1. NF staff is currently looking to add new advisors. We are pulling from all areas of the site. If you're interested, feel free to create a Staff Conference Room thread to discuss the details. Click here for more general info and discussion.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Ho ho ho! It is time to celebrate!

    Christmas is coming, and we invite you to join the NFs Ho-Ho-Holidaze Event!

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Welcome to the forums! Take a second to look at our Beginner's Guide. It contains the information necessary for you to have an easier experience here.

    Thanks and have fun. -NF staff
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Stop Scrolling!
    Attention - When discussing new chapters of an anime or manga, please use a source from the official list of approved sources. If you would like to contribute to the list, please do so in the suggestions section.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. If you write blogs about the current anime season (for linking) or like to add descriptions / impressions on certain series and like to add them to our wiki, then send us a ticket.
    Dismiss Notice

Saudi crown prince's carefully managed rise hides dark side

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by Son of Goku, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    Saudi crown prince's carefully managed rise hides dark side

    AP|
    Updated: Oct 12, 2018, 01.37 PM IST

    As Saudi defense minister from the age of 29, he pursued a war in Yemen against Shiite rebels that began a month after he took the helm and wears on today.

    In a kingdom once ruled by an ever-aging rotation of elderly monarchs, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stands out as the youthful face of a youthful nation. But behind the carefully calibrated public-relations campaign pushing images of the smiling prince meeting with the world's top leaders and business executives lurks a darker side.

    Last year, at age 31, Mohammed became the kingdom's crown prince, next in line to the throne now held by his octogenarian father, King Salman. While pushing for women to drive, he has overseen the arrest of women's rights activists. While calling for foreign investment, he has imprisoned businessmen, royals and others in a crackdown on corruption that soon resembled a shakedown of the kingdom's most powerful people.

    As Saudi defense minister from the age of 29, he pursued a war in Yemen against Shiite rebels that began a month after he took the helm and wears on today.

    What the crown prince chooses next likely will affect the world's largest oil producer for decades to come. And as the disappearance and feared death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul may show, the young prince will brook no dissent in reshaping the kingdom in his image.

    "I don't want to waste my time," he told Time Magazine in a cover story this year. "I am young."

    Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote several columns for The Washington Post critical of Prince Mohammed, disappeared Oct. 2 on a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials have offered no evidence, but say they fear the writer was killed and dismembered by a Saudi team of 15 men - an operation that, if carried out, would have to have been authorized by the top of the Al Saud monarchy. The kingdom describes the allegation as "baseless," but has provided no proof that Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

    For decades in Saudi Arabia, succession passed down among the dozens of sons of the kingdom's founder, King Abdul-Aziz. And, over time, the sons have grown older and older upon reaching the throne.

    When King Salman took power in January of 2015 and quickly appointed Prince Mohammed as defense minister, it took the kingdom by surprise, especially given the importance of the position and the prince's age.

    He was little-known among the many grandchildren of Saudi Arabia's patriarch, a young man educated only in the kingdom who stuck close to his father, who previously served as the governor of Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

    As defense minister, he entered office facing a crisis in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, which lies south of the kingdom. Shiite rebels known as Houthis had overrun the country's capital, Sanaa, unseating the deeply unpopular government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

    When Hadi fled and it appeared the country's port city of Aden would fall to the rebels, Saudi Arabia launched a coalition war against the Houthis - a conflict that soon became a stalemate.

    The United Nations estimates 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict, and activists say that number is likely far higher. It has exacerbated what the U.N. calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with hunger and cholera stalking civilians, worsened by the kingdom's blockade of ports.

    Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition has faced widespread criticism for its airstrikes hitting clinics and marketplaces, which have killed civilians. The Houthis, as well, have indiscriminately used landmines and arrested political opponents.

    The coalition says Iran has funneled weapons to the Houthis ranging from small arms to the ballistic missiles now regularly fired into the kingdom, which Iran denies.

    For Prince Mohammed, the conflict remains part of what he sees as an existential struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the future of the Middle East. Asked about Western concerns over civilian casualties, he offers this: "Mistakes happen in all wars."

    "We don't need to have a new in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a red line not only for Saudi Arabia but for the whole world," the prince recently told Bloomberg, referring to the Iran-allied Shiite militant group and political party dominant in Lebanon.

    The prince also found himself involved in the bizarre resignation-by-television address of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who announced he would step down during a visit to the kingdom in November 2017, fueling suspicion he was coerced into doing so.

    Prince Mohammed's harsh rhetoric extends to likening Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler. He's also hinted Saudi Arabia would be willing to fight Iran in other ways, leading Tehran to link the kingdom to an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz last month that killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 60. Both Arab separatists and the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the assault.

    "We won't wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia," the prince told the Saudi-owned broadcasting company MBC last year. "Instead, we will work so that the battle is for them in Iran, not in Saudi Arabia."

    His aggressive posture against Iran has won the support of U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration, which pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal struck by President Barack Obama, whom the kingdom deeply distrusted.

    Before becoming crown prince, Prince Mohammed visited the White House and forged a close relationship with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. The two are believed to be working on the administration's peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians.

    Trump made Riyadh his first stop overseas as president, a visit complete with Arab pageantry and opulence. Behind the scenes, many analysts believe Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates saw a greenlight to move ahead with the ongoing boycott of Qatar, a small Arabian Peninsula nation, over a political dispute.

    Trump initially seemed to favor the boycott of Qatar, which is home to al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command.

    Trump's first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sought in vain to pressure the Saudis into resolving the spat and complained privately that the ties between the White House and Prince Mohammed were hurting the effort, officials said at the time. Tillerson's dismissal in March and the arrival of Mike Pompeo as Trump's top diplomat markedly reduced the State Department's heat on Saudi Arabia about the detentions of human rights activists, including women, and the conflict in Yemen.

    Despite the mounting civilian casualties in Yemen, Pompeo certified to Congress in September that Saudi Arabia was taking steps to reduce and limit them, drawing severe condemnations from lawmakers and human rights groups.

    Saudi Arabia soon embarked on the prince's ambitious proposal to allow women in the ultraconservative Wahhabi nation to drive. The resulting pictures of women in long black abayas behind the wheel represented a public-relations coup for the image-shaping firms employed by the kingdom, as did footage of women attending soccer matches and movie theaters for the first time in decades.

    But before women started their engines, a new crackdown emerged: The kingdom rounded up and imprisoned women's rights activists, including reportedly grabbing one woman who was in the neighboring United Arab Emirates.

    Prince Mohammed has wowed the business world with promises of an initial public offering for the state oil behemoth Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as , suggesting it would have a $2 trillion valuation. Stocks markets around the world have pitched having the IPO on their exchanges, but it has been repeatedly delayed.

    The young prince has traveled across the U.S. as part of his business pitch, meeting leaders like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post.

    Prince Mohammed also hosted a major business summit at Riyadh's Ritz Carlton, complete with a humanoid robot named Sophia being awarded Saudi citizenship.

    Only weeks later, the hotel turned into a luxury prison as part of a mass arrest of businessmen, royals and others orchestrated by Prince Mohammed in a move described as targeting corruption. Those released agreed to sign over some of their assets, however, giving it the feel of a shakedown.

    "If I have the power and the king has the power to take action against influential people, then you are already fundamentally strong," Prince Mohammed told CBS earlier this year.

    For now, the anger over Khashoggi's disappearance appears to have galvanized international criticism of the young prince, about whom the columnist wrote critically for the Post.

    Trump, already angry over rising global oil prices, has said he wants answers from Saudi Arabia and suggested Khashoggi's fiancee could visit the White House.

    Prominent American lawmakers also are indignant - though U.S.-Saudi relations have survived even the 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers being from the kingdom.

    The opaqueness of the Al Saud royal family makes it difficult to see what effect the controversy is having on support for Prince Mohammed at home. State television continues to air footage of him attending meetings and greeting officials as if all is normal.

    And as the son of the king, analysts say he has the full protection of the throne's powers.

    Once asked if anything could stop him, the prince gave a two-word reply: "Only death."



    _______________________________________________
    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Faces Increasing Scrutiny As Crises Mount
    October 11, 20185:32 PM ET

    Greg Myre

    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is shown during a visit to Spain in April. At 33, Mohammed is the kingdom's de facto ruler, and he faces increasing criticism for his handling of issues ranging from the Saudi role in Yemen's war to the recent disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey.


    Paul White/AP



    When Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince in 2015, just before his 30th birthday, it created a wave of optimism that he could modernize a kingdom that has long resisted change.

    Change has come rapidly indeed. Women can now drive, the powers of the religious police have been scaled back, and Mohammed has sketched out plans to overhaul and diversify the oil-based economy.

    But Mohammed, now the crown prince at age 33, is facing far greater scrutiny for the repeated crises that keep cropping up in a place that has long preferred to be slow, steady and out of the spotlight.

    The latest is the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkey says it believes Khashoggi was killed. The Saudis deny this, but they haven't provided any solid information indicating whether he is alive or dead.
    "The explanations I hear coming from Saudi Arabia make no sense," said South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. "If [Khashoggi] was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, that would cross every line of normality in the international community."

    Mohammed has cultivated close relations with President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Trump says he wants to know what happened to the missing journalist — a who lives in Virginia — but the president has been only mildly critical of the Saudis.
    "This took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge Khashoggi is not a U.S. citizen," Trump said. He added that planned Saudi purchases of U.S. military hardware should not be jeopardized. "As to whether we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, that would not be acceptable to me."

    But others say Mohammed's actions are increasingly worrisome.

    "The kingdom's behavior now presents new challenges for a Trump administration heretofore all too forgiving of this leadership," said Gary Grappo, a former U.S. ambassador and diplomat who served throughout the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

    "The Saudis are marching headlong into uncharted and dangerous territory for themselves and Washington," Grappo told online publication The Cipher Brief.


    In Saudi Arabia itself, Mohammed and his father, King Salman, who is 82, place tight restrictions on any expressions of opposition. Khashoggi has been one of the few critics, though a relatively mild one. Still, he fled the kingdom for Washington, D.C., last year out of concern for his safety.

    But outside Saudi Arabia, Mohammed is under attack on multiple fronts:

    War in Yemen: The Saudi intervention in 2015 was intended to end the civil war and install a friendly government on Saudi Arabia's southern border. But the conflict grinds on, widely seen as a quagmire and one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.

    Mohammed, who is also the Saudi defense minister, has been the driving force behind the Saudi bombing campaign, which has been blamed for many civilian casualties.


    The U.S. is supplying his government with those bombs, and both Democratic and Republican U.S. senators are growing increasingly impatient.

    "The Saudi coalition has failed to adopt some U.S. recommendations while civilian deaths and casualties due to coalition airstrikes have increased dramatically in recent months," in a letter Wednesday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    Blockade of Qatar: The Saudis continue to impose a comprehensive blockade on neighboring Qatar, saying the tiny emirate has long supported radical Islamist groups.

    Qatar's wealth, based on its huge natural gas supplies, has allowed it to carry on quite comfortably since the boycott was imposed in June of last year. But the standoff has kept tensions bubbling in the region. Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are U.S. allies, but Washington hasn't been able to broker a solution.

    Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani remains a "stalemate," adding, "Qatar can also wait forever."

    Detention of Lebanon's leader: A trip to Saudi Arabia by Lebanon's prime minister, last year when the Lebanese leader made a videotaped statement saying he was resigning.

    Hariri remained out of public view for days, before finally returning to his homeland and rescinding the resignation.

    Some mysteries of that episode have never been fully explained. But media reports say the Saudis pressured Hariri to "quit" because he was not doing enough to oppose his rival Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is backed by the Saudis' archrival, Iran.

    Arrests of female activists, wealthy Saudis: While women are gaining some additional freedoms under Mohammed, several female activists were arrested in May.

    Khashoggi discussed the arrests in an interview with NPR at the time.

    "To arrest ladies, that is unheard of in Saudi Arabia, and especially ladies 60, 70 years old," Khashoggi said. "They were called traitors, and some of the media — the government media outlets — pictures were posted with the word 'traitor' in Arabic splashed in front of their faces."

    And last November, dozens of the kingdom's princes and wealthy businessmen were detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital Riyadh on charges of corruption. Many remained in their gilded prison for months — until they reportedly agreed to give up some part of their fortunes.

    Initially, Mohammed's actions were seen as an effort to forge a new path by cracking down on corruption, making Saudi Arabia's strict form of Islam more moderate and playing a larger role in regional security.

    But increasingly, his moves are seen as misguided attempts to silence critics at home and impose his will on neighbors, with little regard for the negative fallout.

    "The Saudis in general and [Mohammed] in particular have been acting without a net, without America's counsel," said Grappo. "And they're making strategically bad mistakes."

    an interview with NPR
    __________________
    _________

    So @mr_shadow , did you fall out of love with him yet?
     
    Tags:
  2. Mider T Oh Christmas T!

    Messages:
    109,902
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Trophy Points:
    4,594
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    United States
    Didn't know he was educated in S.A.
     
  3. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    Does that even matter? Kim Jong-Un went to school in Switzerland.
     
  4. Mider T Oh Christmas T!

    Messages:
    109,902
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Trophy Points:
    4,594
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    United States
    Yes because most Arab elite attend school in the West, it's strange that he as a prince stayed in Saudi.
     
  5. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    Did you fall out of love with Assad yet?
     
  6. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    How much do you love the CCP?
     
  7. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    I love the Chinese people. Whichever government provides them with prosperity has my vote.

    With @Son of Goku on the other hand it's unclear if he is actually "for" the people of Iran and its allies, or if he is just "against" Israel or the United States.
     
  8. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    I was actually being serious, but I can tell you're clearly embarrassed by your initial hyping of Bin Salman. Don't be though, you're not entirely to blame. The bulk of the western mainstream media was selling you his story. What's important is to learn from past mistakes.
     
  9. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    IMO he still looks like the Saudi Deng Xiaoping.

    Deng introduced market economy and vastly relaxed restrictions on expression and lifestyle, but he also presided over the Tian'anmen crackdown.
     
  10. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    Well, I guess I have my answer then, that's too bad. I'll give it some more time and ask again.
     
  11. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    How do you feel about Assad using chemical weapons on his own citizens?
     
  12. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    Never better.
     
  13. Mider T Oh Christmas T!

    Messages:
    109,902
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Trophy Points:
    4,594
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    United States
    At least you're finally honest about not actually caring about the Syrian people. Still despicable nonetheless.
     
  14. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    They don't really have a choice do they?
     
  15. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    I mean if the Party decides to do something like the Great Leap again I wouldn't support it, because it's obviously detrimental to the welfare of the people.
     
  16. Skaddix Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,210
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    894
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Reputation:
    Well this Prince will determine whether the Saudi Family holds on to Power or Falls...he has got a lot of work doing economic reforms and getting the country ready for a Post Oil World.
     
  17. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    It's that were you draw the line?

    Shit. You really got some ideological disease over there or you had it in the first place.
     
  18. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    Since I happen to live on PRC territory it's also not always convenient for me to say exactly what I think.
     
  19. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Yoiu are false flag posting now, right?
     
  20. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    I mean, since NF isn't a very high-profile forum and is in English, I think it's mostly safe. Especially since Hong Kong is supposed to have a high degree of freedom of expression.

    But we've had foreigners be deported from HK because they were "a threat to national security" (oppositional), so under this administration you can't be fucking sure. The amount of stuff you can get away with decreases every day...
     
  21. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    I wish i could suggest someone else as mod in that case...

    Any chance they object to you adding the new hate speech rule and make you change it or step down?
     
  22. Skaddix Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,210
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    894
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Reputation:
    You are our resident head of security surely you have some means to protect yourself from a cursory check besides your Swedish...I don't China is worried about Swedish Foreigners posting on English Naruto Fan Sites. Xi isn't to that point yet.
     
  23. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

    Messages:
    32,896
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Trophy Points:
    1,818
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Reputation:
    Flag:
    Sweden
    Have I deleted the Uighur concentration camp thread?

    No?

    Then I don't think my moderation is compromised.
     
  24. Skaddix Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,210
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    894
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Reputation:
    Besides Kamal merely assumes you being gone results in a more Conservative Mod like the good old days under Mega and Bacon. But I argue you don't really easily into the American Political Dichotomy.
     
  25. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    I am fine with no mods. At current trafiic i can wreck any mob coming at me.

    I would prefer bacon an shadow. Based on just my experience they were not terrible but always expect the absolute worst from a person who wants to be a mod.

    I think mods shoudl; be called deescalators or grabage man/collectors period. i also think if there are plenty of users they should be demoted often so power won't go to their head. I strongly believe users who make socks to go around retarded mods banning them for no reason are perfectly ok.
     
  26. Skaddix Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,210
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    894
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Reputation:
    Lol I don't think I have ever been a great lover of mods on this site or most sites...despite some thinking shadow and I are best buddies.

    As for who gets demoted meh I only really care about who runs café. The other sections meh never had any issues.
     
  27. The Kamal Haasan Crazy Hour Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Some OBD guys thug so hard about things. If a guy is really insistent about something i let it go even if i think he is wrong. It's not the Cafe,
     
  28. Son of Goku Doesn't need a Custom Title

    Messages:
    8,182
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    419
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Reputation:
    If you took my remark seriously you're even dumber than I thought possible.

    (plus, saying I felt "never better" about something, doesn't mean I ever felt good about it in the first place. You can feel terrible about something and feel "never better" about it later. Doesn't mean you feel better or even good about it. Just as an aside.)


    Also don't talk to me about being despicable, you who support all US regime changes and the millions of deaths that came with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
Loading...