A new report by Hugh Miles at Middle East Monitor, Is the “Saudi Elite Cannibalizing Itself?” by Juan Cole, reports the recent purge of supposedly corrupt princes and high officials was (and continues to be) much more horrendous than previously reported, which I fear does not surprise me.
Apparently Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), whom I have previously posted about here, hired mercenaries to interrogate those arrested and kept at the Ritz Carlton, which turns out to have not been a luxurious hangout. Money, signed confessions, and promieses of loyalty were demanded, with most let out wearing electronic tags and not allowed to leave the country. Many were physically beaten, hung upside down, and tortured in vsrious ways. One of them, the privste secretary of a former governor of Riyadh. Some have not caved yet and remain imprisoned, although this remnant has been moved out of the Ritz elsewhere a of Feb. 11 when the Ritz reopened for business.
Probably the best known of these has been Walid bin Talal, a multi-billionaire heavily involved in many businesses around the world, including in the US. Reportedly his torture led to three episodes of emergency medical care being involved. His family was brought to KSA and pictures of his young daughter in handcuffs were shown to him. A televised interview with him prior to his release had him denying he was tortured, but also had him guzzling Pepsi and comping down condiments that it is known he would never normally eat, being a health fanatic and vegetarian. It is being touted that this was a sign of him signaling that this interview was under duress.
And, why should we care?
You are fixed now. I think you may be forgetting the https://www. in the link as linking to it is no different than lining to Econospeak except for the address.
I presume Barkley’s posts re: Saudi’s present ruling royalty are primarily an indirect indictment of U.S. foreign policy with respect to the Saudi regime .. this being just a continuation of US policy regards the Saudi’s since they have been and remain in control so much oil — for which they can directly affect the price of oil by political decisions.
Global oil supply changes affect the U.S.’s trading partners even it it had no affect on US supply. But since oil is priced on the global market, US oil prices are also affected …. not to mention refinery output prices. These have a direct effect on both the U.S. economy as well as global economy, affecting therefore also international trade.
Both US and global economies affect U.S. GDP and thus tax revenues via internal and external factors. Then there’s ME arms sales issues… the Saudi’s buy US weapons… and alienating them reduces the US arms and weapons suppliers — aka defense industry owners profits.
So Barkley posts the negatively perceived Saudi ruling class policies and practices to keep everybody informed of how the U.S. gov’t has always been and remains a supporter of that regime regardless of their juxtaposition with stated US values. That’s my take as to the “relevance”. of his posts on this subject.
But it’s my take that since the Saudi’s and other ME fiefdoms have always been royal dictatorships and that the US has always supported them (like we do most dictatorships if they play ball with the US) and this is always due to the necessity of maintaining the global oil supply in support of US economics (as opposed to another all out ME war to disrupt the supply, especially involving Iran) , then it’s informative of US standard operating procedure through every administration (Trump’s little or no different in this regard) since the Shaw was deposed and Carter’s admin ended.
It was Carter that vehemently said the US must rid itself of foreign oil dependency…. but I think he forgot that the rest of the globe can’t and thus as the global supply of oil goes ,so goes the global economy, and thus so goes the U.S.’s
No man’s an island.
Reconciling US’s stated value systems with US global economic and strategic interests isn’t possible…. It’ an enigma or a propaganda to propose or imply it can be.
As the North American indigenous people figured out long ago, the “white man speaks with forked tongue”.. to it’s internal population and to the global one.
Barkley’s piece here was lucid and talked about the hard reality of MbS and his Richard the III penchant for making blood enemies, foreign, domestic and familial. Crown Prince, beware the Ides of March.
It is too bad in some ways, as domestically his cultural, social and economic reforms are quite laudable – exactly what his country needs to be stable and prosperous in the future. But he has poisoned too many chalices at this point. I was amazed that he left the country so soon after his shakedown, as surely many in the royal family and elsewhere among the ruffled elites are right now considering a coup.
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Torturing relatives, hitting on Kadashian, buying renaissance painting.
Starvation and slaughtering civilians in Yemen.
Funding and aiding jihadis in Iraq, Syria and the minority sections of Iran. Détente with the Wahhabis. Encouraging Israel.
What is there not to like…….. as long as US gets a 10% stake in ARAMCO when it goes IPO.
Thanks for providing good reply to David Barnes. I agree completely with your post. Would add that indeed this is a critique of longtime and current US policy, with the current hinted at in the last paragraph, the Yemeni war, the anti-Qatar actions, plus US implicitly supporting ugly authoritarianism. Saudis have long been oppressive, but have never pulled anything like this before.
Alliance is old, certainly from FDR-Abdulaziz handshake in 1945, but US oil companies in there from 1938 and even earlier.
MbS has not left Saudi Arabia. Where did you get that idea? Yes, some of what he is pushing is semi-progressive for KSA.
Saudis only privatizing 5% of ARAMCO. I have been predicting for some time that most of that will end up in insider Saudi private hands.
This is the best “feel good” story I’ve read in awhile. And hopefully, what’s going around will eventually come around.
Maybe Dave should have asked, “As long as the oil is flowing, who cares?”
Is BR proposing regime change?
LJ, If anyone deserve regime change it is the “kingdom” of harm. The difference between Qaddafi and MbS is US likes the KSA royalty bc ARAMCO hires US oil companies. Same for Netanyahu, US likes AIPAC more than its soul. The Jerusalem-Riyadh-Washington break up Syria Iran and Yemen axis is soul less.
BR, I was supposing the royals would repatriate less.