Which Way Is Mecca?
Do you know which way is Mecca? As the holiest place to one-fifth of the worlds population located in a country with roughly the same percentage of “proven” oil reserves ruled by a monarchy with almost absolute power propped up by the US government and quite possibly the next Middle East domino to fall, you should. Saudi oil fields are in areas with a significant but minority Arab Shia population in a country that is predominately Sunni, albeit Wahhabi (like the Taliban except they have money & oil). Bahrain, the island kingdom off the east coast of Saudi Arabia has a majority Arab Shia population. Libya is predominantly Sunni, as is Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Djibouti. Iraq is predominantly Arab Shia. Iran is Persian Shia. All of these countries have become, shall we say, unsettled, recently.
The unrest in the Middle East is not about islamists trying to take power, but a cycle of abusive Imperial power coming to an end. Saudi Arabia is a particularly sticky situation in that at about a million barrels a day (out of a rather nasty twenty million barrel a day habit) it is the number three source of US oil imports, behind Canada and Mexico. It is not a democracy or a paragon of civil liberties, which combined with our oil dependency, puts the US in a tight spot, or it should.
I suspect, but have no proof, that the full US aided and abetted ruthlessness of the House of Saud will be brought to bear (remember they have Religious Police) if it looks for a moment that an uprising or a revolution might bring it down. If that were to fail to quell an uprising, then the specter of US military intervention and possibly US troops on Saudi Arabian soil again looms large. That didn’t work out well for us the last time. Some Saudis (if you believe the official narrative) expressed their displeasure rather violently in New York and we wound up with two wars, the Patriot Act et al, Sarah Palin, champion poodles, a whole lot more animosity towards the US in the Middle East and, by some accounts, an Indonesian madrassa educated Kenyan Muslim in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Imagine US combat troops (infidel crusaders, if you will) in full battle regalia, stomping around in Riyadh or the oil fields in support of the House of Saud. How that gets spun as anything but about the oil I haven’t a clue, but spun it will be. I am sure my proselytizing neighbors here in Redstateistan find the prospect of armed missionaries witnessing at will and finally getting a Christian church built in Mecca to be the answer to their heathen salvation wet-dreams, but I am guessing even hardcore Neocons realize that US military intervention in Saudi Arabia has the potential to be a clusterfuck on a, ahem, biblical scale.
Should the idiots in the Pentagram-on-the-Potomac decide that this time it is different, the geography of Saudi Arabia presents every opportunity for redemption. Riyadh, the bulk of the oil fields and the troublesome rabble are in the eastern provinces whereas Mecca and the number two Islamic holy spot Medina are in the western provinces, albeit easily accessible from the Red Sea. But whatever they decide to do, the first rule of engagement should be, in bold letters and in the current military parlance, STAY THE FUCK OUT OF MECCA.
Just my two pre-1982 cents.