The Saudi Sack
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Saudi Sack

Saudi Arabia's political purge of November 5 signifies a greater trend of centralization.

144
The Saudi Sack
Al Arabiya English

The purge of political rivals is far from unbeknownst in the international political arena. Throughout history, political purges have been a widespread tactic of the authoritarian consolidation of power. The manner by which an executive purges rivals has been varied— ranging from imprisonment to execution— but has always been a means to transfer power from the people to the executive. On Saturday the 5th, the Saudi Arabian government announced the arrest of at least 16 prominent public figures, the implications of which severely affect both the Saudi masses and residents of the US.

Although King Salman currently holds the Saudi throne, it is speculated that the purge was pushed by his son and probable heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As the king’s top adviser, the 32-year-old crown prince has an enormous amount of influence in economic, military, domestic and foreign affairs. Because of his breadth of personal power, the young prince is no stranger to criticism; his relationship to the throne has been characterized as corrupt as worst, while his actions have been described as brash at best. However, the label of corruption used to decorate his situation may seem antithetical to his stated motive behind the political purge, which were done in the name of anti-corruption.

In the wake of the purge, it has been speculated that the arrests were carried out not to erase corruption, but to clear the political stage of the crown prince’s opponents, allowing for a smooth ascension to the throne when the time comes. Such a perspective is perhaps validated when the stature of those who were arrested is taken into account.

Most notable, among those apprehended were Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a man who has been referred to as “the Warren Buffet of Saudi Arabia” and has an estimated net worth of $32 billion. As one of the world’s most prominent global investors, with holdings in Western corporations like Citigroup and Lyft, Prince Alwaleed is no stranger to Western politics. In fact, the Prince has repeatedly taken to Twitter, another source of his investment, to criticize American politicians and policy.

In 2015, Prince Alwaleed tweeted at Donald Trump, calling him “a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all of America.” With that, he urged Trump to drop out of the presidential race. Prince Alwaleed, who is seen as politically moderate in his home country, has also criticized the Saudi crown, speaking out against the ban on women driving years before it was lifted. Thus, many wonder if, by choosing to arrest a politically informed prince with critical tendencies, King Salman and his son can accurately claim that Prince Alwaleed’s investments are the real subject of royal scrutiny.

Since Prince Alwaleed has actively criticized President Trump in the past, it may not come as a surprise that the latter has been silent towards the prince’s detainment despite its implications for American businesses. Charges against Alwaleed were brought by a newly informed anti-corruption committee created by the crown prince, which has the authority to freeze the assets of anyone it apprehends.

What will the loss of Alwaleed’s participation in investment mean for his American benefactors? Rather than comment on possible implications of Alwaleed’s arrest on his US business partners, the President has remained silent about the purges in the 24 hours since they were made public. However, he has spoken to King Salman since then; on Saturday the fifth, the had a conversation in which Trump warmly endorsed Salman’s modernization efforts.

Although social progressions in Saudi Arabia have been made, such as the lifting of the ban on women driving, the term “modernization” has been used synchronically with “centralization” throughout history. As such, many are taking Trump’s statement, in conjunction with his choice to sideline the topic of the arrests in favor of discussion of military purchases, as implicit support for the actions of the Saudi crown.

Could Trump hold a grudge against Alwaleed, who he once deemed a “dopey prince” backed by “daddy’s money” on Twitter? Such a claim may be a stretch; however, opinions on it may only be formed once the White House releases a statement explicitly responding to Saturday’s arrests.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

96478
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

43045
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

71537
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments