Will Western powers soon bow to House of Saud?

Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. A regular pundit on RT and other networks her work has appeared in major publications: MintPress, the Foreign Policy Journal, Mehr News and many others.Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She is the author of Arabia’s Rising - Under The Banner Of The First Imam
© Susan Baaghil
Within days of shaming Saudi Arabia for its atrocious war abuses against Yemen – most specifically Yemeni children, the United Nations was forced to back peddle on its decision, in order to assuage Riyadh’s wrath. What a 'brave' new world we live in!

It all began with the publication of a UN report earlier this month, pinpointing the many abuses and violence perpetrated against children in conflict zones – in the case of the kingdom, Yemen. The 40-page report, which was mainly penned by Leila Zerrougui, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict — asserted the Saudi-led coalition, was responsible for about 60 percent of 1,953 child deaths and injuries in Yemen since last year.

While Zerrougui’s findings clearly ruffled Saudi Arabia’s feathers, firmly putting the kingdom as a serial human rights offender, her findings were not exactly news breaking. Saudi Arabia’s track record has long left something to be desired; may it be in Yemen, or even within its own borders.

Of course Riyadh could not let the United Nations get away with such crime of ‘Lèse majesté’. One does not criticize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia! Not even the heavens would stand for such treachery.
And so the kingdom made the UN retract its initial statement, demanding that its good name be removed from the infamous human rights blacklist.

Although I expect much ink will be spent in discussing Saudi Arabia’s role in tearing Yemen to pieces, I’d like today to look beyond this new political scandal, and concentrate instead on its implications.

It is seldom we have the opportunity to witness political change on such a global scale. 2016 promises to be a year of dramatic shifts and political re-alignments - to the extent that Western powers, the deep globalist states, the former engineers of the world political map, might soon be relegated to playing second fiddle to the House of Saud.

I might be wrong of course, but here is how I’m reading into this new thaw between the UN and Saudi Arabia.

Ever since King Abdullah ibn Saud passed away in early 2015, the kingdom went from silent political partner of the West, to a vocal wannabe superpower. With Prince Muhammad bin Salman leading the show – let’s not pretend he isn’t - King Salman’s health is somewhat wavering, the kingdom has transformed into a power hungry imperial power with one massive ego, and check book to match.

No longer a timid Arab player Western powers can exploit, Riyadh wants the world to now dance to its tune. And why not? Riyadh has been bankrolling enough nations for its officials to feel entitled!

While I am no Saudi cheerleader, you could not expect this one nation to keep writing checks while Western nations play empire. Make a deal with the devil and he will come to collect eventually!

From where I’m standing we are witnessing a classic Greek tragedy – the proverbial tale of the son smiting his father to better claim his place under the Sun. The Sun is most definitely burning bright in Riyadh, and Prince Muhammad bin Salman is not one to share.

I would urge you NOT to underestimate Saudi Arabia’s ability to inflict harm upon its Western friends, should it chose to teach its unruly political partners how to bow before Riyadh’s growing hegemonic ambitions.

Saudi Arabia’s answer to the United Nations this June should really give you a taste of things to come. And I’m not talking about baklavas.

Outraged by UN defiance, senior Saudi diplomats warned on Monday that the kingdom would take drastic measures against the international body should its name remain on the UN human rights black list. Riyadh warned it would:

1. Break ties with the UN and call on its Arab partners to follow suit. Bearing in mind that the GCC countries and a few other Arab states – all major oil producers – take their cue from the kingdom, such a move would seriously strain international diplomatic relations.

2. Withdraw all funding from all UN agencies. It is probably this one measure which would hurt the most. Hate them or despise them, al-Sauds have some serious cash to throw around, and the UN cannot afford to lose such a patron.

“The threats were issued in a series of exchanges between top Saudi officials in Riyadh, including Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, according to UN-based officials,” wrote Foreign Policy.

If the Saudis have often “clashed” with the UN – which countries haven’t – I don’t think the kingdom was ever that determined to inflict harm over a perceived offense.

If King Abdullah was willing to confine his influence to Saudi Arabia’s borders, Prince Muhammad bin Salman has his eyes set on the world altogether.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.