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The Saudi Arabia is a Backwards, Laughable Shithole Thread

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It occurred to me, while reading LoooSeR's account of how a bunch of peasants are clobbering the expensive Saudi military, that perhaps it was time to take a good, hard look at the Kingdom of Saudi Ar

Google translation: In the name of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and on hearing and obedience, we ask God Almighty for security and safety for our beloved Kingdom.   This is to

That would involve the Saudis knowing how to fucking use the expensive equipment they've bought. Saudi Arabia is a backwards LAUGHABLE shithole. They can't figure out how to kill the Houthis with bill

If I may further correct, it should be an F/A-18.


I still find it a bit odd that they've stuck a HAWK on as an AAM. Do we know how well/if this works?

Its alot older than you think. Sparrow HAWK combos were demonstrated in 85
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Yeah, like BH6 said, who would be making replacements for their F-14s? Their flyable rate is probably really low for that type.

Their domestic engine is probably good enough to have reverse engineered small stuff, but I imagine they can't do much with the TF-30s or AWG-9. I'd be really curious to see if there had been any efforts to integrate Soviet/Russian parts into their Tomcats.

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Outside of the Ayatollahs, Iran is actually not nearly as fundamentalist as Saudi Arabia


Yeah and Italy was "not nearly as genocidal as Germany" too.


Yeah, like BH6 said, who would be making replacements for their F-14s? Their flyable rate is probably really low for that type.


I think estimations have been that they've got around 44 of the original 79 airframes, and that approximately half of those are capable of flying at any time.



Their domestic engine is probably good enough to have reverse engineered small stuff, but I imagine they can't do much with the TF-30s or AWG-9. I'd be really curious to see if there had been any efforts to integrate Soviet/Russian parts into their Tomcats.

Supposedly the AWG-9s have been upgraded with "more processing power", but who knows if that's anything more than propaganda.

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I'm rooting for Iran here; on the slim basis that I know a few Iranians and that literally everything I've heard about Saudi Arabia (lots of South Africans work there in various capacities) makes it seem like a complete shithole with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

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I'm rooting for Iran here; on the slim basis that I know a few Iranians and that literally everything I've heard about Saudi Arabia (lots of South Africans work there in various capacities) makes it seem like a complete shithole with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Yeah, also heard about Africans in general being second class people in SaudiA. 

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Yeah, also heard about Africans in general being second class people in SaudiA. 

This assumes that there are first class people there.


But yeah, their economy is propped up by oil and all the work (from street sweeping to designing the megascapers they seem so fond of putting all over their humid strip of overheated sand) is done by foreigners. Who the Saudis generally treat like shit.

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Interesting essay from David Gerrold's FB page about our favorite shithole. Stolen off his FB page.




"The Saudis have painted themselves into a corner. The question of whether they are smart enough to paint themselves out is moot. It's unlikely. Based on the evidence, the folks in the region aren't masters of adaptability.

The Saudis based their economy on petrodollars. As the United States became one of the biggest consumers of oil over the past fifty years, a lot of wealth went into Saudi Arabia.

Some of it came back here as contributions -- bribes -- to favorable representatives and senators. A lot came back as purchases of big houses, big boats, big cars, and big corporations. Also Fox Noise.

In short, we traded a large part of our democracy for the privilege of driving our cars.

But that wasn't going to go on forever. First of all, the drive for energy independence does affect the demand for oil. The effort to break free of our international oil addiction has been underway since the first gas crisis of 1973. It's been an uneven road -- because while every democratic administration has pushed for investment in renewable resources like solar and wind, every republican-controlled administration, under pressure from their Saudi allies, have cut back on investments in energy independence.

Nevertheless, we're making progress. Not just us, but other nations as well. All of this is reducing the demand for oil.

Add to that the various processes for extracting oil from shale, or fracking for natural gas, and there's a lot of competition in the energy market.

The Saudis, by virtue of having their camels tied up in that particular part of the desert when oil was discovered, are sitting on top of one of the planet's greatest oil reserves. So they pretty much control the market price. Wanting to control the market, they decided to drop the price and drop the price and drop the price so as to drive other (more expensive) methods of oil production out of the market. They set out to bankrupt those specific industries. Once the competition is gone, they can hike the prices again.

So far, it hasn't worked

The effect on the global economy has been interesting. Oil stocks are depressed. But gas prices are low and that puts more money into the pockets of consumers -- who are happily spending it on other things. So that's good on the local level.

Some economists are pointing out that the Saudi economy is crashing. Well, yeah -- they aren't making a gazillion dollars a day like they used to. Are they making enough to maintain the nation? I don't know. Meanwhile, I have to wonder, where are all the gazillions they've been making for all the decades since the Bretton conference of 1944?

That money is probably not in the Saudi economy. There's not a lot to buy in the desert. So the guys with the gold went to Paris and London and New York and Los Angeles and bought estates and Ferraris and yachts and Fox News and stuff like that. So a lot of that wealth isn't in Saudi Arabia. Maybe a palace or six.

If they had been smart, they'd have built desalinization plants, highways, and beautiful cities and parks and museums for their citizens. They could have turned the desert into a garden -- like their little neighbor at the east end of the Mediterranean has done. The Saudis could have used their dollars to create wealth. (Play a game of SimCity. It's not about building a city as much as it's about creating wealth.) If you have a gazillion dollars, you can use it to buy governments -- or you can use it to create more wealth. The shortsighted answer is to buy a government. Because governments don't last. Tyrants are ephemeral. In the long run, what lasts is what you build and create, and apparently, that's the real Saudi failure.

Think about China and India. Half a century ago, neither were thought of as wealthy nations. But both had one renewable resource -- population. And if you educate a population, you get skilled workers. Skilled workers can build highways, dams, schools, factories, houses, railroads, computers, televisions, and so on. China and India are major players in the world economy. Saudi Arabia may be on its way from "is" to "was."

One thing is certain, the balance of power in the region is shifting rapidly, and it's going to get a lot worse for a long time. Because that's the legacy of the last two hundred years of futzing around in the area."

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He's essentially right about the undiversified nature of the Saudi economy; I think I posted a graph on page 1 of this thread.  The Saudis actually tried developing an agricultural sector, but like everything else they do it ended in ignominious failure and they had to roll it back.


But as for why the Saudis are losing the oil game at the moment, Mr. Gerrold is far, far wrong.  In the past seven years US oil consumption has bobbled, but oil consumption is quite volatile anyway:




The reduction of US oil consumption was almost entirely due to economic factors.  It has nothing to do with the development of renewables.


Renewable energy sources don't, for the most part, directly compete with petroleum.  In the United States very little petroleum is burned for electricity production.  The vast majority is burned in vehicle engines, with the next biggest use various industrial processes (feedstock for plastics, making asphalt, et cetera):




Now, there is some connection in a larger sense, because a lot of natural gas gets burned to make power and natural gas an oil come out of the same holes in the ground.


But generally speaking, the development of renewables would have a small impact on the demand for oil because renewables mostly make electricity, and petroleum mostly isn't used for electricity.  Until a significant number of the cars, and more importantly long haul trucks in the US can run off electricity directly, changes in how electricity is made will not put a dent in petroleum consumption.  That won't change until someone discovers a better, cheaper way of storing electricity than lithium ion batteries, which have an energy one fiftieth of gasoline and cost an arm and a leg.


Renewable energy production has gone up, and drastically, but it's still a tiny fraction of the overall picture:




This graph, by the way, is more than likely a lie because renewable energy production figures are routinely cooked.  Solar and wind installations are routinely quoted in terms of nameplate capacity rather than average capacity, which is extremely misleading.  The standard for nameplate capacity of solar panels is a radiation density of 1000 watts/square meter, which is roughly the the intensity of noon sun on a flat plate perfectly perpendicular to the sun on a cloudless day at sea level.  The actual average amount of solar radiation available in even the most favorable parts of the United States is a third of that:





On top of that there are line losses, which are especially bad for solar because the best places for solar panels are where nobody lives.


Wind production figures are also lies, but for different reasons.  Wind has decent power density going for it, unlike solar, which is nice.  Unlike solar, wind often blows at night when everyone is asleep and not using electricity.  Also like solar, the most profitable wind farms are usually far away from inhabited areas.  So the production figures for wind power tend to be misleading, since they do not show the actual utilization of the power produced by the power grid, which tends to be much lower than for other forms of energy.


With such miserable performance it should be a wonder that anyone ever invests in renewable energy.  And it is; I guess people can't do fucking math or something.  That's where subsidies come in, or as Mr. Gerrold refers to them as, "investments."  The exact value of these varies from project to project, but the Federal tax credits alone can cover more than half of the cost of a wind farm's cost.


The real reason the Saudis are losing at the oil game is because the US is now the world's largest oil producer, and that's with a lot of the wells left idle due to low petroleum costs.  Advances in drilling technology have allowed the profitable exploitation of fields that geologists were pretty sure existed all along, but weren't worth it before.  Some of these advances are enormous; a presentation I sat in on recently mentioned en passant a fluid additive to the fracking process that boosted yields by 30% in that particular region.  Without a functioning OPEC to collude to keep oil prices high the Saudis have to ramp up production to make rent.  This in turn pushes other oil producing countries to increase their production, et cetera.  With this sort of price war, any country with an economy based mostly on oil extraction will be selling off their future in order to finance the present.

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