I have a question about an assertion you make:
"In Kuwait we put a king back on his throne, one who enjoys the custom by which families send their fourteen-year old daughters to him to be deflowered."
Do you have a source for this assertion? I haven't heard of this anywhere else, and it flies in the face of what I know about Islamic custom.
I originally read that detail in the newspaper. A search on Google turned up a reference. Ross Perot is quoted as saying: "Does [Bush Sr.] really want us to believe that we're going in to defend a nation [Kuwait] whose leader has a Minister of Sex, whose job it is to get him a new virgin to deflower each Thursday night?" This is from the Peter McWilliams Homepage, which is worth checking out.
I'll admit that this isn't the most solid of references, but it's what I could turn up without too much effort. Occasionally I'll drop a little-heard fact into my writing specifically because it's little-heard. Since I'd only heard about the virgin deflowering once, I thought it bore repeating (for those who may not have heard of it at all).
As to how this fits with Islamic custom, I'd venture that there are two powerful, cultural influences in the Mid-East: Islam and Persia. Since the Wahhabis took over most of the Arab Peninsula (turning it into Saudi Arabia) and since we forced the Iranian revolutionaries to ally with fundamentalist Muslims in order to overthrow the Shah,
we tend to see the Muslim influences and overlook the Persian influences.