High Life

The Legend of the White Elephant

May 12, 2018

Multiple Pages
The Legend of the White Elephant

Talk about high life, this is not. I smelled a rat long ago. Then the scent got weaker and weaker. But now it’s back, stronger than ever. It has, of course, to do with the Saudis, the Qataris, and the son-in-law who has also risen, Jared Kushner. About a year ago, the Saudis issued an ultimatum to Qatar, threatening a blockade by Saudi-allied countries in the Gulf. All sorts of accusations were made and 24 hours were given to comply. The 300,000 Qatari citizens froze en masse. The couple million non-Qatari guest workers went on about their business—in fact welcomed the crisis because it momentarily stopped them from being mistreated and abused by Qatari locals, who were busy hiding under their beds. Twenty-four hours came and went and absolutely nothing happened. The blockade is still going on and the Qataris have found alternative sources of food and consumer goods. Their TV network is still on the air, and the only thing that has cramped their style is having to fly their hookers in and not using Saudi limo services. So much for Saudi threats and resolve. Bullshit would be a far more appropriate word.

“At least we Greeks went to war over a woman, not an ugly pile.”

Like everything in that one-thousand-and-one-nights world, there were sketchy details, but no one could really make heads or tails of it. Bahrain, also one of the aggressors, is 80 percent Shiite but is ruled by some clown who treats 80 percent of his citizens as fourth-class. Why risk confrontation with Iran or revolution by its citizens? The Saudis themselves have been bogged down for three years fighting the Hutus in Yemen and have managed only with American help to starve thousands of children to death, spread smallpox, bomb every wedding and funeral service within memory, and illustrate to the world that in the unlikely war between Monte Carlo and the Saudi “kingdom,” Monte would be a heavy favorite.

Uncle Sam, needless to say, is busy selling the two “shitholes” more arms than all of NATO and the Russian Federation possess together. Only last June the good uncle sold Qatar 12 billion smackers of F-15 fighters, and I hate to think of the American and British planes and missiles that have devastated the poorest country in the world and made it even poorer. Enter the son-in-law. As everyone who has ever heard of Donald Trump knows, Kushner’s family needs moola badly. The Kushner firm owns tens of thousands of apartments in New Jersey and Maryland but owes $1.4 billion, due early next year, for 666 Fifth Avenue, a (literally) white elephant that Jared bought ten years ago for the then-unheard-of price of $2 billion. (The white elephant is half empty, its last face-lift forty years ago.) The Kushners were sweating nervously when something happened in November 2016 that got some people very angry and others very happy. The son-in-law’s father-in-law became President of the United States of America. All sorts of Kushner-named people went running to China to drum up business and try to flog 666 Fifth Avenue. Jared’s sister went so far as to give a press conference in China exhorting the Chinese to come and do business with us now that we’re in the White House. But although the Chinese may look funny to some of us, and we might look funny to some of them, no one has ever accused a Chinaman of being stupid. They were happy to go to the White House, but unhappy to even inspect the white elephant. There was Chinese takeout but no Chinese takeover of 666 Fifth Avenue.

Enter The Donald. Forming an unholy alliance with MBS the Saudi strongman (did any of you notice the Lebanese muscles hanging from his sides) and Palestinian poster boy Benjamin Netanyahu, the 45th turned the balance of power in the Middle East with a flick of his middle finger. Enter Jared once again. And two weeks after the Donald-MBS summit in Riyadh, the blockade is sprung on Qatar. Suspicious folk raised their collective eyebrows because one month before, the Qatari finance minister had gone to the Big Bagel looking for investment opportunities. Kushner’s father, Charles, the one who had done hard time, and his sister Nicole, of China infamy, asked for funds to rescue 666. A huge renovation plan was pitched to the camel driver from Qatar, costing around $1 billion. The Qatari inspected the sight and gave a resounding no. Terribly suspicious people have been asking ever since whether a blockade would have been imposed if the Qataris had rescued the Kushners. And if Jared Kushner and the heavily Lebanese-muscled Mohammad Bin Salman had not spent three days and nights together eating their dates and planning to rule the world.

Personally I think the blockade will soon be lifted. The Saudi-Israel-U.S.A troika is out to sink Iran and doesn’t need the tiny shithole of Qatar to distract from the quest to do an Alexander the Great and finish off the Persians. Kushner is in financial trouble, but too many people are looking into the 666 white elephant to pull a fast one. And the Qataris have hired every single lobbyist in Washington—every one not already being paid by the Saudis and the Israelis, that is. It’s one hell of a world when great civilizations like the Saudi and Qatari ones clash over a building on Fifth Avenue. At least we Greeks went to war over a woman, not an ugly pile.

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