The Saudi Arabia problem


Robert Fisk reports that a demonstration against the Saudi regime is planned for Friday and the government is mobilizing troops to quell it. The regime has a reputation for coming down hard on protestors and has reportedly told the leader of neighboring Bahrain that if he does not crack down on dissent within his country, they will do it, to prevent the contagion from spreading. Bahrain’s protestors have been having daily demonstrations in that country and this is making the Saudi government uneasy.

If there is a brutal crackdown, this will put Obama and Clinton in a quandary. It is fairly easy for them to condemn Libya’s leader for brutality and threaten retaliation against him, although their options are limited. But the corrupt autocrats who rule Saudi Arabia are longtime US allies and friends of US leaders.

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