THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
November 6, 2017
Asia Times

Inside Story: Saudi Night of Long Knives

A state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a "moderate" state just because MBS says so

by Pepe Escobar

The House of Saud's King Salman devises an high-powered "anti-corruption" commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman.

Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, . . .

The story starts with secret deliberations in 2014 about a possible "removal" of then King Abdullah. But "the dissolution of the royal family would lead to the breaking apart of tribal loyalties and the country splitting into three parts. It would be more difficult to secure the oil, and the broken institutions whatever they were should be maintained to avoid chaos."

Instead, a decision was reached to get rid of Prince Bandar bin Sultan - then actively coddling Salafi-jihadis in Syria - and replace the control of the security apparatus with Mohammed bin Nayef. . . .

According to the source, "he might have gotten away with the arrest of CIA favorite Mohammed bin Nayef if he smoothed it over but MBS has now crossed the Rubicon though he is no Caesar. The CIA regards him as totally worthless." . . .

In a nutshell: a state that happens to be the private property of a royal family inimical to all principles of freedom of expression and religion, as well as the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadism simply cannot metastasize into a "moderate" state just because MBS says so.

Meanwhile, a pile-up of purges, coups and countercoups shall be the norm.

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"Saudi clerics detained in apparent bid to silence dissent," reuters.com, September 10, 2017

[The U.S.-Israel axis is forming a new regional front line.--Ibrahim Karagul, "This is a very dangerous game... What's behind the Saudis' 'moderate Islam' announcement?," yenisafak.com, October 26, 2017]

[It is probably the only political event in recent memory that has the support of Washington, Moscow and Beijing, not to mention Berlin, London, Paris and Tokyo - as well as Jerusalem. . . .

"Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as 'MBS,' sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower. After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. 'They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,' a senior White House official said."--David P. Goldman, "Saudi Arabia gets its first real government," atimes.com, November 7, 2017]

"Leaked Secret Israeli Cable Confirms Israeli-Saudi Coordination To Provoke War," zerohedge.com, November 7, 2017

"Real Motive Behind Saudi Purge Emerges: $800 Billion In Confiscated Assets," zerohedge.com, November 8, 2017

[Prince Mohammed launched a military campaign in neighboring Yemen in March 2015 . . .

Prince Mohammed has helped lead a diplomatic campaign to isolate Qatar, saying Riyadh's erstwhile ally backs terrorism and cozies up to Iran. . . .

Last month Prince Mohammed announced a $500-billion plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, part of his efforts to reduce dependence on oil.--William Maclean, "Shifting sands: What is changing in Saudi Arabia?," reuters.com, November 8, 2017]

[When Saad Hariri's jet touched down at Riyadh on the evening of 3 November, the first thing he saw was a group of Saudi policemen surrounding the plane. When they came aboard, they confiscated his mobile phone and those of his bodyguards. . . .

trying to destroy the government in Beirut, force the Shia Hezbollah out of the cabinet and restart a civil war in Lebanon. . . .

There will be no complaints from Washington or London, whose desire to share in the divvying up of Saudi Aramco (another of the crown prince's projects) will smother any thoughts of protest or warning.--Robert Fisk, "Saad Hariri's resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems," independent.co.uk, November 9, 2017]

Bethan McKernan, "Lebanon demands return of 'kidnapped' prime minister from Saudi Arabia," independent.co.uk, November 10, 2017

Alastair Crooke, "Saudi Arabia's Desperate Gamble," consortiumnews.com, November 10, 2017

VIDEO: Paul Adams, "Saudi Arabia and Iran: Will they go to war?," bbc.com, November 11, 2017

[Is this the beginning of the collapse of the House of Saud? Or a Saudi renaissance led by Prince Mohammed as he claims?--Eric Margolis, "What Craziness Is Going on in Saudi Arabia?," unz.com, November 11, 2017]

[the whole purpose of this assault on Lebanon's sovereign integrity is to force the fall of the government, new elections and the expulsion of the Shia Hezbollah ministers in the cabinet - thus breaking Iran's power in Lebanon.--Robert Fisk, "This isn't the first time Saudi Arabia has threatened the stability of Lebanon," independent.co.uk, November 11, 2017]

[In return they ask for a U.S.-Saudi-Israeli (military) alliance against their perceived enemy on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf.--"Revealed - Saudis Plan To Give Up Palestine - For War On Iran," moonofalabama.org, November 14, 2017]

M K Bhadrakumar.--"China debunks theory Saudi Arabia wants regional war," atimes.com, November 18, 2017

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