The brutality of the Saudi royal family had been hiding in plain sight. It was an open secret convenient to the political, media and business elites for whom the Kingdom means big business and an invaluable geostrategic proxy. But the brutal murder and dismemberment of a single Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, has forced Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and his American enablers onto the defensive as the regime’s brutal war on Yemen, global support for Salafist fundamentalism, and kleptocratric repression have suddenly been subjected to intense public scrutiny. Dissident scholar Madawi al-Rasheed explains the history and political-economy of Saudi Arabia, and the now-frustrated efforts at obfuscation mounted by bin Salman and his allies.
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