Blog note. I have posted many previous blogs and third-party written articles about the rise of NEOM (Babylon) in Saudi Arabia. NEOM was not specifically mentioned in this particular article, although it is part of Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize Saudi Arabia. If you have not read any of my previous blogs or articles, NEOM is the world’s largest planned city (in terms of square miles or kilometers) in a corner of the country flanked by the Sea of Aqaba and the Red Sed. This visionary city or Babylon-in-the-desert is so grand in planned design that it can’t be described in just one article. Hence, I have included a detailed analysis in previous, sequential blogs. You can research this development yourself. The “great city” as described in the Bible’s book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ receives a very large portion of prophetic / eschatological attention. NEOM, in Saudi Arabia, meets every description of Babylon described in Revelation. It has seven mountains, it will accept all religions of the world, it has extreme wealth and technology, it is a world class city that will attract all nations, tribes, tongues, nationalities, it will feature a “delicious” lifestyle based on extremely attractive living conditions and wealth. Any reference to Jesus Christ is completely missing or absent. Proselytizing (attempts to convert someone from one religion to another) is strictly prohibited. The businessmen who trade with and help build NEOM will become fabulously wealthy. The world’s largest sovereign wealth/investment fund is being established ($2 Trillion) to fund NEOM’s launch and growth. As previously stated, there is a wealth of evidence to support the startup and growth of NEOM as being the “fabled” city of the future as described in Revelation. When is all this supposed to start? Bin Salman has gone on record indicating 2020. That is a short sixteen (16) months away. If you have read some of my recent blogs, you will quickly recall that there are several other “ominous” events planned to be enforced worldwide in 2020 that coincide with the establishment of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Babylon is NEOM, not Rome, not Vatican City, not Mecca. End of note.
Saudi Princes Were Already Worried. The Khashoggi Scandal May Cause Full-Scale Panic.
Akbar Shahid Ahmed. HuffPost. October 16, 2018
As criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi mounts around the world, Riyadh has kept a tight lid on how the scandal is playing internally ― particularly among the vast and disparate branches of the kingdom’s royal family. But recent confusion about the whereabouts of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. suggests that the treatment of Khashoggi may have increased long-running tensions within the royal family over the abrasive leadership style of the crown prince, or MBS as he’s often called.
Ambassador Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s top official in Washington and a brother of MBS, left the U.S. last week and will not return to his post, The New York Times reported Monday night. CBS ran a similar report Tuesday morning. But then State Department officials told reporters for CBS and ABC they were not aware of any change. The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The ambassador’s return to Riyadh would suggest that MBS’ inner circle is closing ranks. It’s the kind of small but crucial indicator that’s key to interpreting the state of relationships within the kingdom’s elite.
The ruling Saud family is only a couple of generations removed from the founder of the modern Saudi state, Ibn Saud. Each king so far has been one of his sons. MBS is widely expected to succeed his father, King Salman, marking a generational shift. MBS’s unapologetic moves to centralize power ― he has methodically weakened the power of other branches of the family over key ministries and last November arrested a handful of previously invulnerable princes ― are the most significant changes in the kingdom’s inner workings in decades, ending a longtime consultative system that ceded power to a group of top royals and was, in the telling of the current king, Saudi Arabia’s answer to “democracy.”
“The royal family is shifting from Al Saud to Al Salman,” a Western official told The Wall Street Journal last year. “This is not going down well with the other branches of the family.” While MBS has successfully reshaped much of the Saudi political and military structure, many other princes continue to wield public influence because of their pedigree and extensive foreign contacts. That’s why, for instance, it was a prominent royal, Prince Khaled bin Faisal, who recently led a Saudi delegation on the issue of the journalist’s fate to Turkey, where Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2.
And some of those princes have been extremely unhappy with MBS.
A string of risky decisions by the crown prince ― a military campaign in Yemen, a rift with neighbor Qatar and now the alleged targeting of Khashoggi ― have convinced many experts that his leadership style is a risk to the very stability of the kingdom. Saudis inside the system ― who depend on the royal family for their wealth and cushy lifestyle ― have cause to, privately, be very worried. Concern already leaked out in 2015, when a senior prince wrote two letters suggesting family dissatisfaction over Salman’s administration after a high-profile crisis over the management over the annual Islamic pilgrimage to sites in Saudi Arabia.
For MBS, an even greater loss of faith could pose a serious risk. There’s precedent for members of the house of Saud to turn on one of their own for what they see as the greater good. In 1964, then-Crown Prince Faisal took over from his brother King Saud with the support of many powerful relatives.
It doesn’t help that much of the criticism over Khashoggi’s disappearance from lawmakers in the U.S., who are key to approving the American security assistance and cooperation the Saudis rely on, has been directly targeted at the prince, who U.S. intelligence says personally ordered a plan to capture Khashoggi. In a nightmare scenario for the prince, power brokers in Washington could offer Riyadh a deal that would keep the U.S.-Saudi relation intact in exchange for a public exit for the prince. For the family, this could be a make-or-break moment: Do what’s necessary or accept being cowed and maybe ultimately losing it all.
Assertive princes would likely be worried about whether their allies in the West would firmly stand by them throughout the power change. Western governments hardly protested last year when the prince’s purge of his own cousins led to reports about beatings and torture. At least three princes have disappeared on European soil in recent years.
Yet, at this point, it’s unclear whether MBS’s rivals stand a chance. “They can’t do much about it,” Ali Al-Ahmed, a well-connected Saudi dissident based in the U.S., said about MBS’s grasp on power. “They don’t have number one, the capacity, and secondly, they don’t have the guts.”
Khashoggi’s apparent brutal murder ― and President Donald Trump’s willingness to boost MBS’s sense of impunity by believing his line about it ― boosts that feeling. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s isolation from other power players, such as global business and Europe, makes the economic future within the country seem even gloomier. Synonymous with the wealthy kingdom as a whole for 70 years, the broader Saud family may have to acknowledge amid the greatest crisis for Saudi Arabia on the world stage since 9/11 that it has once and for all been rendered irrelevant in the face of the new prince. “Who’s going to remove him?” Al-Ahmed said. “Who?”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.