’s business and political leadership.
The business community and corporations love the oil rollercoaster. It gives them all kinds of excuses and opportunities to jack up prices and profits. They’re not raising the wages for their workers, just the profits and bonuses for their robber baron executives whose salaries have gone up from millions to hundreds of millions.
The politicians love it, too. When the price goes up, they blame “the Arabs.” When the price goes down, they blame “the Arabs.” That allows them to continue to get increasing levels of campaign fund donations from the corporate robber barons.
The Saudi monarchs have probably been the most loyal supporters of America.
Saudi Arabia is far more loyal to American interests than even the sacred cow of international politics, Israel.
In fact, Israel has been the most abusive of American generosity. Israel receives billions in taxpayer dollars from the U.S. Congress and will continue to do so, even though Israel has done so much to harm America’s interests throughout the world.
The international geo-political dynamics of oil are extremely complicated, which allows them to be easily distorted by politicians, corporate robber barons and the biased mainstream American news media.
Saudi Arabia is the primary foe of the radicalized Islamic fundamentalists behind ISIS, al-Qaida, Syria’s tyrant Bashar al-Assad, the Taliban and the communists of the third world. Saudi Arabia is the primary bulwark against the insanity of Iran that continues to rattle its paper sabre about nuclear weapons.
American foreign policy against the corruption of the Russian administration of Vladimir Putin is driven in part by the collapse of oil prices, driven down by the Saudis, who (surprise, surprise) are no fans of the Russians either. The Russian ruble is in a free fall. That’s bad for the average Russian, but it’s also putting pressure on Putin’s corrupt administration.
You want to blame someone for the oppression of oil? Stop blaming “the Arabs,” and, instead, start blaming American industries that have profited from this roller coaster of oil prices.
Blame poor leadership in the U.S. Congress, where the support of members is decided not on principle, morality or the rule of law, but rather on how big a check you write to buy their support.
Blame the ignorance of the American people who are so easily manipulated by racism and vengeance-driven hatred. I mean, come on, Americans! Do you really believe that torture can make America more secure? That’s insane. Our torture practices only justify torture used against our side when they become prisoners of war.
Americans should be thanking “the Arabs” for standing by them so loyally.
But, sadly, Americans are the most educated people in the world, and the least educated about the world.
Think about that the next time you are watching the numbers roll over as you fill your car up at the pump.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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