Friday, January 23, 2015

Saudi King's 'younger' brother takes the throne---he's only 79!

So the King is dead, to be succeeded by his younger brother. Apparently there are quite a few more siblings, lining up to take their turn, once his 'new' majesty succumbs to the inevitable. The former king and now his replacement are aligned to the West, yet we often hear of rumblings within the kingdom, whereby various groups operate in a manner that is decidedly 'not pro-western;' not that I see that as a negative position. One suspects that things are not as simple as the likes of the USA and its allies would wish. For sure, the last of the 'Father of this nation's son,' will leave the scene too as they slowly 'leave this earth. What happens then, in this kingdom that has public beheadings, flogs its citizens for any utterances that are seen a against the 'religion.' It is on first appearances a 'modern nation,' but one with deep divisions and the potential to become the next 'basket case' Middle Eastern failed nation, for the moment held together by a vast security system that represses any opposition, and one that still keeps women very much in the background. As for foreign workers, especially those from poorer countries---well---they won't get a look in and they better keep their mouths shut! Guess I am not going there anytime soon. BUT---one wold hope that the people of Saudi Arabia gradually assert themselves, in ways that are sadly missing in its neighbours.