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Our Belligerent Friends The Saudis

President Trump and his good friends the Saudis (White House photo)

There’s a report out that King Salman will abdicate next week in favor of his hotheaded young son, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). But wait, there’s more:

The high level source said once crowned king, the prince will shift his focus to Iran, a long standing rival oil empire to Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with fears military action is possible.

He will also enlist the help of the Israeli military to crush Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia supported by Iran, according to the source.

‘MBS is convinced that he has to hit Iran and Hezbollah,’ he said. ‘Contrary to the advice of the royal family elders, that’s MBS’s next target. Hence why the ruler of Kuwait privately calls him “The raging Bull”.

‘MBS’s plan is to start the fire in Lebanon, but he’s hoping to count on Israeli military backing. He has already promised Israel billions of dollars in direct financial aid if they agree.

‘MBS can not confront Hezbollah in Lebanon without Israel. Plan B is to fight Hezbollah in Syria,’ said the source.

I find this plausible, but not quite credible. This is in the Daily Mail, and it’s based on a single unnamed source “close to the Saudi royal family.” Voice Of America reports that the Saudi government strongly denies that Salman will abdicate. But:

“The Saudis have denied any abdication in pretty strong terms. But most outside observers say that the aim is to have Salman abdicate once Crown Prince Mohammad is secure enough to rule in his own right,” David Des Roches, an associate professor at the National Defense University in Washington, told VOA. “People who are skeptical of Salman – and of Saudi Arabia – think the aim of an abdication would be to bypass the allegiance council of senior princes and ensure the crown prince takes over.”

Des Roches, however, believes that given that every credible rival to the crown prince has now been sidelined or arrested, there may not be a need to rush to abdicate.

“By now, Mohammad bin Salman has control over all the levels of power. There won’t be a popular upswing in favor of the old guys who got rich. So he can wait for his dad to die and then take over the state in title as well as in practice,” Des Roches said.

The US is already participating in the Saudis’ vicious war on Yemen. You watch: on the watch of that Trump, who allowed himself to be obsequiously flattered by the Saudis, we’re going to let them drag us into another war in the Middle East.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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