Asks exactly the question that I asked myself when I heard the news. Only difference? I had not a clue about the situation, and Professor Cole does.
- Islam is very friendly to women (e.g. leading battles, property rights). Wahhabism and Gulf societies tend not to be so advanced.
- Saudi needs oil at $90 a barrel to avoid budget deficits (and obviously can control supply as it needs) – they’ve already spent a substantial amount of their future oil wealth.