Far more than the secular Ba’athist regimes targeted by the Washington neo-cons, the Saudis have turned the face of Islam against the west. The war on Iraq has only provided a rallying cry for al-Qaida supporters. The country that has played by far the greatest role in advancing global Islamist militancy was never listed in Bush’s “axis of evil” speech, and is a major US ally. Indeed George Bush Snr continues openly to lobby for the Saudis and to take a salary from the Carlyle Group, a multi-billion dollar corporation channelling US investment into Saudi Arabia.
The ultimate irony is that Saudi money comes from the west as oil revenues and investment: in the end it is we who are funding the export of Wahhabi intolerance. If the Saudi regime is now crumbling, we have only ourselves to blame.