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house of saud close to collapse
November 21, 2001 1:05 PM   Subscribe

house of saud close to collapse interesing piece form the uk guardian's investigative editor david leigh, it seems the saudi govern,ent's recent pr blitz has failed and is symptomatic of a deeper malaise
posted by quarsan (9 comments total)

 
"House of Saud looks close to collapse" is the headline, but where is this substantiated in the article? If you are going to say an entire government is on the brink, you better back it up with more than a minimal historical analysis.
posted by phatboy at 1:12 PM on November 21, 2001


Poor sub-editing by the looks of it, phatboy. The headline seems to have very little to do with the gist of this particular article. I read this piece in the Guardian this morning, and before it were 2 or 3 other articles taking a swipe at the Sauds (including the one about the Ministry of Information's 70s retro PR campaign), so perhaps by the time the guy got to this one he thought it was pretty much a foregone conclusion.
posted by dlewis at 1:29 PM on November 21, 2001


I had read somewhere something similar to the House on the verge of collapse but the article I had read also mentioned the huge delicne in revenues because of the current oil prices. That loss considered another potential cause of the troubles.
posted by Postroad at 1:53 PM on November 21, 2001


"Saudi Arabia has launched a multimillion pound advertising campaign and a new diplomatic offensive to improve its image in the west amid criticism that it is failing to cooperate in the international war against terrorism. The information ministry in the capital, Riyadh, has shelled out up to £5m on lengthy advertisements in newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic hailing King Fahd as a man of peace."
posted by Carol Anne at 2:31 PM on November 21, 2001


"Saudi Arabia has launched a multimillion pound advertising campaign and a new diplomatic offensive to improve its image in the west amid criticism that it is failing to cooperate in the international war against terrorism. The information ministry in the capital, Riyadh, has shelled out up to £5m on lengthy advertisements in newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic hailing King Fahd as a man of peace." (Confession: linked, didn't read.)
posted by Carol Anne at 2:33 PM on November 21, 2001


The price of oil and it's continuing decline in the face of economic downturn in the US, is a major problem for the Saudi Arabian government. Add to that, the fact that OPEC now only supply less than half the world's oil, does not help the Saudis at all. OPEC can no longer set prices on oil as they like without the co-operation of non-OPEC members like Norway, Mexico and Russia, who of the three mentioned pose the biggest stumbling block to prices rising as they warm to the west since september 11th.
posted by Zool at 3:01 PM on November 21, 2001


It's not so much that they're going broke, as that they are making princes faster than they can pay for them -- some 50 a month, mostly three generations removed from the current leadership, guaranteed cushy jobs in government or key industries, and a $500,000 trust fund. Some rumblings by smarter princes -- the US ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan among them -- to economize are not being taken well.

Fahd, of course, has been a virtual invalid since a stroke 6 years ago; some reports say he can hold short conversations, but he's turned over the reins to Crown Prince Abdullah, who's much less pro-American than either Fahd (who built himself a White House replica on the Spanish riviera!) or Bandar -- who is pragmatic and charming but whom I'd trust little farther than I could throw his roly-poliness.

There was an isolated incident last month where a nutball tried to T-bone the King's motorcade with his own car, but hit a vehicle of guards instead. Still, I would fear a coup by younger royals more than from any civilian faction; and there's almost a guarantee that any change in the régime will not favor the US. That's one reason we've cut an oil deal with Putin. Getting our oil via Sakhalin Island -- and we could eventually get as much as we do now from the Saudis -- would be much more secure, and it would give us an "eff you" diplomatic tong.
posted by dhartung at 3:03 PM on November 21, 2001


There was a much better writeup in Slate about this a few weeks ago.

"Saudi Arabia isn't really cooperating with the Sept. 11 investigation. Bandar has implied Saudi sympathy for American military action, but the interior minister, an ally of Abdullah's, this week deplored American strikes against Afghanistan. Bandar downplays the Palestinian conflict's connection to the anti-terrorism campaign, but Abdullah and Co. insist Israel must be muzzled. Bandar eagerly proffers Saudi camaraderie, but all signs from Riyadh suggest the Saudis don't want American friendship right now. Militant Wahabbi Islam is growing in Saudi Arabia, and there is significant support—both popular and financial—for Bin Laden."
posted by phatboy at 3:39 PM on November 21, 2001


and the frontline doc.
posted by kliuless at 4:22 PM on November 21, 2001


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