Recently leaders of the free world flocked to Saudi Arabia to meet with the new king, where they praised the country as a partner for peace and center of stability. But many dissidents disagreed. As Mansour Al-Hadj, a liberal activist who lived in Saudi Arabia for 20 years, said: “Saudi Arabia is not stable. Deep down, people are not happy. Sooner or later, the winds of change will come to Saudi Arabia. The regime will fall.”
If history is any judge, the world should bet on the dissidents, not the diplomats.
On Jan. 25, 2011, just two weeks before the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her assessment “that the Egyptian government is stable.” That March, Clinton’s successor, John F. Kerry, praised “good-faith” measures taken by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and predicted that his regime would change for the better “as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West.”