Found in 4 comments on Hacker News
codyb · 2015-10-02 · Original thread
And it looks (at least in Saudi Arabia's case) that they were trying to diversify towards renewables in a vast way [0], although my google search also turned up more recent articles indicating they're pushing that back [1]. The thing about the Saudi Arabian royal family is that they're all guaranteed allowances and the family grows at a near exponential rate since they all have multiple wives. I couldn't find any good sources on numbers but in a book about Saudi Arabia by former CIA operative Robert Baer "Sleeping with the Devil: How the US Sold it's Soul for Saudi Crude" [3] [4] I believe he estimated the current number to be about 60,000 (Wikipedia estimates 15,000 so I may be remembering that wrong [5]), aka an unsustainable population growth in royal family members.

[0] - [1] - [3] - [4] - (heartily recommended, although because most of these things are classified, truly it is his word. In his other book about Iran, his conclusion was to bring Iran to the playing table and recognize them as a regional and world power, so it doesn't seem to follow a strictly American narrative, and in my opinion, gives him a bit of credence. Others may beg to differ, I'm not sure.) [5] -

bradleysmith · 2014-11-21 · Original thread
His 'Sleeping with the Devil' on the US-Saudi connection was pretty damning for its time too. No pun intended.

I grew up in Saudi, and got my undergraduate degree in intelligence studies. From my perspective, Baer was quite in touch with modern politics. A bit bombastic, but always a seemingly strong understanding of the political landscape.

arethuza · 2013-07-10 · Original thread
I just finished a rather excellent (if slightly depressing) book on the links between the US government and Saudi Arabia that suggests those links are rather deeper than you might suspect:

[NB: From what I can tell the author, Bob Baer, is fairly credible - he is a former CIA field officer with a lot of experience in the Middle East.]

danilocampos · 2011-05-02 · Original thread
It's hardly far-fetched to say the two parties were acquainted:

Dunno if I'd go as far as saying they were still pals in the last decade but I would warn you that jingoistic fervor is a terrible reason to suspend critical thought or curiosity. Boogeymen are enormously useful tools to those who have power. Skepticism is as valuable to apply to one's government as to conspiracy theorists. It's never "the time" to turn off your brain.

This is the same organism, mind you, that once called Iraq an imminent threat. Keep your salt handy.

Here's a great book by a former CIA field agent that explains just how complicated the reality of our middle east relations can get:

Get through that book and even the most outlandish claims about our foreign policy or intelligence services will seem worth considering.

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