News Analysis
The Black Box of Saudi Politics
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  • Fat_Man

    Saudi Arabia will always be opaque to outsiders. It is not really a state in the modern sense. It is more like Family Business.
    See: “The Saudi Monarchy as a Family Firm” by Xavier Marquez on January 29, 2015

    I have often said that to understand the KSA, you should study the History plays of Shakespeare:

    “Shakespeare: King & Country” [Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V] Royal Shakespeare Company w/ David Tennant as Richard II

    “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” [Henry VI, Richard III] Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III

    This could prove very interesting.

  • Psalms13626

    This bin Salman guy seems like he knows what’s up. He knows where the real danger is. His true test is the same as everybody else’s in the Middle East: what are you going to do about Iran?

    • D4x

      Yeah, the Iran watch requires a map with a time stamp. I now have a Time-Zone Converter handy. Abbas had his Monday 11 06 2017 lunchtime interrupted: “Will Mahmoud Abbas resign in Riyadh too? Mustafa Abu Sneineh Monday 6 November 2017 15:57 UTC Last update: Tuesday 7 November 2017 17:28 UTC Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas travelled on Monday [from a meeting in Sharm al-Sheik with Egypt’s al-Sisi, possibly crossing air space with Jared Kushner coming west from Tokyo to Riyadh] to Saudi Arabia in a surprise visit to meet with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. …
      Other [social media observers] tried to guess which luxury hotel Abbas would be placed under house arrest in. …”

      In other news-bits, Hizballah’s Nasrallah claims Israel launched that Houthi missile; Putin returned safely to Moscow from Teheran while Hizballah approached the USA base at al-Tanf where Syria-Iraq-Jordan meet; Turkey stopped bombing Kurds in Syria in order to kill more Kurds near their border with Iran; Putin summoned Erdogan to Moscow for a Nov. 13 meet, before Putin flies to Manila for the East Asian Summit on Nov. 14 which Trump added, on Nov. 3, to his schedule; and most US media was in a frenzy over how to feed koi in Tokyo, twelve hours after the Trumps landed in South Korea, where it is currently maybe 8 am on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

      Quote for today: “Don’t Forget Middle East Madness by Victor Davis Hanson November 7, 2017 4:00 AM ET
      “ …The last few years, Vladimir Putin seems more the arbiter of peace and war than does an American president. …”

      As for me? I want a cup of ‘Serene Morning of PyeongChang’ tea with Gotgam

      …The refreshments for the reception are reportedly chocolate-coated dried persimmons, called “gotgam” in Korean, and
      herb tea, dubbed “Serene Morning of PyeongChang.” PyeongChang is an alpine town in South Korea and [alpine skiing] venue for the upcoming [2018] Winter Olympic Games.

      ‘Serene Morning of PyeongChang,’ which is made by blending hydrangea from the 700-meter-high Mount Balwang in PyeongChang with Western and Oriental herbs, bears a wish to make the steadfast South Korea-US
      alliance last long,” the official added.

      First lady Kim Jung-sook, who is good at cooking, has often served her own dishes to important guests. (Photo: Yonhap)

      That delightful moment in international diplomacy was twenty-fours ago…when it was 3:00 pm on Monday Nov. 6, in Seoul.

      Welcome back Andrew Bernard – nice to have a reason to check-in at TAI again. is good reading, as is Korean Herald, Japan Times, al-Monitor. is quite useful to follow who is bombing who in Mesopotamia, where the Ottomans keep meeting the Persians., but the Abassids are making a comeback.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Mohammad bin Salman from the link:

    “Seventy percent of the Saudi population is under the age of 30. In all honesty, we will not spend 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideologies. We will destroy them today and immediately,” bin Salman said.
    He continued, “Saudi was not like this before ’79. Saudi Arabia and the entire region went through a revival after ’79. … All we’re doing is going back to what we were: a moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world and to all traditions and people.”

    Good news for everyone if true and achievable.

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