Friday May 1, 2015
What we are seeing in Saudi Arabia is the seizure of power by one section of the Sudeiri faction in the Saudi Royal family. The late King Abdullah was not a Sudeiri and relations between him and the Sudeiris were always a bit tense. King Salman, who is reputed to be a bit gaga (kharaf) is seeking to ensure the succession for his part of The Family. He, like all the Sudeiris, are much influenced and obliged to the Wahhabi, Hanbali ulema. Abdullah, with his half rwalla bedawi descent was less so. The new crew seem to be listening to the ulema desire for Sunni triumphalism in the Levant.
To that end they, along with their pals in the Gulf Cooperation Council, (notably Qatar) and Erdogan (the semi-crypto Turko-Islamist), have convinced themselves that Assad's government has lost the war and will soon fall. They have conjured this image from Syrian government reverses in the north and a profound hope. There is also a supposedly effective combat alliance (including al-Nusra) that is thought to be Assad's bane. We will see if they are correct. In any event the professional bits of the US government are fearful that if the present Syrian government goes down, chaos will ensue that will end in an Islamist government. I agree.