Editorial: The Saudi coalition will investigate Sanaa. Will Assad do the same for Syria?

Bashar Assad
Updated 11 October 2016
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Editorial: The Saudi coalition will investigate Sanaa. Will Assad do the same for Syria?

It has always been true that “the first casualty of war is the truth.” This is even more true when one deals with a malicious regime like that of Syria’s Assad — a regime which has — from Day 1 — resorted to denial and to imposing a deliberate media blackout to cover-up its brutal retaliation and deliberate targeting of civilians which has been ongoing for the past five years.
 
Not only is the Assad regime in denial, but also its response to the global intolerance of its crimes is simply laughable. While one can dispute facts such as which of the opposing sides in the Syrian civil war waged a particular attack, there possibly can’t be a dispute that a civil war is actually happening in Syria.
 
You may think that this is unimaginable, but the reality is that it has actually happened. You see, not only does the Assad regime deny that it used chemical weapons, or that it continues to barrel bomb its own people, it also gets its state-owned media to launch campaigns promoting tourism in Syria and claiming that contrary to what we all know, Syria is safe and being flooded with tourists.
 
Of course, this is absolutely ludicrous, as anyone in their right mind would be able to tell you that it is TERRORISTS, not tourists, who are flooding Syria today, and we all take the blame for collectively failing to draw a line to Assad’s crimes early on.
 
Now compare all of this with yesterday’s Saudi-led coalition’s response to accusations that it has targeted a funeral hall in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, resulting in the killing and injuring of many.
 
Within hours, the coalition had issued a statement and coalition spokesperson Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri made himself available at all times to answer all media inquiries — in person, over the phone, by e-mail and even by WhatsApp!
 
Furthermore, and rather than living in denial — such as what the Assad regime would have done, the coalition issued additional comments stating that it will “immediately investigate this case along with the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen.”
 
Also, rather than cursing the US for flagging its concern (again, which is something the Assad regime would have done), the Saudi-led coalition said that it would “seek advice from the US to help with their experience in such investigations.”
 
That said, it is a given that any life lost is a life too many, and our thoughts and prayers will always be with the Syrian people against their brutal, blood-thirsty dictator, and with the Yemeni people and their legitimate government against the Houthi religious extremists, who under their slogan of “Death to America” have brought nothing but death and destruction to their own country.


Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Updated 22 June 2017
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Editorial: A vote of confidence in the new Saudi generation

The landmark appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince represents a vote of confidence in the Kingdom’s younger generation, which makes up a large majority of the population. The new crown prince was supported by a landslide vote of 31 out of 34 members of the Royal Family’s Allegiance Council.
The decision came in the wake of King Salman making a number of changes over the past two years. He has appointed many young and highly qualified government officials as ministers, ambassadors, provincial governors and deputy governors.
The new direction has also caught on in the private sector, where we have seen a trend in young and qualified executives being hired. It is noteworthy that many of these executives are women, who have the same responsibilities as their male counterparts.
There are, as always, some international observers who will seek to deliberately misinterpret what has taken place at the top of the Kingdom’s power structure. The fact is, however, that former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif endorsed the decision in a letter to the king. He was also seen on video by viewers worldwide congratulating the new crown prince in person.
That Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made his impression on the world is evident from the number of congratulatory messages that have been sent in, including one by US President Donald Trump, who congratulated him and said he was looking forward to consolidating the Saudi-American partnership.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, in her congratulatory message, said she is looking forward to working with Prince Mohammed “to deepen our close bilateral ties in the years ahead, building on the constructive meetings we had in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.”
The Gulf states of Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and interestingly, even Qatar, have likewise endorsed the decision.
We can expect more rapid and drastic reforms if we take all of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s accomplishments when he was deputy crown prince as an indicator of what is yet to come.