Opinion: The Saudis can’t afford Trump’s arms deal

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Market Watch: “Weapons are like money,” said British novelist Martin Amis, “no one knows the meaning of enough.”

That’s certainly true of Saudi Arabia, whose appetite for arms and addiction to petrodollars have caused an economic obesity that the U.S., which should be this kingdom’s dietician, has just set out to redouble.

The $110 billion worth of arms deals that President Donald Trump and King Salman inked Sunday are beyond Riyadh’s means, irrelevant to its pressing needs, and injurious to American interests. more …

Opinion: Our post from February 20, 2017: “Saudi Arabia is having ‘yuge’ financial problems. The $2 trillion public offering (largest in history) of shares on Saudi oil giant ARAMCO has been delayed until 2019 at the earliest.”

10 reasons the deal could fail:

  1. The Saudi’s opulent lifestyle is taken for granted until one realizes that oil is no longer $100 per barrel and the Saudi royal family has treated Aramco as its private piggy bank for decades
  2. Overspending has caused a staggering budget deficit of 13% of gross domestic product.
  3. The 2015-16 decision to flood the oil market in order to bankrupt US frackers backfired
  4. The Saudi’s cash reserve has been depleted by 30% ($740 billion to $500 billion) since 2014
  5. The powerful Wahhabi movement, the most violent Islamic ideology in the kingdom, dominates religious institutions, courts and education. Strict Wahhabis believe Muslims should return to the interpretation of Islam found in the classical texts, the Quran and the Sunnah.
  6. The deals struck with Trump will compel the Saudis to do what they hardly ever do — borrow
  7. How easy the world has forgotten that 15 of 19 hijackers in the 9-11 attack were Saudis
  8. Until the Trump visit, the Saudis did not allow a Jewish person into its country. Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump were allowed but two additional Jewish staffers were denied visas
  9. Saudi Arabia will not allow a Bible into the country
  10. As direct descendants of Ishmael, Saudis have been unable to get along with their neighbors since the birth of Isaac (Genesis 25:18 NIV)

“His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them.”