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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another


The Kingdom

Beleaguered on all sides, the faction of the royal family that had fostered al-Qaida brought the terrorist movement back into the peninsula. That, at least, is what Saudi liberal dissidents, who are far more numerous than most Westerners realize, believe. The Wahhabi fanatics were repatriated to the kingdom to dramatize the message the royal family always wanted the West to hear: that if the royal family falls, or is compelled to surrender any of its power, the only alternative is something worse: Bin Laden ruling the peninsula. But Bin Laden's patrons already rule the peninsula. Al-Qaida and its imitators returned to Saudi Arabia with two other goals: to operate in the rearguard of the American liberation of Iraq, inciting young Saudis to go kill and die in places like Falluja; and to intimidate the liberal reformers.
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As a Sufi, Stephen Schwartz has no reason to love the Wahhabis who rule Saudi. His analysis of the return of al-Qaeda to the Kingdom is well worth reading. Very much in the traditon of the Socerer's Apprentice.