When we nominated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s great powers earlier this month (as part of our ongoing Power Series), a lot of people raised questions. But is the conventional wisdom coming around? An extensive piece in The New York Times today profiles the House of Saud’s increased preeminence in a region of faltering states.More than that, you can see an homage to that power in the rush of world leaders to the funeral of the late King Abdullah. As Ross Douthat pointed out this Sunday, many didn’t like the man, and even fewer believed the effusive praise that they and their governments were heaping on him. But they issued the eulogies nonetheless. These are the outward signs of the raw power that Saudi Arabia, for better or for worse, has amassed and skillfully deployed.Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East tend to dominate policy discussions, with good reason. But perhaps the most significant, most underreported power dynamic of 2014 was Saudi Arabia flexing muscles that no one knew they had.