January 23, 2015
Saudi Arabia: The Monster Is Dead, May The New Monster Die Soon
The obituaries of mainstream U.S. media and "western" politicians on the Saudi King Abdullah are laughingly sycophantic:
A master politician, he gained a reputation as a reformer without changing his country’s power structure and maintained good relations with the United States while striking an independent course in foreign policy.
The Post closed its comment section on the obit to not be called out for its bootlicking. How much did the Saudis pay for this coverage? For a realistic view on the now dead monster read the Guardian obit: Monarch whose reign saw the spread of division, corruption and strife, and was saved only by ‘black gold’. The deceased left dozens of wives, tens of kids and ten-thousands of terrorists behind him.
The new king Salman, a fervent Wahabbi who has Alzheimer and is unlikely to rule for long, immediately launched an internal coup to further empower his branch of the tribal family:
Salman moved swiftly to undo the work of his half-brother. He decided not to change his crown prince Megren, who was picked by King Abdullah for him, but he may choose to deal with him later. However, he swiftly appointed another leading figure from the Sudairi clan. Mohammed Bin Nayef, the interior minister is to be his deputy crown prince. It is no secret that Abdullah wanted his son Meteb for that position, but now he is out.
More significantly, Salman, himself a Sudairi, attempted to secure the second generation by giving his 35- year old son Mohammed the powerful fiefdom of the defense ministry. The second post Mohammed got was arguably more important. He is now general secretary of the Royal Court. All these changes were announced before Abdullah was even buried.
There will likely be some resistance and strife within the Saudi ruling family about these changes. The smooth transfer of power today may turn out to be the start of rather chaotic developments.
No country deserves the troubles of a revolution more than Saudi Arabia does. Its combination of extreme archaic interpretation of religion and tons of oil money has proven to be dangerous for mankind. An uproar in Arabia could, in the short term, lead to even more repressive and backward religious regime. But such would at least stop the ass-licking and support "western" politicians offer to it.
Posted by b on January 23, 2015 at 11:01 AM | Permalink
Salman and I go way back — my nickname for him is Sockeye, and let me tell you, this guy can throw it back. He puts the Japanese and Russians to shame — he can drink all of them under the table no problem. He's a looker too, as all Saudi Kings are. He ought to be in pictures.
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 23, 2015 12:24:49 PM | 3
But such would at least stop the ass-licking and support "western" politicians offer to it.
I think America has shown it will pretty much work with anyone, whether it be the House of Saud, whatever eventually displaces that House, or any 'ol tinpot Pol Pot so long as they/it show(s) proper off-stage obeisance.
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 23, 2015 12:28:26 PM | 4
patience my dear sulieman,patience is a virgin whose virtue was none....
3 companions,7 falling stars,the earth shall open,an ancient stream will flow again.
Posted by: mcohen | Jan 23, 2015 1:59:13 PM | 6
Well said, b. Sisi announced seven days of mourning in Egypt, so beloved is the House of Saud. It could be bumpy transition for the Kingdom. Pro-Saudi Hifter forces are making a move on the Central Bank of Libya, the only functioning national institution left. In Yemen the resignation of U.S./Saudi puppet Hadi augurs another failed state, this one on the Kingdom's borders. Will al-Saud go the route it pursued in Bahrain? I doubt it. The Houthis can fight. Maybe the addled Salman can cajole Obama into another invasion.
Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jan 23, 2015 4:03:31 PM | 8
Long live king of rats and jihadist organeaters!
Posted by: Ari | Jan 23, 2015 4:20:05 PM | 9
What will stop the ass-licking and Western support is when those fools finally run out of oil. Something tells me the current set up over there will not last until that time arrives, they are definitely overdue for some internal chaos...
Posted by: W.H. Brewer | Jan 23, 2015 4:48:48 PM | 10
Unrest in Aden as locals support president Hadi who resigned from office under pressure from Houthi rebels in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen.
○ US Moving Personnel From Sana’a to Aden
○ US pulls more staff from Yemen embassy
○ Leaked conversation shows Saleh, Al Houthi ties
Ali Al Bukhiti, a spokesperson for the movement, said in an article published in Al Oula daily that the former president has contacted him more than 20 times since the movement gained control of the capital on September. Al Bukhiti said that Saleh was giving advice not commands.
“Saleh was telling me some military and political advice. He once contacted me to express his admiration for my interview with Azal TV.”
In the conversation, the former president appeared to be giving military and political commands to the Al Houthi commander to take control of seaports, airports and land crossings to prevent former president, Abd Rabbou Masnour Hadi from fleeing the country.
Posted by: Oui | Jan 23, 2015 5:34:50 PM | 12
I think that it is a bit misleading to say that the "interpretation of Islam" of Saudi Kingdom is "archaic". Wahhabi is a movement from 18-th century, and it claims to purify the religion from "innovations", but that in itself is a rejection of old tradition. More to the point, for them, "archaic" is a point of pride, but in my opinion, they are "backward" rather than "archaic", moving back to a golden age that never was. Sure, women were not driving at the time of the Prophet, but his highly esteemed wife was riding a camel -- to a battle that she lost, but AFAIK, she was not criticized in the tradition for riding.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 23, 2015 5:58:43 PM | 13
Mr. Gwynne Dyer already said in 2006/2007 that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the first domino to fall in the Middle East. In that regard he more or less predicted the Arab Spring. I DO expect to see (much) more "turmoil" in the Middle East. After Libya, Tunesia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrein, Iraq we very well could see more "turmoil" in the countries on the saudi penisula and in ........ Iran.
Although I don't expect too much "turmoil" in Saudi Arabia this year. But who knows what the future has in store for us.
Oil prices remaining this low is NOT good for "Economic stability" in all the oil producing countries.
(Although I think the civil war in Algeria in the early 1990s was the first chapter of the "Arab Spring".)
Think of the chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times". And it gets more & more "interesting" in the Middle East when the "support" of these countries called "USA" is "going down the drain".
Remember, Osama Bin Laden wanted to overthrow the saudi government and to achieve that he wanted to bleed the US dry. And the US swallowed the bait Bin Laden dangled out. The US swallowed it hook. line & sinker by waging all those wars in the Middle East.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 23, 2015 6:28:55 PM | 14
President Reuven Rivlin praised Abdullah who passed away on Friday and said: "I was saddened to hear of the passing of King Abdullah. He was an example of grounded, considered and responsible leadership, with a deep religious tradition. As 'Guardian of the Holy Places' of Islam, King Abdullah acted as a moderator, respecting the sensitivity and sanctity of Jerusalem and sought to promote a vision of prosperity for the region. His wise policies contributed greatly to our region, and to the stability of the Middle East."
Posted by: MikeA | Jan 23, 2015 7:26:55 PM | 15
Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 23, 2015 6:28:55 PM | 14
Gwynne Dyer is not a good foreign affairs guide. He's firmly in the Western pocket, so he would repeat the conventional wisdom that Bin Laden is a fierce opponent of the Saudi regime rather than one of its operatives. Just consider that everything concrete that he did (and Al Qaeda still does) advanced the Saudi, Sunni extremist, and US/Israel agendas. He could _say_ that he intended to overthrow the Saudi regime but did he? Did he even try?
The US (and Dyer) could _say_ way back in 2003/2004 that Iraq was the first of a series of dictatorship dominoes to fall, but most of us knew that was b.s. as soon as it was spouted Did I miss the fall of the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Jordan dictatorships? Didn't happen. Why? Because those countries are strong official US allies and strong unofficial Israel allies.
Posted by: fairleft | Jan 23, 2015 7:30:13 PM | 16
"The Post closed its comment section on the obit ..."
Is that a dead fish I can smell?
WaPo, that part-time defender of individual, Hebdo-style, free speech jumps the shark by suppressing collective free speech.
(Our lords & masters would be very 'disappointed' with us if we provided the 99% with a forum which would help them to discover how unanimous their opinion on an individual topic can be).
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 23, 2015 7:40:27 PM | 17
@ regime change for saudi arabia any time soon wayoutwest? why not, lol.. the west is too busy bowingr down for those petrodollars, lol.
@13 piotr, wahhabi might be more recent, but what is it with these folks wanting to revert to 9th century sharia, while driving around in mercedes benz and talking on there iphones? can you say fucked up? oh, and be sure to not let women drive.... i am sure'regime change' is on the top of the usa's priorites for the new sowdi regime..
this astrologer has 2019/2020 when the sa hits the fan. can't wait.. heads will roll, and hopefully they will be royal heads...
Posted by: ..james | Jan 24, 2015 2:06:36 AM | 19
You imagine the effect of KSA king's death on the polarized Muslims in France at the moment? The police is arresting teenagers in the classroom for a stupid post on their FB page, but no one is mentioning djihad as a problem, and we praise the former Saudi king!!
The Muslims are right to say that Atheists in the West have a God, although they never want to admit it. It is called MONEY.
The polarization of the society after these 2 weeks will be extreme and the sole winner will be Le Pen.
Posted by: Mina | Jan 24, 2015 4:44:05 AM | 20
@16: I know Gwynne Dyer is not a "foreign affairs guide". But he made some good predictions about Iraq & the Middle East. Other predictions failed to materialize. And then one should - at least - listen to him.
Same story for Juan Cole. Then I don't care that a "person is in someone's pocket".
Osama Bin Laden certainly wanted to overthrow governments in the Middle East. And I DO think oil dropping down to say $ 10 (and the USDX going to 120 or even 160) certainly would A LOT OF "turmoil" in the US & the Middle East. It also would kill the US ability to support governments in the Middle East.
Osama Bin Laden wanted to let the US (financially) bleed dry in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was aware that the US became very interested in increasing influence in Afghanistan & Central Asia. The US wanted to make a deal with the afghan Taliban in the 1990s. But the Bush administration took the decision to invade Afghanistan in very early 2001.
Bin Laden was absolutely thrilled that the US also invaded Iraq. He knew that that invasion & occupation was going to be VERY expensive as well. (B.T.W. those wars were paid for by those pesky ...... foreigners.).
Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24, 2015 5:42:50 AM | 21
“No country deserves the troubles of a revolution more than Saudi Arabia does.”
ummm...that's your vantage point of view, right? What you wrote above couldn't withstand test of any objective political or historical analysis.
Tentatively, I agree with you! But, I do not see too much difference between the Royal family in KSA and those creeps who are sitting in the Buckingham Palace. Or, for that matter those (“leading behind”) who are wearing silver Hermes' ties and Ferragamo shoes who are engaged in pedophilia.
Primitivism and savagery is common denominator of the Middle East's regimes as well as of West Europe and USA. Yes, savagery of the White Man is "sophisticated" like in movie American Sniper and the like, while savagery of KSA is "raw", on the street of Mecca.
Somebody mention that KSA is majority stockholder of Fox News.
Even blind person can notice this is a fake, but who cares...Wahhabism was an obscure/isolated cult in the Basra region, when the British decided to prop them up, i.e. to serve Imperial interests.
In any event it is interesting symbiosis of Western fascist's (neocons) regimes and their reactionary MENA medieval puppets.
West Asian regimes doesn't pose threat to all living organisms on planet Earth, Western "civilization" does, with their satrap Judeo-Nazi regime of settler-state.
So before this “No country deserves the troubles of a revolution more than Saudi Arabia does.” it would be nice to see reign of Jacobine terror in Western Capitals. Without this, you are part of rabid mob known as “Je Suis Charlie”.
Do not forget “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jan 24, 2015 6:49:16 AM | 22
@ b: "No country deserves the troubles of a revolution more than Saudi Arabia does."
Unless of course, it's the USA, and it's enablers in Finance Capital.
Posted by: ben | Jan 24, 2015 10:38:27 AM | 23
"Saudi Arabia observes no official period of mourning, in keeping with the ascetic traditions of its official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, but the royal court has announced that it will receive condolences and pledges of allegiance until Sunday."
However, Obama, being "Mr Exceptional" Himself, will fly in on Tuesday to do the bowing and scraping in a special 1:1 session. Perhaps he'll be taking his 'Tuesday Morning Drone Kill List" with him to work on with the new Tyrant of the Arabs? -- Link
And "RT" was singled out by the new chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack for “daring to advocate a point of view,” as well as for “competing for viewership.”!!! -- Eh?
Posted by: x | Jan 24, 2015 10:42:09 AM | 24
King Abdullah is being eulogized in the most unrealistic ways possible, from CNN designating him as a “reformer” to Chuck Hagel calling him “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace — in the Islamic world and across the globe.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin takes the cake, however, by proclaiming that “his smart policy contributed greatly to Middle East stability.” None of these characterizations are true in any way, as Abdullah’s main legacy isn’t one of reform, tolerance, and regional stability, but of destruction, hate, and regional instability. Every contemporary Mideast problem except for the Israel-Palestine issue can be directly traced back to the deceased despot, and in the wake of his death, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of regional chaos that he leaves behind.
Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 12:00:30 PM | 25
Saudi king’s death threatens to deepen US crisis in Middle East
By Bill Van Auken
24 January 2015
The death of Saudi Arabia’s 90-year-old King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the head of one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies, has been met with profuse tributes and open mourning by Washington and its allies, along with the Western media.
Abdullah, who has effectively ruled Saudi Arabia since his predecessor and half-brother, Fahd, suffered a debilitating stroke in 1995—becoming king upon his death in 2005—has maintained the country’s theocratic dictatorship as a lynchpin of regional counterrevolution and US oil interests for the past two decades.
His death introduces another layer of uncertainty and potential crisis into a Middle East already reeling from political eruptions that are directly tied to the role of the US-Saudi axis in the region, from the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to the collapse of the regime that they both backed in Yemen.
World leaders have rushed to the Saudi capital of Riyadh to participate in the three days of official mourning proclaimed by the monarchical regime, among them US Vice President Joe Biden, French President François Hollande, Britain’s Prince Charles, Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan and many others. All of them are anxious to see their interests in the kingdom—which sits atop the second largest proven petroleum reserves in the world and is the number one producer of crude oil—preserved.
Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 1:06:54 PM | 26
Saudi Arabia is under mounting international pressure over the blogger Raif Badawi, whose public flogging has been postponed for a second consecutive week after a medical assessment.
Protests and vigils were held in public places and outside Saudi embassies across the world on Thursday, keeping up the momentum after a medical committee said he should not undergo a second round of 50 lashes on health grounds.
Amnesty International, which has adopted the liberal thinker as a prisoner of conscience, said that the committee, comprising about eight doctors, carried out a series of tests on Badawi at the King Fahd hospital in Jeddah on Wednesday and recommended that the flogging should not be carried out.
Badawi, 31, was sentenced last May to 10 years’ imprisonment and 1,000 lashes – 50 at a time over 20 weeks – and fined 1m Saudi riyals (£175,000). He has been held since mid-2012, and his Free Saudi Liberals website, established to encourage debate on religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia, is closed. He received his first 50 lashes on 9 January, but the punishment was not carried out a week later.
Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 4:08:12 PM | 28
No tears or respect for a monster whose hands are full of the blood of more than 200,000 Syrians, of the destruction of Syria, the oppression of the Bahrainis and for being the ideological Sunni inspiration and main financier of Al Qaeada, ISIS and all the Islamist monsters terrorizing the region.
Now dead, he is pompously adulated by Western leaders, crawling in front of his remains, hoping for more arms deals. Sickening.
Posted by: Virgile | Jan 25, 2015 1:19:43 PM | 29