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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: A Harbinger of Hope to Saudi Youth ^ | November 12, 2017 | Ken Blackwell

Posted on 11/12/2017 4:48:30 AM PST by Kaslin

As much as we try to paint things black and white in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), nothing is ever that simple.

Over the past week, the Anti-Corruption Committee in KSA, driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), effected a number of detentions of high-profile and wealthy Saudis on suspicion of various forms of corruption. Experts have argued whether the anti-corruption arrests are meant to be taken at face value or instead interpreted as a move towards political power consolidation. While it seems unlikely to be a power play since, to be frank, MBS already held it, a more interesting argument can be made if one removes politics from the equation entirely: the Crown Prince is doing everything in his power to make sure his people remain optimistic about what the future holds.

Instead of focusing on the geopolitical web Saudi is intertwined in, a domestic snapshot of Saudi Arabia is one that reminds us that the country is on the verge of a cliff. It is easy to forget that the Kingdom known for its opulence is still a commodity exporter, dependent on the sale, and price, of oil. With nearly 70% of the population under the age of 30, an unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 over 30%, low and stagnant oil prices, a substantial budget deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves, Saudi society is primed for unrest. Enter MBS – a young Crown Prince that the people can relate to, and he seems to get it. MBS did not cause the problems Saudi Arabia is set to face in the near future, he inherited them, but he is aggressively trying to remedy them.

At the Future Investment Initiative Forum held last month in Riyadh, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a public promise to his Kingdom and to the rest of the world: “We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today.” As much as MBS was addressing the thousands of foreign investors in the auditorium, he was also making a declaration to his people that things ‘as is’ need to change, and promising that he will make it happen.

The series of arrests over the past week was just one example of the bold moves MBS is willing to take to ensure his people have a fighting chance. Separate from the ethical basis for eliminating corruption, this was a message to his people that he hears them, he’s on the case and to have hope. It is no secret that corruption and nepotism have been intrinsic to Saudi society. Yet this breeds a feeling that there is no equality of opportunity, and no potential for future success because of the way things are done. So this was a message to Saudi youth, in particular, that they are breaking the trends of the past, and that the old ways of doing business will not be tolerated. Going forward, no one is above the law. And reactions from Saudis on the ground was accordingly positive.

This can only be accomplished with initiatives that are already set out as part of Vision2030. As ambitious as the plan is, it is a good plan with the potential to truly revolutionize the Kingdom. And again, the arrests last week showcase that MBS is not afraid to shock the system if necessary to get things moving. The Kingdom is in the middle of a very important transformation, and building trust is tantamount to its continued success. MBS is asking his people to trust him, and telling the rest of world that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is open for business – legitimately.

The Anti-Corruption Committee, and its mandate, addresses very specific concerns from potential foreign investors. The Committee has for years been gathering evidence against those detained, and MBS’s recent appointment to its Head finally gave it the credibility needed to make a move. Ultimately, the goal is for an increase in transparency and accountability in business that will foster an environment that the international community can comfortably invest in. Estimates are that the Kingdom needs to create 3 million new jobs by 2020 alone, and this can only be accomplished with a burgeoning private sector.

Investors and Saudis alike can now rest assured that all opportunities are equal and there will be no favoritism.

Attention and scrutiny into any major changes coming out of Saudi Arabia is to be expected. Yet it would be inappropriate to judge on the guilt of those accused, as that is not for us to determine. Instead, we must have faith that the judicial authority in Saudi Arabia – one that is fully independent from royal influence – will fairly and adequately evaluate the facts as they stand. Already we have seen evidence of some detained being released, which reinforces this.

Only time will tell if this transformation will take root, but what is clear is that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants his people, and all those watching, to know that he’s in this fight for better or worse.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: binsalman; houseofsaud; muslimworld; royals; saudiarabia

1 posted on 11/12/2017 4:48:30 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

MBS v 1400 years with unprecedented expansion into western civilization in the last 20.

Odds are...

2 posted on 11/12/2017 5:13:37 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Kaslin

We don’t hear much of what is going on in Saudi Arabia with our domestic media being focused 24/7 on Trump-hate, but something big is happening over there and the fallout will likely interconnect with politicians in the U.S.

3 posted on 11/12/2017 5:21:00 AM PST by Flick Lives (The FBI is a taxpayer funded Mafia organization)
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To: Kaslin
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: A Harbinger of Hope to Saudi Youth" or maybe Antichrist? I dunno.
4 posted on 11/12/2017 5:46:26 AM PST by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...".)
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To: D_Idaho

Welcome the world’s next dictator!

5 posted on 11/12/2017 5:47:46 AM PST by cameraeye (A happy khafir!)
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To: Kaslin

Nice to know MBS is trying to move KSA from the sixth century to the 12th century.

6 posted on 11/12/2017 5:52:46 AM PST by Popman (My sin was great, Your love was greater  What could separate us now…e)
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To: Kaslin

MBS recognizes that the situation with the “Saudi royals” is unstable. The “royals” have an especially high birth rate, with each new generation having the expectation that they will have the same opulent standard of living as their parents.

It is not sustainable, and there would be “internal unrest” at whatever point the spoiled royals got their income cut. Might as well do it now.

7 posted on 11/12/2017 6:04:41 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (Big governent is attractive to those who think that THEY will be in control of it.)
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To: PapaBear3625

What is not “sustainable” is Saudi oil output and profits. They lost the fracking battle to the US, which has far more oil then they have and can sustain the rate for 50 years or more. Saudi has no choice but to take the money they have now and use it to transform their society.

8 posted on 11/12/2017 6:58:45 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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Problem is, they can’t change their society quickly. They have an entitled “royal” class, plus their regular citizens are used to importing non-Saudis to do the actual work in the Kingdom.

Making Saudis actually willing to get their hands dirty will be a big job.

9 posted on 11/12/2017 7:34:58 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (Big governent is attractive to those who think that THEY will be in control of it.)
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To: PapaBear3625

According to other posts a number of the arrested royals are experiencing real torture first hand (the sort that leaves no marks on faces and other exposed skin). They are no longer “entitled” and the whole importing of outside labor thing may go away, since the former royals will no longer have the funds they once had - funds and estates have been confiscated {this includes Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud} - to employ slave labor.

A little real torture has a way of encouraging one to get with the program and get one’s hands dirty.

10 posted on 11/12/2017 8:00:18 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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