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Will MBS’s money ever become radioactive?

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Jonathan Spitzer
Oct 10, 2018 10:20

The announcement’s timing was not ideal for members of this 19-member list, who signed on to the project months ago in some cases.

At the moment, there’s growing outrage over the weeklong disappearance of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say was murdered last week in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the Saudi Royal family, then chopped into pieces with a bone saw and removed from the building.

Indeed, the advisory board announcement seemed very much a way for the prince, known as MBS, to brandish his powerful American friends just as many in the U.S. are beginning to wonder exactly what he is capable of.

We might have wondered sooner, given that MBS has been fairly consistent about his lack of tolerance for either criticism or rivals since his rise to prominence was sealed by his appointment as crown prince in June of last year.

Though MBS has been widely lauded for his reformist tendencies — he has “stood up to the religious elite to impose breathtaking social changes, including letting women drive and allowing concerts and cinemas,” as noted this summer in a WSJ opinion piece — he has also led air raids in Yemen that have killed many thousands of civilians (with White House support, to the dismay of lawmakers from both political parties).

When Canada’s foreign ministry rebuked Riyadh for jailing them, saying it was “seriously concerned” with the arrests, Saudi Arabia expelled the country’s ambassador, suspended flights to and from Toronto, barred its citizens from receiving medical care in Canada, and froze new trade and investment with Canada worth billions of dollars.

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Jonathan Spitzer
Oct 10, 2018 10:20
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