If that’s bland and reassuring, what would scary look like?

The Guardian also reports that the new Saudi monarch promises continuity with the previous monarch. What a surprise.

Salman’s first public remarks as monarch, even before Abdullah’s burial, were designed to send a bland and reassuring message of stability. “We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” he said in a speech on state TV.

“The Arab and Islamic nations are in dire need of solidarity and cohesion.” He used the phrase “the straight path” – language taken directly from the Qur’an.

Yeah cool – so they’ll keep on whipping and fining and imprisoning secular liberals, and looking the other way as citizens torture their foreign servants, and oppressing and suppressing women in every way they can think of. What a relief.

The presence of kings and emirs from Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar demonstrated the solidarity of fellow western-backed autocrats banding together to preserve their own positions in the polarised aftermath of the Arab spring. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, also took part in funeral prayers at the giant Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh.

Theocrats convene.


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