Thursday 1 October 2015
A nasty end game
The House of Saud, for all the wrong reasons a bedrock of Western support down the years, has some major internal splits that are showing publicly.
The new King had to usurp others to gain his place and then put in line his son to take over, so pushing aside other parts of the clan. (The House founder had 43 sons! it makes medieval dynastic troubles in Europe look like tic-tac-toe in comparison).
Also the new King, Salman, has had to deal with wars in Yemen and Syria, the struggle of how to fight ISIS whilst also fighting Iran and of course the collapse in the Oil price. Last week Saudi Arabia tapped the bond market for the first time in years and has repatriated $73 billion.
Domestic expenses of the wars and policy to retain oil share through low pricing are terrible for the State finances. Plus the new King is very conservative, further pushing the Wahhabi's position in the Country where it is in reality a very destabilising force as it is everywhere else in the world.
Recent events in Mecca, sad as they are, do not further inspire confidence in the soundness of the Saudi state.
However, a dynastic dispute and fight would be a very bad thing, as much as the House of Saud is not a very nice regime at all, what would replace it would be similar in nature to Isis and other countries that have experienced power change since the 'Arab Spring' have fared very badly.
Saudi Arabia though, money aside, does seem like a failed state in waiting and what a mess that would be for the rest of the world to come to term