“King Abdullah, who sought to modernize Saudi Arabia, [Dead] at 90,” AP reports, and yes, there’s a missing word in their Drudge-linked headline, which will likely be replaced once it’s caught by AP’s proverbial layers and layers of fact checkers and editors.
As for Abdullah, AP hagiographically reports:
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, has died, according to Saudi state TV. He was 90.
So how exactly are those reforms coming along in Saudi Arabia? Not well, to say the least, based on headlines such as this and this. Not to mention reports that the Saudi’s wished to umm, modernize the New York skyline in quite a dramatic fashion.
Saudi Arabia isn’t ISIS — but deep down inside, it’s not all that far removed from ISIS’ vision of the Middle East, either.
As for reform, as my colleague Michael Ledeen would say, “Faster, Please.” Much faster than Abdullah’s glacial (read: non-existent) timetable.