Better football than human rights

The world is divided between friendly and enemy countries, no matter the cruelty of who runs them. It usually coincides with another classification: countries with natural wealth versus poor countries. The case of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman, it’s extraordinary. De facto governs a religious dictatorship what exports Wahhabism, a dangerous vision of islam, from which groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), that take that rigorous ideology to the extreme. I say he governs because his father, the rey Salman, it is a decorative element.

The Wahhabi expansion in Africa and Asia it harms the interests of the US and Europe. They are considered side effects of a lucrative friendship. We are scandalized by taliban for his denigrating treatment of women, even though Saudi Arabia it is not exemplary either. The difference is that Riyadh has oil to spades (largest known reserves).

It is also a key piece in the complex middle east board. Is the ally main US and Israel, in addition to United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Everyone participates in a match against him Iran of the ayatollahs. The Iranians also have a lot of oil but they won’t let us play with it. They were key together with the Shiites of Iraq, the Lebanese of Hezbollah and the Syrian Kurds in the defeat of ISIS in Syria. It was an alliance of convenience: the US bombed from their planes and they fought on the ground for every inch of the battlefield.

Prince Mohamed bin Salman is immune from persecution, boycott or freeze their bank accounts, the usual Washington procedure with non-friends. He is blessed even though American spy services argue that he was the head of the covert operation that ended the dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was assassinated by a command of the prince’s men sent especially to silence an annoying voice.

Four years have passed since the murder, they were completed on October 4. There are no detainees despite the fact that all the clues point to MBS, which is how the Anglo-Saxon press calls the prince. The initials fit better in the headlines that you frequent. It is true that in Riyadh there were several arrests and an alleged trial, but without information or transparency. It was a masquerade. The brain and its goons are safe.

Psychopathic heir

This week, a former Saudi spy high, Saad Aljabri, exiled in Canada since 2017 and who was the target of the same command, said on the CBS ’60 Minutes’ program that the crown prince is a psychopath, who boasted of having been able to assassinate the previous king, Abdullah, to place his father on the throne. It is the first time that Aljabri has spoken on Western television.

Although MBS barely leaves Saudi Arabia (he has traveled to neighboring United Arab Emirates), in 2019 he toured the G20 summit in Argentina. It was a demonstration of his privileges. He is not Pinochet. He managed a family photo with the leaders of the G20 and that the Russian Vladimir Putin shake his hand. Send the money on human rights.

Buy Newcastle

The same has happened with the purchase of the English football club Newcastle United by a Saudi investment group chaired by MBS. Fans celebrated the news as if they had won the league title, something they have not achieved since the mid-20th century.

Khashoggi and the murder of other dissidents, the systematic application of the death penalty and the situation of women in the Saudi kingdom. Nor is there any talk of yemen war led by Riyadh that has caused thousands of deaths.

For the fans there is only money and the hope that their team, which struggles not to be relegated, will become a new PSG O Manchester City and fight for the Champions League in a few years. After measuring the price of the principles in the West, the prince’s investment fund prepares to buy the Inter, a larger piece. It only remains for MBS to end up sitting in the boxes of the most traditional stadiums, including the Camp Nou.

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In the case of FC Barcelona there is a tidal wave with that matter. The club will play on December 14 a friendly with Boca Juniors in Saudi Arabia in homage to Maradona. The Barça is going to charge Two millions of euros. In the recent Assembly of delegates, the partners included in the statutes a commitment to respect human rights. 96% of the attendees voted in favor. As soon as the ball rolls, the business and oblivion, as in the G20.

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