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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Think Saudi

"For many long years it was fair to describe the development of Saudi Arabia's foreign policy in terms of the 'dynamics of inaction.' The Wahhabi royal house followed an essentially cautious, awkward, defensive path of diplomacy, rarely taking the initiative, and prefering to remain in the shadowy realm of influence from behind the scenes. Recently, it appears, King Abdullah and his close aides have come to the conclusion that Saudi Arabia has to change gear and go into active mode in all the relevant spheres. Over the past few months, there has been a succession of developments that, together, have thrust Riyadh into a leading role. The Saudis are no longer waiting for anyone, but are forging ahead by themselves.

The Saudis have become critical of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in general, and in particular, of its Palestinian branch, Hamas. Prince Naif, Saudi's powerful interior minister, accused the MB of "ingratitude" after all the help the organization had received from Saudi when it was being persecuted in Egypt in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. When Hamas's Khaled Mashal came to Saudi for the Hajj pilgrimage he was chided for the extremism he displays. The informal alliance between Saudi Arabia and the Brotherhood is beginning to dissolve." Read more....


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