Saudi Prince busted with 40 suitcases of drugs at Beirut airport
[Interesting program. Appears that it still does investigative journalism.]
Even sites associated with the Prophet's family make way for skyscrapers and mega-hotels
Why is Saudi Arabia destroying the cultural heritage of Mecca and Medina?Even sites associated with the Prophet's family make way for skyscrapers and mega-hotels
How Great Britain and France secretly negotiated the Sykes-Picot Agreement
Saudi Arabia will sue any Twitter user who compares the Kingdom’s recent decision to execute a poet to punishments handed down by Isis.
Ashraf Fayadh, a 35-year-old Palestinian poet, was sentenced to death for apostasy – renouncing one’s faith – by a court in Abha
He was popular among youth and critical of the Saudi Arabian government. He called for elections in Saudi Arabia. He claimed that he was beaten by Mabahith when arrested in 2006. In 2009, he criticised Saudi authorities and suggested secession of the Eastern Province if Saudi Shias' rights were not better respected. A warrant for his arrest was issued and 35 people were arrested. During the 2011–2012 Saudi Arabian protests, al-Nimr called for protestors to resist police bullets using "the roar of the word" rather than violence, predicted the overthrow of the government if repression continued, and was seen by The Guardian as having "taken the lead in [the] uprising".
On 8 July 2012 al-Nimr was shot by police in the leg and arrested, in what police described as an "exchange of gunfire". Thousands of people protested in response in several protests in which two men, Akbar al-Shakhouri and Mohamed al-Felfel, were killed by police bullets. Al-Nimr started a hunger strike and appeared to have been tortured.
Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the execution, calling it "the depth of imprudence and irresponsibility" on the part of the Saudi government.
"The Saudi government will pay a heavy price for adopting such policies," Hossein Jaber Ansari, the foreign ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
The Saudis executed a peaceful cleric protester?
This is who the US supports?
At the end of last year the BND, the German intelligence agency, published a remarkable one-and-a-half-page memo saying that Saudi Arabia had adopted “an impulsive policy of intervention”. It portrayed Saudi defence minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the powerful 29-year-old favourite son of the ageing King Salman, who is suffering from dementia – as a political gambler who is destabilising the Arab world through proxy wars in Yemen and Syria.
Spy agencies do not normally hand out such politically explosive documents to the press criticising the leadership of a close and powerful ally such as Saudi Arabia. It is a measure of the concern in the BND that the memo should have been so openly and widely distributed. The agency was swiftly slapped down by the German foreign ministry after official Saudi protests, but the BND’s warning was a sign of growing fears that Saudi Arabia has become an unpredictable wild card. One former minister from the Middle East, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “In the past the Saudis generally tried to keep their options open and were cautions, even when they were trying to get rid of some government they did not like.”
The BND report made surprisingly little impact outside Germany at the time. This may have been because its publication on 2 December came three weeks after the Paris massacre on 13 November, when governments and media across the world were still absorbed by the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) and how it could best be combatted. In Britain there was the debate on the RAF joining the air war against IS in Syria, and soon after in the US there were the killings by a pro-IS couple in San Bernardino, California.
It was the execution of the Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others – mostly Sunni jihadis or dissenters – on 2 January that, for almost the first time, alerted governments to the extent to which Saudi Arabia had become a threat to the status quo. It appears to be deliberately provoking Iran in a bid to take leadership of the Sunni and Arab worlds while at the same time Prince Mohammed bin Salman is buttressing his domestic power by appealing to Sunni sectarian nationalism. What is not in doubt is that Saudi policy has been transformed since King Salman came to the throne last January after the death of King Abdullah.
The BND lists the areas in which Saudi Arabia is adopting a more aggressive and warlike policy. In Syria, in early 2015, it supported the creation of The Army of Conquest, primarily made up of the al-Qaeda affiliate the al-Nusra Front and the ideologically similar Ahrar al-Sham, which won a series of victories against the Syrian Army in Idlib province. In Yemen, it began an air war directed against the Houthi movement and the Yemeni army, which shows no sign of ending. Among those who gain are al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, which the US has been fruitlessly trying to weaken for years by drone strikes.
None of these foreign adventures initiated by Prince Mohammed have been successful or are likely to be so, but they have won support for him at home. The BND warned that the concentration of so much power in his hands “harbours a latent risk that in seeking to establish himself in the line of succession in his father’s lifetime, he may overreach”.
Over the last decade, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the Middle East’s most assertive power. Stirred to action by the fall of Saddam Hussein, the rise of Iran, and deeply unsettled by the Arab uprisings, the kingdom has taken on an increasingly interventionist role. In Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Saudi power brokers have used money and violence in an attempt to bend the region to their will.
Typhoon wrote:Hoover Institution | Saudi Arabia Is The Middle East’s Biggest DangeOver the last decade, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the Middle East’s most assertive power. Stirred to action by the fall of Saddam Hussein, the rise of Iran, and deeply unsettled by the Arab uprisings, the kingdom has taken on an increasingly interventionist role. In Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Saudi power brokers have used money and violence in an attempt to bend the region to their will.
Saudi Arabia delenda est.
The notion that Saudi Arabia -- a country that has been widely accused of exporting Islamic radicalism around the world -- could lead a fight against extremism strikes some analysts as deeply ironic.
"In order to really fight terrorism, the Saudis must declare war against themselves and end the support it has been giving to radical groups across the world," says Khoei of Chatham House.
Typhoon wrote:FP | Saudi Arabia considers paying contractors with IOUs amid projected budget deficit brought on by oil slump
Beware of sheikhs bearing IOUs.
sounds more like your wishlist than a definite outcome.
Iran will definitely get stronger, that much i can agree with.
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