Saudi Arabia has gone on the offensive against Iran to protect its interests. Its involvement in Syria is the first battle in what is going to be a long conflict that will know no frontiers nor limits.Go to the link for update on the Shia Crescent.
The Saudis are convinced that Iran is directing the protests and fear that the problems will spill over the 25-kilometer long COSWAY into oil rich Al-Qatif, where the bulk of the Saudi Arabia's Shia are concentrated. So far, the Saudis have not had to deal with demonstrations as serious as those in Bahrain, but success there could encourage the protestors to become more violent.
The customary manner of dealing with a problem by the patriarchal regime is to bury it in money. King Abdullah announced at the height of the Arab Spring that he was increasing the national budget by $130 billion to be spent over the coming five years. Government salaries and the minimum wage were raised. New housing and other benefits are to be provided. At the same time, he plans to expand the security forces by 60,000 men.
Some random data points:
- Saudi Arabia increased spending on its citizens: a) it will never be enough; b) religious zealots are not interested in money; and, c) those two (a) and (b) are not connected.
- Muslim Brotherhood is "taking over all" of Egypt
- Muslim Brotherhood is anchored in the Sunnah (Sunnis)
- Saudi state religion: Sunni; the Shia sizeable minority
- Egypt is going to need cash, and a lot of it, to keep the revolution going