Modern Liberty

The death of King Abdullah last week in Saudi Arabia has led to an international focus on the regime that is famous for buying US political support, opposing and financing terrorism, flogging bloggers, and preventing women from exercising even the most basic individual liberties.

Saudi Arabia is a place of seeming contradictions. Long-held as an American ally in the region since the tacit approval of the West in the establishment of the House of Saud as the governing entity of the majority of the Arabian Peninsula in the early 20th century. For nearly 100 years, Saudi Arabia has been an example, for both good and ill, of a stable theocratic Islamic government. That stability, as most any human rights organization would immediately note, has been bought on the blood of violent crackdowns against perceived insurgencies and sleights against the religious government. However, when compared to the breakdown of nations like…

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