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07 August 2020


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What’s your opinion on the dynamics that could lead to the fall of the House of Saud?

I’m sure in an insular country like that there must be much palace intrigue and suspicions on loyalty among those that bear arms. How does MbS insure his survival?


It couldn’t happen to better folks


Col. Lang:

It will be decades before the identification of Salafi ideas as True Islam is discarded.

Decades of strife and bloodshed still lies ahead, in my opinion.


With "friends" like KSA and Israel, who needs enemies? These two have driven US foreign policy for decades and the smouldering wreakage of MENA is the legacy of these miguided corrupt alliances. Between the fed and Treasury we'll be bailing out both of these monstrosities.

Unfortunately the 2 presidential candidates promise us of more of the same. I was so hopeful that Trump might make a break, but he seems to have been a weak leader with little follow through. Biden, of course, will put these misguided alliances on steroids administered by proven losers.

Richard Ong

There's a positively classic scene at the beginning of the movie "A New Leaf." Walter Matthau's character is visited on the golf course by his accountant who's come to tell him that there's no more money in his trust account. Matthau is bewildered by this news uttering something along the lines of "But I still have plenty of checks." It's hilarious and someone in Saudi will also soon be visiting the Wahhabi loons to tell them the party is over. Life imitates art.

Polish Janitor

Saudi Arabia has been in the news lately and none of them is good. One is WSJ's report on the quasi-secret China-Saudi nuclear cooperation and the 'Yellow-cake' production in a secret desert facility in the country's NW. I can already see the heat the Saudi's will be getting from this!

Two, is the story of the 'Tiger Squad' assassins who were ordered by MbS personally to pull off a Khashoggi on a former Saudi intelligence officer for his refusal to get back to the country.

The idea of the Saudi's march to nuclear weapons development is a terrifying idea, but the rumor is that they already have (at least) one in Pakistan. I particularly find it very strange that the Trump admin was positively 'nudging' the Saudis toward nuclear energy development until very recently, when Rick Perry was still in the administration! But a few days ago the official at the State Dep's arms control and non-proliferation desk poured cold water on Saudis and made it clear that the U.S. would not let them to do funny stuff wit uranium behind their backs.

Also of note is the part in the WSJ's report that caught my attention and where it mentions the involvement of an Argentinian energy firm that recently set up a nuclear reactor for the Saudis and that they were very keen on developing the enrichment cycle supposedly for 'research' purposes and under secrecy. This reminded me of the 'colorful' history of Israeli-Argentine secret nuclear weapons development cooperation in the 60's, in which Israel got its'yellow-cake' it needed from Argentina to develop its nukes. Which begs the question that are Saudis going the same route as Israel did back in the early 60s? Why not working with Japan, Germany, France, U.S. then if it is all peaceful?

I have had my fair share of interactions with the Saudi people. while the culture is pretty medieval with regards to social and religious matters, but when it comes to hospitality and alike they are welcoming, especially during the month of Ramadan and after Iftar, that is when they break their fasts at dusk. For the Saudis it is like a custom to be 'extra' generous and they donate free meals frequently to everyone.

The Twisted Genius

Years ago, I suggested a cyber operation to drain the royal family of their disposable wealth for the sole purpose of depriving the jihadists of further material support. Glad to see that the "invisible hand of capitalism" and the royal's own stupidity are doing just that. I don't want to see the royals toppled. Who knows what would replace them. But if they were weakened enough so that all their remaining resources and concentration are focused on keeping their people from rising up and ripping them to shreds, it would be fine by me. Let the jihadis be reduced to angry men in the mosque without the resources to turn their anger into meaningful action.

BTW, this idea of a cyber operation was from SST not from my time in DIA.


While MBS's Tiger Squad assassins were denied entry into Canada to whack former Saudi Intel type/MBS critic Saad Aljabri, MBS succeeded in obtaining a fatwa directed against Saad Aljabri.

Babak makkinejad


The Salafist approach to Islam is not crazy, i.e. insane. It is very much like Protestanism in as much as it rejects even the theoretical possibility of a Legitimate Central Religious Authority, it rejects Tradition, it rejects the possibility of sainthood - Olya allah -, it posits that any fool can read and interpret the Scriptures, and it rejects Theoretical Reason.

I think behind both Salafism and Protestanism appeals is a yearning for a simple moral and intellectual order that does not put too much strain on the believers' cognitive faculties; live under these black tents, follow these rules, and you are granted redemption in this life as well as the next.

"No need to trouble your pretty little brains to grapple with the world as you find it and not as you think it ought to be."



By "theoretical reason" you mean Kalaam?

Babak makkinejad

I meant Philosophy.

Babak makkinejad


I should have written:

"...read and understand...", rather than "read and interpret..."



Felsafa is not highly regarded among the Sunnis because of the ancient closure of the Gate of Ijtihad. Felsafa is much more highly regarded among you Shia because you still have widely and highly regarded mujtahideen. Khomeini was a philosopher.



Sunni Islam has been mostly about "literalism" since the defeat of the mu'tazila.



Sunni Islam does not admit of hierarchy except within consensus groups (Ijma'). Some are large and some are small. 12er Shiism effectively is hierarchical through mechanism of the "Hawza" schools of mujtahids (Ayatollahs). i will be surprised if you understand that. Ask for clarifications.

Babak makkinejad


Sharia is just the Laws of Islam, the concept is common to all Muslim sects and schools, the content is common.

In my opinion, Seyyed Jamal Al Din Qazwini was not a Salafi as the worf is understood today. He was a Shia Muslim who was campaigning for a unified Muslim response to the ascendancy of the Western Diocletian civilization as well as the Russian Empire.

He was, in the final analysis, only partly successful in his effort, in as much as they could only make sense among the Seljuk Muslims.

Salafi ideas, in my opinion, are best understood as a response of Non-Seljuk Muslims to the Western Diocletian civilization. It reminds me of the Deobandis, another Muslim response to the Western Diocletian civilization, exemplified by Great Britain, in India.

Both Salafis and Deobandis consider Shia Muslims to be heretics. The Wiki omits that.


"the content is common" Untrue. There are many different collections of hadith and jurisprudence that make it obvious that the content is not common among the different sects.

Babak makkinejad

That was a typo, meant not common.

Account Deleted

Cuts to the welfare state will make the natives restless. Heads likely to roll.


@ Babak,

how much of a doctrinal difference is there between Deobandis (whom I associate with the Afghan Taleban) and Salafis?

My impression is that both are intensely reactionary, anti Shia and anti western. A Russian arabist I talked with stated , somewhat offhandedly, that Deobandism is "Stone Age, actually middle iron age, Islamism is one country" while Salafism is "Islamic Stone Age world revolution", which is obviously a very Soviet way to look at things, and which probably describes what the Taleban/Salafist do more then what their actual doctrine says.



Since you didn't ask me for my opinion I will await with interest Babak's opinion on Deobandism and Salafism.



I cannot answer your question.

Personally, I do not care to learn the differences: they both want the Shia Muslims to be dead.

That is all I needed to know.


Mistress of Tara

So far as I know it has nothing to do with Shiism.

Babak makkinejad

Scarlett O´Hara

May be they started as Sufis, they are not any longer.

You think that the followers of Sufi path - Tariqat - are some sort of Enlightened spiritual Muslims?

In Iraq, the Kurdish Yazidi women and girls were being sorted out by their largely Sunni Kurdish bretheren, who were followers of Tariqat. They showed up in masks, taking the girls away, mudering the men; ISIS was just a convenient label under which these Sufi Muslims could indulge in rapine, theft, and murder.

You don't believe me, ask the Yazidis.

Babak makkinejad

Col. Lang

So much ignorance and the Western people wish to adjudicate- or have already adjudicated among Muslim sects.

It would have been amusing had its consequences not been so dreadful.

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