Today's Times also has a story by Neil MacFarquhar on how Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has spent $130 billion to buy off opposition critics and forestall the kind of pro-reform protests that have rocked nearly every other Arab state. In addition to deep pockets, the royal family has a loyal religious establishment that has been preaching against revolt as un-Islamic. And the police have arrested anyone with the temerity to test restrictions against public protest.
But will this strategy work in the long run? As MacFarquhar writes,
Saudi Arabia’s efforts have succeeded in the short run, at home and in its Persian Gulf backyard. But some critics call its strategy of effectively buying off public opinion unsustainable because it fails to address underlying problems.Keep watching Saudi Arabia. The Arab Spring hasn't ended yet.