King Fahd of Saudia Arabia, right, and the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, left, are seen in this 1981 photo taken in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. King Fahd, who moved his country closer to the United States but ruled in name only since suffering a stroke in 1995, died early Monday, Aug. 1, 2005, the Saudi royal court said. He was 84. Crown Prince Abdullah, the king's half brother and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, was appointed the country's new monarch.
(AP Photo/Saleh Rifai, File)Abdullah Al-Shihri, for AP - RIYADH, Saudi Arabia:
During his rule, the portly, goateed Fahd, who rose to the throne in 1982, inadvertently helped fuel the rise of Islamic extremism by making multiple concessions to hard-liners, hoping to boost his Islamic credentials. But then he also brought the kingdom closer to the United States and agreed to a step that enraged many conservatives: the basing of U.S. troops on Saudi soil after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.Abdullah oversaw the crackdown on Islamic militants after followers of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden launched a wave of attacks, beginning with the May 2003 bombings of Western residential compounds in Riyadh. Abdullah also pushed a campaign against extremist teaching and preaching and introduced the kingdom's first elections ever - municipal polls held in early 2005.
And Abdullah - who before coming to power had not been happy with Saudi Arabia's close alliance with and military dependence on the United States and Washington's perceived bias toward Israel - rebuilt the kingdom's ties with the U.S. He visited President Bush twice at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, most recently in April 2005.
Well. We know that a lot of Islamic fanatics hail from Saudi Arabia...like those charming fellows who flew a few planes into some buildings hereabouts. Then there's the lovely and talented Osama bin Laden, of course.
The Saudi royalty has paid a lot of lip service
to being vehemently opposed to terrorism; now they officially
have a new king, although in reality Abdullah has been running the show for 10 years years now, ever since King Fahd had a stroke in '95. Perhaps now that Abdullah is king in fact
, things might change...but it seems doubtful.
Crude oil prices will very likely stay high, largely due to the appetite of the Dragon in the East...China.
(Economics 101 - Law of Supply and Demand: the Saudis have the supply, while China has the demand. Of course when you adjust for inflation, gas prices in the U.S. have
been higher in the past. But I digress
concern is regarding terrorism.
Instead of just paying lip service to being opposed to it, it would speak volumes if King Abdullah denounced it entirely. He has
cracked down on it within his country's borders to a certain degree, but many of the so-called "insurgents" in Iraq are being bankrolled by Saudi sympathizers.
If King Abdullah were to crack down on them, it would truly make a difference.
Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words...