Protests seem to be engulfing almost all countries in the region from Morocco and Tunis to Jordan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Staunch ally of the West – Saudis – feel suddenly ‘vulnerable’, even ‘encircled’. No wonder – millions of the poor from all over the region are now marching and fighting for social justice or for justice in general. And there is hardly a place in the world with more striking inequalities than in this kingdom based on Wahabi conservative Islam, historically close ally of British imperialism. As is well known, Saudi Arabia is bathing in oil – that dark liquid which is both blessing and curse – enriching elites while helping to maintain apartheid between the natives and exploited migrant workers.
For decades, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt (or more precisely their rulers and ‘elites’) – all of them served Western interests with zeal and efficiency. Now they are expecting helping hand, support in this complex and ‘dangerous times’.
While the White House was sending conflicting reports to its allies, well-disciplined mass media and academia rose immediately to the challenge and invented ‘the best role model for the Arab world’ – Indonesia.