King of Saudi Arabia and the Shah of Iran...

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by PoliticalChic, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    In an apparent bid to avoid the sort of uprisings that have been transforming the Arab world, Saudia Arabia's King Abdullah on Wednesday promised his subjects roughly $37 billion in housing, education, social security, and other benefits. Though Saudi Arabia has so far been largely free of insurrection, the royal family is reportedly nervous that protests in the neighboring Bahrain could spill into their country. Hundreds of people have backed a Facebook campaign for a Saudi "day of rage" in March. Will the king's largesse be enough to buy peace?
    Can Saudi Arabia buy its way out of revolution? - The Week

    Oh, no!

    Not again!!!

    The last time this situation came up, and the tried buying peace...well, remember this:

    1. During the 1953 through 1969, Eisenhower and Kennedy and Johnson pressured the Shah to engage in various reforms based on their fear of a popular uprising, as predicted by the CIA as “…just around the corner!” In mid-1958, “Tomorrow will be a revolution!”

    a. Due to the American pressure, the Shah launched a series of reforms, known as the White Revolution, in 1963. This included many American ideas for modernization, such as a) land reform, b) modernization of infrastructure including railroads, c) education, d) enfranchising women, e) urbanization, f) encouragement of a class of technocrats and competent bureaucrats, etc. tried (unsuccessfully) to enable Iran’s religious minorities—principally Baha’is, Jews, and Christians—to take the oath of office on a holy book of their own choosing.

    b. The conservative clergy viewed the White Revolution as an affront to Islam and a dangerous move toward Western modernity: Ayatollah Khomeini immediately denounced the proposed reforms, led the clerical opposition.

    c. Strangely, the success of the White Revolution lead to new social tensions that helped create many of the problems the Shah had been trying to avoid. It produced a middle class, economically privileged, that formed the insurgents who demanded political reform later…just what the Shah had hoped to avoid.
    From "The Shah," by Dr. Abbas Milani is he Director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University.

    Is Abdullah giving them what they want?
     
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  2. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    The system in S.Arabia has the absolute support of the clergy. The families won't send their children to the streets.
    In Egypt, Tunisia and Libya the system had its problems with religious groups.

    If someone will cause havoc in S.Arabia it will be the Shiite minority, but the system will crush them.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The king coughed up $37 billion.

    What does he know that you don't?
     
  4. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    The 'King' already started an investments program worth 400 Billion $ (393 exactly) before Tunisia thingy. 17% of that money is going into construction of nw hospitals.
    It's a 5-year program targeting health-sector, education and infrastructure.
    You can read it on Foreign Ministry of Germany
    Auswärtiges Amt - Beziehungen zu Deutschland

    Or

    Germany Trade & Invest
    Germany Trade and Invest - Datenbank-Recherche[suche][land]182[/land][sort]dat[/sort][kat]-Eua[/kat][prodkat]art[/prodkat][fachDb]matrixsuche[/fachDb][sicht]suche[/sicht][/suche]&snavi.page=0


    S.Arabia needs to build houses. It has an immense population growth.
    Till 2014, there will be a shortage of 1.5 million housing units:
    Germany Trade and Invest - Datenbank-Recherche[suche][land]182[/land][sort]dat[/sort][kat]-Eua[/kat][prodkat]art[/prodkat][fachDb]matrixsuche[/fachDb][sicht]suche[/sicht][/suche]&snavi.page=0


    The 37 Billion $ is needed and it will function as subvention on building houses.
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Well supported post!

    But the essence of the OP is that the very strengthening of a middle class based on increased prosperity set the stage for insurrection of '79 in Iran...

    1. While the Shah enforced his autocratic regulations, the only one organization had the freedom to form clubs and groups and networks, was the clergy! Their clubs formed in mosques, in the schools where they taught the Koran, they trained in ‘summer camps for the pious.’ And what did the clergy preach? Revolution among the urban poor.

    a. Not only were the poor primed for revolution, but the very middle class the Shah’s White Revolution had unleashed were also demanding political freedom.

    b. The authoritarian rule made the country rich: during the ‘70’s the GNP sometimes reached 20%. When the Pahlavi Dynasty began in 1925, up until 1978, Iran was transformed form a nation near collapse, to one with a burgeoning middle class, and industrialization comparable with South Korea and Turkey.

    c. The Islamic Revolution, so-called, was originally about the desire for political freedom. The Shah had given Iranians economic freedom via the White Revolution of 1963, and this was the groundwork for the unrest of ’78.

    d. Prosperity at the price of democracy: no political opposition was allowed.

    2. . The traditional base of the Shah’s support had been a) the feudal aristocracy, b) nomadic chieftains, c) the clergy, d) the military, e) some parts of the industrial middle class and upper class.
    Comparable?

    3. Lest one think that a more fundamentalist revolution is impossible in Saudi Arabia, there was the the violent takeover of Islam's holiest shrine, Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, by Muslim fundamentalists in 1979.
     

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