October 19, 2013
THAT SHOULD READ, "ITS INTERNAL INSTABILITY IS CRUCIAL":
The Last of the Sheiks? (CHRISTOPHER M. DAVIDSON, 10/19/13, NY Times)
Arabia is the big enchilada. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2013 7:33 AMMany experts believe that the Gulf states have survived the Arab Spring because they are different. After all, they've weathered numerous past storms -- from the Arab nationalist revolutions of the 1950s and '60s to Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait to an Al Qaeda terror campaign in 2003.But they are not different in any fundamental way. They have simply bought time with petrodollars. And that time is running out.The sheiks of the Persian Gulf might not face the fate of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya or Hosni Mubarak of Egypt next year, but the system they have created is untenable in the longer term and it could come apart even sooner than many believe.Saudi Arabia is the kingpin of the six Gulf monarchies, so its internal stability is crucial for the region, especially since so much attention has now been turned toward these anachronistic political systems in the wake of the 2011 uprisings.