It is becoming more difficult to hide the mess the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman creates. The propaganda about the “liberal reformer” is too inconsistent with his obviously tyrannical behavior.
The clown prince of Saudi Barbaria practically abducted the Prime Minister of Lebanon, blackmailed him to resign and holds him since under house arrest. This is an unprecedented attack on the sovereignty of Lebanon and all other countries. Yet the U.S. and some European leaders cowardly pretend that Saad Hariri is free to go where he wants:
A French official says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told foreign ambassadors that he is not a prisoner in Saudi Arabia, where he has been holed up since an unusual resignation announcement.
An official in French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Friday that the French and U.S. ambassadors in Saudi Arabia met with Hariri, and that Hariri “says he is not a prisoner, the (Saudi crown) prince says he is not a prisoner.”
Macron paid a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday night and met with the crown prince, notably about rising tensions in Lebanon, a former French protectorate.
Hariri may not be “a prisoner” but he is as free to leave his current residence as Julian Assange in free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Macron did not even meet with Hariri but slipped over into the United Arab Emirates. There an unexpected sale of two French corvettes was signed. The president of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed, is the mentor of the Saudi clown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Macron took the thirty pieces of silver and let Hariri and Lebanon hanging.
It is obvious that Hariri did not travel to Saudi Arabia last Saturday with the intent to resign from his job:
Hariri had scheduled meetings in Beirut on the following Monday – with the IMF, the World Bank and a series of discussions on water quality improvement; not exactly the action of a man who planned to resign his premiership.
The unofficial version of Hariri’s meeting with the U.S. and French ambassador is diverging from the one above:
Mr. Hariri, a dual citizen of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, met the ambassadors of Britain and the European Union and the chargé d’affaires from the American Embassy on Wednesday and Thursday at his Riyadh residence. Other Western diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that those envoys, too, came away with the impression that he could not speak freely.
Even the State Department spokesperson lets slip that Harairi is not free to go:
“We have seen him. In terms of the conditions of him being held or the conversations between Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister Hariri, I would have to refer you to the government of Saudi Arabia and also to Mr Hariri’s office.”
Hariri’s own political party in Lebanon has united with its enemy Hizbullah and the Christian President Aoun in a call for Hariri to come back and explain himself to the Lebanese people:
“The return of the head of the Lebanese government, the national leader and the head of al-Mustaqbal Movement Saad Hariri is necessary to restore respect for Lebanon’s balance at home and abroad, in the framework of full respect for the Lebanese legitimacy represented in the Constitution and the Taef Accord and in respecting the Arab and international legitimacies,” said Mustaqbal in a statement issued after an emergency meeting for its parliamentary bloc and political bureau.
The Saudis have told their citizens in Lebanon to leave the country. Its allies Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain have followed suit. There have been some four such orders during the last five years and the move is in itself not significant. Should the Saudis start to block the Gulf money flow to Lebanon or take other measures the economic damage in Lebanon could be quite larger If the Gulf states expulse Lebanese workers the economic damage to Lebanon would be huge. But these Lebanese workers are the people who actually run the businesses in the Gulf states. Without the 160,000 Lebanese book keepers and managers the Saudi economy would probably collapse.
The similarities with the idiotic Saudi campaign against Qatar is obvious. The Saudi made an impulsive hostile move without having thought through the second or third step. He soon found himself out of ammunition but had left no way out to solve the issue without losing face.