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Published 3 years ago with 2 Comments

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  • sashinator
    +3

    Saudi Arabia deals with its fears of Iranian influence is by financing Islamist groups that fight the Iranian-backed regime in Syria. Saudi Arabia also fears US disengagement, and responds with the same policy of funding Islamist groups, to fill what it sees as a leadership vacuum — even though doing so is a risk not just to the United States but to itself as well.

    It's this sort of calculus that looks irrational to most outsiders and rational to Saudi leaders — not because they're blind to the risks, but rather because they are so intently focused on what they see as the overwhelming and ever-present threats to regime survival that they're willing to take those risks.

    And in so doing inviting a self-fulfilling prophecy?

    Also: would the region actually stabilize without Saudi Arabian paranoid regime exerting destructive influence?

    • spaceghoti
      +3

      And in so doing inviting a self-fulfilling prophecy?

      Probably, yes. Then again these are people from a culture that turned their back on tolerance and progress in the name of ideology a five hundred years before the Enlightenment came to the West.

      Also: would the region actually stabilize without Saudi Arabian paranoid regime exerting destructive influence?

      That one is harder to say. The article notes that the region was previously unstable before the House of Saud managed to consolidate their power and establish a theocratic monarchy. Presumably their heavy-handed control helps to keep down sectarian violence from opposing factions similar to the way Saddam Hussein kept the peace in Iraq. Brutal, oppressive peace but peace nevertheless. I don't know that we have any guarantees the same thing wouldn't happen in Saudi Arabia if the House of Saud were to fall and there were no clear successors to their power.

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