Wednesday, October 23, 2013


By Ghassan Kadi
23 October 2013


King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who gave the Kingdom the very name of his father, had 45 sons out of whom 36 survived into adulthood.

When he died in 1953, succession was aged-based. Saud, his eldest son was his Crown Prince and until he was deposed by his half-brother Faisal in 1964.

Since then, all Saudi Monarchs have been the direct sons of Abdul Aziz, the founder of the monarchy and the family line.

It is not surprising that all of his sons are now getting on with age, but such is the Saudi succession system. The first in line has to be from the first generation irrespective of his age, until they all die. What happens after all of Abdul Aziz’s sons die? No one really knows.

When Faisal became king in 1964 and until has was assassinated in 1975, the first in line, his Crown Prince was his half-brother Prince Khaled who was already old. Faisal therefore groomed Prince Fahed, another half-brother, the second in line, to be the acting king after he dies.

Khaled became a tokenistic king and Prince Fahed was the power man. Under Khaled, Fahed was the first in line, followed by half-brothers Abdullah (the current king) and Sultan (father of Bandar). This offered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a stable succession and a sense for stability.

By the time Fahed became king, he too was too old and Abdullah became the power man and Sultan became his successor.

However, the succession became a bit murky, and Abdullah did not have a power man who would be a good candidate to take the role of the acting king. By then, Sultan was getting too old himself and the generational change was bound to happen sooner or later.

Bandar Bin Sultan (ie son of Sultan) was hoping that his father, the Crown Prince would become king albeit for one day for him (Bandar) to become the power man and the first second generation king. But to Bandar’s utter disappointment, his father (Sultan) died in 2011 whilst Abdullah was still king.
Bandar’s dreams of his father (Sultan) becoming king and appointing him as his successor were shattered. Bandar’s ultimate dream would have been to see his father outliving all of Abdul Aziz’s sons. If that happened, Sultan would have started his own legacy and passed on his throne to Bandar without Bandar having to make any special effort to prove his worth.

With the premature death of prince Sultan and the appointment of prince Nayef (son of Abdul Aziz) as Crown Prince, who died a year after (in 2012) and was replace by another son of Abdul Aziz, prince Salman (born 1935), the generational change was still on the agenda.

The sons of the late Crown Prince Nayef did not have any clout, and if they did, they lost it when their father died before he became king. The sons of the current Crown Prince Salman are not known in the international arena and do not carry any clout of their own either.

This bolstered the dreams of Bandar to become the first king of the second generation, and hopefully to be officially named as Crown Prince, but this time, he had a succession mountain to climb and he had to prove his worth.

With his African slave mother, his fight to the top had to be a huge climb. Saudi Arabia is not only a radical fundamentalist state, but also one that is very racist and Africans are still seen as “niggers” (pardon the expression).

With his complex as being half African combined with his fundamentalist outlooks and unrelenting desire to be king, Bandar has put his utmost effort to present to the Saudi Royalty that he is the man who can protect the Kingdom from the Iranian/Shiite peril (as Sunni fundamentalists see Iran).

Dubbed Bandar Bush being closely allied to the Bush administration(s), being very close to Israel albeit covertly, Bandar found in Syria what he thought was his winning card to curb what he sees as the Shiite invasion of the Sunni world and his passport to become the unrivalled Saudi king.

Syria looked like free-game to him. He thought that by bolstering an alliance against Syria, he would appease his American and Israeli friends, round up enough international propaganda , call for Jihad and lure Islamist recruits with the ultimate objective to topple Bashar. That would also make him the all-Saudi hero who defeated Iran and the Shiite expansion.

Believing that the Americans regarded him as an ally and a spokesperson, he dared to venture to Russia trying to incite Putin to play the US game. When his negotiations with Putin failed, he took another dare when he left the meeting with Putin with a threat. He even threatened Putin that now that the negotiations have failed, the failure meant war and Chechen terrorists wreaking havoc in Russia and the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Little did he know that he was threatening an aspiring world leader of a major power and that he is/was not a true ally of the United States; only a puppet chasing his own dreams of grandeur, fanaticism and crown.

His next effort was based on creating a convincing argument for American intervention in Syria, and hence the alleged chemical attack in Ghuta that he orchestrated.

More and more dreams of Bandar were shattered again and again, the last of which was when Putin put a red line to the USA and said to them (in more ways than one) to keep off Syria.

Bandar now stands alone. He is now frothing and threatening to walk away from his
American allies.

Bashar Assad stood alone for quite a long time, and before him his father Hafez Assad stood alone when Yeltsin’s Russia was not even able to provide him with spare parts for military hardware.

Hafez and Bashar had their people behind them. Their legacy will be recorded in history as men who stood and won against all odds.

Bandar stands alone because he wants to be king. He will be recorded in history as the man who was destined to never be king.

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