This is no news to Saudi watchers or people who keep up on the region. But I wanted to note one fact about the passing today of Saudi King Abdullah. Abdullah was 90 years old, a pretty old guy, though until quite recently fairly vital for his age. But since 1953, every Saudi monarch has been the son of the founder of the Saudi state, ibn Saud, a man who was born in 1876. To put that more crisply, every Saudi head of state who has governed this pivotal, brittle and profoundly influential petro-state during the years of its ascendency since 1953 has been the son of a man born only a decade after the US Civil War. Had transportation been more advanced and he was born a decade earlier, he could have hung out with Abraham Lincoln.
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