YOUR Majesty, King Salman, the psychological and media campaigns that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been exposed to are the reactions to recent procedures and achievements under your term; thanks to the action and vigor of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in addition to the outstanding advancement in all fields.
This advancement is the harmonious interpretation of the demands of Saudi citizens and vision of the Saudi leadership, as well as the continuation of steps towards the construction of the fourth Saudi State which started during your term.
Such campaigns were previously launched against the late King Saud, may Allah have mercy on him, concurrently with the spread of the coup fever in the Arab world. It also targeted the late King Faisal when he expressed his desire to pray at Aqsa Mosque and the late King Khalid when he said Saudi Arabia is the homeland of pure Islamic doctrine.
The same happened with King Fahd when he started developing the kingdom and when he supported the Arab and Islamic issues by raising the slogan of defending them. The era of the late King Abdullah witnessed extensive media campaigns that threatened Saudi Arabia by the so-called Arab Spring which had a number of targets including the fall of Saudi Arabia and its dynasty. They even set a date for reaching this target.
Nevertheless, thanks for dealing with the serious issue wisely as you prevented your country and other Gulf countries from drinking from the bitter cup. Your Majesty, the decisions you have taken in the last three years concerning social and economic openness – both are relevant and connected – provoked the ire of the traditional enemies of Saudi Arabia. They rejected the idea of opening the semi-continent of Saudi Arabia to modern age.
They wanted to turn it into a backward State which goes against the natural development course. Some Arabs in the region think their countries will never have power or important role unless they weakened Saudi Arabia. This is why they worked for a long time to instigate disputes between the Saudi people and Saud Dynasty.
Regrettably, they found a few groups with a closed ideology inside Saudi Arabia to cooperate with them. They spied on individuals, curbed innocent joy and imposed intellectual restrictions under the pretext of protecting religious thoughts. They kept on plotting and creating gaps between the Saud Dynasty and Saudi people although they know well that they said nothing but lies. These closed minded groups are not capable of surviving unless they make neighboring countries weak. They wished Saudi Arabia did not take reform decisions.
They wished the annoying decisions would last forever for the international criticism against Saudi Arabia to continue.
They wished the pro-reform economic and social decisions were not taken, so as to continue portraying Saudi Arabia as an extremist country. Your Majesty, history will define you as the man of openness and modernization.
It will define the Saudi Crown Prince as the man of difficult missions. History will record that you worked hard to transform Saudi Arabia and put it in the right place which it deserves seeking prompt advancement free of uncalculated risks or mistakes. If you have not taken strict and solid positions in overcoming obstacles to the advancement process, Saudi Arabia would have lived its worst eras; especially with the oil price decline since oil has been the only source of income until the recent years.
Thanks to the decisions taken in the last three years, Saudi Arabia triumphed over such serious consequences. Saudi Arabia made progress on the course of sustainable development and accomplished balance between individual demands, finding alternative sources of income, attracting foreign investments and paving the social ground for such investments. It is true that some of the decisions were painful in the short term; but sometimes, a bitter remedy is needed to recover from the disease of depending on oil.
These decisions are good for the future of the people and many of them have started to realize that they are the best remedy. We often say Saudi Arabia is a continent with vast opportunities rather than a mere State. Saudi Arabia is the locomotive for the Gulf and even the entire Arab economy. Prosperity cannot be achieved by any country away from political and security stability.
This hard equation is rarely achieved. Saudi Arabia weathered all regional storms and maintained balance between national security requirements and economic progress. Your Majesty, King Salman, they only aim for foiling your attempts and disturbing your journey towards advancement. They aim for the collapse of Saudi Arabia and its dynasty.
This is why the real challenge is from inside or outside as stated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his interview with Bloomberg. This confirms that the long-term vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is absolutely correct. The Gulf and all Arabs are proud of such a vision which stresses the fact that the region is doing well as long as Saudi Arabia is well.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times