Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, a nephew of the king, is into money. I mean really into it, not just through his Kingdom Holdings. Like most of them he believes he can buy it all with money, and maybe he is right. Immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11 he showed up in New York with a big cheque of several millions. He was doing fine until he opened his mouth about “Jews” and “Jewish” influence and how it affected the attacks. The mayor of New York correctly returned his cheque, possibly told him where to shove it. Later on, the prince initiated a lawsuit against Forbes Magazine for underestimating his true wealth by a few billion. It must be nice being a Saudi prince, provided you are also born with the mindset.
One month after their military onslaught against the Yemenis, he did it again, in typical Saudi royal fashion. He flashed money at their military men. Prince Al-Waleed tweeted that he was gifting 100 Bentleys to the one hundred Saudi pilots who bombed the hell out of Yemen. An obscene gesture from one of the richest Arab princes to reward the men who destroyed the poorest Arab country outside Africa. He treated the pilots like they were ‘bounty hunters’ of the Old West: essentially a bounty for killing and destroying a poor country. The prince quickly erased this offer from his Twitter account: either he was strongly advised against it or he realized there has been no victory yet. Or maybe he had not realized how much a Bentley costs. Most likely someone higher up than him thought the prince was trying to steal the limelight, or the thunder, from him.
I can’t imagine Al Sisi of Egypt or Erdogan of Turkey or Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan offering their pilots a Bentley each. Or affording such obscenity: bounty for killings. Maybe that is one reason they declined to join the war on Yemen. It is a rich man’s war against the poorest of Arabs.
And that is where it stands…..
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum