The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has a sort of accidentally-colorful chart illustrating the main line of succession within the Saudi monarchy to date. While the important question here is what comes after Saudi's current octagenarian leaders, King Abdullah (age 86) and Crown Prince Sultan (85), when you look at their family history you can't help but marvel at the various unpleasant ends met by their predecessors. Among those I count

--three "assassinated"

--one "executed"

--three "deposed"

--two "lost control"

--one "captured by foreign enemies"

--and one "forced to flee"

And don't even get them started on the long hours!

--Michael Crowley