by David Hearst
King Abdullah's writ lasted all of 12 hours. Within that period the Sudairis, a rich and
politically powerful clan within the House of Saud, which had been weakened by the late
king, burst back into prominence. They produced a palace coup in all but name.
Salman moved swiftly to undo the work of his half-brother. He decided not to change his
crown prince Megren, who was picked by King Abdullah for him, but he may choose to deal
with him later. However, he swiftly appointed another leading figure from the Sudairi
clan. Mohammed Bin Nayef, the interior minister is to be his deputy crown prince. It is
no secret that Abdullah wanted his son Meteb for that position, but now he is out.
More significantly, Salman, himself a Sudairi, attempted to secure the second generation
by giving his 35- year old son Mohammed the powerful fiefdom of the defense ministry.
The second post Mohammed got was arguably more important. He is now general secretary of
the Royal Court. All these changes were announced before Abdullah was even buried.
The general secretaryship was the position held by the Cardinal Richelieu of Abdullah's
royal court, Khalid al-Tuwaijri. It was a lucrative business handed down from father to
son and started by Abdul Aziz al Tuwaijri. The Tuwaijris became the king's gatekeepers
and no royal audience could be held without their permission, involvement, or knowledge.
Tuwaijri was the key player in foreign intrigues -- to subvert the Egyptian revolution,
to send in the troops to crush the uprising in Bahrain, to finance ISIL in Syria in the
early stages of the civil war along his previous ally Prince Bandar bin Sultan. . . .
David Hearst is Editor, Middle East Eye
"The Destruction of Mecca's Islamic
Heritage," The Wisdom Fund, November 1, 1999
Daniel Wickham, "An Interview with the Imprisoned Daughter of Saudi Arabia's King
Abdullah," Muftah, June 2, 2014
[The House of Saud believes it can play the waiting game - as fracked oil, mostly
American, is inexorably driven out of the market because it is too expensive. After
that, the Saudis believe they will regain market share.
In parallel, the House of Saud is obviously enjoying "punishing" Iran and Russia for
their support of Bashar Assad in Damascus. Moreover, the House of Saud is absolutely
terrified of a nuclear deal essentially between the US and Iran--Pepe Escobar, "What game is the House
of Saud playing?," rt.com, January 23, 2015]
Ian Black, "Saudi Arabia's new king promises continuity after death of Abdullah,"
theguardian.com, January 23 2015
[ . . . the revolution that threatens the monarchy will not come from Iran. Nor from
Saudi Arabia's own Shia minority, nor the country's armed Wahhabists. It will come from
within the royal family.--Robert Fisk, "King Abdullah's
friends in the West stayed loyal, but revolution is on the horizon in Saudi
Arabia," independent.co.uk, January 23 2015]