5 Things You Need to Know About the Saudi Purge

11/12/201730 Comments

Saudi Arabia, May 2017. A private yacht sails into the port at Jeddah under heavy guard. The yacht’s identity is hidden even from the port authorities. Only a handful of people are allowed near it. They deliver several boxes on board and the yacht sails away.

The boxes contained cash. $1 billion cash. A “gift” from the inner circle of Saudi Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

And the mysterious yacht? It belonged to The Trump Organization, and the whole incident took place while Trump was busy bowing to MBS’ father, King Salman.

An incredible story, to be sure. Phenomenal, even. Trump bribed by the Saudi Crown Prince to the tune of $1 billion? The beloved POTUS selling out his country in return for some cold hard cash? It could be the scandal of the century, and it seems to explain so much.

After all, Trump’s genuflections toward the Saudi royals (literal as well as figurative) and his profusions of “great confidence” in those same royals even as they commit a chaotic and bloody purge stand in stark contrast to the rhetoric of candidate Trump. Lest we forget, it was just over one year ago that Trump was railing against Clinton for accepting money from those gay-killing, women-enslaving Saudi fiends and openly ruminating about Saudi connections to 9/11.

…But is it true? Was there really a private yacht in Jeddah Port? A team of shadowy men from MBS’ inner circle? The billion dollars in cash? Who knows!

The story comes from @mujtahidd, an anonymous Twitter user who has two million followers and claims to have sources close to the royal palace. And, true or not, it’s being reported on by “reputable” outlets. And why not? It’s salacious. It’s tantalizing. And it makes just enough sense to be not entirely implausible.

In a sense, the yacht story is a good window into the chaotic “anti-corruption” purge taking place in Saudi Arabia right now, which has so far netted 201 people (and, not incidentally, 1,700 bank accounts and other assets totaling a cool $800 billion). There’s so much uncertainty from so many quarters that even the most outlandish stories are being taken seriously.

Did a Saudi prince die in a shootout while being swept up in the Kingdom’s recent purge, as many outlets reported, or is it all a hoax, as Saudi officials claim? Was the dramatic downing of a helicopter during the purge a deliberate act? Heck, was the Vegas shooting actually an attempt to assassinate MBS? Who knows!

But don’t worry, all is not lost in these chaotic times. There are some things that we do know about what’s going on, and as it turns out, these things are pretty important. So let’s examine five things we know (or need to know) about the Saudi purge.

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