Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah passed away early Friday. He was officially the King of Saudi Arabia for 9 years, however he was the de-facto ruler for approximately 10 years on behalf of his elderly and then ailing brother King Fahad. All morning western media has been hailing Abdullah as a “reformer” and of course a key ally to the United States. Under Abdullah’s rule the kingdom has seen the initiation of many huge projects, some of them in preparation for the eventual day when the oil runs out.
However there are quite a lot of detractors who will not lament his passing. Their grievances are many, and these are a few of the reasons:
January 14, 2008, as Afghanistan is reeling under years of the American led war in their country and more than a million are dead in Iraq, Abdullah awards the hated George Bush with the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit in the form of a lavish necklace full of diamonds and rubies.
March 2013, Major General Mansour Al-Turki announces that Saudi citizens participating in the Syrian conflict will be jailed upon their return as more than 100,000 Syrians were murdered by their government. “Involvement in the Syrian crisis is against Saudi laws,” the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said. This was at a time when there was no ISIS group in the Syrian picture. Thus many Saudi fighters who traveled to Syria to help defenseless Syrians who died under Bashar’s aggression were jailed. Many of them remain in prison to this day.
July 2013, several days after the military coup that brought current Egyptian President Sisi to power, Saudi Arabia awarded a staggering $8 billion dollar aid package to bolster the Egyptian economy. This was in an effort to fortify the position Sisi’s power grab that resulted in the killing of an estimated 817 peaceful protesters at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, the imprisonment of the previous government and thousands of it’s supporters, including former President Muhammad Morsi who is currently on trial.
August 2014, Saudi Arabia grants $1 billion US dollars to the Lebanese military at a time when they are battling “militants” in the town of Arsal on the Syrian frontier. The Lebanese military is the same force that made no attempt to rein in Hizbollah militants from streaming into Syria across it’s borders to bolster the weakening military of Bashar Assad as he had killed more than 200,000 of his countrymen. Thus Syrian Islamic militants launched attacks inside Lebanese territory after warnings to the Lebanese government to police it’s borders and keep Hizbollah out of the conflict.
November 2014, Saudi Arabia joins several other Arab nations in their stated goal of degrading ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. However, many around the Islamic world are enraged that there was enough will to attack ISIS but not enough to focus on Bashar Assad who’s death toll was approaching 300,000, sparking grave doubts regarding the true motives behind the campaign.