October 15, 2003


Saudis' Progress (CS Monitor, 10/15/03)

Saudi Arabia's announcement that it will hold its first-ever elections - for municipal councils - is a welcome step along the difficult road the kingdom must follow.

The Saudi royal family has reached a decision point. It can begin desperately needed political, economic, and social reforms and try to gradually bring the deeply conservative country into the modern world. Or it can resist and watch the country slide backwards into greater poverty, unemployment, and benighted fundamentalism, risking the Islamist revolution Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist organization aims to provoke. [...]

The elections - to take place in about a year - are the latest in a series of reform moves. The government has transferred girls' education to the Ministry of Education. Non-Muslims can now own property in the kingdom. Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto ruler, is trying to introduce due process into the judicial system, reduce the government's role in the economy, and curb royal privileges.

For many Saudis these moves are earthshaking.

In a few decades we'll look back and say that 9-11 did for the cause of Islamicism what Pearl Harbor did for Japanese Imperialism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2003 9:29 AM

Was it really Pearl Harbor?

Or was it Hiroshima/NagasakI?

And if so.....?

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 15, 2003 9:41 AM

I get what Orrin's saying--Pearl Harbor, which was intended to advance the cause of Japanese imperialism, set in motion the chain of events that led to its doom.

9/11, intended by Osama to advance the cause of Islamicism, set in motion the chain of events that led to the destruction of the Islamist Taliban regime, and the deposing of Saddam Hussein, a major financial supporter, and . . .

(to be continued)

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 15, 2003 11:28 AM

OJ - You might be right, but it will come after some serious blood-letting in the middle east. The 30 million of so fanatics will never go without a fight. Until that time comes we are just treading water.

Posted by: BJW at October 15, 2003 5:46 PM