MoA—Clown prince Mohamed bin Salman may have removed his father’s bodyguard to make it easier for himself to take the throne. The recent Yemeni attack on Saudi oil installation and the defeat of at lest two brigades of Saudi troops must put a lot of pressure of him. MbS is the Defense Minister. He started the war on Yemen. He must fear for his job and position. With the king removed he would become unassailable.
SAUDI ARABIAN MEDIEVALISM
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FEDERICO PIERACCINI—If the attack on Saudi oil facilities had such an impact, then the even more dramatic attack of this last Saturday will have forced Mohammed bin Salman and his American allies to face a very harsh reality. Saudi Arabia, it will now need to be recognized, does not have the capacity to defend its borders from Yemen, leaving the Houthis and the Yemeni army free to enter Saudi territory at will while showing little regard for the opinion and feelings of the Saudis and Americans.
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FEDERICO PIERACCINI—The withdrawal of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from the conflict in Yemen, driven by their desire to improve relations with Tehran, and the impossibility of the United States intervening directly in the conflict, has created significant problems for the House of Saud. The conflict is considered by the UN to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and Trump has no intention of giving the Democratic presidential contenders any ammunition with which to attack him. Bolton’s dismissal could be one of those Trump signals to the deep state stating that he does not intend to sabotage his re-election hopes in 2020 by starting a new war.
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GHASSAN KADI—Up until recently, people of Arabia were used to drought, brackish water and searing heat. They lived in and around oases and adopted a lifestyle that used little water. But, the new generation of Saudis and millions of expats are used to daily showers, potable water and climate control in their households. During wars, people normally go to nature to find food and water. They hunt, they fish, they collect local berries and edible wild plants, they fill jars from running rivers and streams, they grow their own vegetables in their backyards, but in Saudi Arabia, in the kingdom of sand, such alternatives do not exist at all.
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The Saudis were hoping this threat would serve to rally the international ruling class behind them against Iran. But they risk the opposite. Seeing the weakness and instability of Saudi Arabia, it is more likely that the western ruling classes will hedge their bets by increasingly supporting other powers, such as Iran and Turkey, as forces of stability in the region. Thus, whatever happens, in one way or another, every social, military or political earthquake in the region will only serve to bring forth the contradictions that have been maturing underneath the surface – amongst which is the terminal crisis facing Saudi Arabia.