Alahednews
english.alahednews.com.lb
Al-Ahed Telegram
Even Stars Tell The Truth! ’Israeli’ Regime Denies 11-Yo Wounded Palestinian’s Passage for Medical Treatment, Causes Loss of His Leg Skripal Case: Russia’s OPCW Envoy Exposes ’Eight UK Lies’ Where Will the Trump-Kim Summit Take Place? Yemen’s Missile Force Target Jizan’s Airport, Saudi Arabia Ethiopia: New PM Abiy Ahmad Names New Cabinet Italian Officials, German Firm Face Lawsuit over Saudi Arms Sales James Comey: Trump Is A Bully, Narcissist and Serial Liar Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech at «Loyalty to the Martyrs» Festival in W Bekaa, April 15, 2018 China ’Ready To Deal with Any Fallout from US Trade Row’ #Syria: "Jaish al-Islam" terrorists in al-Dmair town continue to hand over their arms before leaving for #Jarablus Magnitude 5.5 quake strikes southern #Iran; felt in #Bahrain US & allies' 'aggression' in #Syria is a violation of international law - #Putin to Merkel #Merkel claims #Russia shares responsibility for #Syria's actions as its ally Leader of #Daesh Cell in Russia Blows Himself Up During Detention - FSB #Russian, #French Ambassadors Arrive for #OPCW Meeting on #Douma #Russia: Response to #US #Sanctions Will Not Be Delay Sayyed #Nasrallah: Some #Gulf countries have worked and offered millions of dollars to strike #Syria and its institutions Sayyed #Nasrallah: The #US with its institutions, knows that any broad aggression against #Syria can’t end without consequences, but will blow the entire region Sayyed #Nasrallah: The #US aggression on #Syria has failed to change the equation in favor of “#Israel” or some regional countries
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » Files » Files » Selected Articles

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince of Hypocrisy
Washington Posts' Editorial Board

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to shake up the hidebound kingdom.

MBS

He has already announced that women will be permitted to drive, launched an anti-corruption campaign, allowed movie theaters to open next year, imposed budget austerity and revealed expansive ambitions to diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil. All this seems responsive to a restive younger generation. But the crown prince has occluded his vision with a taste for grandeur.

He reportedly bought a luxury chateau for more than $300 million in Louveciennes, France, near Versailles, and he acquired a 440-foot yacht from a Russian tycoon in 2015 for about $550 million. Those prices are eye-watering, but the Saudi government says the crown prince did not provide $450.3 million for the most expensive art purchase in history, a Leonardo da Vinci painting recently sold at auction.

Certainly, the anti-corruption campaign, in which 159 of the kingdom's richest businessmen, princes and officials were rounded up and detained at a five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel last month, had more than a whiff of a power grab. The corruption problem is real, and so is the impatience of the younger generation. But don't look for trials for those detained in their cushy suites. Instead, the crown prince is attempting to coerce the wealthy into signing over tens of billions of dollars in assets to avoid prosecution and win their freedom. This is a crude method of an autocratic regime, not a modern rule-of-law state.

Why did the crown prince, railing against self-enrichment by his peers and colleagues, decide to plunk down more than half a billion dollars for the mega-yacht and the villa in France, which sits on a 57-acre landscaped park? The chateau was completed in 2009 with a 17th-century design but modern technology, according to the New York Times: "The fountains, sound system, lights and whisper-silent air conditioning can all be controlled remotely by iPhone." Nice. But the symbolism is awful and suggests the crown prince has one vision for his people and another for himself.

If he is truly interested in demonstrating enlightened and modern leadership, he should unlock the prison doors behind which he and his predecessors have unjustly jailed people of creativity, especially writers critical of the regime and intolerant religious hard-liners. Recently, he oversaw a crackdown that swept up influential clerics, activists, journalists and writers on vague charges of endangering national security. Allowing these voices to thrive and exist in the open would be a real contribution to the kind of society he says he wants. In particular, he should arrange an immediate pardon for blogger Raif Badawi, serving a 10-year jail sentence in the kingdom for the crime of free expression. Mr. Badawi offended hard-liners when he wrote that he longed for a more liberal Saudi society, saying, "Liberalism simply means, live and let live."

Opening Mr. Badawi's cell door would do more to change Saudi Arabia than purchasing a fancy yacht and a villa in France.

Source: Washington Post, Edited by website team

26-12-2017 | 13:19


Name
E-Mail
Comment Title
Comment
Human Verification


News Coverage

Related News

Search
To Top