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The "new" Saudi Arabia

Reader comment on item: The Saudi Solution

Submitted by There is NO Santa Claus (United States), May 19, 2016 at 01:24

There are two kinds of Muslims: Nationalists and Imperialists.

Dr. Pipes likes to call the Imperialists "Islamists". These Imperialists envision a border-less empire ruled by a Caliph.

Once upon a time, the Saudis fancied themselves as the heart of a Caliphate dominated by their Wahabbi Islam. They donated money to Imperialists with the understanding that they could attack anyone except Saudi Arabia. This has changed drastically in recent years.

Today, there are rivals sponsoring Imperialist Islam. There is the old one: Iran. There are new ones now with Turkey, Qatar and others. The Saudis no longer have control.

Today, Wahabbism no longer defines Saudi Imperialist aims. Rather, it defines Saudi Arabia's national identity. The Imperialists on the move are hostile to the Saudi Royal Family.

With a 10% Shiite population and a Sunni population already motivated by long established Saudi Imperialist aims, the KSA has enough threat to their stability to keep them busy holding onto power for a long time. They need not aggravate the matter further by hosting a refuge population potentially hostile to the Saudi Royal Family. Though I share Dr. Pipes' loathing of the Saudis, I have empathy for their policy.

This policy also explains Saudi military efforts in Yemen. If the Saudis can maintain Sunni dominance over Yemen, that territory (hardly a "nation" these days) holds the possibility for a refuge for those fleeing the tyranny of Islamic Imperialists.

We don't hear much about the conflict in Yemen and the noncombatant casualties there. Human Rights groups may be complaining, but these complaints are not getting coverage by the Western News Media. That is because the Western news media does not want to interrupt the flow of Saudi petrodollars which buys their silence on issues related to the KSA. And so I would offer the theory that the Saudis would prefer to establish Sunni dominance over Yemen with the aim of providing a refuge THERE instead of the KSA.

The days when the KSA could motivate Islamic imperialism with petrodollars is fast coming to an end. No longer do we hear of Saudi dominance over the industrialized nations via OPEC. Rather we are hearing more about KSA industrializing and diversifying their domestic economy. This is nothing more than a shift from Imperialism (aka "Islamism") to Nationalism.

As a Nationalist movement defined by Whabbism, the KSA cannot open their borders to Sunni Muslims from other countries. I cannot say with certainty that there is a permanent shift in KSA strategic policy. However, the economic, military and strategic facts suggest that my theory explains the current policies being advanced by the Saudi Royal Family. This theory may well define KSA policy for many years to come.

The shift toward Nationalism may hold some promise for better things to come. The Saudis have openly supported the Nationalist Sisi regime in Egypt over the Imperialist Morsi (Ikhwan... Muslim Brotherhood) government. This shift may also explain some of the softening of KSA policy toward Israe. The KSA can count on the Jewish State to oppose Islamic Imperialism regardless of the sponsorship.

I think the Saudis are "circling the wagons".

I hold no doctorate in Islamic studies. Just callin' 'em like I sees 'em.

Regards,

There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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