Purge shakes up Saudi government


This past weekend, a slew of arrests were ordered by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The arrest targeted many influential people in the Arabian government, including Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the kingdom’s riches investor, and Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the most potent threat to Prince Mohammed’s power.

The arrests were the result of orders from an anti-corruption committee formed by the Crown Prince just hours before the arrests. Through a royal decree, the committee reportedly had the power to detain individuals or seize assets without trial or due process.

According to USA Today, the Saudi Arabian news media praised the arrests as a long awaited cleanup. President Donald Trump also appeared to be in favor of the arrests, praising the Crown Prince’s modernization drive in a recent phone call.

There are also concerns abroad and in Saudi Arabia, however, that the Crown Prince’s domination of the Saudi Arabian political scene is a turn for the worst. Scholars, such as James M. Dorsey from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, are concerned that international businesses will see a threat to their assets in the Crown Prince’s aggressive behavior, effectively driving away the very business he wished to attract. Former U.S. ambassador Charles W. Freeman expressed concern about the possibility of a government even more corrupt than before, now that the Crown Prince is in firm control of Saudi Arabia.

USA Today worked diligently to create a story that was both a sufficient cover and analysis of the current events in Saudi Arabia. The story told what happened, what it might mean, and provided a brief history of modern Saudi Arabian politics to support their analysis. The newspaper also included analysis from sources outside the conflict, bringing different perspectives into the debate. Appropriately enough, they did not provide a conclusion, saying only time will tell what will happen after these drastic events: a wise ending that gives readers plenty of room to interpret the situation for themselves and draw their own conclusions.