Apparently, it all started from a “monkey” business (The Guardian, 2015) and the real culprit was Margot Wallström! The deal was about pygmy marmosets ordered by Riyadh which later became an unwanted commodity, hence they were denied entry over a diplomatic spat with the Swedish foreign minister. The issue at hand was not a Sphinxian riddle but the Freudian guilt of Saudia; a direct critique of the atrocious human rights conditions prevalent in the monarchy. The matter became complicated when Margot Wallström called for Arab nations to “focus attention on women’s rights, women’s representation and …freedom of religion and expression”(BBC News, 2015).Only a year ago the same mercurial foreign minister brought havoc on herself by frustrating the Zionist state – the Orwellian guilt of the West -when Sweden became the first EU member in Western Europe to recognize Palestine and in the process, she had her diplomatic immunity revoked by the Israelis. Had Saudia suddenly attained self-sufficiency in monkeys, or was monkey wrenching about something else? An abrupt refusal to receive the smallest primates over a political situation was bizarre, and normally no country would withdraw an ambassador over a trivial matter such as that.”All truth is simple… is that not doubly a lie?” Nietzsche’s inquiry is not entirely misplaced. In March 2015, Sweden had revoked the weapon export program with Saudia which had immediate repercussions for the totalitarian regime, hence the reaction was neither enigmatic nor incomprehensible. That incident coincided with the emergence of Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) on the world stage, who fuelled the war in Yemen.Ever since the first meeting between Roosevelt and Abdul Aziz over USS Quincy at the Red Sea, Saudia remains the most allied ally of the US. The only credit historians give to Aziz was his unflinching support to the Palestinian cause. While he conceded everything else, he refused to yield to the designs of the hegemonic empire on the Palestinian issue. That issue carries little significance for his descendants. Yemen, one of the most impoverished countries of the Middle East, has a history of putting up strong resistance to its opponentsThe oil wealth did not change the tribal relations since they serve the interests of the ruling class of Saudia as well as imperialism. Capitalism is rarely intrigued by religious extremism or even democratic violence as long as it does not hurt its process of realization.”The Saudi royal family” in reality”is a secular entity” (Platteau 2011), “a bunch of hard-nose rentiers eager to provide an Islamic facade behind which to hide their unrestrained capitalist practices”(Meddeb 2002).“The Saud have co-opted a religious elite and used Islam to consolidate a Saudi national identity and thereby reinforced their own legitimacy” (Al-Rasheed 2002). “Islam was thus ‘nationalized’ and cynically used by the state for the legitimation of repressive policies and mobilization” (Layachi, 1995). During the Cold War, Saudi oil and the petrodollar provided substantial support to the hegemonic designs of the US especially against the Soviets. During the oil embargo of 1973, Saudia continued to supply oil to the US forces fighting against the liberation of Vietnam. The unholy alliance that continued even after the demise of USSR had its repercussions. In tribal politics, the possibility of gaining a left-wing diversion is almost a rarity though some Middle Eastern countries like South Yemen experienced dominance of Marxist forces, albeit for the lack of material conditions and oppression by the US-Saudi nexus the experiment could not materialize. Those conditions became congenial for the rightward deviation; the al-Qahtani incidence, the Qatif uprising and Bin Laden’s revolt were a few important reactions to the Saudi subservience to the US hegemony.Barring Qatif, these religious movements demanded a return to the puritanical basis of religion, the very ideology that brought the Al Saud into power, and severing of ties with the West especially US. While employing the violent religious tool the totalitarian state unleashed brutal oppression. Gender segregation became more pronounced and public beheadings more rife and systematic. The state became one of the “zoological gardens which in their authentic form are the products of nineteenth-century colonial imperialism. The tiger which paces to and fro in its cage mirrors back negatively through its confused state something of humanity, but not however those who frolic behind impassable trenches”(Adorno). However, those behind the trenches soon shed their confusion to find their humanity. ‘Enlightenment having mastered itself’, assuming ‘its own power’ has broken through its limits and the process of liberation is well-nigh in sight.Dazed through power the ruling class begins to consider itself natural and invincible, forgetting that neither the class nor the state exists in a void. Any drastic change in the world can affect the fabric of the society especially the one with clay feet. A totalitarian state can stifle the withering criticism in its own backyard through naked coercion, but to prove its legitimacy it needs to show its muscles in the outer sphere as well. Finding an enemy at home or abroad distracts from the exploitation inland. It helps to curb non-conformism inside and the ability to plunder resources outside hence maintaining an aura of invincibility. After a successful palace coup, and finding favor with the US-Israeli nexus, the overambitious leader of Saudia, MBS, in his euphoria and narcissism opted to win Troy as a trophy. Yemen, one of the most impoverished countries of the Middle East, has a history of putting up strong resistance to its opponents. During the civil war of 1962, Nasser’s army took six years to win a republic from the Saudi-and Israeli backed royalists. It was a disaster and without taking a leaf from history, MBS blindly jumped in the fray. The sufferings of the people of Yemen are enormous but the war is getting nowhere close to ending. For MBS the victory is elusive and if it comes, it will be Pyrrhic and at his own peril.The few reforms undertaken by MBS were a sheer necessity. The oil as a potential weapon and a source of wealth has lost its effectiveness. Under the capitalist globalization opening, the borders of the state for the corporations have become imperative; no state is immune to this plunder. The monarchy living on the mercy of the US-Israel nexus has limited options. On one hand, it is bound to invest a huge sum on purchasing ammunition to keep its mentors happy; on the other hand, it has to keep the rentier economy running, which is becoming an impossible task.In a state of awe, the totalitarian state is making serious mistakes. Committed in broad daylight, the cold-blooded murder of Khashoggi was one of those. The latest case of Rahaf Mohammed, the teenage daughter of a Saudi governor, who renounced Islam and sought refuge in Canada has added to Saudi plight. The West has gleefully embraced her not because her plight is less horrific, but her trauma is a perfect commodity to sell.Finally, Yemen the inferno may incinerate MBS. The incidence has made Wallström relevant again.The Saudi younger generation refuses to yield to the oppressive tribal version of Islam to the point of renunciation of religion. The invisible boundaries of the zoological garden are shrinking. This time not monkeys but human beings, who according to Camus have lived to the point of tears, are seeking liberation.The writer has authored books on socialism and historyPublished in Daily Times, January 20th 2019.