The decision by the despotic kingdom of Saudi Arabia to execute forty-seven prisoners convicted of various offensives, primarily what the nominally Salafist-Wahhabi regime in Riyadh deems to be acts of terrorism, has drawn a relatively muted response from the governments of the West while sparking fury in the Middle East itself. Among those killed by beheading or firing squad was Adel al-Dhubaiti, one of the suspected gunmen in the 2004 murder of the Irish journalist Simon Cumbers, and Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric who had been a prominent domestic opponent of the ruling, Sunni-adhering House of Saud. The latter’s death in particular, which is naturally of more relevance to the peoples of the region, is likely to exacerbate already tense relations between some Sunni and Shia communities. To make matters worse fears are growing concerning the fate of the cleric’s young nephew, Ali al-Nimr, sentenced to death at the age of seventeen and awaiting the executioner’s sword ever since.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese blogger, Elie Fares, reports on some criminal high jinks by a typically amoral princeling of the Saudi royal family in Beirut:
“For the past two days, Lebanon’s internet has been abuzz with news that a Lebanese court has set a precedence to consider Captagon’s trade as a crime within the spectrum of pharmacy laws and not within drug laws. The implications of such a precedence were assumed to set the way to exonerate the Saudi Prince Abdul Mohsen Ben Saoud, currently held in (five stars) custody in Lebanon, and send him on his merry way to his execution-loving human-rights-hating homeland.
For those of us who have not been that into the drug trade in the aftermath of the Syrian war, Captagon is the trade name of an amphetamine called Phenethylline, a highly potent stimulant first synthesized in 1961. The drug has no approved medicinal uses but has shown some efficacy in some psychiatric illnesses.
Since the start of the Syrian war, Captagon has been at the forefront of the growing drug trade circulating through Syria. It’s reportedly the most used drug by the militants in that country, and is being manufactured in Syria for export to the countries of the region.
It is in that way that Abdul Mohsen Ben Saoud was caught in Beirut’s airport on October 28th, 2015, as he tried to smuggle enormous quantities of the substance out of the country.
So naturally, it’s been assumed that it will only be a matter of time before Lebanon finds a way to send that Saudi Prince on his way home.”
In fact it looks as if Abdul Mohsen bin Walid bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud while have to endure his five-star hotel sequestration for a wee while longer. Luckily for him alcohol and prostitution are still legal in the Lebanon (more or less) so just like every other member of the sprawling, debauched Saudi aristocracy he can continue to party away on the kingdom’s dime. Though hopefully the hotel management will keep their maids safely out of the way given the fondness of the Saudi elites for torturing or raping “the help”. The CounterPunch has some more on the story if you want to see the background to it.
Or you can watch the British prime minster, David Cameron, squirming under journalistic interrogation by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, below: