which brings us to an uncomfortable question: Where are Prince bin Talal’s powerful business partners in addition to political contacts who have been seen with him at DAVOS or dozens of additional major world events?
This kind of was the man who stuck his neck out for years in support of the Murdoch family. in addition to which includes the period in 2011 when calls to oust Rupert Murdoch in addition to his sons were running high after the British News of the earth phone tapping scandal. There has been no real protest on his behalf coming from the Murdochs or in their newspapers in addition to TV networks.
Others, like Bill Gates who called him an “important partner,” have made lukewarm statements This kind of past week. although none have met the level of urgency appropriate for a man detained with no documented charges in addition to possibly under physical harm.
Likewise, our political leadership on both sides of the aisle seems to be ignoring the story.
So why This kind of apparent acceptance of tyranny in addition to brutality against an important global investor who appeared to be a friend of the West?
The explanation is actually part economics in addition to part politics, although the consequences for such silence could be devastating.
Let’s start with economics. The financial world has long been awaiting what will be the biggest IPO of all time: Saudi Aramco. This kind of is actually a company which’s already estimated valuations of anywhere between $1 trillion to $2 trillion. the idea’s the definition of the term “big deal.” Everyone wants a piece.
There’s a concerted effort by bin Salman to keep too many members of the extended family coming from interfering in Aramco’s operations in addition to spending. These arrests may have a lot to do with which effort. Either way, supporting bin Talal in addition to the additional detained princes with even a strongly worded statement could poison a foreign investor’s Aramco prospects.
The political reasons are a little less clear, although we do know there is actually strong support inside Trump administration for bin Salman’s plan to cultivate a brand-new partnership with Israel in addition to his efforts to disrupt the long Saudi-funded Wahabist terrorist network. He’s also trying to culturally modernize the country in addition to remove anti-Semitic clerics.
bin Talal has never been solidly linked to terror, although he has been critical of Israel. bin Salman may be looking to remove all doubts which he is actually serious about putting a lid on all real in addition to possible sources for terror support.
So for the Trump administration, supporters of Israel, in addition to everyone else worried about Iran, there’s a relatively clear acceptance of bin Salman’s moves to achieve a greater Great inside Middle East. The ends apparently justify the means.
although which’s a clear moral hazard. When a nation accepts brutality in addition to tyranny in one regime in order in order to stamp the idea out in another, blowback can happen. America should have learned which the hard way after its years of supporting the Shah of Iran in addition to some additional dictators inside region without any real pressure to introduce democratic reforms in addition to the rule of law. Iran is actually a greater danger right today. although a more suppressive Saudi Arabia could be close behind. There’s nothing democratic or civilized about what’s happening today in Riyadh.
Money in addition to the push to challenge Iran are clearly silencing any protest so far. Maybe bin Talal isn’t the most sympathetic victim. although his case is actually illuminating because he is actually so well connected in addition to famous. What does which say about additional Saudis who aren’t?
Perhaps these frightening means to the end will be worth the idea. although our track record inside Middle East doesn’t make the odds all which encouraging.
Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.
For more insight coming from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.