King Salman of Saudi Arabia has gathered some of the influential members of his extended family at the more secure Al-Auja Palace, the multimillion-dollar Najdi style palace on the outskirts of Riyadh.
The topic of discussion is dealing with the fallout from the Jamal Khashoogi murder. They are assured of American understanding as President Trump has tied his reaction to the murder to the kingdom’s importance as provider of multibillion-dollar contracts, and the resultant jobs. The president considers the job aspect vital to his 2020 election.
The Saudi extended royal family has hitched their wagons together to ride over any negative fallout from this incident.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was Saudi Arabia’s man in Washington, a fighter pilot-turned-ambassador. After resigning in 2005, he held a few position before fading from the limelight. He was in the royal team that accompanied Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on his first official visit to Washington, D.C.
He offers, “God be praised that my little brother [Prince] Khalid [Bin Salman] is our man in Washington. He is the right choice being a fighter pilot who’s flown bombing missions against Islamic State… that is melodious to American ears!
Turning toward his uncle, the king, he adds, “I must say that we are making the right moves. We are giving our Abu Ivanka [President Trump] everything he loves… oil prices are falling and he is loving it. He is boasting this as a tax break for Americans. Importantly for him and for us, is that inflation is down because he’s concerned a rise in interest rates could hurt the U.S. economy and thus hurt his 2020 election bid. We need him forever!”
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and former Saudi ambassador to Britain, adds, “It was excellent that Mohammed went to the Abu Dhabi Emirates Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. Among others he met with [Chechen president] Ramzan Kadyrov, who is close to [Russian president] Putin. He also met with [the former] King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
“It is making the world know that he is in charge. His visit with Bahrain’s King Hamad will be appreciated in Washington and London. Bahrain is our bulwark against Iran.”
“It was good to meet up with Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan [bin Mohammed Al Maktoum].
“O Mohammed, I must commend you for your cool. You were your jolly self there.”
Bandar Bin Sultan adds, “Mohammed, you will be in Buenos Aires [on Nov. 30 for the two-day G20 summit], and you will be with a dear friend… President Trump.”
Prince Turki adds, “Yes, of course, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan will be there too. Simply sidestep him. We have Abu Ivanka on our side. What else!”
Prince Turki says, “I know the Beatles are quite dated now. But I would say that why not mention that Abu Ivanka and our relationship puts to shame the 1964 Beatles song, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ … really! We have it. Abu Ivanka’s love is ours. He does not stop talking about the prices we are lowering for oil… we are getting, all this for a $500 million of orders. We have purchased love.
“Surely, all of the leaders [at the summit] will warmly engage with our crown prince, all of them recognize that the kingdom as a country and King Salman and the crown prince are people that they have to deal with. Abu Ivanka’s statement of support for recognizes the kingdom’s importance.
“We should not take anything lying down. Fine. There is a CIA assessment. We need to hit out that the same intelligence agencies had a remarkably flawed assessment in 2003 in the lead up to the Iraq war.
“When I spoke at the Beirut Institute Summit, where I am a board member and supporter. Among its recommendations is support for the Arab Peace Initiative… one which we offered in the early 2000’s that calls for east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in exchange for our and other Arab states recognition of Israel and normalized relations. Abu Ivanka has settled the Jerusalem issue, but surely the recognition of Israel issue will certainly endear him to us.”
His brother Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the governor of Makkah, added, “I would suggest that our brother Bandar should become our campaign point man. God be praised, we have topnotch American lobbyists and consultants, who will still have a role, but we should make Saudis the face of our Washington campaign. Saudis talking about Saudis is always going to be much more effective than having an American consultant speaking on our behalf.”
Addressing his namesake cousin Khalid Bin Salman, he continues, “Khalid, you found a gem [the embassy’s first spokeswoman] Fatimah Baeshen. Raised in Mississippi, with a Southern accent and a master’s from the University of Chicago… she is tops. God bless her.
“Bandar, your daughter, [Princess] Reema, has emerged as a key player in this campaign. She did good job on her the U.S. tour. And Davos was excellent that her clip of defending Saudi Arabia went viral. God bless her. She was marvelous.
“Mohammed, you have become close to Jared Kushner… he is the way to Abu Ivanka’s heart. Keep him close.”
Prince Bandar thanks his cousin and adds, “Our emphasis should be asking what is sacrificing a bit of conscience for the gains that we offer! None can!”
The royals down their finjans are turn to dining.