On Kuwait

I’m building up to a big vent about the dehumanised treatment of Southasian migrant workers slaving in Kuwait, one of these days. In the meantime, this is Lenin bhai on Kuwait and its Arab-brotherly squeeze on the ‘Iraq Rebuilding’ Project:

Of course, the biggest chunk of all [Iraqi] reparations goes to Kuwait’s state-owned oil industry, but it is, like the Saudi equivalent, a proxy property of Western capital. The deal is, in return for being allowed to shared in the privileges of the Western investors, the British-created Kuwaiti royal family and its narrow penumbra suppress the rest of the population, most of whom are denied citizenship rights. A work force formerly composed to a large of Palestinians who fled to the country in the 1950s, but now migrant workers from nearby states and the Indian subcontinent, continues to build and maintain the economic infrastructure. Only about one fifth of the Kuwaiti workforce are permitted citizenship, and only those who have had citizenship for more than thirty years are allowed to vote (which means the tiny propertied elite is allowed a say in how its loots is managed). Fred Halliday once characterised it, in Arabia Without Sultans, as a new form of slavery: it is one, moreover, entirely at the service of Western investors.

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