Will the Saudi Kingdom Collapse Under the Resource Curse?
As wealth gushes from the ground, thrift vanishes, the work ethic shrinks, and policy grows more erratic and extreme.
By DANIEL LAZARE • April 3, 2018
The Dog That Didn’t Bark
Imprisoning and Torturing Billionaire Oligarchs
ISRAEL SHAMIR • NOVEMBER 30, 2017 • 2,700 WORDS
The Daily Mail, in an exclusive report, tells us that “the Saudi princes and billionaire businessmen arrested in a power grab earlier this month are being strung up by their feet and beaten by American private security contractors. The arrests have been followed by ‘interrogations’ which a source said were being carried out by ‘American mercenaries’. ‘They are beating them, torturing them, slapping them, insulting them. They want to break them down,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
(‘Blackwater’ has been named as the firm involved, and the claim of its presence in Saudi Arabia has also been made on Arabic social media, and by Lebanon’s president. The firm’s successor, Academi, strongly denies even being in Saudi Arabia and says it does not engage in torture.)
The torture in the glamorous hotel had been reported by one of best old-hand journalists in the Middle East, David Hearst. Several detainees were taken to hospital with torture injuries, he writes.
In Moscow, Saudi king demands Iran stop meddling in Middle East
King Salman’s comments came as Saudi Arabia agreed to buy an advanced air defence system from Russia
5 October 2017
Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Russian S-400 air defence system, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday, on the sidelines of a visit by King Salman to Moscow.
Rise of Saudi Prince Shatters Decades of Royal Tradition (from last October before he was made Crown Prince)
Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Remake the Middle East In Its Image
No country has done more to spread radical Islam than Saudi Arabia.
By MICHAEL HORTON • August 8, 2017
Saudi Arabia’s Dream of Domination Has Gone Up in Flames
PATRICK COCKBURN • JANUARY 8, 2017
Saudi king’s naming of new heir a sign of toughening regional stance
BY TOM HUSSAIN
McClatchy Foreign Staff
April 29, 2015
State Dept Approves $1.75 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis
Patriot Missile Sale to ‘Bolster Air Defense’
October 01, 2014
One Of The World’s Most Influential Sheiks Has Issued A Fatwā Against ISIS
GREG MCKENNA • SEP. 26, 2014
Playing with Fanatic Fire: How the Saudis (and the U.S.) have perilously exploited radical Islam in their pursuit of power
Dan Sanchez, September 22, 2014
Under Obama, Washington also aided Islamist rebels in Libya, helping them overthrow that country’s secular ruler Moammar Gaddafi, which turned that country too into a chaotic “jihadist wonderland,” to use Rand Paul’s term. (Also, in 2011, Reuters reported that, “U.S. officials also have said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose leaders despise Gaddafi, have indicated a willingness to supply Libyan rebels with weapons.”)
And Obama recently announced that part of his grand strategy in the new war on ISIS is to double-down on U.S. support for the Syrian “rebels,” the very policy that helped lead to ISIS’s rise in the first place.
And these are only incidents in which the U.S. partnered with the Saudis. For a more complete rundown of the U.S. government’s history of playing with fanatic fire, bookmark to read later Robert Barsocchini’s recent post on Washington’s Blog, “How and Why the USA Has Sponsored Terrorism in the Mid East Since at Least 1948.”
The U.S. also sponsors Islamic fanaticism simply by virtue of its propping up, through military and financial aid, the Saudi monarchy, whose very existence hinges on fostering fanaticism, due to its centuries-old dependence on the Wahhabi clerics for public legitimacy. While the U.S. government is indignantly launching a war over ISIS’s beheading of two journalists, it simultaneously continues to prop up a theocracy that beheads scores of people every year for such crimes as “apostasy” and “sorcery.” And while the U.S. assassinated one of its own citizens for preaching jihad, it continued to sponsor a state whose founding and very existence are predicated on preaching, sponsoring, and manning world jihad. If the baleful regime in Washington cared more about world peace and domestic security than it did about enriching its cronies and trying to more fully conquer the world, it would cease support for this other baleful regime entirely and immediately.
Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has warned the country’s royal family to step down and flee before a military coup or a popular uprising overthrows the kingdom.
In a letter published by Wagze news agency on Tuesday, the Cairo-based prince warned Saudi Arabia’s ruling family of a fate similar to that of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousted Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, calling on them to escape before people “cut off our heads in streets.”
He warned that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to “impose” itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government “have gotten out of our hands,” so that the opposition views our acts as “interfering in people’s private life and restricting their liberties.”
“If we are wise, we must leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing,” said Prince Turki, advising Saudi officials to escape with their families.
“Do it today before tomorrow as long as the money we have is enough for us to live anywhere in the world; from Switzerland to Canada and Australia…we should not return as long as we are able to get out safely, we must take our families quickly and pull out,” he urged.
“Do not fool yourself by relying on the United States or Britain or Israel, because they will not survive the loss; the only door open is now the exit door of no return. Let us go before it closes.”
He finally warned against a military coup against the ruling family, saying “no one will attack us from outside but our armed forces will attack us.”
Prince Turki is a member of the liberal Free Princes movement founded in the 1950s amid tensions between King Faisal and his brother King Saud, requesting the Saudi authorities to implement political reforms and set out a constitution.
The late King Faisal expelled members of the civil rights group to Egypt but later on pardoned them.