Robert Baer's attack on the Saudi government, "The Fall of the House of Saud," is online, though not at The Atlantic's site. When I namechecked that article in my own scabrous attack on the Saudis, I got a detailed rebuttal and defense of the royal family from "Sheri," which was pretty interesting, but so long that I'm going to post it in the comments section for this post. (The idea that the royal family is actually a force for progress and moderation in Saudi Arabia is one I've seen here and there before, and I don't know enough to agree or disagree.) Read on if you're interested.
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