By Don Boys, PhD:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy—basically an inherited dictatorship. It is a backward, brutal, and bloody autocratic nation ruled by a royal family and Sunni clerics of the Wahhabi sect, the most extreme Muslims. That sect and the Saudis spawned Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers. While there are many legitimate complaints against the Kingdom, it is a strong U.S. ally—supporter of Israel and enemy of Iran. So, the Kingdom can’t be all bad.
Furthermore, we don’t have to be their friend, only their ally, occasional colleague, and business partner. No one is forced, or even expected to love anyone. Everyone knows the Saudis are a bunch of goat herders who pitched their tents over a massive reservoir of oil. While that discovery in 1938 permitted the nation to no longer depend on religious pilgrims to finance them, they seemed to think that money, education, and the right connections could buy class, character, or courage. But, alas, that won’t work. Look at former (wow, I love to write that) President Obama as a primary example.
Religious zealots have been calling the shots in the Kingdom for decades, so no synagogue or churches of any kind are permitted in the nation. And while the minority Shia Muslims are permitted, they are also persecuted and prosecuted. As with all oppressive governments, it doesn’t like to have its crimes revealed in the media; consequently, almost 3,000 peaceful protesters (mostly Shiites) are in Saudi prisons at this time.
But it got worse this fall.
Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen who lost favor with the ruling family and got a job writing for the Washington Post from which he continued to harangue the desert kingdom. On October 2, 2018, he was brutally murdered and dismembered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul by agents of the Saudi Government. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, has been fingered as ordering the killing. The Washington Post concluded that the Prince was the culprit but President Trump opined that the CIA had not verified that accusation.
Even if MbS ordered the murder, it should be remembered that the U.S. deals with many unstable, unsavory, undemocratic politicians and rogue nations such as North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, China, and take your pick of any Muslim nation. And the worst example in history is when Uncle Sam and Winston Churchill crawled into bed with Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union to whip Germany, Italy, and Japan.
President Trump has been criticized for his measured response to the killing of Khashoggi but his critics (not the fairest and brightest in the world) forget that Trump must make decisions based on what is best for America. Khashoggi was not an American nor was he killed in America; moreover, while the murder cannot be justified, it must be remembered that the U.S. has killed people all over the world for decades! Of course, American presidents and CIA Directors would say, “We never killed anyone who didn’t need killing.”
Last month a new book revealed that the CIA conspired with the Mafia to have Fidel Castro assassinated during the height of the cold war. It is just standard operating procedure for many nations that the media moguls and Trump-haters seem to forget.
Whatever, Khashoggi is dead. He was an outspoken critic of the Saudi government and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. While that makes him suspect, he did have some worthwhile comments on the Kingdom that others have championed. For sure, he didn’t deserve to be murdered. Moreover, the royal family should be recognized as a national pariah and U.S. officials should hold their noses when they are forced to deal with them. U.S. officials should not sit around a table, smiling and treating them like gracious gentlemen instead of bloody criminals. They should, when necessary, meet, greet, and retreat with no bowing, kissing, or handholding as previous U.S. Presidents and diplomats have done. (Obama bowed to the Saudi leader; George W. Bush held hands with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah during a walk on his Texas ranch and even received a kiss from the Prince.)
The ruling family in Saudi Arabia is the House of Saud consisting of about 10,000 princes (and many thousands of princesses) who are guaranteed prestigious jobs whatever their abilities. They own most of the valuable land and live a royal life of leisure, laziness, license, and luxury, all financed by the purchase of oil. Saudi Arabia produces 25% of the world’s oil and with those funds they sponsor, support, and give succor to the Muslim extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The U.S. has looked the other way while the Saudis have supported the Taliban for decades.
Plus, the Saudis founded, financed, and fashioned 80% of U.S. mosques! They also support the rebels in Syria and have demanded the resignation of Assad, Despot of Damascus. This is an example of hypocrisy since Saudi Arabia restricts all public protests and freedom of speech and religion yet they demand human rights in Syria!
Did I mention that the Saudi royal family consists of sanctimonious hypocrites? It seems to be in their DNA as is goat herding.
For the last three years, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of nations in a devastating war with Yemen, its southern neighbor and fellow Muslim nation. (More than half the population is Sunni with about 43% Shia. The remainder consists of various religions including a few Jews. The coalition includes the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, and Egypt with logistical support from the United Kingdom and the United States. Human rights groups report that millions will starve because of the war and a naval blockade. The United Nations says Yemen is on the “brink of the world’s worst famine in 100 years if the war continues.”
In November, The Hill reported that the U.S. Senate “issued a sharp rebuke Wednesday to President Trump, easily advancing a resolution that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war despite a White House effort to quash the bill.” History (and the media) will reveal how successfully, if at all, the U. S. is able to extricate itself from a war it should never have been involved with—just as the seventeen-year war in Afghanistan.
With thousands of princes standing in line waiting to get the final nod from King Fahd as his successor before his toes point straight up, it seems Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman got the nod; but anything could happen in the coming power struggle for the throne. The media reported on November 30 that a coup is in the making against the Crown Prince. The November 30, 2018 issue of the Jerusalem Post headlined: Saudi Arabia’s Bin Salman Takes Preemptive Action Against Coup Threat.” Saudi Arabia has reportedly “scrambled its military amid warnings of a coup to topple Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.” One report revealed that a “recent interview with an exiled Saudi Prince claims a royal coup is being prepared.”
None of this is a surprise since the monarchy is notorious for cunning, collusion, corruption, and criminality. U.S. officials have covered their bets by courting the friendship of Prince Bandar, former Ambassador to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. The Prince has been friendly with Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and very chummy with George W. Bush.
No one can be sure who the next king of Saudi Arabia will be. Moreover, no one can be sure the length of his reign. The kingdom’s own version of the “night of the long knives” could be a reality with numerous possible heirs to the throne being killed or exiled.
The U.S. Government should issue an ultimatum that not one more barrel of oil will be purchased from Saudi Arabia (they are our second largest foreign supplier) until they step out the 7th century into the 21st century. The royal family consists of prissy princes who shop for clothes in London and New York, sip wine and gorge themselves at famous restaurants in Paris, and romp on the beaches of the French and Spanish Rivera while at home they pretend to be sincere Muslims and the Muslim Wahhabi fanatical clerics pretend to believe them to be sincere!
I say, “A pox on both the royal family and the Muslim fanatics,” both of which are responsible for a reprehensible system that permits a barbarian judicial system. No more U.S. oil purchases from them. They can pour their oil over their pancakes and eat it, and while it may not be as tasty as French food, it will be considerably less expensive, and they won’t have to put up with arrogant French waiters.
Rich, rapacious royals walk a tightrope between themselves and fanatic Muslims. The royals have to pretend to go along with the fanatics since those fanatics (bodyguards, cooks, servants, etc.) could take out the royals any day of the week. The House of Saud is so resented and hated by the Saudi people that the hatred has brought some responsiveness between the two main Muslim factions who hate each other: the Shiites, and Sunnites.
Resentment by the hard-working (and many non-working) poor of Saudi Arabia would be normal especially when former King Fahd was spending $5 million a day while he and his entourage played on the Spanish Riviera.
Moreover, Muslim fanatics hate all Muslim political leaders who are hypocrites. Major former leaders of Muslim nations such as Mubarak, Assad, Hussein, Arafat, and Gaddafi were MINOs (Muslim in name only) with an occasional photo-visit to the local mosque. Those leaders always had all the liquor they could swill, all the tobacco they could smoke, and all the prostitutes they could fit into a stretch limousine.
Those Muslim political leaders thought they would be entertained in Paradise after their demise by 72 green-eyed virgins. Don’t think so.
The brutish, brash, boorish, barbarians in Saudi Arabia should get the message that the U.S. will deal with them when forced to do so but they are not our friends and we don’t trust them even when they quote the multiplication table.
© Copyright by Don Boys, PhD, 2018. All rights reserved.
Email Don: firstname.lastname@example.org