Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made the world a bold promise: under his watch, Riyadh will enter the 21st century.
Bin Salman (commonly referred to by his initials, MBS) has insisted his nation will remain a close ally of the United States and, judging from reports, has only used his recently created corruption commission against extremists within the ranks of government. “We will not waste 30 years of our lives in dealing with extremist ideas. We will destroy them today,” he vowed in remarks this October.
A month later, Saudi police have detained over 200 people – including key business leaders, government officials, and princes – for participating in “systematic corruption and embezzlement.” Reports have identified many of these as extremists with ties to the most hard-line clerics in the nation, however, the Saudi government does not identify those it arrests until after a trial takes place.
While the call to end decades of Sharia rule will inspire hope in Washington, President Donald Trump must not take for granted that Western-style classical liberalism will follow. When the arrests end, paving the way for a “moderate Islam,” Trump must be present to compel the Saudi government to create a free society – and prepared for the hard sell on “socialism with Chinese characteristics” from Beijing.
That danger appears acuter given the resemblance of MBS’s anti-corruption brigade to the Chinese Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, responsible for the arrests of thousands of Chinese officials for a variety of crimes ranging from hosting weddings considered too lavish for the Communist Party to accepting bribes from private industry. While the ends of both operations differ significantly – MBS appears to be seeking to diminish Wahhabist influences, while Xi Jinping clearly meant to cement his stranglehold on power – the means are uncannily similar.https://archive.fo/juhD2http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/11/13/us-supports-saudi-arabia-push-21st-century-china-waits-chance-strike/