Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) interview on Fox News (September 21), merely confirmed his ignorance and complete lack of coherence on issues.
It was evident that MbS’ public relations team had failed to conceal his limited critical thinking capabilities.
He rattled off data that he had clearly memorized but demonstrated minimal understanding of the figures.
From the grovelling nature of Fox News journalist Bret Baier’s interview of MbS, one got the impression that the Saudis might have paid him handsomely to show such subservience.
Not only did it appear that the questions were planted but that hard questions were not allowed even if MbS’ answers were simplistic and incoherent.
Nor were there follow-up questions that would have further exposed MbS’ lack of understanding of the issues.
Such mediocrity is given a pass only because the person being interviewed happens to be the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler with more cash than brains.
Setting aside the personal aspects of the interview, it became apparent that the broader issue at hand is the lack of strategic vision within the Saudi establishment.
The de-facto Saudi ruler made statements that revealed how the regime intends to deflect the NATO regimes’ pressure over Riyadh’s deviation from the western geopolitical course.
MbS’ interview included important messages to Washington and its surrogates.
Responding to reports of ongoing Israeli-Saudi normalization talks, MbS stated that the normalisation agreement between Saudi Arabia and apartheid Israel was getting closer “every day.”
The Saudis understand that this alone would not be enough to incentivize western regimes to overlook the growing Saudi-Russian-Chinese relations that are detrimental to western interests.
Thus, MbS added icing on the cake by reiterating that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Riyadh will do so as well.
Informed observers understand that Saudi acquisition of nuclear weapons is impossible without the west providing it with technical know-how.
Further, given the Saudis’ incompetence, western technicians will have to run these facilities for the foreseeable future.
Western regimes are unlikely to provide the Saudis with such nuclear know-how.
It adds way many unknown variables into an already unstable region, and indeed, the world.
MbS’ statement on Iran was intended merely to appease the narrow-minded American policy makers who operate in West Asia only through the Saudi vs Iran framework.
His anti-Iran statement was not a serious policy formulation.
The Saudi crown prince was sending a “subtle” message to western regimes that he is open to being used as regional leverage against Islamic Iran.
The price for this treacherous policy approach, however, must be renegotiated.
Superficially, MbS’ interview was supposed to be a manifestation of shrewdness and transactional politics.
In reality, it only exposed his ignorance.
MbS’ willingness to sell his soul to the Americans just a few months after a state-to-state rapprochement agreement with Iran, shows that the Saudi regime lacks any systematic approach to policies.
Of course, Beijing and Moscow are not oblivious of MbS’ rhetoric.
They would likely have concluded that a state system subordinate to the whims of a spoiled prince is not a reliable partner for strategic engagements.
Unpredictability is, therefore, likely to deter Russia and China from engaging in meaningful strategic cooperation with Riyadh.
Their fear that Saudi Arabia’s policies could change abruptly, jeopardizing mutual interests, is real.
Since its creation by the British, the Saudi regime has been a dagger in the back of the Muslim Ummah, and a regional menace.
Its active and shameless courting of zionist Israel, another key regional danger, shows that Riyadh cannot be taken seriously as a power aiming for regional stability.
For the Muslim world to witness genuinely positive change, the Saudi regime must go.