Friday, January 23, 2015

The King is Dead. Long Live the King

The king of Saudi Arabia has died:

Saudi King Salman pledged on Friday to maintain existing energy and foreign policies then quickly moved to appoint younger men as his heirs, settling the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty's next generation.

King Abdullah died early on Friday after a short illness.

The new king was named immediately since there was no shock that the very old and hospitalized king, Abdullah, passed away.

The Saudis were ready for this and there is no succession crisis.

Indeed, the next succession candidates for an almost as old new king is already put in place.

So there isn't a lot to write about since continuity of policy is as likely in the short run whether the king had died or lived.

And honestly, I can't get too misty eyed when an absolute monarch dies. Saudi Arabia is our ally (although a troublesome one, with their support for radical strains of Islam--though they draw the line at terrorism against their own interests), but I don't like the bowing and scraping stuff.

Meanwhile, Iran, Syria's Assad, and Sunni jihadis (with able assists by Russia and China) continue to add to the death toll in the Middle East. There's continuity there, too.