Saudi Arabia Draining Their Own Swamp


Eleven princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening according to sources.

Looks like they’re being more aggressive thanks to the strong backing Trump has offered the Saudis.


Saudi prince, and 8 high-ranking Saudi officials killed in helicopter crash near Yemen.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the son of former Crown Prince Muqrin al-Saud, was among those killed in the crash. The exact number of fatalities, as well as the identities of the other victims, were not immediately known.


Eh, I’m not so sure this “draining the swamp”, so much as “eliminate any obstacles to ‘mr. Everything’ being appointed and accepted as the next King.”

I think this at least partially Fratricide, in a game of thrones.


He’s killing off the people who funded Al Qaeda and 9/11 and their allies. Fine by me.

Wish Bush would have have pushed for this, instead of racing to get them out of the country when it went down.


… Neh, I just see that as irony (or worse, a pretext), like Saudi Arabia going after Qatar for the same thing.

Or President Xi in China going after other Chinese officials for corruption and human rights abuses.

Saudis are typically known for making careful balances of alliances among princes, ushering one they anoint as their leader into power. Here, Salman is trying to simply unite power under himself without any such coalition.

The end result could be making the entire Governance of the country much more fragile. Doubly so if none of the UAE-esce promises he’s making for the country come into fruition.

Saudi Arabia is frequently a bad actor, but they can be worse, especially if a regime like Syria’s or the Muslim Brotherhood takes power there.


Assad was fine. What Obama was trying to replace him with was substantially worse. Salman is going after the Muslim Brotherhood types. Which is what we need. Islam is in a state of regression. If they don’t start killing the fundamentalists every Islamic country will fall under Taliban-like regimes within a generation. The most liberal Muslims alive are the elderly. It’s getting worse by the decade.


He acted as a fence for Shia terror groups like Hezbollah, as well as a base for Iran to exert its influences further in the region.

Now granted, Assad was (de facto) acting as a regional balancer, there are things far worse than him, and Shia terror is far less pronounced than Sunni.

But a Sunni equivalent to him in Saudi Arabia would most likely enable Al Qaeda in Yemen, as well as support similar movements in Libya and Egypt.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the biggest name who was arrested, wasn’t such a figure. He was a liberal, who talked openly of letting women do things like driving cars and voting. Women who worked in his offices are discouraged from wearing veils.

The only rationals I see for going after him; someone who was highly literate in navigating financial and investment markets, someone the Saudis will need to transition themselves away from Oil, was to take someone else off the royal doll, or because he represented some sort of opposition to the economic reforms Salman wants to make.

Or because he represented a credible alternate for the throne; someone who may know better how to transition Saudi Arabia than Salman himself.

And honestly? I think that may be necessary; the biggest argument against political Islamism, has become ISIS. No longer can Islamist argue in a vacuum, they now have a track record that they have to defend.

It may be the only way to convince the rank & file of the Islamic world, that it’s not what they want.


He has funded Palestinian groups to the tune of several hundred million dollars. He donated about 20 million dollars to Harvard to fund a Sharia Law studies division. He’s funded hundreds of Wahabist Madrasses throughout the world.

The vast majority of how he has spent his money has been to spread militant Islam.


Wowzer, we agree on something! Mohammed bin Salman is sure to face plenty of pushback on his proposed economic and social reforms. I did get a chuckle from the prince’s statement that he wants “a return to moderate Islam”. Return???


So did the current King.

Ditto to the whole Royal family. The entire legitimacy of the Royal family, lies upon a social contract, whereby they share power with the clerics. The royal family is the shield that protects the Umma, in return, the clerics preach on how God has blessed the former with rulership, and should be obeyed.

To continue earning that legitimacy, it is expected that Royals pay to proselytize their form of Islam elsewhere in the world.

Wahabism is the very name of the theology that underlies this arrangement, though King Salman insists it is a name that was coined by their enemies.

More like Saudi Islam. And it doesn’t appear (either) Salman has any care that people under him do this; only that said someone is loyal to him.


No. Because Saudis have spread Islam for centuries, and it only came to take on its current form in the last few decades. Talal was supporting the most regressive forms. I’ve been aware of him for a very long time. He has always been one of the worst agents within Saudi Arabia.

Yes. Look at what Islamic countries looked like in the 1800s. You’ll find they weren’t any more backwards than equally poor Christian or East Asian countries at the time. This was largely true through the 1940s.

Then people like Talal started spreading a much more radicalized version of Islam. It was very small at the time, but was fostered into a much bigger movement that became more relevant in the 1970s, and had actual global influence by the 1990s.

In the context of Islam’s 1,500 year history, the current hyper conservative movement within Islam is extremely new. And in many places, it’s even more repressive than things were in Mohammed’s day. And it’s getting worse. Islam has literally reached its most extreme and insane point in its 1,500 year history, just in the past few decades.


The Wahabis have always had an extreme conservative interpretation of Islam. The alliance between the Wahabis and the house of Saud dates back to the early 18th century.


But it wasn’t until around WWI that they (the Wahhabis) had any success in that. Before then, they were a suppressed minority. With the fall of the Ottomans, and the power vacuum it created, they were able to seize control of much of peninsula for the first time, and proselytize to the people eager for some sort of regional Arab authority.

Wahhabism is inherently takfirist; it accuses other Sunni Muslims of being impure or apostates, then treats them as if they were never Muslim to begin with, conquering and enslaving them the same way they would people of other faiths.

This made for rather poor optics when they started out in the 18th century; which they had to learn to draw back some when they came into power in the 20th.

But the core idea remained, and it’s why Wahhabism serves as fertile ground, wherever its preached, for more Takfirist uprisings, where you have Sunni Muslims attacking other Sunni Muslims on religious grounds. The most infamous until ISIS arrived was The Grand Mosque seizure; with militants citing the House of Saud itself as heretical and demanding their downfall.

Wahhabist clerics have always had tension with the Sauds, and to relieve that tension, the Sauds bank roll the construction of Mosques and schools purporting their ideas. It’s all apart of their social contract, no member of the Royal family is unimplicated from it.

I don’t see evidence of him doing so anymore than the royal family in general. He has a soft spot for the Palestinians, but otherwise, none of his actions show that he subscribes to a conservative viewpoint on Islam.

Like his Father (who was disowned as an heir to the throne), he’s critical of the Kingdom’s autocratic methods, and has expressed desires for a constitutional reform and a more democratic society.

Here he is with his current wife, who you can see, is not veiled, and is herself an advocate for the very liberal positions on women I spoke of.

He also says things like this:

What we have seen from our eyes, these horrendous act of just massacring and killing men and enslaving ladies, and imprisoning young people – that’s a big lesson for us, that these people are just criminals. These have nothing to do with Islam.”

“We don’t have a problem with Islam. But you have a problem with Islamism, which is political Islam. And we need to neutralize that.

Die-in-the-wool islamists, don’t tend to talk like this. They just deflect, and deny that there’s any problems at all.


It’s almost like the concept of saying one thing publicly, while doing something else with your money and influence is foreign to you.

You’re also way too obsessed with the veil. During the period of time when Baghdad was the intellectual capital of the world in the 13th century, women were veiled. While insisting on veiling tends to be a sign of being a nut case in 2017, it hasn’t been much of an indicator in the past.

Talal is smart enough to recognize that women can be utilized as workers. He may even recognize this from the view of a global takeover by Islam. It’s hard to do that when you’re dragging half of your population as dead weight. If Islam is going to conquer the world, it probably has to leverage women to do it.

Everything he has done, indicates he has serious aims to establish global Islamic rule. I can’t name one living person who has done more to spread Islamism throughout the world.


Like what? You keep skirting around the edges here as to what he’s done that separates him from typical Saudi maleficence.

What proof of this do you have? Is it just the Palestinian issue that makes you think he’s like this?

For the record: The Palestinian Front, the people who were doing the airline Hijackings in the 70s and 80s to draw attention to themselves, were originally a secular movement. Islamic fundamentalism didn’t crop up as the main force of resistance there until about the 1990s.

… Unfortunately, with the Israelis unwitted assistance.

Regardless, Talal is old enough to be associated with that generation, not the younger, radicalized crowd.


I strongly question this.


He’s good friends with both the Clintons and Bushes and hates Trump. That may give you a clue on his character.

The main reason isn’t that his extremeism is unique - it isn’t. But he’s the wealthiest of the princes who invest in spreading Islamism. And thus he’s done the most to achieve it.

The Saudi Royal family is not monolithic. There are people who range from Bin Laden levels of crazy(Bin Laden was himself a member of the Saudi Royal family), to highly secular and quite possibly atheist(based on recorded behavior when visiting the West).

There are relatively good and very bad actors within it. Talal was one of the bad actors.


seriously??? The king is solidifying his power base, nothing more.


Pretty good break down of it

Salman is busy stripping the Salfist of power. Talal was the most powerful figure of the old guard.
Salman wants to actually overhaul Saudi culture and bring it into the 19th century.


Interesting as well