Dead at age 90, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was praised by President Obama “as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.” But analysts accuse him of turning the Syrian uprising into a proxy war with Iran, and U.S. diplomatic cables identified the country as the world’s largest funder of militant Islamist groups.

“Democracy Now!” discusses Abdullah with Toby Jones, director of Middle Eastern studies at Rutgers University and the author of “Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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