Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Update On Saudi King Salman's Condition

Some time ago I also posted on reports in the Washington Post that newly elevated King Salman of Saudi Arabia is suffering from dementia.  This claim appeared in the Jan. 24 Washington Post, which quoted Simon Henderson of the Near East Policy Institute.  Apparently today the Post has now retracted this story and declared that the claim was "speculative" and not supported by further evidence. This was reported with more details on Crossroads Arabia.

I had speculated that one possible motive for Obama's visit to Riyadh was in fact to personally check out this rumor.  They apparently met for a full hour together.  No reports came out of that of any dementia. Anyway, it appears that somebody misled Henderson, and the WaPo is now admitting that he misled them, for whatever reason.

Barkley Rosser

Update, Feb. 4:  In today's WaPo there is a large, highlighted column by closely-connected-to-the-White-House, David Ignatius, clearly an effort to offset their embarrassment over the Simon Henderson affair.  It is based on an article in London-based al-Sharz al-Aswrat, which is owned by King Salman's family, so the source must be considered.  But it is all praise of the new crowd in Riyadh, particlarly Salman's 34-year old son, Mohammed, now Minister of Defense and Chief of the Royal Court.  He is depicted as really running the show and being super competent and also super-friendly with the US, as is new Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, both of them second-generation Sudairis.  Nothing is said about Salman's health, but the photo of him accompanying the column has him looking strong and alert.

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