The Independent, Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Saudi Arabia is a great dumping ground for despots. Remember Idi Amin? We Brits loved him once, but when he turned against us and started eating his enemies – and keeping the occasional head in the fridge – we were happy he fled into exile in Saudi Arabia. Then there was Ben Ali of Tunisia who flew off to the kingdom with his wife and an awful lot of money this year when the people could no longer tolerate him. We used to like Ben Ali – the French more than others – because he was a “symbol of stability”. And now Ali Abdullah Saleh – who also used to be our hero in the “war on terror” – is wounded in the chest and freighted off to hospital in Riyadh.