Common Arab Epitaph: Brother Leader, Very Rich but Very Cheap…………

   Rattlesnake Ridge   Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter   


His name of choice was the Brother Leader, though his nearly 42 years of rule were rarely brotherly, and his leadership left a country with plentiful oil in shambles……… Given Colonel Qaddafi’s noted flamboyance, the residences of the House of Qaddafi were not quite as grand as people might have supposed. They lacked the faux grandeur of Saddam Hussein’s marbled palaces. There are no columns that bear the colonel’s initials, or fists cast to resemble his hands or river-fed moats with voracious carp. But in Baghdad and Tripoli, the physical remains of the leader’s rule still projected the distance between power and powerlessness. As rebels and residents started to pick through the detritus of the Qaddafis’ lives in recent days, there was a sense of laying claim to a country commandeered by the Arab world’s longest-ruling leader…………“For somebody who’s very rich, he was very cheap,”……..”

“For somebody who’s very rich, he was very cheap”, he said: one can say that about others: the Bin Ali, Mubarak, the al-Assad, al-Khalifa and other potentates not yet faced with the moment of truth.
Of course, many Arab “brother leaders” or “their majesties” are so rich mainly for the same reason that most of their people are poor: they need more of the resources for themselves, their extended families, and their cronies. I mean, for example if everybody in, say, Saudi Arabia was above poverty level then someone like Prince al-Waleed would be unlikely to be on the Forbes list of the richest billionaires. When there are so many thousands of princes and their supporting retainers and sycophants, well, there will be less for the rest.
(FYI: Forbes Magazine every year lists the source of the prince’s wealth as “Self-Made”. You’d think he flipped burgers are the DQ or started in the royal mail room).