The Saudi state is a fragmented entity, divided between the fiefdoms of the royal family.
Among the four or five most powerful princes, two stand out:
Crown Prince Abdullah and his half-brother Prince Nayef, the interior minister.
Relations between these two leaders are visibly tense. In the United States, Abdullah cuts a higher profile. But at home in Saudi Arabia, Nayef, who controls the secret police, casts a longer and darker shadow.
Ever since King Fahds stroke in 1995, the question of succession has been hanging over the entire system, but neither prince has enough clout to capture the throne.
Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis. The economy cannot keep pace with population growth, the welfare state is rapidly deteriorating, and regional and sectarian resentments are rising to the fore.
These problems have been exacerbated by an upsurge in radical Islamic activism. Many agree that the Saudi political system must somehow evolve, but a profound cultural schizophrenia (sic) prevents the elite from agreeing on the specifics of reform.
(NO REFORM WHATSOEVER IS POSSIBLE IN THE ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD IF NOT EVEN ONE COMMA CAN BE REMOVED FROM THE BOOK "DICTATED BY GOD". PITY THE MUSLIM WOMEN WITH THEIR CIVIC RIGHTS IN ALL THE "ISLAMIC" REPUBLICS. THEIR FATE IS WORSE THAN THAT OF THE INFIDELS.)
The Saudi monarchy functions as the intermediary between two distinct political communities: a Westernized elite that looks to Europe and the United States as models of political development, and a Wahhabi religious establishment that holds up its interpretation of Islam's golden age as a guide.
The clerics consider any plan that gives a voice to non-Wahhabis as idolatrous.
Saudi Arabia's two most powerful princes have taken opposing sides in this debate: Abdullah tilts toward the liberal reformers and seeks a rapprochement with the United States, whereas Nayef sides with the clerics and takes direction from an anti-American religious establishment that shares many goals with al Qaeda.
......READING THE ABOVE, ONE MUST SHOUT, "GOD HELP THE HINDUS!"
WHEN THE SQUEEZE GETS TIGHTER ON THE WORLD OF ISLAM THEY WILL "TAKE IT OUT" ON THE WEAK AND TOTTERING HINDUSTAN, NOT ONLY IN SOUTH KASHMIR AND WEST BENGAL.
THE MUCH RIDICULED, BEATEN AND HUMILIATED "MUSLIMS" HAVE TO SHOW THEIR MANLINESS SOMEWHERE! WHAT BETTER PLACE THAN SOUTH KASHMIR AND THEN THE REST OF HINDUSTAN!