Friday, November 10, 2017

KSA is a rogue state

When Saad Hariri suddenly resigned from his post as Prime Minister of Lebanon last week while in Saudi Arabia and rumors started that he was being held hostage by the Saudis who forced him to resign, I thought it was a joke. But if I were Saad and people started saying that about me, I would dispel the rumors by coming home, or at least making some public appearances.

The fact that days have gone by and Hariri is basically incommunicado leads me to believe that the rumors are right. It really does look like Saudi Arabia disregarded any sense of diplomatic immunity, arrested a foreign leader while on a state visit, made him release a statement that he was resigning and then refused to let him leave.

It's totally bizarre. The only thing crazier is the idea that this is a ploy by Mohammed Bin Salman (the Saudi crown prince who seems to be calling all the shots right now) to strike out against Hezbollah and Iran. Lebanon is a country with a precarious balance of sectarian-based political parties. If you take out the leader of the Sunni party, that is going to strengthen the Shia parties, and the biggest and most powerful Shia party in Lebanon is Hezbollah. Like the war in Yemen and the ridiculous blockade of Qatar, this just seems like another bold but badly-thought-through anti-Iran gambit by MSB.