posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 03:13 PM
This is a very interesting Obituary.
King Fahd - A forceful but flawed ruler
By Robin Allen
Published: August 1 2005 09:16 | Last updated: August 1 2005 09:16
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who has died at the age of 83, lived long enough to see the bulwarks of his 20-year reign brought under massive strain
following the September 11 terrorist attack on the US in 2001. In the wake of the attack, his kingdom’s long-standing relationship with the US and
his family’s role at the centre of Saudi Arabia’s theocracy came in for such heavy criticism as to call the future of both into question.
It was a messy end to a reign that had its share of achievements. Despite large-scale corruption and despite his own reputation in the west for being
over-fond of luxury and soft living, Fahd was regarded by many as the father of his kingdom’s modernisation.
A talented administrator with a vision for his country’s future, Fahd initiated and followed through the country’s massive oil and gas-based
industrialisation. He chaired the Supreme Petroleum Council, and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the body responsible for building the two
big industrial cities on the Gulf and Red Sea coasts. He was also largely responsible for the development of a free, nation-wide education system that
ensured the education of Saudi girls for the first time.
In government for more than 50 years as minister, crown prince and king, Fahd brought in a team of highly educated technocrats, notably the ministers
of finance and industry. He also introduced limited constitutional reforms, the most striking being the setting up in 1993 of a Consultative Council
the Majlis as-Shura as a first tentative step towards wider public participation in the country’s government.
His flaw was that he failed to stem corruption in his kingdom. It did not start under Fahd. His elder half-brother King Saud had been deposed in 1964
because his corruption and misrule had bankrupted the kingdom. Yet the plundering of the country’s wealth under Fahd was on a massive scale. It was
the start of the oil-fuelled development boom which brought unprecedented amounts of cash into the economy and Fahd was in a perfect position to
exercise ministerial patronage...
Continues at link...