My Saudi Essay Contest Entry

(I am informed that the DoD is soliciting memorial essays for the recently-departed monarch of the House of Saud. My entry, somewhat inspired by a Facebook post by Robert Zubrin, is below. Other ChicagoBoyz contributors are encouraged to compose entries as well.)


I write to you as – in descending categorical order – a Christian, a libertarian, an Anglospherist, and an American, on the occasion of the passing of King Abdullah and the succession of Crown Prince Salman.

Your kingdom has, for nearly three-quarters of a century, been nominally allied with the nation in which I have spent my entire life, except for brief journeys abroad; one from whose spiritual and cultural patrimony I derive the vast majority of my worldview. That alliance is the most problematic in my country’s history, not excepting our alliance with the USSR in 1941-45. Were I in a position to meaningfully do so, I would repudiate it immediately and make its resumption conditional on the prompt introduction of significant freedoms into your kingdom, knowing full well that such freedoms would alter it beyond recognition, and would also require that your kingdom’s control of religious institutions outside its own territory be relinquished as soon as practicable. Were my demands to be met with retaliation, I would order the selective elimination of your kingdom’s top political and religious leadership.

What is nearly certain to happen instead will be far worse. The adoption of minor but inevitable variants of your state religion, a religion you have aggressively promoted worldwide, by an equally inevitable and profoundly disaffected minority of young Saudis and Muslims from elsewhere, has already resulted in hundreds of thousands of violent deaths in recent years, mostly of noncombatants, including thousands of civilians in the United States. Furthermore, the composition and history of your kingdom’s political institutions suggests that – as in Libya, Mali, northeastern Nigeria, Syria, and Yemen – it is deeply vulnerable to cataclysmic collapse in the very near future. We may confidently expect that collapse to itself kill hundreds of thousands more in Dar al-Islam, and to be followed by WMD attacks in Dar al-Harb. Those attacks and our response will, in all likelihood, kill tens of millions in what will amount to World War III.

Every single death in the upcoming war will be a historical derivation of the near-simultaneous weakening of the Ottoman empire and collapse of the Mogul and Safavid empires three centuries ago (long before the United States came into existence, I note). Among the sects which formed in reaction to those events was your kingdom’s Wahhabism, which thanks to the oil wealth of the Arabian Peninsula now controls nine-tenths of all Muslim institutions in the world. Its inevitable consequences, mentioned above, make a cruel mockery of the notion that Islam is a religion of peace. If it somehow continues to exist through the near-future events I expect, it will acquire a peaceful character in the same way that Shinto did seven decades ago, through the complete annihilation of its warlike adherents.

Americans are notoriously reluctant to commit to total war and magnanimous to the point of absurdity in victory. As a matter of the self-identification with which I began this essay, I personally loathe the likelihood of killing innocent Saudis, vast numbers of whom desire the same liberties I prize, and dread the possibility of mistreatment of American Muslims, who have immigrated to escape the very dysfunctionality of their native lands that now threatens us. We will nonetheless ultimately do whatever we perceive the situation to require, and the technologies available to us in this conflict will be advanced as far beyond those of the last global war as those were of our own Civil War. Defiance will earn only comprehensive destruction. Those among you who wish any portion of their biological or cultural progeny to survive must behave as true allies, irrespective of the response of their countrymen. I do not expect that to be easy, but I assure you that the time is not far off when we will leave you no alternative.

5 thoughts on “My Saudi Essay Contest Entry”

  1. The Saudis today are Israel’s only allies. They just don’t admit it publicly. Jordan may be another but they have to keep a low profile because Jordan is full of nut cases.

  2. “Saudis, vast numbers of whom desire the same liberties I prize,”

    This type of statement is common, but it is not supported by evidence. Richard Landes calls it cognitive egocentrism*. As far as I know, the vast majority of Saudis adhere to orthodox Wahhabi doctrine and believe that in a properly regulated community, heretics should be severely punished, and the only freedom is the freedom to be completely orthodox.

    Tolerance and freedom of belief and expression are recent inventions, limited, for the most part to a few societies.


  3. Mike K: Israel is defacto allied with Egypt as well as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Israel are on the same page concerning Hamas, and its parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a measure of the depth of Obama’s incompetence that he was able to drive those countries together.

  4. Robert Schwarz: I paused on the same phrase you did (“Saudis, vast numbers of whom desire the same liberties I prize,”).

    My sympathetic resolution was to note that a vast majority of Saudi’s could believe X while at the same time, without contradiction, a vast number of Saudis could believe not-X.

  5. Given that the population of the KSA is approaching 30 million, my assertion easily stands, unless your definition of “vast number” requires that it be in the middle eight figures. It is certainly true, however, that they do not desire those liberties enough to die fighting for them.

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