The Saudi System And Why Its Change May Fail

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Moon Of Alabama blog,

The Saudi clown prince Mohammad Bin Salman is an impulsive tyrant. But what accounts for his urge to purge the country of any potential competing power center? Why does he run a such an activist foreign policy? The answer might be Iran. Not Iran the country, but Iran the system.

Since the U.S. war on Iraq the sclerotic Saudi Arabia continuously lost standing in its region. The Iranian model gained ground. A decade later the authoritarian Arab systems were challenged by the so called "Arab spring". While the movements in the various countries -as far as they were genuine- have failed, they were a warning sign for things to come.

Saudi Arabia reacted to the challenges by moving away from a sedate, consensual run family business towards a centrally controlled, supercharged tyranny. The move allows for more flexible and faster reactions to any future challenge. But it also increases the chance of making mistakes. To understand why this endeavor is likely to fail one needs look at the traditional economic and social system that is the fabric of the country. The fate of the Hariri dynasty is an example for it.

Since Salman climbed the throne he has moved to eliminate all competition to his rule. The religious establishment was purged of any opposition. Its police arm was reigned in. First crown prince Murqrin was removed and then crown prince Nayef. They were replaced with Salman's inexperienced son. Economic and military powers were concentrated in his hands. During the recent night of the long knives powerful family members and business people were detained. The Wall Street Journal reports of a second arrest wave. More higher ups have been incarcerated. This round includes senior military commanders and very wealthy business people.

As the prison for the arrested VIPs, the Ritz-Carlton hotel, is fully booked, the next door Mariott is now put to use. Qualified staff was hired to handle the prisoners:

As many as 17 people detained in the anti-corruption campaign have required medical treatment for abuse by their captors, according to a doctor from the nearest hospital and an American official tracking the situation.

 

...

 

The former Egyptian security chief, Habib el-Adli, said by one of his advisers and a former Egyptian interior minister to be advising Prince Mohammed, earned a reputation for brutality and torture under President Hosni Mubarak.

After the torture reports spread due to employees of local hospitals, a medical unit was established in the Ritz itself.

My assertion in earlier pieces, that one motive of the arrest wave was to fleece the prisoners, has been confirmed. The arrested rich people are pressed into "plea deals" in which they give up their assets in exchange for better treatment and some restricted kind of freedom. The aim is to "recover" up to $800 billion in so called "corruption" money. Thousands of domestic and international accounts have been blocked by the central bank of Saudi Arabia. They will eventually be confiscated. But Saudi billionaires have long been looking for ways to park their money outside of the country. The accounts which were blocked are likely small change compared to their total holdings in this or that tax haven. Historically the recoveries of such assets is problematic:

Asset recovery programs never really go quite to plan. They are beset by obstacles -- most often in the form of wealth squirreled away offshore and political infighting over wealth seized onshore.

 

Most likely, Saudi Arabia will obtain a sliver of these assets -- say in the tens of billions of dollars -- a useful, but temporary, gain. What happens after that depends on how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman re-sets relations with business.

The financial success of the MbS raids will be small. The financial damage he causes with his jihad against his own family members will be significant. It ruins his plans for attracting foreign investment:

“Half my Rolodex is in the Ritz right now. And they want me to invest there now? No way,” said one senior investor.

 

“The wall of money that was going to deploy into the kingdom is falling apart.”

One can not steal money from some people and then expect other people to trust assurances that such could never happen to them. MbS's big plans for Neom, a $500 billion artificial city financed by foreign investors, will fall apart.

To accuse princes and high officials of "corruption" is a fancy excuse. "Corruption" is how business is done in Saudi Arabia. It is tightly connected to the traditional ruling system. The king and his son are trying to change both:

Foreign investors tend to enter the Saudi market via partnerships with established business franchises or princes as they seek to exploit their domestic clout to navigate a complicated bureaucratic landscape.

The same goes for any state tender. To contract for building a road or public housing a company will have to find a prince or high official with the necessary clout. To get a tender signed it will have to promise, or pay upfront, a share of the expected profits. When the job is finishes it will need to come back to its protector to get its bill paid. No money will flow for the delivered work unless another bribe is handed over. Contracts are calculated with 40% on top to compensate for these necessary lubricants.

The systems works. The Saudi State has enough money to compensate for such distribution. The system is only problematic when a contractor delivers shoddy work, but can still bribe his patron into accepting it. Drainage man-hole covers in Saudi streets without the necessary drainage tunnels below them are a well known and despised phenomenon.

Rafic Hariri, the father of the Lebanese premier minister Saad Hariri, built a construction empire in Saudi Arabia by paying the right people. He knew how to work within the  system. He was also a capable manager who ran his business, Saudi Oger, well. He was also the Saudis man in Lebanon and did his best to fulfill that role.

His son Saad never got a grip on the business site. By 2012, seven years after Rafic Hariri had been assassinated, the family business in Saudi Arabia ran into trouble:

Almost a year ago, the Saudis began keeping an eye on Hariri’s company, which reeked of corruption. Several high-ranking officials – some close to Saad Hariri – were accused of theft and extortion. But Hariri could not find a solution to the crisis, nor was he able to restore the confidence that the company lost in the market.

 

So he began a major pruning operation, laying off lower-level employees without any indication of objections to their job performance. The dismissals did not even spare Saudi nationals, leading to widespread dissent.

 

...

 

The Saudis once treated the company with care, providing it with contracts in the region’s biggest oil economy. Now, the company is suffering from internal disputes and theft. It became closer to a scrapyard for the Kingdom.

Saad Hariri had the wrong contacts, bribed the wrong people and delivered shoddy work which made his company an easy target. He also failed to be a reliable Saudi asset in Lebanon. There the Shia Hizbullah gained in standing while the Sunnis, led by Hariri, lost political ground.

The Hariri company took up large loans to finance its giant construction projects for the Saudi government. But by 2014 oil prices had fallen and the Kingdom simply stopped paying its bills. It is said to own $9 billion to the Hariri enterprises. Other Saudi constructions companies, like the Bin Laden group, also had troublesome times. But they were bailed out by the Saudi government with fresh loans and new contracts.

No new contracts were issued to Hariri. No new bank loans were available to him and his bills were not paid. The Saudis demanded control over Lebanon but Hariri could not deliver. In July, after 39 mostly successful years, Saudi Oger went out of business. The Hariri family is practically bankrupt.

Hariri's two youngest children, 16 and 12 years old, are kept hostage in Saudi Arabia. After the recent trip to Paris his wife also returned to Riyadh. The French President Macron had intervened and Hariri was allowed to leave Saudi Arabia. But Macron failed (intentionally?) to free him from Saudi influence. Hariri's financial means and his family are under control of the Saudi tyrant. He is not free in any of his political, business and personal decisions.

Hariri is pressed to now drive a political hardline against Hizbullah in Lebanon. He knows that this can not be successful but his mischievous Saudi minder, the Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer, does not understand this. His boss, MbS, believes that the whole world can and should be run the same way he wants to run his country.

Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker has long observed how business is done in Saudi Arabia. His recent observations at a nightly desert picnic explains how the wider al Saud family used to run the country:

It was almost midnight when the prince held a Majlis, a traditional Bedouin ceremony in which tribesmen come to pay their respects and ask for charity. A line of men in white robes and red-and-white Arab headdresses stretched into the darkness. One by one they approached, removing their sandals, bowing and handing him pieces of paper. Some recited poetry. The prince scribbled on each cover sheet and put the papers on a stack.

Saudi Arabia used to run on such patronage:

Saudi society is divided by tribe, region, sect, degree (or nature of religiosity), and class. Although these various groups are only rarely organized in formal structures outside of the state, many developed special connections with specific state bodies, turning the sprawling state apparatus into constituencies of sorts.

 

...

 

Middle East expert Steffen Hertog has aptly described how the Saudi state emerged in the oil era: leading princes carved out structures they could dominate; state institutions worked in silos and coordinated poorly; and networks of beneficiaries, contractors, and influence brokers populated various bureaucracies. The Saudi state expanded rapidly into an uncoordinated group of what Hertog goes so far as to call “fiefdoms.”

High up princes take care of lower ranking ones. Each has common folks, clans or whole tribes he is supposed to take care of. Obedience is bought by controlling the "social" spending that trickles down through this pyramid. The princes make their money by having their fingers in, or "taxing", all kind of state businesses. It is this money that sponsors their luxurious life as well as the benefits they distribute to lower folks. This was never seen as corruption as it is understood in the west. For decades these tribute payments were simply owned to the princes. They had a birth-right to them.

MbS "corruption" drive is destroying that system without him having a replacement. Saudi Arabia has been run as a family business. Decisions in recent decades were taken by consensus. Every part of the family was allowed to have its cash generating fiefdom and patronage network. The rule of King Salman and his activist son are trying to change that. They want to concentrate all business and all decisions in one hand. But what will replace the old system?

Mohammad bin Salman's view of the world is that of Louis XIV - "L'etat, c'est moi" - I am the state. In his own view MbS is not just a crown prince or the future king of the state of Saudi Arabia. He, and he alone, is Saudi Arabia. He is the state. He let this view known in an interview with the Economist in January 2016:

[W]e have clear programmes over the next five years. We announced some of them, and the rest we will announce in the near future. In addition to this, my debt-to-GDP is only 5%. So I have all points of strength, and I have the opportunities to increase our non-oil revenues in many sectors, and I have a global economic network.

As I remarked at that time:

The young dude not only thinks he owns the country, he actually thinks he is the country. He has debt-to-GDP, he has ten million jobs in reserve, he has all women of Saudi Arabia as productive factor and he has scary population growth.

 

Does the guy understand that such an attitude guarantees that he personally will be held responsible for everything that will inevitably go wrong with his country?

Saudi Arabia and its state apparatus have for decades been built on an informal but elaborate system of personal relations and patronage. MbS expects that he can take out one part of the system, the princes and businessmen, and the rest will follow from that. That he will be the one to control it all.

That is a doubtful endeavor. The ministries and local administrations are used to do their business under tutelage. Eliminating the leadership caste that controlled them will not turn them into corruption free technocracies. Seeing the exemplary punishments MbS hands out at the Ritz the bureaucracies will stop working. They will delay any decisions out of fear until they have the okay from the very top.

Tens of thousands of tribal and clan leaders are bound to and depend on the patronage system. The hundreds of people who sought audience with Alwaleed bin Talal at the desert picnic will turn whereto? Who will take up their issues with higher authorities? Who will provide them with hand outs and the "trickle down" money they depend on?

Another target of Mohammed bin Salman's activities have been the religious authorities. Some critical sheiks have been incarcerated, others are held incommunicado. The Salman "revolution from the top" extends into their judiciary role:

Historically, Saudi leaders have propounded the view that the sharia is the country’s highest law and the overall legal system operates within its bounds.

 

...

 

the domination of the religious establishment in law is ending. The king and crown prince are clearly favoring (and fostering) religious figures who repudiate some long-standing official views.

Bin Salman is purging the religious establishment, the military, the competing members of the families, the business people and the bureaucracy. He wants to run the state on his own. He demands the right to review any decision in the legal, business and foreign policy realm. He has authority to punish people responsible for decisions he dislikes. Under his system any personal initiatives will become extinct.

The country is too big for one person to control. MbS can not take all decisions by himself. No large system can work like that. The people will soon become unhappy with his centralized and unresponsive control.

That centralization does not work well is already visible in his failing foreign policy. MbS wants to be seen as the indisputable "leader of the Islamic world". His hate for everything Iran originates there. The Iranian system of a participatory and democratic Islamic state is a living alternative to the autocratic model he wants to implement in Saudi Arabia. The western model of a "liberal democracy" does not adapt well to the historic social models that are prevalent in the Middle East. But the Iranian system is genuine and fits the local culture. It is the sole competition he fears. It must be destroyed by any means.

But all his attempts to counter Iran (even where it was not involved) have been unsuccessful. Saudi interventions in Yemen, Qatar, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon have been disastrous. Over the weekend the Arab League delivered the usual criticism of Iran but decided on nothing else. Half of the Arab League states, including the powerful Egypt, are not willing to follow the aggressive Saudi course. Mohammed bin Salman's grand scheme of using Israel and the U.S. to fight Iran in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iran itself is unraveling.

The Saudi response to the competition of the Iranian system is a move towards more authoritarian rule. This is hoped to allow for more agile policies and responses. But the move breaks the traditional ruling system. It removes the sensible impediments to impulsive foreign policies. It creates the conditions for its very failure.

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Truther's picture

Let'em be on a roll. Failure after failure. The next thing you know the kingdom is poof.

The day is reckoning is fast approaching,

Pausebreak's picture

So will the dollar when that happens.

shitshitshit's picture

You can't go through middle-age to inquisition to modern society in such a short time.

MBS is creating dangerous voids in power structures in saudi arabia

A dangerous underground opposition network will organize itself who will use force whenever possible given some of the princes have already been killed without warning.

Said voids in power will be filled by the worst possible replacement, and subsequent evolution will be negative, exponentially regressing with time. 

One spoiled kid does not and will never have the brain power to fix the situation.

This would require experience from someone who already went through this kind of situation (Israeli counselor? -If so then good luck).

Therefore I hereby officially declare KSA DOA.

 

eforce's picture

I wouldn't be suprised if the KSA turns into a (Islamic) republic eventually, bad Kings lead to such changes, like in England (loss of ~absolute monarchy, 1642), America (1776), France (1789), Iran (1979), opening the doors for liberalism to fester and ruin society over time.

MozartIII's picture

Just a change in the guard! Saudi's know their oil dynasty is done. They will become the Dubai of the future or they are over. The DOD wants to use them as a whore.... We shall see how this goes.

nmewn's picture

Yeah, cuz Iran is not ruled by tyrant mullahs...LMAO! 

//////

Wut?

Oh yes, yes of course, the Basij were just wayward motorcyclists ;-)

LetThemEatRand's picture

Not sure why you got downvoted for that.  The whole ME is a shithole run by tryants, including many we prop up.

nmewn's picture

Certainly, that was my ONLY point.

To say one tyrannical regime is preferred over another is to say one is fine with tyrannical regimes...lol.

I mean, I understand we have a world wide audience who just love poking a stick in America's eye every chance they get...but...I don't much care for their sorry asses either.

/////

And I feed off their hate.

/////

Keep hiding and hate me some moar, cowards.

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Wanna talk about political prisoners being sodomized by guards in Iranian jails? Let me know when you've had enough of Moon of Alabama's brand of Islamic "non-tyranny"

/////

How about rape of prisoners before a state execution? I mean they're just pieces of meat who about to die now, right? 

Fuck with me some more...bois. 

youshallnotkill's picture

Iran also had the supressed green revolution. There is a huge pent-up demand for change in Iran that is totally missing in the spoiled Saudis who hire foreigners to do all their dirty work.

Brazen Heist's picture

The article is about Saudi Arabia not Iran.

Nobody is saying Iran is not authoritarian. The time has passed for shaping the Middle East in America's image. 

The West is well known to pick moronic and servile tyrants in the Middle East, and also supporting terrorists. Well well, no wonder why this is all backfiring now.

nmewn's picture

The focus of the article is Saudi Arabia by way of some weird comparison with Iran.

Early on the author introduces the premise of a "competition" in which the western reader is entreated to choose a side in this "competition" while suggesting Saudi Arabia has somehow changed from a paternal, sedate, monarchial state to raving lunatics because of Ahab Sparrriiinnng!

Saudi Arabia has been run by raving lunatics for the better part of my life. Just like Iran.

Do I know there are people in both countries who wish it were not so? Yes, I do. Do I feel like I need to choose a side based on either countries concept of the "sword of Islam" with their attendant rationalization of "Sharia Law"?

Not only no but hell no, they are both fucked up authoritarian regimes and anyone who says otherwise is playing the role of an apologist for the purpose of geo-political expediency.  

I don't play those games, they are BOTH fucked up.

youshallnotkill's picture

Iran has a parliament, even a protected Jewish minority. Also still quite good universities with actual Iranian talent. And BTW Iranian women were always allowed to drive.

Obviously the theocratic and Islamistic elements in Iran suck colossally, but as a society the country is actually less backwards than Saudi Arabia, which is the driving force behind all the most dangerous fundamental Islamic movements the world over. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

I get that.  But it is still a religiously controlled state, isn't it?

I'm not suggesting we need to bomb it.  I'm just pointing out a fact.  I would rather live here (US) than there (Iran).

Iggby's picture

I would love to know if the person who downvoted you would actually prefer to move to and live in Iran over living in the US.

Iggby's picture

I would love to know if the person who downvoted you would actually prefer to move to and live in Iran over living in the US.

youshallnotkill's picture

The US has to fall quite a bit further to get to the level of Iran. Then again in Iran people gave their lives for democratic reforms, whereas in the US the faith in our systems of checks and balances is fading. So things may look very different a couple decades out.

serotonindumptruck's picture

An excellent analysis, with the caveat of the continued existence of the Petro-dollar reserve currency system.

The American Empire, along with all of its Western lackeys, is rapidly dying, and the only thing that is preventing its death is implied military force against those nations that are perceived to be weaker.

The Western world is financially comatose and on life support.

The only question that remains is when to pull the plug and let the patient die a natural death.

Washington DC believes that they can defy death and exist as the supreme zombies of the world, while threatening the rest of humanity with their nuclear weapons.

LetThemEatRand's picture

America is Rome before its fall, but instead of Julius Ceaser we have Orange Julius to lead us to the history books.  

serotonindumptruck's picture

I agree, although I'm not delusional enough to believe that the vast majority of American citizens, after fully realizing that their lives are essentially over, due to global war/economic collapse, wouldn't be more than willing to immediately kill those of us with a contrary opinion.

We can always talk shit on ZH without fear of immediate societal repercussions, but once TSHTF, the time for talking shit will be over.

My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

You are wrong.  Americans are people with boundless hope.  And, they will not shoot dissident fellow citizens.  The average American knows that things here are not right, but goes no further to reason why. All of the efforts to foment internal discord have not worked to make the average guy accept totalitarianism.  In the USA, we operate on the the principle that "if it aint broke, don't fix it."  That means that the status quo will prevail; and the rot from within will be persistent and slow.

Ink Pusher's picture

Clusters of hundreds of MAV micro-drones,each with it's own 3gm shape charge and facial recognition targeting software should do the job nicely.

veritas semper vinces's picture

The total lack of moral values and spirituality that we see in the US,total depravity and decadence is nothing to be proud of.

The religion puts on the first plan  the  moral and spiritual  values(it does not mean that even those were not corrupted by the Church)

I would prefer to live in a society that has some decency left and not in Sodom and Gomorrah (aka the US today)

I would prefer to have a Spiritual Leader like  Iran has(some here have a great misconception about Iran,if they  are sincere and are not hasbara trolls) and not this filth from top to bottom . And if you do not see this ,you/re either not sincere or having a strong cognitive dissonance. America IS NOT that "shiny city on the hill" anymore. In fact ,I don't know if it ever was.

 

Miss Informed's picture

How about Roy Moore for “spiritual leader”? He is a bible thumping bitch as sanctimonious as any ayatollah could hope to be. Would you wish such leadership on the rest of us, as well as for yourself? Turkey escaped the dark ages when Ataturk abolished the Caliphate and demanded secular government. Look at Turkey now to see what the reversal looks like. Religious authoritarianism and “morality police” like they have in Iran? Who on earth would wish that on themselves?

veritas semper vinces's picture

I did not say false prophet,I said spiritual leader.Such a leader does not interfere in the political process,only keeps the nation on the right spiritual track(like not allowing same sex marriages,state sponsored abortions,etc) To have such you need a society to mirror that,a society which can recognize false prophets,false celebrities,propaganda. Which can honor moral and spiritual values. We don't have these.

You did not understand at all what I meant.

Anteater's picture

MoA is a notorious ZIA honey pot. Schatzker and Hertog

are feeding you an almost word-for-word ZIA 

situation brief, leaving out the most important part:

Bin Salman is embracing his inner Poroshenko.

This Saudi purge is much closer to the recent dual-

Israeli junta coup in Kiev. They need loot in order

to grow their Greater Levant, whether its selling Uke

ICBM rocket motors and nukes to the Norks, or its

hijacking the US Federal government massive 404

bleedout of $Ts missing from the Pentagon, or taking

down the Old Saudi money, like Trump is taking down

our MC Trust Fund. We're all hostages to Israel now.

They openly flaunt it, like Mnunchin with his Dollars.

They are the locusts of global society. The Wurms.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

Good article with interesting opinions and predictions.  

Time will tell.

mo mule's picture

Salman is a dead horse, a dead man walking, right into a nightmare of his making, and it will be the the death of him, much sooner than many realize.

With him the petrodollar is already on it's death bed.  Major inflation is coming to the USA when the petrodollar dies.  Trump brags on the a market going up.

Soon he will be crying as the market crashes, a one trick pony, a one term president more than likely. Salman does not have 2 years left. imho, lol........

LetThemEatRand's picture

I think Salman sees the end coming and he's taking a shotgun approach to preventing it.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  As for Trump, he's going to be left holding the bag.  The 99.9% in the US will be left to eat what's in it.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Yes. Because Salman is attempting to do something no ruler(King) has done in SA: to rule without any coalition inside the country.

It will fail.

The fact that the US expressed support does not have so much "weight" anymore.And the US is known to not keep its word.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0's picture

Insightful article.

How will this end? The way these things always end. With lots and lots of blood.

Cloud9.5's picture

This smells like the first stages of collapse to me.  A decade ago, we were hearing stories about soaring water cut in the Ghawar oil fields.  Some analysts were saying that 30% of the liquids pumped were water.  Others were saying that the decline rate in the legacy fields was 8% a year.  You may be pumping 5.7 million barrels a day but if the brown sludge you are pumping is three quarters sea water then there is an issue. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2004-07-29/trouble-worlds-largest-oil-field-ghawar/

WTFUD's picture

So ya thunk President Trump will come to the same pragmatic reasoning as did Barry, that Iran's a better bet?

rtb61's picture

This whole Saudi thing was done with the planning of the US government, a government that is not to be trusted in the least. I am starting to think Saudi Arabia is being set up, all it's corrupt cash piled up in one location where it can be stip mined by US banksters. I think a major stab in the back is on the cards due to Saudi Arabia incompetance and lack of reliability. As a source of corrupting cash it works but do you need the Saudi to access their cash of can that cash be taken.

Right now a glut of oil in the market and major betrayal of Saudi Arabia would cut off their oil flow to the west, which is desirable to currently exporting oil US corporate oligarchy. So create a machinvalean Arab power scheme, to throw the country into chaos and steal the loot they have gathered in one location and in fury the cut off oil to the west, which is now a desirable goal for the US, not for the EU though, as they will be paying much more for US oil at the expence of the EU economy.

It seems like the US is now in the mood to cut off as much of the worlds oil supply as possible to pump up US oil prices, to feed the US oligarchy at everyone else's expence. I think the Saudi government is pretty close to being publicly blamed by US main stream media for the majority of global terrorism and the stock pile of cash they are now gathering is the target.

Dangerclose's picture

Depeg, Depeg, Depeg......Screw the US, it will save your country 100's of billions!!

Dragon HAwk's picture

Not one Fuck was Given. Wake me when they sort out all the Bodies.

Herdee's picture

When your a dictator you have to watch your back.

youshallnotkill's picture

The best article I've read on ZH in a very long time.

CRM114's picture

Agreed. Accurate. I've had to work with Saudi Royalty.

The entire country will melt down within 3 years. House of Cards.

WTFUD's picture

In every major city & town in the UK bar few, you'll find an Iranian or a family of Iranian extraction. They instill in their kids the importance of education and are therefore generally middle & upper middle class ( doctors, dentists, engineers, scientists . . . ).

They blend in like any other citizen to the local customs.

To date the only Saudi's i've come across are the one's shopping in Harrods, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, with half a dozen staff carrying their trinkets, no doubt purchased by their hard earned. sarc

Mind you i've yet to visit one of those Wahhabi Mosques where i'm sure to have a rare old chin-wag and exchange cordial pleasantries in Arabic.

pc_babe's picture

lest we get ahead of ourselves, lets not forget ...

ex-pat Iranians are ex-pats for a reason.

911bodysnatchers322's picture

Welp, moon over alabama just outed themselves as a deepstate propagandist; and according to the comments, lots of people were fooled by this article. Not me, and that's yet another 'journalist' added to my blacklist

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

Does calling people names, like propagandist and fool, generally achieve your goal?  Or are you just intellectually lazy?  

Kyddyl's picture

We're not speaking about the 80 year old guy here. we are talking about Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud was born on 31 August 1985 in Jeddah. He is the son of King Salman from his third spouse, Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen. She is the granddaughter of Rakan bin Hithalayn, who was the head of the Al Ajman tribe.

Prince Mohammad bin Salman is the eldest of his full siblings.

Turki bin Salman, former chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, and Khalid bin Salman. Prince Mohammad holds a bachelor's degree in law from King Saud University.

Plenty young enough to do quite a bit of mayhem.

Bloody Fkn Muppet's picture

""Corruption" is how business is done in Saudi Arabia."

You don't say! Wow, enlighten us further oh wise one!

 "Who will provide them with hand outs and the "trickle down" money they depend on?"

They'll just have to get a job or start a business like everybody fucking else.

"The country is too big for one person to control."

Well duh. America isn't just controlled by Drumpf and the UK isn't controlled by just Mr May.

 

haruspicio's picture

I hope you are right and KSA slides back to the stone age and MbS ends up swinging from a gibbet with his genitals in his mouth.

Treetop's picture

No, this is how revolutions happen in the middle east...ex Israel...dictators of all shades sieze power, reshape the spheres of influence, and then govern as best they can. In the case of Saudi Arabia, they have revenues that if even slightly redirected can meaningfully change the fate of the local population. Also, Oman, with its incredible literacy rate, can be emulated by Saudi Arabi--turning its youthful population into productive citzens reasonably quickly.

Furthermore, granting women more rights...maybe even equality will win him a heart in at least half of the popluation of the bat....so he can succeed. He needs to think like Louis XIV, FDR, and Churchill, Mitterand, and maybe Ben Gurion all at at once...Otherwise, without the dream and vision to guide him, he will stuble over the details.

He deserves every help, hope, and prayer to create a truely stable modern state...and he is only getting started....

Come On Puu See's picture

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Fireman's picture

More like a threat than a warning.

 

The only chance MBS has of survival is to get rid of the Al CIAduh scum that owns the fecal filled feudal crypt of Saud, purge all things USSAN and dump the blood soaked IOU petroscrip Saudi Mercan debt dollah as fast as possible and trade for real money with nations that can pay with more than zionazi intrigue.

 

The good news is it appears the little tyrant has already grasped that and is simply playing along with boy wonder Jared and his sidekick in tights Ivanka. USSA is finally going to get beaten at its own game.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwt9gRJjef4