Gregg Dunn’s note to an article by Bernard Lewis in The Atlantic (which I agree is worth reading) reminded me that there is also another good article in the same issue worth reading, but, alas, it is not on-line; so you’ll have to get the paper version (May 2003). It is by Robert Baer (former CIA field officer) and is called "The Fall of the House of Saud." He writes of the extraordinary power that the oil kingdom has in the international economy, how we have assumed its stability, yet the kingdom is dangerously at war with itself. We are, he says, incapable of wishing the problem away; we can’t ignore it. He goes through the history of the place, how it has declined and degenrated, how it may well be taken over by bad guys calling for a "purification," and so on. This is a great read. It is worth five bucks on the newstand, and purchasing it might be a kind act of piety since it is also probably the last issue edited under the late Michael Kelly.