Can Riyadh Reform Before the Royal Family Falls?

(Wall Street Journal) David Pryce-Jones - Some 5,000 or more princes control all power and resources in Saudi Arabia, sharing out ministries and governorships and oil revenues as they see fit. Their idea of democracy is to appoint an advisory council and religious leaders carefully vetted to provide a facade of legitimacy. Immemorial tribal custom and the local Wahhabi brand of Islam are defended and perpetuated. Rights and the rule of law are only what the ruling family says they are. No blueprint exists for successfully modernizing a society like this one. Individual Saudis, including some princes and their so-called charities, continue to sponsor terror groups, including their homegrown al-Qaeda, in some 60 countries.

2003-11-14 00:00:00

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