It was during the Gulf War that United States sent a delegation under Dick Cheney, then Secretary of Defense, to seek Saudi permission to deploy US troops in Saudi Arabia. In his book, ‘Against All Enemies’, Richard Clarke, a former National Coordinator for Security, narrates how the meeting took place. Many of the princes were against allowing foreign troops on Saudi soil, considering it sacrilege. However, due to imminent threat of Iraqi forces entering Saudi Arabia, King Fahd allowed US troops to land in his country under certain terms. This led to emergence of several dissident voices all over the kingdom.

One such voice was that of Osama Bin Laden who was willing to assist Saudi regime with his trained fighters against any Iraqi attack. To cut a long story short, these events led to the creation of Al Qaeda after Bin Laden was evicted from the Kingdom. Today, another unholy alliance is being forged to engage IS in Syria and Iraq. This time around, the cast is even more ominous, with all the usual suspects ganged up. Things are pretty ugly across Middle East. Saudis are getting nervous and rightly so. If the crisis spills over into the Kingdom itself, it might not be long before the House of Saud (ruling royal family), comes tumbling down like a house of cards. Unrest in the kingdom would prove to be a nightmare not only for the region but the entire world. How things shape out, only time can tell. It is almost certain though that current events would have a lasting impact on human history.

USMAN ZIA,

USA, September 8.