August 12, 2004
House of Saud exits cocoon of denial (Ehsan Ahrari, 8/13/04, Asia Times)
The war between the Saudi monarchy and al-Qaeda is fast becoming a struggle between regime survival and regime change. The underlying objective is replacement of the royalist autocrats by puritanical hierocrats. Saudi autocrats are finally convinced that their regime is faced with the possibility of extinction. Consequently, their natural survival instincts have nullified all previous claims that responsibilities for the al-Qaeda-related terrorist acts should really be placed elsewhere.
Reports currently filtering from Washington and Riyadh state that intelligence agents of the monarchy and the American democracy are reportedly joined at the hip - with the creation of one or more "fusion cells" in Saudi Arabia - to save the autocratic regime, and to ensure uninterrupted access to world's largest oil reserves. The unanswerable question is whether this cooperation will save the oil kingdom, or has it already become a futile endeavor to save a doomed cause.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, brought the United States out of its long-standing denial that the Saudi monarchy, despite its firm commitment to Wahhabi puritanism and its profound mindset of anti-Westernism, was not driven by an equally intense sentiment of anti-Americanism. It was as if those two mindsets were unrelated. About the same time, the Saudi monarchy entered its own cocoon of denial, but of a different sort: that the September 11 terrorist attacks were not perpetrated by 15 Saudi citizens (and four Arabs belonging to other countries); that the al-Qaeda threat was exaggerated by the United States and its media; that it was anti-Western in orientation; and that it would certainly not target the Saudi regime.
From September 11, 2001, until approximately the middle of 2003, Saudi officials repeated the aforementioned mantras so frequently that they started believing in them.
But then al Qaeda did our job for us, snapping the regime out of its delusion. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2004 10:48 AM