This is the second part of my feature on Michael Scheuer’s post, On natural rights, Saudi Arabia, and John McCain. Scheuer is the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, and believes that the recent actions taken by Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, are setting him up for an inevitable war with Iran. Scheuer writes:
Next comes Saudi Arabia
If past is prologue, the soon-to-be-king is not do-gooding for a future progressive, more secular kingdom, but rather is making a play to get rid of those — and there are many — whose oxes will be gored when he succeeds to the throne. MBS [Mohammad bin Salman] must get them out of the way, and permanently so, either via exiling them or something more definitive. All this said, the king-in-waiting will still be faced with a country that is terminally corrupt from top to bottom, a religious establishment that has not been tamed and still sees the late Osama bin Laden as a nearly perfect Islamic man, and a younger generation of Salafi and Wahhabimales that are more attuned to the Islamic State’s behavior than to al-Qaeda’s
The bottom line may well be that MBS finds that, even after he rounds-up and eliminates his foes, takes their money, and ascends to the throne, his only option to try to preserve the kingdom is to turn Saudi youths, as many IS and AQ fighters as can be enlisted, and as much as possible of the young Sunni Muslim world against Shia Iran. The ensuing war would tear up the region in a prolonged and bloody sectarian war to settle scores that are now more than a millennium old. It is hard to think of a better scenario for improving U.S. security as there is nothing that commonsense would permit us to do other than get out of the way watch.