In the midst of all the campaign rhetoric about how American consumption of oil from the Middle East is funding terror networks who strike against America and American interests, it's worth highlighting a purchase that shows that all these petro-dollars aren't all going towards sharia and Semtex.
The ruling family of Abu Dhabi is in the process of buying the English soccer club Manchester City. Even in a sport which operates in a mode that makes US professional leagues look like the business-competition-and-labor-law protected, tax-payer cossetted quasi-socialist softies that they are, this is huge - the money alone is staggering, far less the possibility that the league will be turned on its head with "bought success."
Manchester City are the also-rans of Manchester's soccer tradition - whereas Manchester United are one of the most successful and visible sides in world football, City are best known of late for having been last owned by deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (accused of human rights abuse and facing deportation back to Thailand to face corruption charges) and employing former England coach and unlikely lothario Sven Goran Eriksson, whose strong point as England manager was advice on how not to get caught with groupies.
While the Abu Dhabi investors are following a well worn path in taking ownership of an English soccer team, their plans are rather more ambitious than those of their predecessors- and reflect the marketing value of English soccer teams and home concerns rather than any interest in what the local fans think. It's a classic collision of local and global, and thus far it's not clear who's winning.
In the meantime, though, City fans are eagerly awaiting the results of enormous amounts of money being spent on their team. Singer, songwriter, and all-around bon vivant Noel Gallagher of Oasis has already pointed out that now anytime Manchester United fans fill up their cars, they are funding City's plans - and when you get down to it, what could be more satisfying than that, in sporting tribalism?