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Top jobs currently vacant in Riyadh and Sana’a

As I was penning my last post, two Middle Eastern countries lost their leaders.

Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, died in hospital from a lung condition. He was aged “about ninety” – nobody ever found out how old he was (I doubt there were any registry offices in mid-twenties Saudi Arabia). Abdullah was admitted to hospital some weeks ago, so if his decline was inevitable this would have influenced some recent political and parapolitical events. What observers of the mainstream media will notice is the way journalists, and especially American journalists, continually refer to the late king as a reformer. This is like referring to Louis XVIII as a reformer. Really it’s just a way of masking our support for a despicable regime: by blindly asserting the guy in charge is 0.01% better than his rivals, we can thus pretend he is worthy of our obsequious support. Hence all Saudi leaders are always referred to, absurdly, as modernisers and reformers. They are no such thing. The dynasty is inherently incapable of reform. Resisting reform is pretty much the Saudi raison d’etre. I mean look at this:

Some (by no mean all) draconian Saudi punishments. Source: Middle East Eye

Some (by no mean all) draconian Saudi punishments. Source: Middle East Eye

Whatever faces they might pull for the public, the knives will be out in the House of Saud. Saudi successions are rarely smooth, and how could they be, with so many foreign countries angling for influence? One obvious consequence has already occurred, and it is the fall from power of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in Yemen. I mentioned him in the post below; he was a pro-US Saudi-puppet. While Abdullah was ailing in hospital, the Yemen’s Houthi rebels surrounded the presidential palace. Unable to flee to Saudi Arabia as his predecessor did, Hadi resigned, as did his newly-appointed Prime Minister, and the rest of the cabinet (isn’t it strange how governments which claim to win over 99% of the votes in every election always end up tumultuously overthrown).

What this throws into relief the utter hypocrisy of US foreign policy – as does almost every major international event these days. Washington just lost their boy in Sana’a to a popular (and by definition) anti-American grassroots movement. Cue the inevitable drivel from the State Department about an illegitimate coup, as was noticably missing in their response to the military overthrow of an elected leader in Egypt, or the ousting, by shadowy neo-fascist gunmen, of an elected leader in the Ukraine. Some of the yanks are already calling for Hadi’s re-instatement – whereas you’ll remeber that the Russians had the good grace and common sense to pronounce Yanukovych utterly finished. As you listen to, and read about, the endless vilification of Russia, spare a moment to think about what our leaders look like in the Middle East.

Obama and Abdullah.

Obama and Abdullah.

Bush and Abdullah.

Bush and Abdullah.

Cameron and Abdullah

Cameron and Abdullah

Blair and Abdullah

Blair and Abdullah

Charlie Windsor dressing up for Abdullah (it's never happened the other way around).

Charlie Windsor dressing up for Abdullah (it’s never happened the other way around).

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