Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why Oman needs to be friendly to the USA

Well, everyone can bitch and moan about Bush (and I agree he’s an idiot and has done significant damage to the USA and the world in terms of his Foreign policy, Economic policies, domestic agenda, and many other areas) as per recent comments on the Oman Community blog, but let's first get our facts straight and take some perspective.

The USA remains the country with, by far, the world's largest economy. The latest World Bank listing has the GDP of USA about the same as the combined GDP of Germany, China, UK, France, Russia, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. Really. California alone (if it were a separate country) be ranked 9th, just behind Brazil. See wikipedia. Even in terms of Purchasing Power Parity corrected GDP, its economy is still 60% bigger than China and India combined.

Oman is tiny – it ranks 77th just ahead of Lebanon. The USA economy is 540 times bigger than Oman. Take away the oil and gas, and Oman would probably be down around 116th place, being beaten by piddling Nepal. Oman needs economic growth, and a FTA that allows them to sell stuff mainly made in India, or made here by NRIs and Omanis, allows local businessmen access to a huge market with a cheap product. The biggest market in the world. Otherwise folks, its even more hotels and a future for Omani kids that involves serving beer to fat German tourists on the beach, or fishing, or digging up the place piece by piece to sell to the Chinese.

The Free Trade Agreement with the USA is worth far, far more to Oman's long term future than some deals with South Korea or the Chinese. Do you think the USA are in desperate need of tax free dates and goats? No, but they are willing to cut a well paying deal (cash, market access, intelligence sharing) in exchange for access to some good strategic areas of rock and sand (Thumrait, Masira Island, Jebel Ahkdar, Musandam) and to generally support the economy of a stable and friendly nation.

Oman will also in time learn, I hope, that the Asians are even more motivated by their self-perceived national self-interest than the USA. You think the Asians care about Omanis? What a joke.
China want to lock in long term strategic access to Oman's resources on the cheap and gain influence in the wider Gulf (and African) region.
Sth Korea want Oman’s (short to medium-term) development cash (infrastructure, LNG tankers, fishing vessels).
Japan and Taiwan want to take as much fish as they can as cheaply as possible until they run out.

The USA has many faults in terms of foreign policy, but they are actually generally very well meaning, albeit incompetent at times. People also sometimes forget what the USA could be like if they really wanted to fuck everybody up. Can you imagine what the world would be like if the USA's military and economic might was controlled by someone like Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, or Putin? It may be uncomfortable, but at bottom line the USA has the capability to turn the whole of Iran (or indeed the entire Middle East) into a radioactive wasteland within a few hours. Yes, it would be a terrible crime, but no-one in the USA would be that drastically affected. Yes, China and Russia would object, but the MAD doctrine would keep them at bay. In a few years men in plastic suits and some robots would get the oil out anyhow.

The USA has its faults, but it serves Oman's long term interest to remain friendly. Fortunately, His Majesty is well aware of that. Soon Bush will be gone. But Diplomats play a longer game. And pissing off the world's only superpower is not what HM would ever do. He is way too smart for that.

But he may meet Bush in private...


  1. Hi Undercover
    A beautiful place here!
    Excellent post!
    Thank you

  2. Dragon,

    that was a great post. Are you sure you are not some sort of undercover tool of the great American Zionist conspiracy?


  3. Thanks Dave. Come again. Nice pic dude.

    Suburban, I wish I was, the pay looks like its sooo much better. Don't get me started on the Israelis. Idiots. Fascist psychotic idiots. With nukes and a blank cheque book. Grrrr.

    Whatever. Yo. R'spect. Just fill the pipe again.


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