Riot police and Shia protesters in Awwamiya, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2011. Photograph: Reuters
Revolution In The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia? -- Bruce Riedel, Daily Beast
The overthrow of the Saudi royals is finally a possibility. In an excerpt from a new Brookings Institution briefing book for Obama’s second term, Bruce Riedel on what a catastrophe it would be for Obama.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s last absolute monarchy. Like Louis XIV, King Abdullah has complete authority to do as he likes. But while a revolution in Saudi Arabia is still not likely, the Arab Awakening has made one possible for the first time, and it could come in President Obama’s second term.
Revolutionary change in the kingdom would be a disaster for American interests across the board. Saudi Arabia is America’s oldest ally in the Middle East, a partnership that dates to 1945. The United States has no serious option for heading off a revolution if it is coming; we are already too deeply wedded to the kingdom. Obama should ensure the best possible intelligence is available to see a crisis coming and then try to ride the storm.
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My Comment: The bloodbath that is occurring in Syria has tempered the dissident movement in Saudi Arabia. As bad as it may be to live in an absolute monarchy .... it is far preferable than what is happening in Syria today. But once the Syrian civil war in over, what happens in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf sheikdoms is anyone's guess .... as to what is my prediction .... I suspect that the Arab Spring will be making a visit and there will be a crackdown.
Update: The Gulf Kingdoms are starting to panic.