Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by Rimbaud, Oct 27, 2017.
Thanks that is the article.
is it bollocks going to "reform itself" . A bit of progressive sounding bobbing and weaving does not take away the fact that its a monarchical despotism, and it could just as easily start becoming more repressive again if that's whats deemed politically necessary . Despotic regimes don't give up power unless they are forced to - and that often means firing squad/decapitation/noose etc.
It probably already is more repressive than u der the previous king. The desire to work closed with the military regime in Egypt is good news for neither country
Remnants? Surely he jests?
Consolidating power and sidelining rivals/opponents under the guise of anti-corruption?
Saudi princes held in corruption probe
Princes and former ministers detained in corruption probe
This Saudi prince now owns more of Twitter than Jack Dorsey does (Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud)
Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal reportedly arrested in corruption crackdown
Kushner makes unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia: report
Possibly, I have no idea. But could it not just as easily be identifying corrupt Saudi princes and doing something about it? I'm not holding my breath, but is there any particular reason this couldn't conceivably be a positive thing?
No, it couldn't because he'd have arrested a lot more than he has, including his dad, the King, and probably himself. It's power consolidation targetting those who might pose a threat to his shaky claim to the throne.
The head of the National Guard, who has been dismissed is the son of the last King Abdullah and the force itself which is an alternative army sometimes known as the White Guard has been under Abdullah and his sons' command for half a century. It was a strong potential base foot opposition.
Alwaleed bin Talal, incredibly rich, andalso on an international scale the best , known and influential nember of the family. He is the son of Talal "The Red Prince" who himself led a group of dissident princes "The Free Princes Movement" in the 1960's, which was based in Egypt and supported by Nassar.
Yes. Perhaps you should look back at other repressive regimes who have done similar things. 'i know they're vicious and repressive and there's a vast royal family comprised in the main of lazy parasites but at least they're marginally less corrupt than they were before. Or better at hiding it. And that has to be a positive thing'
There's also something weird going on with the PM of Lebanon resigning while in Saudi Arabia.
Jesus. Resign or we bomb?
I have to admit to having absolutely no flaming idea about Saudi politics to be honest. And not a great deal more about the broader Middle East, to be honest, beyond very simplistic stuff that a huge amount can be explained by seeing it as a regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Lots of conspiracy theories flying around, of course, especially relating to Kushner's recent unannounced and unexplained visit there.
I imagine they can do all the 'evaluating' they like, much good it will do them.
Well his dad was blown up by the Syrians in a huge carbomb attack in 2005, so there would be a precedent. But then the Lebanese political are always being eitber manipulated or killed by their neighbours.
As to the Saudi situation, whilst it's always regarded as an absolute monarchy, the reality is that power has always been divvied up between the different factions of the royal family and their religious allies. MBS clearly doesn't want to share any more, or fears the threats from those alternative power bases, so is getting rid of them first. He doesn't want to follow in the foitsteps his uncle, King Saud, who was deposed by his brothers in the early 60's
Saudi politics is nothing like what we're used to. Some points to consider:
a) SA is not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a throwback - a "kingdom" in the true sense of term, where the land is the property of the king, and the people his subjects
b) there is no meaningfully structured or independent parliament or judiciary
c) the country has only existed since the 1930s, and there is little sense of nationhood, instead strong clan and tribal loyalty
d) the ruling family's overarching concern is Iran, a much bigger, combat-experienced and unified contry, which would pulverise SA in a military conflict
e) while SA has a toybox full of modern weapons, its army is largely composed of foreigners (esp. Moroccans and Jordanians), who won't be willing to die come a real shooting war
f) there is a large Shia population on East Coast, which faces Iran just across the Gulf, and where the oil is mostly located. The Family doubts the loyalty of the region
g) hence the reliance on US support. But the electorates of the USA and UK are likely to oppose military intervention to help SA.
h) Fancifully, SA could be viewed as a Game of Thrones setup, in which rival houses, broadly speaking families descended from each of the wives of the first King Ibn Saud, seek preferment
i) as is typical for such a medieval structure, clerics have a lot of influence, and their politcal interests must be satisfied.
It's nonsense to arrest members of the ruling elite for "corruption", as the whole system is inherently corrupt. This is about rival houses jockeying for power.
Hey, thank you Urbanspaceman, I feel a little but cleverer now!
No mention of the fact that seem to have declared war on the Yemen?
That was ages ago - this month's news is that they seem to have declared war on the Lebanon.
Multiplication is vexation
I don't know where you get the "seem to" from. There's hardly been a lack of comnent on what they've been doing in Yemen on this board.
And, the electorates of the USA and UK would be ignored, SA is safe from Iran, and both countries know that.
It's not about the electorate in the US & UK, it's about the oil.
When a robot has more rights than a countries' women you know something smells wrong.
Saudi women riled by robot with no hjiab and more rights than they have
Board? I was referring to the helpful summary above.
Electorates: Trump really seems to be jonesing for a war somewhere, and he seems to be mighty close to the al-Sauds. But I have to (want to ?) believe that the US polity still works. The Democrats would vote against, some Republicans would remember SA's involvement in al-Quaeda, and radicalisation in general, and I doubt the Pentagon would be keen on a desert war against a determined, battle-hardened, sophisticated and reasonably well-equpipped enemy playing a home game. nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/what-war-between-iran-america-would-actually-look-22716?page=2 www.wikiwand.com/en/Millennium_Challenge_2002
SA knows it is safe from Iran: you may think that, but I know that the al-Sauds are permanently concerned about Iran. The threat obsesses them.
It's all about the oil: perhaps not in the way you think:
the US now produces almost as much oil as SA, and also produces almost as much oil as it consumes, a huge change from even a few years ago, reducing its vulnerability.
Canada has displaced Saudi Arabia as the number 1 supplier of US imported oil. Saudi Arabia supplies 750k bpd to the USA, and Canada 4M bpd. So SA is not so important.
a spike in oil prices might be welcomed by the US Administration: it would make mature US oilfields viable again, and more signficantly, Trump could let rip on fracking and tight oil.
loss of Saudi oil would hurt China and Japan's economies (both major importers of SA oil) more than that of the USA. Something that the US administration would not shed any tears over.
I was discussing the internal structure of the Saudi Arabian polity. The Yemen war is merely an organic outcome of MBS's machinations within this Saudi system - a way to signal his dominance to the Saudi elites, his dynamism to the Saudi people, and his military strength to the Iranians.
So politics then. Theres nothing better than external enemy to blame shit on.
Things have certainly been evolving on this front in recent years but I don't quite agree with all of that analysis, although I'm not trying to totally refute the overall point you are making. I think the USA still cares about uninterrupted 'global' oil supply from major exporters like Saudi Arabia to other countries because there is some understanding of interlocked economies. That isn't always the factor that trumps all others, and in particular the relationship with China is very complex, but they still have a stake in what happens there and in countries like Japan.
Here is another factor in the news at the moment that further complicates the picture:
Trump backs New York in bourses' battle for Saudi Aramco listing
And now this?
Saudi prince, other officials killed in helicopter crash near Yemen
Son of the last but one zCrown Prince ousted when MBS was lined up for power.
Separate names with a comma.