The Bible’s book of Galatians, VI teaches, as you sow, so shall you reap. And for Saudi Arabia, which has overtly and covertly supported rebellions in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ethiopia, Philippines, and Lebanon that have led to civil wars and inter-religious strife, the day of reckoning may soon be at hand. The present Saudi king, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, is the last of the sons of the first Saudi king, Abdul Aziz al Saud, who will ever sit on the Saudi throne. After Salman dies, Saudi leadership will pass to a new generation of Saudi royals. But not all the descendants of the first Saudi king are happy about how the future succession may turn out.
Salman named his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince after firing his half-brother, Mugrin bin Abdul Aziz, as crown prince after the death of King Abdullah in 2015. For good measure, Salman also named his son, Mohammad bin Salman, who is little-known outside the kingdom, as deputy prime minister. The 30-year old Mohammad bin Salman is seen by some as the eventual crown prince after King Salman figures out some way to ease Mohammad bin Nayef, the Interior Minister and close friend of the United States, out of the position of heir apparent to the throne.
More and more power has been concentrated into Mohammad bin Salman’s hands, including control over the Defense Ministry, the Council of Economy and Development, and the Saudi government-owned Arabian-American oil company (ARAMCO). The deputy crown prince and defense minister is the architect of Saudi Arabia’s genocidal military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and continued Saudi support for jihadist guerrillas in Syria and Iraq, as well as military support for the Wahhabist royal regime in Bahrain in its bloody suppression of the Shi’a Muslim majority population. Mohammad bin Salman is also the major force in Saudi Arabia seeking a military confrontation with Iran.
There is a schism within the Saudi royal family that has created a real-life Game of Thrones within the kingdom. The first Saudi king had between 37 and 44 sons from a harem of 22 wives. One of these sons, 85-year old Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, also known as the Red Prince for his support for a national constitution and Western-style rule of law separated from Muslim sharia law, is suspicious about the concentration of power in the hands of Salman’s family, which comes at the expense of the other princes with a political claim inside the monarchy. Prince Talal is not alone.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2016.