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West Asia News and Discussions

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Karthik S
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 06 Nov 2017 15:55

JE Menon wrote:>>What does this portend? Whose side was this character on?

4. All this must not be taken to mean that Saudi Arabia is suddenly going to become "the next Dubai". (NEOM alone may be the next Dubai in MBS's way of thinking, distant, insulated and a sort of "Socio-Economic Free Zone). My sense is that MBS will want to make those changes that he thinks Saudi Arabia needs, including socio-economic changes, to overcome the challenges it faces. Does this mean a crackdown on the Salafist stuff? Yes, up to a point. Will women be getting greater freedoms? Most likely, expect more decisions before end of year. Will non-Muslims be allowed into Mecca/Medina? Think again. Will there be a sudden opening towards Iran? Think again.


IMO, that point is internal external border. To maintain Saudi influence across the world, especially 3rd world countries such as ours, I think MBS will not crackdown on external funding etc. He will loosen their internal grip to facilitate his socio-economic changes.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 06 Nov 2017 17:04

small countries with less people like singapore, dubai, qatar might be able to use their rich sovereign funds to invest in growth markets and raise revenue to backstop their social benefits.

but saudi is a large country with a now considerable population + the need to retain influence by letting in ummah workers. they need to find a way to increase domestic industry and farming - things like fertilizer plants, value added POL products, metal industry, shipping , airlines , textiles, fishery, animal rearing and so on. problem is arabia peninsula has not one single perennial river. people will have to work rather than depend on guest workers.

their per capita income has been steadily declining

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 06 Nov 2017 18:59

>>IMO, that point is internal external border. To maintain Saudi influence across the world, especially 3rd world countries such as ours, I think MBS will not crackdown on external funding etc. He will loosen their internal grip to facilitate his socio-economic changes.

I am doubtful about this Karthik. If it was possible, they would have already done it. In fact, they have been trying to do it without much success. In that sense, Islam is malleable but it is not ductile (like we learned in school chemistry about materials). You can't beat down hardcore Islam into a specific shape of choice in a way that it affects the outside, but not the inside. That experiment has already failed. However, that does not mean they will give up trying. So, yes, you may be right about it.

My own call is that MBS will change the way Saudi Arabia projects Islam within and promotes Islam without. But it is just a call, after watching developments in particular from open sources over the last year and a half or so.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 06 Nov 2017 19:01

must not be taken to mean that Saudi Arabia is suddenly going to become "the next Dubai".

I was thinking more like next Raqqa or Aleppo. There IS such a thing as Karma. Hope all desis get out/get their resources and families out in time.

"youth on his side" (in his own mijjile as well as his supporters) is probably a drawback here. KSA's "youth" have no concept of hard work/survival, as the war performance in Yemen shows. They MAY realize that hanging together is their only hope, but I doubt if their upbringing includes such lessons as loyalty in the face of discomfort (let alone true adversity and fear).

This is Osama's dream come true: hordes of armed, trained survivors of brutal conditions in Syria/Iraq returning disgruntled at the sell-out. Directly to KSA.

I think a band of ISIS survivors could EASILY take Riyadh inside a few dins, followed in short order by Jeddah and the refineries. Doubt if Saudi wimmens will be worth much as slaves since they are also unlikely to have any experience of putting in a day's work. Plight of foreign workers is likely to be utterly horrible, far worse than in Saddam-invaded Kuwait.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 06 Nov 2017 21:01

There is definitely going to be a backlash in the future.The old king is in his dotage,getting older by the day.The moment he's in the Q for his boarding card will be the moment for the plotters to strike. Time for the Arab Lucretia Borgia to show her prowess.The "Desert Game of Thrones" has entered an exciting phase.It began with the overthrow of Saddam,then Mubarak and swept through Tunisia and finished off Gadhaffi.Yanqui dragons brought fire and thunder from the skies ,now from the cold of Rus come a diff. species of dragons and sea monsters to play the game.

Mad Bull Salmaan is just 31-32, fuelled by the vigour of youth.But youth's strength and exuberence is no match for the cunning of old men....

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 07 Nov 2017 02:08

And don't underestimate the descendants of Cleopatrabibi and Scheherazadebibi.. :eek: :shock: Forget the Asps, beware of the houris.

Now this: KSA accused Eyeran of Act of War

The Saudi statement said the missile could be considered an “act of war” against the kingdom and triggered its right to self-defense under international law.
It claimed that the rocket, which was fired from Yemen and intercepted en route to Riyadh, the capital, had originated in Iran. The Saudis said that “experts in military technology” had examined the debris of the missile, as well as one launched in July, and “confirmed the role of Iran’s regime in manufacturing these missiles and smuggling them to the Houthi militias in Yemen for the purpose of attacking the kingdom.”
American officials have previously accused Iran of arming its Yemeni allies, the Houthis. But Saudi Arabia’s claims could not be independently verified.

So the act of war is **ARMING** the Houthis. So KSA and USA are not guilty of Acts of War against Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya?
The frustration is clearly building, and MoBo Salman's idiocy is about to show. Remember:
Obama plays checkers, Putin plays chess.

MoBoSa plays with his mijjile.

The top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran called the accusation “baseless.”
“These missiles were produced by the Yemenis and their military industry,” the commander, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari un Al WaysTruthfulli, told the semiofficial news agency Tasnim.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accused Saudi Arabia of “wars of aggression, regional bullying, destabilizing behavior & risky provocations,” in a statement on Twitter. Saudi Arabia “bombs Yemen to smithereens, killing 1000s of innocents including babies, spreads cholera and famine, but of course blames Iran,” Mr. Zarif said.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 07 Nov 2017 02:21

Helicopter crash at Yemen border take on new significance:
Saudi Arabia accompanied its accusations against Iran with the announcement that it would pay bounties of up to $30 million for information leading to the capture of 40 Houthi leaders in Yemen.
“We fear nothing,” one leader on the list, Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, said in a defiant speech on Monday in the Yemeni capital, Sana.
He called the sweep of arrests ordered by Prince Mohammed “a coup leading to the throne” and invited any dissident Saudis to take refuge in Yemen. “We tell the citizens and princes in Saudi Arabia that the Yemeni people are opening their arms to you. None will endure injustice.”
Yemen’s Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry said over the weekend that its forces had targeted Riyadh’s airport with a long-range missile. Immediately after the firing, the Saudi-led coalition hit Sana with the heaviest barrage of airstrikes in more than a year.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby disha » 07 Nov 2017 02:44

This is a timely article on the four fathers and mother of Jihad

https://swarajyamag.com/world/how-the-us-saudi-marriage-gave-birth-to-jihad

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Avtar Singh » 07 Nov 2017 03:31

I presume Iran will be first in line to take advantage of this big change in saudi,
they would be stupid not to marshal all those that have suffered at the hands of saudi perfidery.
Surely the Russians will want revenge, how sweet it would be to sell s400 on the one hand whilst
aiding agrieved parties in the destruction of this american lakey.
Plus it would push the oil price their way.

Oh my bad everyone will just forget what has gone before and let them march on to their brave new
world, of course they will!

Change is a word that slips off the tongue but effecting change on the ground is a different matter.

Hopefully there will be much flux until the mystical new utopia is reached, it would be great to watch
a journey where the destination turns out to be a dead end.
Oh please, pretty please.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 07 Nov 2017 04:07

I think KSA is finished. Just matter of time.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 07 Nov 2017 04:20

Smart move by Yemen to attract the royal family being persecuted by the Saudi despot. Wonder if Qatar will mess with KSA too. First Saudis should invest 50 billon$ or whatever they want in the region and then go down in flames. Will be a fitting end to the house of Saud and Saudi Arabia. All those tall shiny buildings in Riyadh...what will happen to them, huh?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 07 Nov 2017 05:14



A second saudi prince gets killed as he attempts to evade arrest.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 07 Nov 2017 05:36

This is escalating fast...

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Saudi-Arabia-says-Lebanon-has-declared-war-on-it-513547

KSA says Lebanon has declared war on it. How lovely. ISIS must become the natural custodians of Mecca and Medina -- would be very nice and fitting.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 07 Nov 2017 07:43

saudis and israel have a JV now to destabilize lebanon

see moon of alabama twitter account or the levant thread

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 07 Nov 2017 07:54

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/im ... ton-hotel/

pic in link - captured royals are sleeping in the lobby/ballroom floor of ritz carlton, on mattresses

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 07 Nov 2017 08:10

Image

Singha
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 07 Nov 2017 08:11

given the basic nature of the lodging, the food is unlikely to be better than bread and water.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby chanakyaa » 07 Nov 2017 08:16


UlanBatori
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 07 Nov 2017 08:33

What's with housing them at Ritz Carlton? Not a guvrmand bldg? They outsource luxury prisons and luxury guillotines?
The death of the prince in gunfight with regime goons suggests that the Ritz vacation is not popular. Or it was an assasination/execution squad.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby UlanBatori » 07 Nov 2017 08:34

What became of Prince Bandar bin Sultan? He was the hi-flyer in DupleeCity and sent as troubleshooter following the 9/11/01 tamasha, IIRC.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 07 Nov 2017 09:59

They need the dhobi marks of the princes to loot their vast firang holdings,properties,bank accts.,etc. in exchange for their lives.Without the right paperwork it would be v.difficult to acquire from western banking and regulatory authorities with legal measures taking aeons if ever.Look at our Mallya matter.

Retirement in a "gated" community with all creature comforts probably offered or exile to Switzerland,etc .The spoils in their billions will be snatched by MBS ,and some crumbs thrown to the masses to justify the "theft of national wealth" by the deposed lot. Once the loot is in MBS's hands he could still deliver them to the executioner.Two have already died in mysterious circumstances.A public execution of some to whet the appetite of the masses....

It appears that the Trump visit and the overthrowing of the Obama policy to reconcile with Iran emboldened the Saudi Clown Prince who has struck with a vengeance.It also reveals that the resignation of the lebanese PM Hariri was forced by the Saudis and he announced it while in the KSA! :rotfl:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... bin-salman
The Trump visit emboldened the kingdom, which has been locked in a decades-long tussle with Iran for power and influence across the region. Since then, a swath of economic policies have been launched, along with cultural reforms unprecedented in Saudi history. By mid next year, women are expected to be allowed to drive, to enter sports stadiums and travel abroad without the endorsement of their male guardians.

Prince Mohammed will oversee the corruption commission, adding to his already formidable list of responsibilities, including his role as defence minister and champion of the economic transformation, dubbed Vision 2030, that aims to revolutionise most aspects of Saudi life within 12 years.

Prince Mohammed told the Guardian last month that the kingdom had been “not normal” for the past 30 years and pledged to return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam.

The kingdom’s top council of clerics tweeted that anti-corruption efforts were “as important as the fight against terrorism”, essentially giving religious backing to the crackdown. In September, Prince Mohammed authorised the detention of some of the country’s most powerful clerics, fearing they may not be loyal to his agenda and supportive of his boycott of Qatar, which Saudi leaders accuse of destablising the region.

Saturday’s moves on the home front followed a striking foreign policy stance earlier in the day that appeared to put the kingdom on a political collision course with Iran. Under Saudi pressure, the Lebanese prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, unexpectedly quit his job, citing Iranian interference across the Middle East.

Hariri made his statement in Riyadh after twice being summoned to the Saudi capital during the week.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby SSridhar » 07 Nov 2017 13:52

UlanBatori wrote:What's with housing them at Ritz Carlton? Not a guvrmand bldg? They outsource luxury prisons and luxury guillotines?
The death of the prince in gunfight with regime goons suggests that the Ritz vacation is not popular. Or it was an assasination/execution squad.

In KSA, every enterprise is held by a member of the Royal Family. Ritz must also belong to a Prince or Princess. MBS either wants to hold his captives in a place that belongs to his "own" clan or to tease and torment his opponents even more, he may be holding them in the hotel that belongs to one of the captured Princes. That would be a cruel joke.

Karthik S
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 07 Nov 2017 15:11

Image

Potential jaichand.

sum
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby sum » 07 Nov 2017 15:18

Holy $%#^...

The Iranians must the ROFLing all over the floor at this chance being handed on a platter

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 07 Nov 2017 16:03

Image

Apparently the top right guy is cleansing and arresting everyone else in the pic.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby abhik » 07 Nov 2017 19:07

^^^
Is there a picture with current status of all these dudes? I only recognize the Playboy dude who insulted Trump during the election.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby KLNMurthy » 07 Nov 2017 19:35

JEM, well-written and full of insight as always. And prescient as it turned out.

Can you write another one, looking into implications for India? Will MBS cut off funding for wahabi foundations in India or will he keep them as a low-cost safety valve? And / Or perhaps as a terrorist "reserve force" lodged in a kind of "virtual strategic depth" that India would serve as?

What about China? I can imagine a confluence of intrerests with Xi, does it mean India could be facing an assault in multiple dimensions--on the financial and economic fronts due to practically bottomless combined cash resources, on the social and poliitical instability front where the "reserves" can be fielded at will whenever China needs to "teach a lesson" to impertinent India, on the propaganda front where China can tap into Saudi levers in western MSM and social media, etc.

I know India has been cultivating Saudi leadership. What is the level of our outreach to MBS in this context? Has The Mudi tried to present Jndia as a less demanding partner than China in the military and economic domains?

Is it time for India to consider the old BRF apocalyptic idea of being ready to nuke makka-madina, this time proactively, as a sort of Samson option to signal any potential anti-India axis that, if they go too far, we won't hesitate to unleash global chaos that will ruin everything, and only Sanatana Dharma will remain to emerge from the blood and ashes? For clearly, none of these characters will give us the time of day if we don't pose a threat of some sort.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby KLNMurthy » 07 Nov 2017 19:47

UlanBatori wrote:
must not be taken to mean that Saudi Arabia is suddenly going to become "the next Dubai".

I was thinking more like next Raqqa or Aleppo. There IS such a thing as Karma. Hope all desis get out/get their resources and families out in time.

"youth on his side" (in his own mijjile as well as his supporters) is probably a drawback here. KSA's "youth" have no concept of hard work/survival, as the war performance in Yemen shows. They MAY realize that hanging together is their only hope, but I doubt if their upbringing includes such lessons as loyalty in the face of discomfort (let alone true adversity and fear).

This is Osama's dream come true: hordes of armed, trained survivors of brutal conditions in Syria/Iraq returning disgruntled at the sell-out. Directly to KSA.

I think a band of ISIS survivors could EASILY take Riyadh inside a few dins, followed in short order by Jeddah and the refineries. Doubt if Saudi wimmens will be worth much as slaves since they are also unlikely to have any experience of putting in a day's work. Plight of foreign workers is likely to be utterly horrible, far worse than in Saddam-invaded Kuwait.


Good point. Does Islam have experience or insight in dealing with a Pindari Problem--defeated demobilized soldiers trying to find cash and echandee? I would bet that this is the sort of thing MBS would overlook.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby periaswamy » 07 Nov 2017 20:32

Going by Trump's statements, MBS has the US's support at this time, so nothing crazy is going to happen in the short term. Though if one or more of these princes are able to stir up trouble for KSA with the help of Yemen, Iran, or one of KSA's enemies, then we should see a shooting war soon enough. KSA buying expensive toys from USA or Russia is not going to help it very much, as we have seen them fight (or not).

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 07 Nov 2017 22:44

Karthik S wrote:Image

Potential jaichand.


Does he even have any worthwhile info? Seems like a guy on sidelines.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby rsingh » 07 Nov 2017 23:06

It in nothing knew. Basically, we know how it is going to end. These princes are extremely arrogant and dumb. Even their entourage is arrogant. This high fly guy who used oil money to crop up his business was projected as ace businessman. WTF. India is doing right by sourcing oil from other regions.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 07 Nov 2017 23:11

>>Can you write another one, looking into implications for India?

I knew this was coming sooner or later from someone. OK, will do tomorrow

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Suraj » 08 Nov 2017 00:06

JE Menon wrote:>>IMO, that point is internal external border. To maintain Saudi influence across the world, especially 3rd world countries such as ours, I think MBS will not crackdown on external funding etc. He will loosen their internal grip to facilitate his socio-economic changes.

I am doubtful about this Karthik. If it was possible, they would have already done it. In fact, they have been trying to do it without much success. In that sense, Islam is malleable but it is not ductile (like we learned in school chemistry about materials). You can't beat down hardcore Islam into a specific shape of choice in a way that it affects the outside, but not the inside. That experiment has already failed. However, that does not mean they will give up trying. So, yes, you may be right about it.

My own call is that MBS will change the way Saudi Arabia projects Islam within and promotes Islam without. But it is just a call, after watching developments in particular from open sources over the last year and a half or so.

JEM, it's not the Islam part that's the problem. It's the $$. Wahbabis without their massive pile of dough are just a bunch of snakes in their own desert snakepit, free to bite each other. What sort of control over the cash spigot do you think MBS has / is attempting to gain ? His development mantra needs $$ invested at home, not spent on building abroad.

This effort has never been a source of 'inward FDI' to them. It's always been a one way outbound traffic of capital backing dogma. No capital, no power to push the dogma.

From an Indian perspective, the impact of their fundamentalist outreach is only as strong as the money backing it. No money, and the whole outreach starts to wither. That applies to both major semitic religions in question.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 08 Nov 2017 00:28

Suraj,

Very much so. If their financial wherewithal declines, so will their ability to influence. My own take is that MBS will himself dampen the export of Wahhabism - along the mode of "better to have something remain - i.e. some capability for export" than the kingdom totally collapsing. In other words, this is a bit of a last resort situation as far as the House of Saud is concerned, the TINA factor like we faced in 1990/91 on the economic front. That's why I think MBS will push it forward. This is about the survival of Saudi Arabia in present shape, at least from the perspective of MBS and his advocates.

They will still influence, however. That is not going to end. Whoever rules the peninsula will influence Islam outside it.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Virupaksha » 08 Nov 2017 00:44

So how can India help in furthering Saudi to wither? What are India's options?

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 08 Nov 2017 01:16

I doubt it is GoI policy to help make any country wither. Then what? We need an outcome there that is benign and sustainable. In the short- to medium-term, pragmatically speaking, no outcome can be one without Islam in the mix. In the long-term, perhaps a new form of Islam that simply suppresses the violent parts of the Koran (kind of like Christians dismiss the Old Testament) will emerge. I will not be holding my breath.

It is more likely that India will condition a policy that will enable us to engage with whatever dispensation arises there, within the spectrum of possibilities thrown up by peninsular Islam. That could range from ISIS-like Islam to Turkey-like Islam. At the moment it is closer to the ISIS-like Islam, and MBS appears to be setting the stage (now) to move along the spectrum closer to the centre. That, in itself, should reduce the influence of the mullahs. None of this, of course, will be of any use until the education system is changed. I will be surprised if the education sector is not impacted by the changes that can be expected in the kingdom in the coming months.

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 08 Nov 2017 01:42

We have been tracking the impact of King Salman ascension in the other thread since Jan 2016...

viewtopic.php?p=1962983#p1962983

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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 08 Nov 2017 01:55


Deserves posting in full.

Highlights are mine.

from Pepe Escobar, Asia Times....


The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives



Princes, ministers and a billionaire are ‘imprisoned’ in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar

by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times (posted by special arrangement)

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, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private jets are grounded. The high-profile accused lot is “jailed” at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton.

War breaks out within the House of Saud, as Asia Times had anticipated back in July. Rumors have been swirling for months about a coup against MBS in the making. Instead, what just happened is yet another MBS pre-emptive coup.

A top Middle East business/investment source who has been doing deals for decades with the opaque House of Saud offers much-needed perspective: “This is more serious than it appears. The arrest of the two sons of previous King Abdullah, Princes Miteb and Turki, was a fatal mistake. This now endangers the King himself. It was only the regard for the King that protected MBS. There are many left in the army against MBS and they are enraged at the arrest of their commanders.”

To say the Saudi Arabian Army is in uproar is an understatement. “He’d have to arrest the whole army before he could feel secure.”

Prince Miteb until recently was a serious contender to the Saudi throne. But the highest profile among the detainees belongs to billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal, owner of Kingdom Holdings, major shareholder in Twitter, CitiBank, Four Seasons, Lyft and, until recently, Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp.


Al-Waleed’s arrest ties up with a key angle; total information control. There’s no freedom of information in Saudi Arabia. MBS already controls all the internal media (as well as the appointment of governorships). But then there’s Saudi media at large. MBS aims to “hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia.”

So how did we get here?

The secrets behind the purge

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.

The succession of Abdullah proceeded smoothly. “Power was shared between three main clans: King Salman (and his beloved son Prince Mohammed); the son of Prince Nayef (the other Prince Mohammed), and finally the son of the dead king (Prince Miteb, commander of the National Guard). In practice, Salman let MBS run the show.

And, in practice, blunders also followed. The House of Saud lost its lethal regime-change drive in Syria and is bogged down in an unwinnable war on Yemen, which on top of it prevents MBS from exploiting the Empty Quarter – the desert straddling both nations.

The Saudi Treasury was forced to borrow on the international markets. Austerity ruled – with news of MBS buying a yacht for almost half a billion dollars while lazing about the Cote d’Azur not going down particularly well. Hardcore political repression is epitomized by the decapitation of Shi’ite leader Sheikh Al-Nimr. Not only the Shi’ites in the Eastern province are rebelling but also Sunni provinces in the west.

As the regime’s popularity radically tumbled down, MBS came up with Vision 2030. Theoretically, it was shift away from oil; selling off part of Aramco; and an attempt to bring in new industries. Cooling off dissatisfaction was covered by royal payoffs to key princes to stay loyal and retroactive payments on back wages to the unruly masses.

Yet Vision 2030 cannot possibly work when the majority of productive jobs in Saudi Arabia are held by expats. Bringing in new jobs raises the question of where are the new (skilled) workers to come from.

Throughout these developments, aversion to MBS never ceased to grow; “There are three major royal family groups aligning against the present rulers: the family of former King Abdullah, the family of former King Fahd, and the family of former Crown Prince Nayef.”

Nayef – who replaced Bandar – is close to Washington and extremely popular in Langley due to his counter-terrorism activities. His arrest earlier this year angered the CIA and quite a few factions of the House of Saud – as it was interpreted as MBS forcing his hand in the power struggle.

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.” :?:

Some sort of stability could eventually be found in a return to the previous power sharing between the Sudairis (without MBS) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdullah). After the death of King Salman, the source would see it as “MBS isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). And Prince Miteb would conserve his position.”

MBS acted exactly to prevent this outcome. The source, though, is adamant; “There will be regime change in the near future, and the only reason that it has not happened already is because the old King is liked among his family. It is possible that there may be a struggle emanating from the military as during the days of King Farouk, and we may have a ruler arise that is not friendly to the United States.”

‘Moderate’ Salafi-jihadis, anyone? :rotfl:

Before the purge, the House of Saud’s incessant spin centered on a $500 billion zone straddling Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, on the Red Sea coast, a sort of Dubai replica to be theoretically completed by 2025, powered by wind and solar energy, and financed by its sovereign wealth fund and proceeds from the Aramco IPO.

In parallel, MBS pulled another rabbit from his hat swearing the future of Saudi Arabia is a matter of “simply reverting to what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.”

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.




The Trump factor is being ignored in above analysis.

DT said the ARAMCO IPO is important for US capital markets.
Damad Jared visited Riyadh just before these festivities.
Talal owns Mandalay Bay where the shooter killed the largest number n US history other than 911.

A confluence of factors triggered this current round of chaos.

King Salman has been carefully moving to change the horizontal line of succession put in place by Ibn Saud with vertical dynasty.....

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Suraj
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Suraj » 08 Nov 2017 04:53

Thanks JEM. Yes the 'better to have the house still standing' factor is what I was referring to. KSA is running out of the oil era without even basic industry developed and run by them. Their export basket has one item comprising 90% of their exports and everything else in the remaining 10%. ISIS or a separate extremist faction don't have to wade all the way into the capital - if they laid siege upon Dhahran and all the expats ran for the door, what's doing to happen ?

Singha
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Re: West Asia News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 08 Nov 2017 07:23

even the saudi AF is maintained by a large number of ex-NATO services people now contractors for the OEM. if these people depart, the AF will be down on the mat literally.


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