In a world where we tend to see things in two dimensions, Saudi Arabia doesn’t fit. I talked about President Obama’s summit in the Saudi capital a few minutes ago on KQV Radio in Pittsburgh with host Bruce Sakalik.
So while a New York Times columnist bashes Saudi Arabia as an instigator of terrorism and extremism, presidential candidates point to the famous “28 pages” about the alleged role of the Saudi government in the 9/11 attacks–cooler heads note that Saudi Arabia is an anchor of the Sunni Muslim world at a time when Shiite extremists pose a serious problem to stability, and it’s helping prop up important regimes in Egypt and elsewhere.
So…it’s complicated. Simplistic and bombastic slogans are no way to deal with this region, and you’d think that after all the failures of the last two decades, the West would have learned that by now.