Saudi newspapers has been celebrating the first anniversary of Salman bin Abdul Aziz's being in charge of the kingdom since the 3rd of Rabi'e al-Awwal of the 1436 Hijri year. The kingdom's newspapers compete to celebrate the occasion, as they expressed the renewal of "pledging loyalty" and obedience to the king who western reports verify "he couldn't concentrate but for few hours a day," according to Bill Law in his piece for the British daily, "The Independent."
The Saudi "al-Hayat" newspaper, under the title of "A Year of ‘Decisiveness’ and ‘Determination’ Makes the New Saudi Identity," selected a bunch of "achievements" it claimed they were made since the beginning of Salman's rule. In parallel, the "Sahrq al-Awsat" newspaper praised some extraordinary features of the seventh king from the sons of Abdul Aziz. As it exaggerated praising the king, a policy adopted by the kingdom's newspapers and writers, the "Sharq al-Awsat" described Salman bin Abdul Aziz as the "founder of the fourth Saudi state!"
For its part, "Okaz" newspaper specified its first page to publish the king's photo under the title "Salman, the Heart of the People and the Nation", exposing the wars of whom it described as the "King of Decisiveness" from Yemen, to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to return them to "the Arab lap". The paper further published a file entitled "Pledging Loyalty" in which it specified it for reports that praise the king, in addition to statements by the princes of the regions who renewed their pledge of loyalty to him... The same titles, next to the king's photos, dominated the topics of Saudi newspapers such as: "ar-Riyadh", "Sabaq", "al-Watan", "al-Yawm" and "as-Sharq."
This is how "Saudi" newspapers drafted the news of the royal "achievements", in a kingdom where criticizing authorities is a crime, where tweeters are detained, and those who demand reform are beheaded... What about those who are not obliged by obeying "the ruler"?
Executing Rivals... Disobedience of "Al Saud" Princes
Before burying his brother King Abdullah, the royal court had announced a bunch of decisions that were described as revolutionary over the previous rule. Such decisions provided assigning Mohammad bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz as Deputy Crown Prince, his son Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz as Defense Minister, and isolating Khaled Tuweijeri who is close to Mut'ab bin Abdullah. Such decisions didn't last long until Megrin bin Abdul Aziz was exempted from his post as a Crown Prince. This post shifted for "bin Nayef", while Mohammad bin Salman held the post of the Deputy Crown Prince. Therefore, the king guaranteed that his son would find a place in the transformation of rule from the first generation to the other, under tense competition that has not ended yet due to the absence of the mechanism of shifting power.
Salman bin Abdul Aziz's decisions represented final end of relations with the previous rule, in which he tended to draw a roadmap that would allow his son Mut'ab reach power. Besides, the decisions to isolate the sons of Sultan and Bandar soon proved that he could not be relied on in hopes to restore the strength of the Sudairi wing to power. It is the wing to which Salman belongs, and that was marginalized during the previous rule. Isolation and marginalization policies included all sons of Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, yet boosted bin Nayef's position, opening the door for the rule of the son of King Mohammad bin Salman, who is considered the actual ruler of the kingdom as the health and mental situations of his father deteriorated.
The British newspaper, "The Guardian", didn't see the royal decisions but "defending survival" of the rule, which explains Saudi prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz's campaign against the royal decisions, announcing neither pledge of loyalty nor obedience.
Relatively, decisions in the kingdom faced rejection amidst the Al Saud milieu, in particular from the brothers of the king: Ahmad, Abdul Ilah, Mamdouh, Mut'ab, Bandar, Turky and Abdul Rahman, according to tweets by the famous Saudi Twitter user "Mujtahidd."
Discontent within the family appeared months later in a two-part message that was circulated in the houses of the Al Saud members, which ignited isolating the king and his son bin Nayef.
However, these stances didn't hinder the progress of the rule, despite what is being leaked about fierce competition between the two "Mohammads" (bin Nayef and bin Salman).
Gambling in Yemen
Although as soon as he took power he announced that Saudi Arabia will keep its path in "all what would achieve unity of lines and words, and defending the causes" of the Arab and Muslim nation, two months later, the king led a war on Yemen that is still ongoing since more than 11 months, claiming the lives of 7411 martyrs, and causing injuries to 13846 others until the moment, as well as damaging the Yemeni infrastructure and most distinguished historic and religious landmarks of the country.
Under the slogan of "restoring legitimacy" in Yemen, the kingdom announced in the night of March 26 the formation of a military coalition that includes 10 countries to get engaged in a war against Yemen. But Saudi efforts and grants failed to make benefit from such countries, as Egypt and Pakistan refused to take part, while battles showed that real participation is conducted and led by Saudis and Emirates, besides number of mercenaries.
Despite the high expenses that were spent in the Yemen war, Saudi Arabia failed to achieve any of its announced goals, and it couldn't until now make any field achievement that it tends to before heading to the table of negotiations. An American researcher described fights in Yemen as very expensive on the financial level, expecting that it "would last long without any clear results." Meanwhile, "The Independent" considered that Saudi burned billions on the aggression it is launching against Yemen as well as its war in Syria.
In last April, "Der Spiegel" newspaper reported that the Saudi military operations in Yemen failed to achieve its goals, adding that: "four weeks after the war, hundreds were killed and Saudi now wants to get engaged in a political solution for the struggle on power in Yemen."
For its part, "The Independent" said that the Kingdom involved itself in a "brutal war in Yemen, whose end doesn't appear in the horizon."
In the context, Irish writer Patrick Cockburn described Saudi current policies as hasty, saying they seek "paralyzing the Arab world by getting it involved in proxy wars in Syria and Yemen," citing a report by the German intelligence agency as saying that "Saudi is taking more aggressive options and war-loving policy, like the war in Syria and Yemen."
Few months ago, in the same context, "Mujtahidd" saw that it is too late to fix the situation in Yemen, noting that it is no more possible "to stop the war without confessing defeat," adding that "almost four months have passed on the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, which is more than the double of the longest period of airstrikes without ground battles. So what is the result?"
The Inside Terrorism... "ISIL" in the Kingdom
Slogans of "decisiveness and determination" which Saudi media promoted regarding the kingdom's wars, appeared as a media bubble that was uncovered by terrorist attacks and bombs inside the kingdom.
On May 22nd, a suicide attack targeted worshippers in the Mosque of Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb (PBUH) in al-Qudeih in the eastern al-Qatif Province, which martyred some and was claimed by "ISIL".
Few days later, on May 29th, another suicide bomb rocked the courtyard of the Imam al-Hussein (PBUH) Mosque in the eastern al-Anoud neighborhood, claiming the lives of 4 martyrs who prevented the suicide bomber from entering.
In July, a booby-trapped car exploded in front of a checkpoint on the way to al-Haer-Riyadh, causing injuries to two police officers, and was soon claimed by "ISIL."
Later in August, the terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the Abha bomb that killed 12, including a police officer.
Then in October, terrorist militants conducted an armed attack against the Haidariya Husseiniya in Sehat, east kingdom, leaving 5 martyrs. And by the end of the same month, another terrorist explosion targeted a mosque belonging to the Ismaili sect in Najran, south Saudi Arabia, leaving 2 martyrs and others wounded.
The Mena Tragedy
Among the record of the new era, the Mena tragedy is mentioned, which was classified as the bloodiest incident in the history of pilgrimage, claiming the lives of 2121 victims, according to computation by the Associated Press.
"The Independent" held Saudi authorities responsibility for the tragedy, despite the Saudi attempts to lay responsibility on the pilgrims, claiming they were not controlled in their behavior. The British newspaper further cited eyewitnesses as saying that there were untrained emergency men, noting what was reported about the closure of two roads to let members of the ruling family pass.
Peak Disability in Saudi Budget
By the end of December, Saudi Arabia announced its budget, uncovering peak disability in the oil-rich kingdom that exceeded 80 billion dollars.
This unprecedented disability came after a report published by "The Independent" some months earlier saying that Saudi Arabia is burning billions of its financial stock in an unprecedented manner to keep oil prices low "50 dollars per barrel", and at the same time, to meet its needs regarding the aggression it is leading on Yemen as well as its war in Syria. The daily at the time expected that Saudi would be harmed by the policy of swamping the market with oil products. This policy was adopted by the kingdom to harm the Iranian and Russian economies and prevent the Americans from extracting shale oil.
Such economic disability pushed the kingdom towards imposing new policies, such as lifting support of fuel prices, imposing taxes on water and electricity services, and even imposing the value-added taxes which will be applied within months.
Bloody Executions Series
The kingdom didn't close 2015 just with the economic failure; it rather dedicated what was previously criticized by Amnesty International which considered the "series of bloody executions" at its highest level since 20 years in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia executed 150 members in 2015, before closing that year on the crime of executing 47 persons, among who where the prominent Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, which shook the Muslim world and caused the eruption of a crisis between the Saudi Kingdom and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Under Salman bin Abdul Aziz the first's rule, Saudi Arabia decided to end 2015 with a "beheading" party, according to "The Independent", which also pushed "The Sunday Times" to say: "Less than a year has passed until now on Salman bin Abdul Aziz being in charge, yet it is one of the worst years in the history of Saudi Arabia!"
Source: Al-Manar Website
|15-01-2016 - 13:09 Last updated 15-01-2016 - 13:09|
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