Sunday, April 23, 2017

What is happening in Saudi Arabia? Another look at the changes yesterday

From an informed Saudi student:  It reads (my translation) from Arabic: "I have quick notes..through which I wish to transmit our views as citizens (subjects) of Salman and his sons:
These comprehensive decisions cover more than one sector and section of the state after the insinuation by Muhammad bin Salman on more than one occasion to the importance of the views of people and citizens as to what is happening regarding decisions including Vision 2030.  And those statements appeared in the official and non official news and appeared more than once in his public meetings on occasions.  it is clear that he is not like other princes in his policies and wants (or wants it to appear as if) he takes public preferences and satisfaction into consideration.
The decisions included restoring the salary increases for civil and military employees which were canceled months ago.  And this text of the royal decree at the behest of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.  This does not conceal his desperate efforts to attain popularity and reputation among people in the wake of widespread currents of dissatisfaction and opposition in private gatherings against the new austerity policies. And this makes Muhammad bin Salman a hero who listened to the people and responded to their needs.
Changes included the military forces and the commander of the ground troops was replaced by one of the sons of Faysal. And the spokesperson of the Aggression on Yemen, Ahmad Al-`Asiri, was made deputy intelligence chief.  And there was a weird phrase cited in the order to release double salaries for actual soldiers in the front lines in resisting the Yemeni attacks on the South (although we all know that those who do the actual work in the ground troops against the army and popular committees are the mercenaries from South Yemen).
As one looks closely at the new princes appointed one notices two things: 1) they are form the young generation to which Muhammad belongs. 2) he appointed his brothers and nephews in important posts like his brother as ambassador in DC (the same pilot who bombed Syria), and another brother as an official in the sector of energy and his nephew is now deputy (or superintendent) of the Eastern Province (and it is an important province which deals with "deals" and internal home affairs inside the royal family as important as defense and oil for its economic importance).  These appointments are important and significant.
The school year was shorted so that the final exams are given before Ramadan, and thus we now have the longest summer vacation in the history of the kingdom.  And this pleases me as a student of course.
Of course, we are looking at these analysis and decisions in terms of the potential conflict between son of Salman and son of Nayif over seizure of the crown."