Sunday, February 15, 2009
Osama conceived as Al Qaeda as the Salafist opposition to the House of Saud. The original Saudi campaign against the other tribes of present day Saudi Arabia, including the Hashemites of the Hejaz, relied on the Salafis Ikhwan movement. They were broken as an independent force in 1930 but represented the continuing dream of a true Islamic army that had the God given right to live as bandit parasites off of their presumably degenerate neighbors. Remember the original vision of Islam was for only a minority to convert and the majority to live as dhimmis to support the believers. Believers would also be driven farther afield to find new communities of unbelievers to pillage. For a few years the Americans did the House of Saud a favor by consuming the true believers in Iraq. This was analogous to the role that the Russian Front in WW-II served for Francisco Franco. He was able to ship the real fascists off with the Blue Division to where they conveniently got killed. Spain was a rather peaceful and non-ideological country after WW-II, which greatly aided the subsequent transition to democracy. Saudi Arabia probably would need a far deeper shock to truly break the Salafist grip. The House of Saud is itself of dubious legitimacy, without the support of religious extremists, having evicted the true descendants of Muhammad from the Hejaz, and facing declining oil revenues. They are not all fools but they face an uncertain future.