I see the carefully presented face you show to the world, a youthful and clean-cut future for a House of Saud looking to make its mark on the 21st Century. I see you on your business trips and PR exercises, a modern playboy from an ultraconservative nation with pockets deeper than Felix’s magic bag. Saudi Arabia is going to spend its way into global acceptance under your stewardship, riding the wave of such incredible PR coups as ‘women can drive now’ and ‘don’t look at the beheadings, look at the shiny gold coins.’
If there’s a ceiling on the heights of grotesque excess and tastelessness, you’d probably gild it and stick it on Instagram. You’ve thrown money at any token ‘progressive’ gesture you can make, the rank hypocrisy of it all so brazen that it dazzles and blinds those you’re handing the cash to. You’re bringing the WWE to Saudi Arabia with so much money that it’s enough to drag Shawn Michaels out of retirement, despite the fact he’s now more pacemaker than Heartbreak Kid and has to use an ear trumpet to hear his own sweet chin music. You’ll put on shows so grandiose that they’re heralded around the world, but just for the boys. Charlotte Flair can hang up her gear and stay at home like the infidel slut she is, because there’s nothing more disgusting than a woman pretending to hit another woman. Everyone knows women should only work as housekeepers, where they can get hit for real by the minor royals that employ them. Isn’t that right, Mohammed bin Salman?
The money is as dodgy as it is excessive, and the human rights abuses so grotesque that they lay waste to the lies about modernising Saudi Arabia’s vision for the Arab world. Justin Trudeau can pop his little head above the parapet to criticise you and you’ll put him on full blast like the pussywhipped tofu beta cuck he is. Money talks louder than anything else, and now Trump has laid his tiny hands on your swollen glowing ball for all the world to see there’s nothing you can’t do.
You’ll give them driving licences with one hand and sweep them into prisons for protesting with the other. You’ll buy arms and pulverise Yemen, safe in the knowledge that you’re the West’s bulwark against Iran, even as you fund mosques and extremist preachers that sell hate to children. It’s a region so full of bad actors that it’s practically an episode of Hollyoaks and there’s not a hand to shake that isn’t drenched in blood and attached to a hypocrite. There’s not a mark you can overstep, is there, Mohammed bin Salman?
It’s looking pretty unlikely that Jamal Khashoggi is still frantically banging on a toilet door in the consulate because the handle’s fallen off. If he has been murdered, it’s been ordered at the highest levels and Saudi Arabia has chosen to shit on its own doorstep because it is completely unfazed at the prospect of an international backlash. Now the possibility of one is looming you’re not happy, are you, Mohammed bin Salman? Before your country’s guilt has even been proven you’re threatening an escalating response to the possibility of sanctions, clutching the strings on the oil-stained purse.
The twist? The twist is that the world is so morally bankrupt that it will probably work. There’s no conscience involved, no sense of basic decency when there is money to be made. Saudi Arabia exists in a region that requires constant jostling for position, and sticking to points of moral principle means ceding your ground to an enemy. The West may have leaders that pay lip service to the notions of human rights and the freedom of democracy, but they’ll sign the arms deals regardless and take the money over the corpses. The stranglehold of oil could easily be broken by investment in renewables and if Trump or anyone else had the courage to call Saudi Arabia out on arrogantly overplaying their hand, it would happen. But blood isn’t thicker than oil, and one will continue to run across the land while the other pumps through the poisonous arteries that we lay below her surface.
It’s as insidious as it is toxic, and its black and never-ending flow will submerge the moderates, the innocent and the dissidents. Jamal Khashoggi had a vision for the future too, and you drowned it in the flood.
I see you, Mohammed bin Salman. I fucking see you.