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View Diary: Saudi women barred from voting (110 comments)

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  •  Saudi (4.00)
    Though the US has been known to put pressure on the Saudis, for instance when JFK and Johnson forced them to abolish slavery, and on numerous more recent occasions. The influence the US has with them now is much greater, because the US government is the only friend the dynasty has - everyone else in the region hates them and wants to see them come a cropper, same goes for the other great powers - and the Saudi people want to know who's been eating all the pies, where the oil money has gone, and why they don't have a say in running their own country.

    Fahd and his relatives have bankrupted the country over the last 25 years, and they can't turn the oil taps off, because that money and American favour is the only thing that is keeping the regime afloat. The current regent is doing his best, but unless he pulls a rabbit out of the hat the question is revolution, not if, but when. It's a powderkeg situation, and the fuse was lit back in the 1980s.

    Of course, the US now finds itself in the same position as Britain and France dealing with Czarist Russia in the latter years of the 19th century and 1900-17. They don't like the dynasty or its policies, but they fear what the revolution may bring, so stick with the devil they know, to - I suspect - their ultimate detriment. The US could force change on Saudi if it wished, but it may be too late.

    In the end though, the international community will have to deal with Saudi: it's the cancer at the heart of so many of the troubles in the region and the world.

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