Saudi Arabia gets away with it again — but why?

That Saudi Arabia uses barbaric, medieval methods within Saudi Arabia is almost a cliche. But why they command an almost fawning behaviour by other countries can only be partly explained by the power of their money. Values, it seems, are subverted by Saudi oil money.

Without financing from parties in Saudi Arabia, ISIS could not sustain itself. The madrassas and mosques where feeble-minded, muslim kids are radicalised in Europe and in Asia, are financed to a large extent from Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 terrorists were mainly Saudis. Bin Laden was Saudi.

Dissolute and decadent Saudi and Gulf tourists run riot in Europe, driving recklessly, drinking heavily, cooking, littering and smoking shisha in public parks. All with an impunity as if they had a de facto diplomatic immunity – which of course they seem to have. Even the Saudi King and an entourage of 1,000 were allowed to take over a whole beach in France in spite of local protests. The French acquiesced to the King’s demand that female police officers be removed.

Saudi Arabia would collapse without its expat workers and foreign labour. Their medieval treatment of foreigners is a scandal but is tolerated because they pay well. How on earth did Saudi Arabia get elected as the Chair of UN Human Rights Council Panel?

In the last few weeks the arrogant and decadent behaviour of the Saudis at home and abroad has been on show.

  1. The incompetence of the Saudi authorities led to the death of at least 2177 people at the Hajj stampede, not the 769 that Saudi Arabia admits to (as if that was not bad enough).
  2. Two Nepali women working as maids for a Saudi diplomat were were held captive by his family and used for “entertainment” for their Saudi friends. They were starved and sexually abused by them and other Saudi guests. When the girls were eventually released and the diplomat charged, he just claimed immunity and was whisked back to Saudi Arabia.
  3. The US authorities allowed a Saudi prince to flee rape charges even though he had no immunity. Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud was arrested but fled while on bail. “Arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, sexual assault and battery, a Saudi prince has also recently been accused of attacking at least three women and holding them captive for several days. Immediately upon posting bail, the prince reportedly emptied his $37 million mansion and fled the country on a private jet to avoid civil litigation and criminal charges. …. Although the prince is a royal member of the House of Saud, the U.S. State Department eventually confirmed that Al-Saud does not have any diplomatic immunity”.

Is it just oil money that leads the US and European governments to put up with the atrocious behaviour that would lead to calls for regime change in other countries? Of course the US sees Saudi as a balance for Iran in the region. But if the US is serious about its so-called war on terror, the sources of most of the financing of islamic terror organisations lie in Saudi Arabia. King Salman is showing signs of dementia and the country is actually being run by his son – but not very competently. Mohammed bin Salman is just 29 and has never had experience of being anything more than an aide. The incompetence on show has led to one of the grandsons of the founder of Saudi Arabia making public his concerns about the way the country is being run.

A senior Saudi prince has launched an unprecedented call for change in the country’s leadership, as it faces its biggest challenge in years in the form of war, plummeting oil prices and criticism of its management of Mecca, scene of last week’s hajj tragedy. 

The prince, one of the grandsons of the state’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud,  ……. (but) who is not named for security reasons, wrote two letters earlier this month calling for the king to be removed.

And all of Europe and the US continue to indulge them. Low oil prices for the next decade will – perhaps – reduce some of the Saudi excesses, but there is something more than just oil money at play.

I suspect it is the delusion in US and Europe that they can manage the inevitable restructuring of nations in the Middle East that must come. At some time Iraq has to split three-ways between Sunni, Shia and Kurd. And now it looks inevitable that Syria must also split in some similar manner, with a Sunni part of Syria perhaps merged with a Sunni part of Iraq.

Ralph Peters’ scenario for the Middle East

 

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