Sacking of princes shortly after their appointment and the failure of Saudi policies both at home and abroad point to growing uncertainty in the ruling family. The latest prince to get the boot was Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz who had been at his post for merely two months. Clearly, the rotten "royal" family is on its way to oblivion.
June 29, 2014, 12:11 DST
Reflective of growing uncertainty and inconsistency in policies, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has sacked another prince from office. Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz was relieved of his duties on June 28 without giving any reason for the move.
The royal decree merely said Prince Khaled was being relieved of his post on the recommendation of Defence Minister Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. It is interesting to note that Prince Khaled was appointed to this position merely two months ago.
The Saudi king is 90 years old and in poor health. The Crown Prince Salman, while slightly younger, is also in poor health and suffers from dementia. The regime is facing numerous challenges on several fronts. Internally, there is growing resentment among the population towards the regime’s heavy-handed policies as well as massive corruption. Externally, the regime’s policy in Syria has failed miserably in dislodging President Bashar al-Asad from power.
The takfiri terrorists unleashed in Syria and Iraq may have shifted the problem from the desert kingdom elsewhere but this is only a temporary measure. The monsters unleashed in Syria and Iraq have tasted blood and will not be satisfied with attacking only others. The Saudi regime fears—quite rightly—that if these terrorists can attack others, they can just as easily attack the Saudi regime as well. In fact, the takfiris have many reasons to go after the Saudi ruling family: it is thoroughly corrupt, its members indulge in all kinds of immoral acts and they are all subservient to the imperialists and zionists.
The Saudi regime is clearly worried that these monsters have become far too powerful. Those members of the royal family that have been in the forefront of supporting the terrorists are gradually being weeded out in hopes of containing the problem. It is believed that Prince Khaled, the just sacked Deputy Defence Minster, was supporting the takfiri terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
This project was earlier being handled by Bandar bin Sultan, another obnoxious member of the House of Saud. He was chief of intelligence but was abruptly removed from his post in May. When his dismissal was announced, the statement that said Bandar had “asked” to be relieved of his responsibilities.
In Khaled’s case, no such statement was made. This is all the more surprising since he was assigned to this post only two months ago. He removed as governor of Riyadh province last May and replaced by Prince Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz, the king’s own son. Turki had served as Khaled's deputy until his elevation to the position of governor.
The stakes are very high; so are the ambitions of a number of ruthless operators within the ruling family. But time seems to be running out for them. Most informed observers believe that the Saudi family’s days are numbered.
King Abdullah is appointing his own sons to crucial positions. His favorite son Mutib is head of the National Guards and has been elevated to the rank of a minister giving him a seat at the ruling council table. Abdullah has similarly appointed other sons to key posts.
The king knows that a succession battle is looming when the current generation of oldies go to the other side. Whichever son succeeds to the throne will grab everything. The stakes are very high; so are the ambitions of a number of ruthless operators within the ruling family. But time seems to be running out for them. Most informed observers believe that the Saudi family’s days are numbered.