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No Real Choice In Saudi Arabia

Reader comment on item: Support the lesser evil [in Saudi Arabia]

Submitted by Henry William Kalweit (United States), Jun 8, 2004 at 16:13

As an unalterable fan and student of yours, I was surprised to see you take the position that there are evil Saudis (Ikhwans) and lesser evil Saudis, apparently the Sudairi Seven, that we should support.

It's a mistake to sell the idea there are somewhat less fanatical (lesser evil) Saudis we can support. Two hundred-fifty years ago, the tribal leader Muhammad al-Saud married his daughter to Muhammad al-Wahhab. For 250 years, then, as customary, the two houses have intermarried, cementing, among the royals, the form of Wahhabism we have today. These early Wahhabis (before the existence of the Ikhwans) exhibited the same fanaticism that we see today, attacking, multiple times, shrines in Karbala, An Najaf as well as those of the Prophet (PBUH), his daughter, Fatimah and hundreds more.

It's also a mistake to suggest that the Ikhwans have an equal footing with the royals and hence might overthrow them. With the army, national guard and secret police led by royals and comprised of tribes and families of the royals, its unlikely the Ikhwans can compete as an armed force. A true Ikhwan, by the way, would not use any kind of modern communication devise, including a phone or computer.

A more likely scenario is Crown Prince Abdullah, a 1/2 brother, but tied to the desert and Wahhabism by blood, his mother(deceased) and his wife, enlists the support of the Ikhwan to posture for the crown against the Sudairi Seven. But whoever wins the crown won't change much. The desert and blood make a tribal/ family mortar that will resist change and always favor any Saudi compared to an outsider. Even though I'm an optomist, we're kidding ourselves thinking that there is a faction or a possible future faction that we will be able to support.

I'm still an unalterable fan and student.

Henry William
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