The Next King of Saudi Arabia?

This is a very good article on Prince Alaweed Bin Talal, a Saudi businessman and a major player on the Saudi, Arab and even global scene.  I like this part:

He’s not above a little discreet bragging. “I’ll tell you a secret,” he confides to a reporter. “I went to the king almost ten years ago. He was crown prince then. I showed him pictures of homeless people [in Saudi Arabia].” Abdullah formed a committee to investigate, Alwaleed says, then visited a poor neighborhood. “The day before that, if you talked about poverty in Saudi Arabia, you were a traitor. The next day [after Abdullah’s visit was made public], if you didn’t talk about poverty you were a traitor.”

I don’t know much details about the process, but the sucession rules have changed and its not out of the question that bin Talal could be the king of Saudi Arabia someday.  Thanks John for passing this along.

Stuff to check out

1)  America’s Finest:   Except for  Lou_Dobbs, most  major American TV stations are mediocre and unserious in their coverage of important news — unless we now consider Tweeter updates as “serious and critical.”   There is, however, one huge exception to this trend.  Check out this clip and see what I’m talking about.  I learned more from this 8 minute clip about the financial crisis than I have from watching CNN for months. 

2) A Pattern?:   This didn’t get  much coverage but there was a  third potentially violent incident in Egypt about a week ago.  

3)  Universal Culture:   If you are Saudi Arabia you are supposed to “own” the Gulf.   So when you tie little upstart Qatar in a football match that’s embarrassing.  Its the same feeling us Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans have when we lose to Boston College.  So watch this Youtube_clip of a Saudi prince going into the locker room and chewing the team out.  He basically says “this was totally unacceptable…your passing sucked, the attack was pathetic, the midfielder looked like he was sleeping” but not only that “you represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and this was a disgrace – so get it together.”

Who says Saudi culture is  different than American?   Delete_the_F-words and this could be an Arab Bob Knight.

Posts to Check Out

1)  History of Jihadi Forums
I’ve always been skeptical about the significance of Jihadi internet forums,  perhaps due to my experience using the Net in the Middle East.   Like spending ten minutes waiting for my AOL account to load at one of those Internet Cafes in Cairo that brags about their “High-Speed Internet”  and then having to spend another ten minutes arguing that “No, I haven’t been here for half an hour when its 8:30 and I clearly entered at 8:20.”  Things like that.  It can’t be any easier for Jihadis right?  However,  I have to admit I haven’t spent alot of time researching the issue in depth, so that’s why I recomend  History_of_the_Jihadi_Forums by Thomas Hegghammer at Jihadica who takes a look at some new research on the topic. 

For readers looking for good blogs,  take note:  I’ve always considered Jihadica MUST-READ even if I disagreed with the previous_owner over the significance of Dr Fadl’s Revisions.   Its MUST-READ because everyone who posts there are doing all of their research in the local language (Arabic) and that in my mind is essential when it comes to anything related to Islam. 

2) A Child Prodigy? 
My friend  Adrian Martin has just published his first_book.  It’s a chapter in a book called Threats_in_the_Age of Obama which looks at how rational people become involved in terrorism and gang violence.   Check out the book and for those who can’t get enough of the author’s wisdom, here’s a  couple of dope posts he has written at MediaShack such as  CT in the South_Sahara and another which looks at whether deterrence can work with Al-Qaeda.  Big ups to my main man Adrian.

3) Shakeup  in Egyptian Media?
The Arabist has a good post on a coming shake-up in Egyptian media.  Mr Egypt told me this story a few weeks ago and had promised a post…..dude what happened to that?  I don’t want to say anything else because I’m not sure how much I am allowed to say.  I’ll say this:  it wouldn’t surprise me if some big names in Egypt switch writing homes in the near future.