Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Post-Oil Arab Economy?

Here's a UAE-based column from Greg Dobbs, in the Rocky Mountain News. It's an indicator of what is possible when a country knows they actually have to compete for business.
It's a very interesting article, but for this piece of faulty logic:


With far more skyscrapers on the skyline than mosques, these people seem more into income than ideology. This is not your father's Arabia. The ports deal was just part of this country's creed: The business of Dubai is business.
But of course, that didn't mitigate fears in the United States that an Arab country would use financial influence to impose Islamic ideology. So I asked a lot of locals about those fears. What they said was, there are bad apples in every society. Look at Great Britain, where terrorists have proved they can operate in obscurity. Or look at other places where al-Qaida wove its 9/11 plot: Hamburg, Germany, where much of the planning took place; or the U.S., where the hijackers learned to fly airplanes!

In none of those three examples did the perpetrators receive radical Islamic indoctrination financed by their host countries. If the UAE has been using oil money to finance madrassas that teach radical Islam, then they cannot rightly be compared to Western countries who spend their money trying to counter the effects of that oil-financed indoctrination.

Aside from that point, it really is an illustrative example of what will be possible when we are weaned from our consumption of oil.

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