Monday, May 28, 2007

More ammo

In other under-reported news, a Saudi Arabian company is purchasing GE Plastics.

This may surprise you, but chuckling knows a thing or two about GE plastics. They contain phosgene, a terribly dangerous chemical that was responsible for most chemical warfare deaths during World War I.

So is it wise to sell chemical weapons factories to Islamic Sunni extremists who support the insurgency in Iraq?

Personally, I don’t think it’s so much of a problem on those grounds. Not because we don’t actually know that those who control the company support the insurgency in Iraq. Apparently all Saudis do that. But that company already has plenty of phosgene plants so I don’t think selling them a few more particularly adds to the danger, unless they fire all the American workers and bring in bearded minions from afar, which wouldn’t go over well with the locals. No, I trust they just want to make money. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to sell off our few remaining manufacturing assets to foreign companies.

But that’s a different conversation. If you click on the above link, you’ll see that the Saudis are saying all the right things about how they value the local employees and don’t plan to change a thing. Perhaps that’s true, but probably not. That particular plant is old and dangerous and a lot of people in th know believed that GE was going to shut it down anyway.

But maybe not. The comments on the linked article are interesting. There’s a lot of talk about phosgene and how dangerous it could be to sell a chemical plant to A-rabs, but there are quite a few knowledgeable rejoinders from GE employees hoping to keep their jobs. Perhaps the Saudi’s will use it as an opportunity to build goodwill in middle America, just as Toyota does in the same general area.

Southern Indiana is a hotbed of ignorant nationalism, but they are acutely aware of who signs the paychecks. A few years ago anyone driving a Toyota was accused of being a traitor, but since they built the Tundra plant, Toyotas are the most popular car on the road.

If the Saudi’s play their cards right and keep the paychecks coming, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of people in the midwest converting to Islam.