Jakarta: The Saudis love coalitions. The Sunni monarchy had the Americans, the British, the French and sundry other oil importers on their side to drive Saddam’s legions out of Kuwait in 1991.
Earlier this year, the Saudi military for which the youngest defence minister in the world and the ambitious Deputy Prime Minister, Mohamed bin Salman al-Saud struck at the Kingdom’s Shia Houthi enemies in Yemen in yet another coalition.
But now with all the drama of a new Hollywood franchise, the Saudis have announced their new multinational military epic against the “disease” of Islamic “terror”, starring more Muslim and would-be Muslim states than ever before assembled since the time of the Prophet.
Once more, as in the Yemen adventure (already plagued by humanitarian catastrophe and credible accounts of the slaughter of civilians under Saudi air attacks), Prince Mohamed, aged 31, is leading his country.
This is very strange, since the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 mostly foreign civilians, brought al-Qaeda into Indonesia’s own war against terror. Surely Indonesia, with a Sunni population of more than 200 million, would have an interest in joining their fellow Sunni Muslims in this unprecedented “coalition” or could it be that with more than 30 Indonesian maids on Saudi Arabia’s death row after grotesquely unfair trials, the country wants an end to this injustice before committing its army to the Kingdom.
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