Wah­habis seek to de­stroy Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man

Re­moval of the Crown Prince from power would be a catas­tro­phe for Saudi Ara­bia.

The Sunday Guardian - - World -

That hun­dreds of thou­sands of in­no­cents have died in wars launched by NATO dur­ing just the present cen­tury is ac­cepted as fact, as has been the ren­di­tion by the US of sev­eral ter­ror sus­pects to coun­tries se­verely in­ju­ri­ous to the health of those sent there through such pro­cesses. How­ever, once an in­di­vid­ual be­comes a colum­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Post, the DC Belt­way as­sumes him or her to be an ex­em­plar of lib­eral val­ues, and it re­veals a gap in the plan­ning of Al Qaeda that the or­gan­i­sa­tion did not seek to some­how get Osama bin Laden in­stalled as a colum­nist for that ven­er­a­ble (and it must be ad­mit­ted, em­i­nently read- able) news­pa­per. Had it done so, the age­ing fa­natic may have se­cured a tenured post on the Har­vard fac­ulty as an ex­pert on the so­ciopathol­ogy of vi­o­lence, rather than get his ex­is­tence snuffed out by a fre­netic bunch of SEALS at Ab­bot­tabad, a lo­ca­tion that the Al Qaeda chief­tain clearly felt safe in. The facts are that Ja­mal Khashoggi is (or was) a cold- blooded Wah­habi ide­o­logue. The fol­low­ers of Ab­dul Wah­hab in­cul­cated a cen­tury ago the con­vic­tion within sub­stan­tial seg­ments of the Arab pop­u­la­tion that the Sufi Turks were in­fi­dels and there­fore wor­thy not of re­spect, but of in­stant an­ni­hi­la­tion. With the con­sol­i­da­tion of power by Pres­i­dent Re­cep Er­do­gan, Wah­habism has re­placed Su­fism as the de facto of­fi­cial the­ol­ogy of the Turk­ish state, a change that must have made Khashoggi feel very much at ease in a con­text where his own coun­try, Saudi Ara­bia, is mov­ing away from Wah­habism into the gen­tle and com­pas­sion­ate creed re­vealed through the Prophet Muham­mad more than 1,500 years ago. Prince Turki, the royal pa­tron of the Saudi Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist, is known for his gen­er­ous back­ing of groups across the Mid­dle East that re­gard the be­head­ing of Chris­tians and Shias as the surest path to par­adise. All such ac­tiv­i­ties took place un­der the ap­prov­ing guid­ance of Khashoggi, who called for ret­ri­bu­tion in Libya and Syria to those re­garded as apos­tates by Wah­habis (i.e. those who shel­tered rather than ex­e­cuted Shias and Chris­tians). Ever since the oil price hikes of the 1970s, the Wah­habi In­ter­na­tional has been gifted hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars, es­pe­cially by Al Sauds such as Prince Turki. Some of that money went into the pock­ets of schol­ars, me­dia per­sons, politi­cians and of­fi­cials in the more prom­i­nent mem­ber states of NATO, prin­ci­pally the US and the UK. This ex­ten­sive and well funded net­work has now been ac­ti­vated to en­sure that Crown Prince Muham­mad bin Sal­man (MbS) of Saudi Ara­bia get weak­ened enough to be re­moved from his cur­rent job. The dis­ap­pear­ance of Ja­mal Khashoggi, af­ter he was spot­ted en­ter­ing the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, has be­come the trig­ger for a frenzy of lob­by­ing from the many who have over the years fed at the trough of Wah­habi gen­eros­ity to seek the down­fall of the Saudi Crown Prince, who is the suc­ces­sor to King Sal­man.

Khashoggi was work­ing along with some mem­bers of the Saudi Royal Fam­ily to oust the Crown Prince, and was ac­tive in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of lurid in­for­ma­tion about the Crown Prince, who is the first mem­ber of the Al Saud fam­ily to recog­nise the ex­is­ten­tial dan­ger posed to his coun­try by Wah­habis and work to elim­i­nate their in­flu­ence in the way Gen­eral Al Sisi (an­other tar­get of the Wash­ing­ton Post) has car­ried out against the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Egypt. The Broth­er­hood makes lit­tle se­cret of the fact that it pro­motes re­li­gious supremacy, the “right” of Wah­habis to im­pose their con­trol and pref­er­ences over the rest of so­ci­ety in any coun­try run by them. Khashoggi must have seethed at, among other ac­tions, the grant­ing of per­mis­sion by the UAE to set up a tem­ple in that princely union. Were any other Post colum­nist to sug­gest that a church be set up any­where in the Mid­dle East, it is cer­tain that the DC Belt­way-cer­ti­fied Saudi ex­em­plar of lib­eral val­ues would have been hor­ri­fied, in­deed an­gered, at such ef­fron­tery. His pas­sion­ate views on Is­rael are known to in­ti­mates, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan, and it is a sore point with such minds that Crown Prince Muham­mad has opened the door to nor­mal re­la­tions be­tween the coun­try that hosts the holi­est of Is­lamic sites and the tiny sliver of ter­ri­tory that is the only Jewish state in the world. Cer­tainly the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the case of the van­ish­ing Wah­habi seem un­savoury. If Khashoggi was done in within the con­sulate, the am­a­teur­ish­ness of the op­er­a­tion must be gen­er­at­ing de­ri­sive laugh­ter within the Rus­sian FSB, Is­rael’s Mos­sad or the CIA. It would have been child’s play for a “dou­ble” with Khashoggi’s build to have am­bled out of the con­sulate in a few hours’ time in his clothes, thereby pro­vid­ing Saudi of­fi­cials with an alibi. In­stead, sur­veil­lance cam­eras that have never mal­func­tioned in years sud­denly went dark. All this is in­deed an out­rage, and pos­si­bly a crime. How­ever, suc­cess for those seek­ing the re­moval of Crown Prince Muham­mad from power would be a catas­tro­phe for Saudi Ara­bia.

The only way that coun­try with its youth­ful pop­u­la­tion can face a fu­ture in which Saudi oil will earn a smaller and smaller pre­mium would be to de­velop the King­dom as a knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion hub, some­thing pos­si­ble given the nat­u­ral tal­ent of the Arab mind. The fet­ters placed on Saudi so­ci­ety by Wah­habis need to be taken off, and this is what the Crown Prince is do­ing at con­sid­er­able per­sonal risk. Ja­mal Khashoggi was en­gaged in a coup at­tempt against MbS, an ef­fort covertly funded by a few mem­bers of the Al Saud fam­ily, who seek thereby to en­sure that Wah­habism re­mains all-pow­er­ful in their very con­se­quen­tial coun­try. This plan has not yet suc­ceeded, but the hub­bub around the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Wah­habi colum­nist is be­ing fu­elled to en­sure that pub­lic opin­ion in the US and within the EU im­pels politi­cians there to work to­wards the ouster of the Crown Prince. Any re­ver­sal of the MbS-led ef­fort now tak­ing place within Saudi Ara­bia to de-Wah­habise the coun­try would have harm­ful con­se­quences for global se­cu­rity. The Crown Prince is clearly no saint, as some of the ma­te­ri­als about him that have been passed around by Khashoggi demon­strate. But Muham­mad bin Sal­man’s con­tin­u­ance in his present of­fice and an avoid­ance of di­lu­tion of his in­ter­nal author­ity are needed for suc­cess in the on­go­ing ef­fort within Saudi Ara­bia to end that coun­try’s role as a prime mover in the spread of the Wah­habi In­ter­na­tional and the nu­mer­ous side-ef­fects of such growth. The “baby” of de-Wah­habi­sa­tion should not be thrown away with the “bath­wa­ter” of long­stand­ing and re­gret­table Saudi tac­tics against those openly work­ing to over­throw a Saudi King or Crown Prince.

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