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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is The Saudi King Mostly Dead or All Dead? (And Why You Should Care)

Inigo Montoya: He's dead. He can't talk.
Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

-----From the movie The Princess Bride.

According to the Arab Newspaper Al-Sharq il-Awsat, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz absolute monarch of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Head of the House of Saud and Prime Minister an owner of facial hair which looks like it was drawn on with a pencil, is brain dead.  His condition is as a result of complications from back surgery which took place in the  National Guard's King Abdulaziz Medical City eleven days ago.

The King's aides claim he is in good health. But  medical sources told the newspaper the monarch's condition was “expected to change soon (perhaps after they are done going through his pocket for loose change).

The king's brother, Crown Prince Salman (next in line to the throne), defense minister of Saudi Arabia, reassured the nation and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting Riyadh “good news that he is well and in good health.” Salman also “reassured” Saudis about the monarch's health the day before at a cabinet meeting, according to the SPA state news agency. Both statements were aimed at settling concerns over the stability of the nation, the world's biggest exporter of oil.

This may turn out to be very disturbing news for the stability of the region.

Saudi Arabia and its monarchy are relatively young,  only 80 years ago in 1932, the two kingdoms of the Hejaz and Nejd were united as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While the rulers themselves have been forces of stability in the Arab world, they have only kept power through repression. The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index reported the Saudi government is the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated (worse than China but not quite as bad as North Korea).

There is much opposition to the Monarchy within the kingdom, including radical Sunni Islamists (remember most of the 9/11 attackers came from this group) liberal critics;  and the Shi'ite minority.  The Islamic activists have been the most prominent threat to the regime and have in recent years perpetrated a number of violent or terrorist acts in the country.  One question becomes will the Sunni group use the impending death of the King as an opportunity for a "Saudi Spring?"

A second question becomes if the Islamists try and revolt against the monarchy will President Obama support the new king or will he trade stability in the region for the ideal of a "peoples government," which is really just repression from a different source (as he did with Mubarak).


Moishe3rd said...

And, survey says! Yes, eventually Saudi Arabia will break apart but, most likely not soon...
The House of Saud has done a relatively decent job of placating their subjugated Arabians by instituting "Liberal Socialism" long before the West ever got around to it... The tribes; the nominal Saudi Arabians, all get "free stuff."
The radicalization of Islamism in Saudi Arabia comes from indolent Arabs who have nothing to do; nothing to achieve; and nothing to live for...
Al Saud is the originator of the current heretical Death Cult of Islamism and began the Great Arab Muslim Sectarian Civil War one hundred years ago when they tried to arrogate the Caliphate of the late Ottoman Empire for themselves.
The ensuing self slaughter of Arabs and Muslims by the hundreds of thousands for the last 100 years, today culminating in the "Arab Winter," will eventually come full circle and destroy Saudi Arabia - out of boredom if nothing else...

yeahyeahsure said...

Pffff....look at what it will do to energy prices, of COURSE obama will support saudi spring, it doesnt matter what any other outcome is - two words, "necessarily skyrocket."

I'm still in disbelief that they stole the election.