Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dubai Is A Fantasy Bubble

With a lot of pins lying around.
Dubai is one of the Arab Emirates and is also the name of it's biggest city. You may have heard about it's frantic construction boom, from man made islands visible from space to the tallest building in the world. Superfluous vanity projects like that which benefit only a select few should be a red flag that something isn't right, and it ain't.

the burgeoning Burj

This so called "utopian capitalist city" exists because of unique ingredients found nowhere else on the planet. It lies at the intersection of vast oil wealth and an enormous cheap labor pool, and is kept alive because powerful interests need the place secure. The huge non-citizen demographic that numbers around a million has no say in the political structure, and by integrating them into the work force the ruling monarchy made sure their power wouldn't be threatened. Trade unions, the possibility of strikes and any organizing are all illegal and almost 100% of workers there can be deported on the slightest provocation. US robber barons must be salivating.

You'd think such an opulent place would be a tempting target but security for the fat cats is extremely tight and powerful interests have need for Dubai's existence. It's a bizarre hub of international finance perched on the edge of all the chaos spawned from the ziofascist "war on some terror". This pig thrived because it put on a whole lot of makeup and flirted like hell with international financial markets. The city's eyes are concentrated so firmly on outside interests that it wants to build the world's biggest airport with only a population of about 1.5 million.

Dubai thrives because it's made itself important to both the US and other powers in the region who will either leave it alone or want it to succeed. The relations between this country and that one are so close that the pentagon cleared a Dubai management company to protect US port security for a brief time two years ago. Halliburton moved it's headquarters there last year. But the real importance of this middle east hub is the fact that it's the biggest criminal paradise in the world. Smuggling, drug and arms transfers, money laundering, the sex trade and underground banking all thrive in Dubai. Think of the bar scene in Star Wars; the powers that be need their seamy bazaar to conduct their real business ventures.

But I think Dubai is just a temporary phenomena, and not only because it's financial facade may be all smoke and mirrors. Who knows where the price of the oil that pays for this party might be in the near future, or even the viability of the oil market? Any widespread conflict would surely suck in all the countries of the middle east, including the Emirates, and could topple the hated monarchies with their egregious disparities of wealth and power. But the real reason Dubai's ambitions will come to and abrupt end is the same reason american southwest cities will be in big trouble soon - their obscene refusal to face the harsh reality of where they're located.
Water is scarce and growing scarcer, but the opulent lifestyles of the rich and richer demand immaculate putting greens and their olympic sized swimming pools. And something tells me the plug will be pulled on this anomalous excess in the middle of the scorching desert:



Anonymous rdwaters said...

Maybe the mega-airport will be used by the Pentagon in the future for the massive number of military aircraft they envision it will take to control the world? Oh never mind, those aircraft cost money and we're already broke...

25/7/08 12:43 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

You know, I thought of that too. When Tehran catches cruise missile largess and every runway in Iraq is littered with craters it just might be Dubai that hosts american jets.

25/7/08 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does all this remind of of George Romero's last zombie film?

27/7/08 8:25 AM  

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