Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies

blueblood

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Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died, royal officials have announced, weeks after he was admitted to hospital.

King Abdullah, who was said to be aged about 90, had been suffering from a lung infection.

A statement early on Friday said his 79-year-old half brother, Salman, had become king.

King Abdullah came to the throne in 2005 but had suffered frequent bouts of ill health in recent years.

BBC

BBC News - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies
 

Ray

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I read that the succession will not be smooth since other so called Sultans are not pleased with the Old Goatee's choice.

 

sorcerer

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India's Friends Israel and US Differ Sharply On Arab World

The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will push the rapidly changing West Asian landscape onto the middle of the agenda President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss on Sunday. Terrorism was already a theme, but now cause and effect of that rampaging evil may also get an airing, something neither Riyadh nor Jerusalem quite like.

Abdullah, even as Crown Prince, was brilliant at managing Washington. Witness how he coped with all the criticism and suspicion when fifteen of the nineteen masterminds of 9/11 turned out to be Saudis.

He was on an equally slippery slope when ISIS was found with Saudi recruits. It also had active cadres inside Saudi Arabia. A few days ago, ISIS militia breached the Saudi border with Iraq and, working on prior intelligence, killed the general guarding the Kingdom's northern frontier.

The kingdom's incredible wealth made it more equal than others eversince the discovery of oil, but Abdullah's recent co ordination of policy with Israel had enhanced his clout with the West in geometrical progression.

When he came out of convalescence from hospital in February 2011 and saw his friends Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as casualties of the Arab Spring in Cairo and Tunis, he swore to block the Spring.

He rained $135 billion on the people of Saudi Arabia, a brazen purchase of support. No monarchy would be allowed to fall, he declared. He even made up with the estranged Emir of Qatar whose singular asset, Al Jazeera TV, was required by him and his western allies for propaganda during the Syrian and the Libyan operations.

Let me explain this:

When war breaks out, the first casualty is the truth. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and operation Desert Storm in February 1991, the global media has been called upon to cover so many conflicts, that principal channels like CNN and BBC lost credibility in the process of dressing up the West's case. Al Jazeera TV, built up a reputation covering the "other side". An exhasperated Washington, bombed al Jazeera offices in Kabul and Baghdad. This boosted Al Jazeera credibility sky high, a priceless commodity at a time when audiences were simply not believing CNN, BBC and Fox News. But by serving the interests which the principal western media did in the past, Al Jazeera too has lost its sheen? The field is wide open for a truly Independent Indian global media.

There are other, much more important Saudi initiatives, past and present, which have come a cropper. The terrorist mayhem in the world is commonly traced to the training imported to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. What is not so well known is the late Saudi interior Minister, Prince Naif's scheme to train Mujahideen in Yemen as a bulwark against Soviet influence in Aden.

It is these which have mutated into today's Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, linking up with Al Shabab in Somalia and spreading violence along the Sahel upto Nigeria's Boko Haram.

Nearer home, Saudi Arabia has made itself extremely vulnerable by promoting interests to the South of it which are so unpopular among the people that the Shia Houthis are today in control of Sanaa.

Abdullah always flailed his arms against the Shias but the Arab arc surrounding his kingdom is just what he would abhor. Shias rule in Baghdad; Bashar al Assad (so far) is an immovable force in Damascus; Hassan Nasrullah is the most powerful leader of Lebanon. This has invited an Israeli riposte.

Israeli air strikes have hit where it should hurt: against Hezbullah, Syrian and Iranian military assets in the Syrian city of Quneitra. An Iranian General and six Hezbullah commanders have been wiped out. Iran says they were training Syrian hands against "Takfiri-Salafist terrorists". There has been no statement from Washington and no retaliation from Hezbullah, Syria or Iran. Sometimes restraint is lethal.

Well, Israel has election on March 17. Kerry is pushing for a nuclear settlement with Iran, also in March. If the Israeli strike in Quneitra invited a response from, say, Hezbullah, the atmosphere would have been fouled up and impeded the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond, led a conference of 21 world leaders in London to strategize against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Consider the irony. Israelis killed military assets who were ostensibly training the sorts of forces that the sponsors of the London conference would require to fight the ISIS.

Are Jerusalem and Washington working at cross purposes?

New Delhi is friendly with both. Here is a chance to obtain clarifications first hand.




Read more: India's Friends Israel and US Differ Sharply On Arab World - News - Politics - Russian Radio
 

Compersion

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the new Saud will have to be tested by Bahrain and Mecca (administration control) and Oil - OPEC pricing. one will only know if he is a own man if not a puppet.
 

The Messiah

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the new Saud will have to be tested by Bahrain and Mecca (administration control) and Oil - OPEC pricing. one will only know if he is a own man if not a puppet.
he is puppet. entire clan is a puppet.

and riyadh is power center.
 

The Messiah

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Razor

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Why are we mourning this guy?

India to observe national mourning today for late Saudi King Abdullah | Zee News

I thought Indians were treated very badly in Saudi...
Since it is now clear that India is siding with the US, I guess India wants to go the Western way.
Okay, maybe I'm over-reacting. :(

It's funny on the one hand the West says "Oh ISIS is out to get us, Everybody be afraid. Lets send military, blah blah" and on the other hand they support and fund the criminals funding ISIS and AQ, and send out tweets like "man of wisdom & vision", "deeply missed" and so on, to mislead the public and paint a nice picture of a terrorist regime called KSA, and thus justify the relation the US has with these terrorists.

Like the tweets below,

[tweet]558535347328798720[/tweet]

[tweet]558465776370200576[/tweet]

While reality is

[tweet]558639885293469696[/tweet]

[tweet]558602188390686720[/tweet]

[tweet]558554636031107072[/tweet]


#JeSuisAbdullah? Critics slam glowing Western eulogies for 'reformer' Saudi king



Source: #JeSuisAbdullah? Critics slam glowing Western eulogies for 'reformer' Saudi king — RT News
 
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Razor

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Also heard that Obama will cut short his india trip to drop by at saudi land to mourn the death of his terrorist pal.

So much love. :aww:

Looks like inspite of all the "base sharing" that India is willing to do ( :toilet: ), for obama dead terrorists are more important. :lol:
 
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Free Karma

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@Razor @The Messiah

Simple burial in unmarked grave for Saudi king who lived in palaces | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, one of the richest men in the history of the world, was carried in a simple white shroud to an unmarked grave on Friday in a Riyadh cemetery where many of his commoner subjects rest, in keeping with ascetic traditions.

The Saudi state school of Wahhabi Sunni Islam holds ostentatious displays of grief or mourning to be sinful, akin to idolatry.
There was no official mourning period in Saudi Arabia and flags around the kingdom all flew at full staff. Despite his apparent popularity among his subjects, there were no spontaneous gatherings on city streets to mark his passing.

Government offices, closed for the Middle East's normal Friday-Saturday weekend, will open as usual on Sunday.
 
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nrj

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Why are we mourning this guy?

India to observe national mourning today for late Saudi King Abdullah | Zee News

I thought Indians were treated very badly in Saudi...
Any Govt will go length to please these people. BJP is no different, all verbal bravado.

--

This incident shows the margin of geopolitical anxiety Saudis can raise. All the major heads of state are lining up in Riyadh. Obama also cut short his India tour, sheikhs showcasing how important they are without much hoopla.
 

Nicky G

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Why are we mourning this guy?

India to observe national mourning today for late Saudi King Abdullah | Zee News

I thought Indians were treated very badly in Saudi...
And how many Saudis were involved in 9/11 attacks? Where does OBL hail from? US did what precisely?

That kingdom just enjoys too much significance for any world leader to do any different. At least Modi is not lining up there shamelessly like Obama and the rest of the West. I hear the VP is being sent, good. :lol:

Still very disappointing over all considering we have done this so rarely for world 'leaders'. :tsk:
 
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Dark Sorrow

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And how many Saudis were involved in 9/11 attacks? Where does OBL hail from? US did what precisely?

That kingdom just enjoys too much significance for any world leader to do any different. At least Modi is not lining up there shamelessly like Obama and the rest of the West. I hear the VP is being sent, good. :lol:

Still very disappointing over all considering we have done this so rarely for world 'leaders'. :tsk:
Power of Black Gold.:rip::rip:
 

sorcerer

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The Dangers of Saudi Succession [/B
The monarchy's greatest strength is its outward display of unity. That's also its weakness. By Simon Henderson

National leaders do, on occasion, lose the plot when in office. But seldom do they gain top positions when their minds have already gone. The elevation of Crown Prince Salman to the Saudi throne, following the death of King Abdullah on Thursday, could prove a live experiment in whether such a scenario is viable. The Economist has reported that the 79-year-old Saudi leader may be suffering from dementia. Former top CIA analyst Bruce Riedel has written that Salman is "not up to the job." At this stage, speculation about Salman's health remains unconfirmed by Saudi authorities. But keep in mind that Saudi Arabia isn't just any country; the kingdom is the leader of the Islamic world, a leader of the Arab world, and, by virtue of being the world's largest oil exporter, a major economic player. So hold on. The ride ahead could be rough.

Saudi Arabia now faces two principal challenges. The short-term one is that the kingdom's leaders believe they are threatened on all sides. To the south, pro-Iranian tribesmen have taken over Sanaa, the capital of neighboring Yemen (a chaotic Yemen is nothing new, but it would be embarrassing and destabilizing for Saudi Arabia if Yemen's northern region becomes a lawless haven for jihadists). ISIS is probing the nation's northern frontier; three Saudi border guards were killed along the Iraqi-Saudi border on January 5. And it looks as though the despised Iran, across the Persian Gulf, is being offered a tantalizing nuclear deal by the United States, hitherto Saudi Arabia's trusted security guarantor. It isn't obvious how Saudi Arabia can best respond to these developing crises, but it is obvious that it will need a shrewd leader to craft those responses.

In the longer term, Salman's decision to accept his half brother and Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin as his own crown prince, or designated successor, doesn't resolve how royal succession will play out following Muqrin. With no more sons of the kingdom's founder, Ibn Saud, available, which line of grandsons will be tapped as a source of future kings? The news that grandson Prince Muhammad bin Nayef has become the new deputy crown prince does not fully answer this critical question. Are all the other grandsons going to simply accept being banished into obscurity? I doubt it. MbN, as he is known, is dour, not dynamic. His father wasn't a king. He is favored by U.S. counterterrorism officials, but that is not necessarily a plus in his country, where it is better to be regarded as pro-Saudi than pro-American. Still, as a survivor of the world's first rectal suicide bomb (a jihadist, claiming he wanted to surrender to MbN, managed to circumvent a security screening), he at least has "luck."

As the few remaining sons of Ibn Saud grow older and more infirm, the weakness of Ibn Saud's succession mechanism has grown more glaring. Successive Saudi kings—Saud, Faisal, Khalid, Fahd, Abdullah, now Salman—have become progressively older at the point of gaining the throne, and their reigns have become more dominated by health issues than ideas about guiding the kingdom through turbulence, both foreign and domestic. Competition among Ibn Saud's sons has often been vicious. There is little reason to expect that rivalry among his grandsons will be any less intense, despite all the efforts to publicly convey a sense of calm in the House of Saud.

Given Salman's reported health problems, who is going to actually rule Saudi Arabia? The king, after all, is notionally also the prime minister and top decision-maker. The simple answer is Salman's camp, but the makeup of this camp is murky, and Salman will likely be suspicious of those who served loyally for his predecessor. The one sure character in the inner circle is Salman's son Muhammad, who has headed the crown prince's court and now been made minister of defense. Only in his 30s, Muhammad bin Salman has yet to demonstrate a clear skill set, but his ambition is gigantic. Other sons include Abdulaziz, the perpetual assistant oil minister; Sultan, the astronaut who shared a space shuttle with a female American crew member, Shannon Lucid, despite strict Saudi notions of gender separation, and is now in charge of tourism and antiquities; and Faisal, the governor of Medina province whose Oxford doctorate discussed power politics in the Persian Gulf.

The other key question is whether King Abdullah's death will precipitate significant changes in Saudi policy. While Abdullah hated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Salman's camp may approach the Syrian civil war in a less visceral way and be more amenable to diplomatic compromise. But the sons of Salman probably share the House of Saud's profound suspicion of Iran and ISIS. Domestically—on issues ranging from the role of women in society to the powers of the Consultative Council and municipal councils—will Salman be more "reformist" than Abdullah was? Perhaps so once Salman has consolidated power, though his camp will probably steer a more cautious course until it has had time to judge what the largely conservative Saudi populace wants.

What international observers most want, meanwhile, is to know what Saudi Arabia will do next regarding the price of oil. This is the policy arena where Saudi thinking is most likely to change under Salman, though less as a result of a strategic shift than of frustration that the current policy—accepting falling oil prices in an effort to preserve the country's global market share—is not working. The kingdom is currently keeping its head above water while other oil-producing nations—and rivals such as Russia, Iran, and even U.S. shale-oil producers—struggle, hoping that the price of oil recovers or that U.S. shale-oil production slumps. Abdulaziz bin Salman, who has spent his oil-ministry career tolerating his own marginalization by the oil minister Ali al-Naimi, may play an influential role in steering Saudi oil policy in a new direction.

The House of Saud often seems like an old-fashioned family business, but the weakness of such a corporate structure is that the most senior member rather than the most competent gets to be chairman. (In Saudi Arabia, it will always be a man.) This works well enough as a business model if the commercial environment changes slowly. But when there are new competitive pressures (ISIS, Iran, Yemen) and the market price of your product (oil) has suddenly halved, you are in danger of becoming a classic business case study, a proud dynasty that failed to change with the times. The greatest strength of the Saudi royals is their outward display of unity. Yet it is also a weakness. Salman is a transitional leader. Along with his half brother, Muqrin, he is the bridge to the next generation. But if the throne eventually passes to Muhammad bin Nayef, where does it go from there? To his sons? His brothers? Saudi succession is a work in progress, at just the moment when the kingdom faces an array of grave threats and distractions.

The Dangers of Saudi Succession - Defense One
 

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