While the Al Saud family often displays pride and petulance, it is not suicidal.

ebrahim

Senior Member
Persian
Hello,

I do not get much from the last sentence. Would you please tell your ideas about what the writer tries to convey by the last sentence?

“When Henry Kissinger said that to the late King Faisal, the king is reported to have responded, ‘We Saudis can go back to living in tents and eating dates and drinking camel milk.
<...>’ ” The king’s clear implication: Saudi Arabia would destroy its own oil wells before allowing the United States to seize them. <Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

While it may well be true that some Saudis could return to living in tents and dining on dates and camel milk, that kind of subsistence society almost certainly no longer would be ruled by the Al Saud. While the Al Saud family often displays pride and petulance, it is not suicidal.


On Saudi Arabia; Karen House
 
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  • ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    So can we say that the whole implication is that what King Faisal said was just a bit of a rhetoric and because Al Saud family often displays pride and petulance it probably will not commit suicide by destroying its own wells?
     

    ebrahim

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Also I suspect that 'it' might also refer to 'return to living in tents and dining on date'. Does this hypothesis make the whole idea of the paragraph something comprehensible to you?
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    So can we say that the whole implication is that what King Faisal said was just a bit of a rhetoric and because Al Saud family often displays pride and petulance it probably will not commit suicide by destroying its own wells?
    You have the right two statements, but the wrong relationship between them.

    1. The House of Saʻud is proud and petulant
    2. The House of Saʻud is not suicidal

    Neither of these two things is "because" of the other. It's almost the opposite; the author is saying that #1 might cause some people to expect the opposite of #2, as if #1 and #2 contradicted each other... but that they're both true anyway. "While" in this case is synonymous with "although...", "even though...", and "despite the fact that...".

    What would make someone think the House of Saʻud was proud, petulant, and suicidal is not any particular logical connection between those traits, but just the fact that they'd all be negative, and someone who doesn't like the House of Saʻud might apply all possible criticisms to them. This author is saying that someone who looked at the House of Saʻud that way would be wrong because, "while" ("although") the House of Saʻud does have flaws (such as pride and petulance), being suicidal is one flaw they don't have.

    Also I suspect that 'it' might also refer to 'return to living in tents and dining on date'. Does this hypothesis make the whole idea of the paragraph something comprehensible to you?
    No, "it" is definitely the House of Saʻud.
     
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