5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations
1) The U.S.-Saudi relationship is a bargain of oil for security.
2) The 9/11 hijackers undermined otherwise strong U.S.- Saudi ties.
3) The Bush family and the House of Saud are too close for comfort.
4) Washington can call the shots with the Saudis because the United States is all-important to them.
5) The House of Saud is about to collapse.
She also adds:
But the cleavages common before a revolution are not visible in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is now aggressively pursuing terrorists on its soil, and reform-minded Saudis view King Abdullah as an ally.
Washington would be better off planning on the royal family enduring. It's also the best chance Washington has to realize its oil and counterterrorism goals -- and avoid alternatives that could be worse.
Note that she did not say 'the' reform-minded Saudis - as to imply that all of them are. Based on the evenhandedness of her approach throughout, this is not simply the absence of a small word.
There are many issues that can and should be taken up with the House of Saud (and they are). But before the American public grinds its teeth in seething anger, let's not forget that, while 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, those same Saudi hijackers could have easily turned planes into Riyadh. al-Qaeda is no friend of Saudi Arabia, either.
This is not to say that we should sit around the campfire lauding each others' efforts combating the terrorism that seeks us both out in bloodlust.
This is to say that the relationship is quite necessarily complex. (Consider also that this comes from a man who cherishes clarity.)
This is also to say that Rachel Bronson's is an excellent effort dispelling '5 Myths' that circulate far too casually in American domestic political discourse among the men and women who cast ballots determining future American Foreign Policy, four years at a clip.