tv Future of Saudi Arabian Leadership CSPAN November 22, 2017 2:40pm-4:16pm EST
ali. 3:10, authors discuss the middle class and politics, and at 4:50 p.m., "before you wait," life lessons from a father to his children. on c-span3, the presidency, the life and times of teddy roosevelt. trade inericans and 19th-century california. and it too: 55 p.m. eastern, a look at the first motion picture s of world war ii films. thanksgiving day on the c-span networks. >> saudi arabia has a new leader, and the crown prince has arrest and detention of over -- the panel includes a journalist that has been banned by the prince from tweeting and making saudi media appearances. >> good morning ladies and
gentlemen, i am the executive director. i would like to welcome all of you to this special briefing. it is focusing on the shakeup in riyadh regional and international applications. sincehe past 12, 13 days, the fourth or fifth of november, some serious and very significant changes and steps have been taken in the kingdom of saudi arabia that attracted the attention of media and political analysts all over the world, as a matter of fact, and as all of you know, there have been hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of articles and interviews conducted, written about the significance of these immediate,erms of
midterm, long-term implications, domestic and locations, regional implications, international implications. and for the kingdom united states. countries that have extensive interests and special relationships with the kingdom. although it has been a couple of that of hyperactivity at level of analysis and reporting, more questions have been raised than answers. i do not need to read you the titles of some of these questions, because that will keep us here until next friday. but i will read a couple of these questions for the purpose and the sake of the discussion today, to frame the conversation, if you will, today. some of the questions raised starting early november, when
.he steps were adopted or taken they included the following. what is the real meaning of the saudi roundup that we witnessed on the fourth and the fifth of november? an anticorruption campaign, or a consolidation of power? is mohammad bin salman behaving recklessly, as claimed by an unnamed u.s. diplomat, or you see -- is he leading a revolution from above and saudi arabia? what are the implications of this crackdown we have witnessed over the past 12, 13 days? what is the impact, specifically, domestically, on the government's process in general in saudi arabia, in the ine of the royal family power sharing in the kingdom, and particularly the role of the religious establishment. are they marginalized with the
arrests that we have witnessed prior to the arrests. there is also a large number of religious establishments -- is this the beginning of the fifth starting a state the kingdom transforming its ?ltraconservative thought did the perch of saudi billionaires and millionaires help or harm vision 2030? arabia thatsaudi saudi youth want?
what is the domestic reaction it now and in the future to this campaign? and definitely, we need to touch on what are the regional and international implications of the saudi purge? to help us answer these invited twoe friends who are well informed about these development, and those of you who have been following up the reaction on twitter or otherwise, who have seen the significant, substantive, and their wise comments that have helped direct the conversation worldwide, not just in saudi arabia or in the states. let me introduce both of them at this time in the order they will speak.
we will give them the floor to proceed. is a saudipeaker journalist, columnist, editor, author. he does not need an introduction to those in the media and to have been following the middle east or arabic language media. he served as a correspondent for several both arabic and english language publications, including and was thezette, editor-in-chief of another, the deputy editor in chief of arab news, and on and on and on. he has been a key figure in the media, not just in saudi arabia. in hisactually earlier career -- our friendship goes hek over 25 years, actually, served as correspondent, foreign correspondent in different countries in the region, including lebanon, pakistan,
kuwait, and sudan. and reported on all of these developments during that period in the region that became annexed for in regards to the rise of islamic them in the region. he became an expert in the issue. he was a media consultant in washington to the embassy of saudi arabia, particularly with -- when the prince was the ambassador during that time. commentators been a on the media, as i said, and all of these languages, and many networks aside, the saudi once you directed or worked at, and that includes channels like bbc, al jazeera, nbc, dubai tv, and many others. our next speaker also is a good friend. the middle east fellow in
the baker institute for public andcy at rice university, we are delighted that he chose to make the trip from houston last night. he is working at the baker of political science, international relations, international political economy. his research, for those of you not familiar with his research, look him up. examine the change in position of gulf states in the global betterwhich is certainly than the developments we are examining today. he also has focused on the emergence of longer-term nonmilitary challenges, of theing of security
gulf region. he worked as a senior golf analyst at the golf center for strategic studies between 2006 -- 2008, and as codirector on globalization in the gulf state of the london school of economics between 2008 and 2013. he hoping doctorate in history from the university of cambridge. for speaker will speak will spendes, and we the balance of our time engaging in the art of conversation, giving you a chance to engage directly with the speakers through your questions. i would like to remind you that the guards and little pencils on your seat are not to improve and they are meant for you to write your questions. we entertain questions in writing.
once you have a question or a comment, raise your card and staff will pick it up from you. we will be more than glad to read and direct your questions to the right speaker or to both. please write legibly if you would like me to read exactly what you have written, and make it short, so we can accommodate as many questions as possible. copye front desk, we had a -- i do not know we have enough copies for everyone today, but we do have a copy of one of our most recent reports. the report was based on the agenda of our second annual conference that we just held a few weeks ago. it is about trump and the air of world, and is particularly relevant. it is written by our staff and analysts, and it is available for you at the front desk on your way out. if we are out of copies, feel
free to give us a call at the center and we will be more than glad to send you a copy. at this time, i would like to invite to malta the podium, please. -- jamaal to the podium, please. you.ank thank you all. thank you all for coming. journalist, an a editor, i called for everything mohammad bin salman is doing right now. we all wanted us to be free from radicalism. we all wanted women to be allowed out, to drive, and we all wanted the purge of corruption, because it was killing us in saudi arabia. we feel it, we see it every day.
but we cannot report about it. doing what we demanded of him to do, simply because hughes doing things the long way , the very long way. why theld explain number of -- has thrown to us. corruption. i think the saudi people are very much support of -- anticorruption. i think the saudi people are very much in support of it. do not think, do not question, they do not discuss. for two reasons, it is this euphoria and also for government control. there are people who are called to find -- to chris i the government. they choose to stay in their homes.
if someone is not listed, the writers are not allowed to speak because they do not want to be unlisted. the environment does not allow for constructive criticism or constructive discourse about forly matters that are fit the future. the other thing, it is also the euphoria. the government is feeling into the people in high expectation, and i would say more people do not want to disappoint him with bad news. they discuss the bad news, and their way will find through the years of the saudi's. for example, fighting corruption. we should own it. true motive ofhe mohammad bin salman, or through
genuine corruption. we need to own the purge of corruption, because it is the only thing for us to try to move into the future. will never succeed without a thorough fight of corruption. so i spent much of my time as a saudi free rider speculating why is he after corruption? support, andce my i already did that, i support him and his fight on corruption, and i think other saudis should support it. i mean that. at the same time, i would like to see a debate about that. goingice of corruption is to have a major affect on saudi arabia. it could be about our play, but we will come to that later.
it is going to have an immediate effect on the economy. the private sector is panicking right now in saudi arabia. worried that they would not be paid at the end of the month and large baracktions, like the the company, and we have talked about they have 140,000 employees. that is a huge number. and the economies everything, maybe there is no one to sign the checks at the end of the month. maybe the government is going to sort that out, but i am sure the private sector in saudi arabia is panicking. but in the long term, it is good. if this drive to fight willption will succeed and seek saudi arabia and the -- it will lead to a proper economy,, -- and saudi to
arabia. but i think he has to distinguish between the loyalists and the corporations. the royals are not the reason for corruption. they are the ones who integrated the price of the contract. they're the one who made it goodsible for even business to flourish in saudi arabia. the cut is 95%. the cuts are billions. areuption in saudi arabia not passed along to the congress a projecternor or that cost $1 billion, and it will increase to $3 billion just so the brother will take another cut, and that is the force that will lead the saudi's nationals
budget -- bleed the saudi national's budget. last april, april 2016, he said in the years from 2010-2014, $100 billion every year were wasted in what he described as inefficient spending. that's corruption. we are talking about $400 billion in only four years, so if that is the case, we are talking $1 trillion. that might be 30% of the national budget. in america, that is your taxpayer money. it is our money, the money of the people. 30% of it went away in lavish houses in los angeles and hotels in paris under the name of a royal highness. it's mohammad bin salman needs to reclaim that money and stop that habit.
what about the corporations? those international corporations equity needs to be preserved? there are many corporations that are follies. i wish you would do something like you do here in america, the inf, when they suspect a miss dealing of a corporation, they will go to the company, check their books, argue with them, fight with them, and end up with a settlement, where the company would pay a few billion dollars, 20%, 50%, something clear. but it would not destroy those companies. that would have an immediate impact on saudi arabia. and we think we might lose because of that. investors lose
trust, because 10 days ago he had a huge conference in riyadh where he was introducing saudi arabia to the world as a haven for investors. foreigners, they're probably having second thoughts today. businesses in egypt, in the 60's itin the 1960's in syria, took the diction than syrians generation to regain the trust that used to exist in their country. is --is important, and he by what he is doing -- trust. no comfort for saudi arabia, for the minister of finance, with the
when the financial times ran in its story that the government is negotiating with business community to take 10% of their wealth for a settlement, and there is no comment from the saudi government about it, that is worrying. is a power consolidation? it is yet to be seen. we don't know yet. is he going to go chinese style where he will clean the house and restart the business in a clean ground? or will he sit on it and be the master of everything and use the money to make saudi arabia great again. i don't personally like that style. i would like the chinese style. if we could have a democratic style, that would be better.
mohammad bin salman has the choice and he is going to be the leader of saudi arabia. for may be another 50 years. he is young and considering the age factor and advancement of medicine, maybe he will make it more than 50 years. so the only we can do as saudi arabians is hope he will succeed. his successes will be our success -- not necessarily for me, but for my kids and grandkids. can he succeed? can saudi arabia in 10 years -- how do i see it in 10 years? saudi arabia will be how mohammad bin salman succeeded in during the epidemic of employment.
the other serious thing is high expectation. he made the young people reach the sky and in five years time, he wants to see this futuristic city in the north, also in the north of my hometown, medina. he has to show them what he had promised. the most important thing he has to for phil is unemployment. we are talking about 4 million people unemployment in saudi arabia, and 250,000 people every year in an economy that is controlled by foreign labor. the british exited europe because of 8.9% foreigners in their workforce. 75% foreigners who control our workforce in saudi arabia.
that is not an ordinary economy. every economy needs to be restructured and i wish mohammad bin salman will work from the bottom and fix the economy before he builds new cities, but if he insists on his style of building from the top down, building new cities, i will forecast bankruptcy for saudi arabia. i hope not. i hope he will change course and go to the basic economy, economy 101 and start with jobs rather than building new cities. already he has in the front of his eyes right now two failed cities that need to work. a financial city in riyadh, on the way to your hotel, you will see that beautiful city in the middle of riyadh.
not a single office was rented at that city and basically, the city of riyadh doesn't need it. now he has to find a solution for it. the other city is king abdullah city on the west coast. it is partially working, not fully working, and it needs to work. building new cities is not the solution. finding jobs for the saudi people. through jobs, this is the solution and i hope people spend more time with that. i am out of time before discussing foreign policy, but that is a big problem by itself and unfortunately, empowering the iranians.
for every mistake we make, iranians win. we the sunni are the majority. we are under threat by the shia. most of the killing is happening in our territories and our land. saudi arabia should be there to counter the iranian expansionism, but saudi arabia is up sestak its fight against radical islam while it is the mother and father of radical islam. saudi arabia should adapt again its origin, traditions, go back to it without radicalism and stand up to iranian expansionism. thank you very much. [applause] mr. jahshan: thank you, jamal. and now for our second speaker, kristian ulrichsen.
mr. ulrichsen: thank you for the introduction and the invitation. i will not reiterate what jamal khashoggi said, but will add my own thoughts on some of the changes we have seen which have been interpreted as has been said as varying degrees of power plays or of this sweeping away of the new -- of the old saudi state. again, i think it is too early to tell. what i would just say would be that i would think the saudi way we have known since 1963 that came into being has -- is
slipping away. and we are seeing really the passing of the old guard. in part it's because of natural causes over the past seven years. some of the key figures in the old guard have passed away. in 2011, the defense minister for 48 years died. in 2012 the interior minister for 37 years died. in 2015, the foreign minister for 40 years died. and of course the king also passed away in 2015 in addition to his position as crown prince he was also head of the national guard again for a period of 48 years. so more by accident than by design the old guard had passed from the scene and a lot of the commentary over the past 10 days has also focused on the apparent sweeping away of checks and balances, again, considered traditionally to be a feature of saudi policy making.
it is true that in the past one has had four or five competing factions within the royal family competing for influence and ensuring key decisions had to be taken with a key of consensus. in some cases this has meant policy making was slow but it did involve all wings of the family and of society. and again, there was nothing constitutionally mandated. there is no separation of powers in a formal sense that we would have in the u.s. or other countries. this system of checks and balances to the extent that it was one arose again more by accident in the sense that you would have those powerful figures
within the royal family remaining in position for decades and creating these net works of power that was impossible to ignore. again, the kind of removal of the checks and balances has happened. it happened before king salman came to power. and of course it has been the king and mohammed bin salman's inheritance that they've been able to i suppose not necessarily take advantage but move into this new dynamic where a lot of the old constraints no longer exist. so a power grab? not to the extent that has been described in the media. to the extent that there was a power grab it occurred between january, 2015, and june twembts and it really ended when -- june 2017 and it really ended when mohammed bin salman became crown prince. we should all take note as people who observe saudi arabia that five years ago we were all
engaged in guessing who might be the next generation of leadership and i think nobody would have even put mohammed bin salman on the horizon at that time. so we have a lesson in humility there. but to the extent a power grab has occurred, it's finished and we can obviously see that mohammed bin salman is now engaged in remaking to a degree the area he intends to rule as jamal said another 50 years if things go well. we're seeing the departing of the old guard in an accelerated way. those not passed away are now being eased out of positions. we are seeing mohammed bin salman putting his own people often from his own generation in charge and trying to recreate some of those networks that he tried to obliterate from old generation. another issue we've seen a lot about is that it is popular among the youth. i would agree the corruption is a popular issue in the sense that many young people in saudi
arabia might feel cut out of being given a fair chance or feel they don't have a prospect of getting a decent job because of various issues some of which might be vested economic and political issues, will probably support the changes. what i would say of course is there is no way really of knowing in a sense, no real opinion polls. we don't know to what extent these decisions are popular or not. and, clearly, the educated elites who have studied in western universities and gone back and to have some more vocal for claiming the magnitude of these changes are only one part of the bigger picture. there are a lot of people in other parts of saudi arabia who may not see a trickle down effect and it is absolutely vital we don't lose sight or focus just too closely on just the elite and are going to other major
cities. saudi arabia has always been much more than that. i do share the concern that jamal raised about raising expectations and i think this a is a key problem or challenge mohammed bin salman is now facing with his vision 2030 and his national transformation plan. and the promise that saudi arabia of the future will be a more fluid and dynamic country he has now to deliver. and i think even very early signs after just a couple of years of the changes into reality is moving much more difficult in practice and it will inherently involve taking on a degree of not just vested interest but structural obstacles in the saudi economy that i think will require more than just a plan that was cooked up in western
consultants. and so far at least i think the initial expectations have had to be -- had to have been tempered, perhaps because some of the expectations were so far fetched in the beginning. the challenge for mohammed bin salman is that he is 32 and he owns this process. if he gets advice he will secure his kingdom. unlike previous kings for the last 20 years or so, who have been in their 70's, 80's, and even 90's, mohammed bin salman will be the one who has to face the day of reckoning in 20 po, 40 years -- 20, 30, or 40 years either when saudi arabia faces challenges that can no longer be ignored or when, for example, domestic energy consumption, which is increasing so rapidly, means that so much energy has to be consumed locally that it can no longer export 6 or 7 million barrels of oil per day.
so mohammed bin salman owns this process in a way none of his predecessors really have. it's not something that can be kicked down the road for a future king. because if he gets it wrong, he could put in peril his entire inheritance. so that is also i think what explains perhaps some of the scale of the actions he has been taking, some of the urgency we have seen. it is clearly high risk and if it goes wrong it could be very badly wrong indeed. from what i can tell, a lot of the messaging that has accompanied vision 2030 over the past two years has been aimed
much more at the international investment community and not necessarily so much at saudis, who are still looking for the sort of basic improvement in their daily or kind of life prospects. i think we saw that on full show not just the future investment initiative that took place three weeks ago but even this week when we had bill gates as one of the key speakers, and mohammed bin salman is trying to pitch a new saudi arabia to the international community and to some extent has been quite successful. my concern is that the actions over the past two weeks just reinforce the stereotype view of the kingdom that people from the outside may hold of it. so that makes me wonder what may
have happened behind the scenes to explain the timing of this action. i mean, is it just a miscalculation in the sense that mohammed bin salman and his team may have thought that sending a tough message on corruption would entice international investors by promising the new saudi arabia is a much freer place to do business in? because if that was the case it wasn't the mess thadge's necessarily been received internationally. although one might add that both the military operations in yemen and the trade and diplomatic embargo of qatar would show
miscalculations have been happening and that long-term strategic thinking definitely needs to be improved. so i think the top down leadership is there and the decision to focus on the international rather than perhaps the domestic audience is something that needs to change. i think that sooner rather than later the crown prince and his team will have to begin to show meaningful results that can convince saudis of all parts of kingdom that their own lives are going to be transformed for the better. and this i think is going to be the yardstick by which mohammed bin salman will be judged. and again, over the next decades, this will determine whether the new saudi state or whatever we would call it is more sustainable in long run than the one that we are seeing swept, being swept away before our eyes. i'd maybe just end by saying this is indeed a moment of transformation in the sense that the institutional structures
that for decades we thought were kind of solidified because they were so entrenched are now suddenly in play so there is a moment to try and remake institutions and clearly recreate leadership structures. and i think it will be fascinating. we won't know the answer of course but it will be fascinating to see if this moment of change also solidifies as its predecessor has done in the 1950's and 1960's into another kind of status that maybe prohibits change down the line. there was a lot of talk about mohammed bin salman becoming defense minister at the age of 29 but of course we shouldn't forget that the prince became defense minister when he was 32 and died as defense minister at the age of 80. so this system has opened up perhaps contrary to the expectations of a lot of analysts. it's opened up because of a sequence of events that were not necessarily coordinated. the key interests i think going forward, is it going to close around mohammed bin salman and be just as impenetrable to long-term change as perhaps the past has been as well? so with that i'll open up to questions. >> thank you.
all right. if you still have any questions just go ahead and raise your card and staff will pick it up from you and bring it over here. let me start reading your questions. the first question is from voice of america. prominent business persons are among detainees in in saudi arabia. $100 billion corruption crack down. they have invested billions of dollars in economic and agricultural projects in north and east africa. how would the crackdown affect such projects globally? jamal? >> it will. it does. actually --. >> are the microphones on? ok. thank you. go ahead. >> i was talking on the phone to someone and then they began having a conversation with me about the company that has about
40,000 employees. i'm sure most of them want to know if they will be paid at the end of the month or not. he also has a huge business in morocco and sweden. and we can start drawing a plan about others, about potential, who would be added to list of corruption. i just heard a new name today from a friend in the audience. there is no way to confirm it. rumors are spreading like really crazy in saudi arabia. and all kinds of news about people added to the list. unfortunately corruption is as i said a way of life. and this is -- mohammed bin
salman has now in his hand a magic stick. this hardly could be a royal who is involved in some form of corruption. corruption also needs to be identified. what is corruption in saudi arabia? is a land grab -- land grant corruption or is land grab a corruption? because royals are involved in both land grant by the king which makes it legal even though we can argue about it and land grab. and so the stink of corruption is reachable to everybody and that is scaring hmm everyone in saudi arabia and -- scaring almost everyone in saudi arabia and the feeling that i am next. and that is going to drop back on society.
the quick fix is transparency. so far our attorney general hasn't given up -- hasn't given an interview to anybody. they need to do that. they need to do like a press conference every couple days. it's a huge thing that needs more trust. [question indiscernible] . >> absolutely vital as well. as you said, if there is a new commission headed by the crown prince who can almost define what corruption means to him isn't necessarily going to reassure international investors. i think the process will be very important or lack of in terms of whether or not investors are reassured or --. >> from georgetown university,
how do you propose how mohammed bin salman should address the muslim presence in the country? either one. addressed to both. >> go ahead. >> all right. he think the muslim brothers -- saudi arabia is a revivalist islam country and he can't run away from that. yes, radicalism crept into saudi arabia. by -- it was crushed in 1950 but they came back after 1979. but the muss him brotherhood provided the -- the muslim brotherhood provided the answer in the 1960's. mohammed bin salman needs to free himself from this unneeded paranoia of the brotherhood and
needs to form an alliance with them to come in region. it is a totally unneeded confrontation we are going through in saudi arabia. it is affecting society and weakening saudi arabia. this is why -- that's answered. thank you. >> with tronchese employees, saudi citizens, will saudi families and culture in general accept their sons and daughters working in blue collar jobs? >> yes. the economy will change habits. we are used to doing everything. i wrote a book about that. i told the stories about my generation and my father's generation. my father was himself god bless
his soul a farmer. he used to do a hand job that gets you dirty. so he could do everything. with the first born after 1973 war and with price of oil doubling, we had the huge boom. and we made the mistake of importing foreign laborers. you can find quoteations of officials who say at this time, this is only -- we need them to build infrastructure and they will eventually go. they never went. we became addicted to it. that not only took jobs away but killed the work ethic in us. it killed the work ethic in us. now we assume we cannot do work because we are addicted to it. this is a bit tough that mohammed bin salman needs to work on. it is a social, political, economic factor he needs to spend
more time on rather than building a new city in north. thank you. >> this was not the first missile fire from the group on to the saudi arabian territory so why was it so widely publicized this time? >> it wasn't the first. it may have been the first targeting or at least landed riyadh so it may have been taken as a much more direct strike at the heart of the saudi system. i think the fact that the war in yemen is continuing is quite frankly not what was planned in
2015 when this began and every time a missile comes over it is a signal from international backers that they retain the capacity to create embarrassment for the saudi leadership. that is i think something the saudis are not yet -- haven't yet figured out how to try and resolve. the dilemma they have is decisive and overwhelming force to try and force the issue would be too much of a cost in terms of lives potentially lost and treasure lost. so there is this sort of half way house where they are not willing to -- not going to back out but they don't just really
have the capacity to actually win. >> the americans are backing that. it is iranian made, a missile that is recently introduced into war front that enemy has not had before. the enemy keeps fighting with old fashioned fire on us. but this one is iranian which is the proof that the iranians have succeeded despite the war in sneaking this missile into yemen territories and maybe put together by yemenese or iranians or hezbollah operatives and that is taken to saudi arabia as a game changer. it is an act of war by the iranians and hezbollah and saudi arabia and rightfully so. if they had the opportunity to send tons of missiles to saudi arabia they would do it. so that is an enforcement argument and all you need to stand up to the iranian ex-pungment but you need to do it in the right way. >> within two days of president
trump urging the world to come together against iran they turned on qatar which i think is a strange way of trying to present a united front. >> ok. while talking about yemen, when will the war in yemen stop? if l -- let's read a little bit about what his uncle did in 1965. in 1965 the king, supporting the civil war, he distanced himself from all sides and he played a part to all yemenese. since that time saudi arabia became like an equal partner to all of yemen. i think it needs to be discovered again and to reach out to yemenese whether soldiers or -- he recently met with the people in riyadh and that was very interesting. supposedly they are in saudi
arabia and here he is meeting with the leader, which is good. it is ironic about listing them in the federalist list because in saudi arabia the senior, the chief is there in saudi arabia and the chief of the emknee group is in saudi arabia. i don't know about others. so that is best way to end the war is for saudi arabia to reach out to all emens. not one side against the other. that is exactly what happened in 1965. >> the next question is from les junka. explain dynamic of the royal family.
willits cohesion be threatened when king salman passes away? >> i think there is only one person who probably in-laws the answer to that question. that's the king himself. we have the speculation clearly and every time there is said to be an imminent abdication it hasn't come to pass. one can read whatever one wants into that. a more dramatic push back than anticipated. i guess we don't know in terms of family dynamic. my consent perhaps is that salman has for a long time in the past performed the role of almost like the chief whip of the family. he sort of kept -- he was the
instrument in maintaining family discipline. he was not only feared but also respected for that. it looks as if at least to some extent mohammed bin salman is trying to take on that mantle of those being sort of the family enforcer. but will he have the gravitas and seniority to also impose the respect on all the different branches that may now to some extent feel like they have less of a stake in saudi arabia they see coming together. and so it's an open question whether once a man has passed away does the glaw begin to come a little weaker? that is something we won't necessarily know. >> he want to add to that. i agree with kristian. i will add i think mohammed was a victim of maintaining the status quo. maintaining -- the gluge of the family together and actually king salman is the last or the last leader of the family.
he needs to keep him. why did he consolidate this power for one or two or three more years? i think we can root out all the stories about abdication. i don't think it will happen. but will the family stay united? the family -- all those stories about mohammed bin salman had to start this merge of corruption, a preemptive plan, i don't agrea with that because i do anticipate -- i cannot see the royal family reuniting. so weak. so fragmented. we should remember they are from a generation of lavishness, of most of their concerned are about the latest expensive watch and the latest trip they had to the french rivera. they're not into politics but exploitation.
they are -- they have injuries. there is no leader. tradition had been irritated or not irritated but that they had been slipping away from them. they lost that condition -- that position. they have lost it. an interesting book was published, an excellent book that makes it plain that the dismantling of the founding ingredients of the house -- that book is not in saudi arabia. it should be. i wish people would read it. it gives his legacy legitimacy. now there is the craziest thing i've seen -- concept of, will
you -- you are what makes a king enjoy a divine power to rule. why would you -- things that i would look him to go, so he would be more accountable. but why would somebody who enjoys this divine rule give it away? is it just like asking him to give away that privilege. he wouldn't give it away easily. but if mohammed wants to give it away, he is welcome to do so. >> thank you. saudi arabia and other ghost countries have urged citizens to leave lebanon. i am reminded of 1973 the soviet diplomats leaving cairo and followed by a war. can we see that request from
citizens to leave lebanon through the same prison? >> i think lebanon is a very dangerous thing at the start trying to, if they're trying to stir things up. i don't think there would be any clearer cut resolution in any way and even now the israelis have almost acknowledged they are not willing at least yet to start a conflict to take action against what they see as hezbollah. on the other hand perhaps moving them from the scene means it is easier for the saudi government or other gulf government to say listen, kind of an antihezz
balla function in lebanon and trying to maybe long term say the lebanese government basically is hezbollah influenced even more so than it was by removing one of the more antihezbollah factions. it seems to have back fired at the beginning where the lebanese have rallied around. please come hoim. then we can talk about this. i don't think it produced the results that were necessarily expected two weeks ago and that could be why there is a degree of backing off bay allowing ad idiosyncrasy to at least go to france then potentially back to beirut. >> we have several questions. we have different questions.
what's going on with the situation in lebanon? and how will that impact the relationship between saudi arabia and lebanon? >> it has already impacted the relationship. even to our dear sunnies of lebanon, who always look up to saudi arabia for support. for the first time, the sunnies of lebanon become critical of saudi arabia. that is a true fire pact, a hasty decision. yes, he had a good argument for taming down hezbollah. i'm sure that he would have sat with him and developed a plan, a proper plan, that could involved americans, the french, to counter hezbollah. but the way it was conducted, the way it was orchestrated, it fired back on saudi arabia. and he needs to salvage it very quickly, maybe to the french. they are helping us out to salvage the situation. and hadidi would be flying tomorrow with his family and
hopefully he would go back to lebanon and resume his role as a leader. so i think the task now for saudi arabia is to salvage two things. the saudi position in lebanon, to restore it again, because we've begun to lose it, to lose our influence there. and the hadidi family. the sunnies in lebanon, to find probably the leadership, to lead. we are weakening that leadership. it is important to restore hadidi's credibility in lebanon. and i hope this is the future plan.
not to weaken it anymore by suggesting his brother to be the prime minister or -- he needs to be empowered again. it is good for saudi arabia and also the saudi position in lebanon, as -- what is the word? the safeguard for at least the sunni and christian community. >> just a couple of follow-up related to hadidi and lebanon. his family was asking if an in addition to the issue of hezbollah. was he implicated. >> the other part of the campaign, the corruption issue, and related to that, hamid is asking, was it also implicated? >> they are as corrupt as bin laden or anyone else. but i'm sure his other heart might protect him. but -- again, we need transparency. right now, the media is still celebrating a euphoric language,
by the great leader. but there's no true investigation unity. is it totally bankrupt? totally out of saudi arabia? really, you will not find probably any reporting about that. he suffered a great deal before the corruption campaign. but i'm sure it's still there. i'm sure there are -- there's still issues with this involvement with royalties. they were involved with royalties. even the king, the holy koran, the printing of the koran, that deserved an investigation.
the cost of a single copy of it, coming from the presenting house, is maybe 10 times if it was printed by anyone else next door. so there is an issue to investigate in corruption. so basically, it is reachable by the corruption stick. but so far, we haven't heard anything of that sort. and maybe his heart, as a prime minister of leb nap, will pro-- lebanon will protect him. >> christian from american university. can the magnitude of the recent changes be considered as a moment of transition in terms of
of new phase in saudi society? >> it's definitely a moment to transition. we've obviously seen mbs being very vocal about his interpretation of the prime minister being rejected. i think, with the corruption, it's -- too much is resting on one man's interpretation. and perhaps there's needs to be a wider societal debate and dialogue about this. it's, again, such a top-down imposed manner that i don't think there's going to be a wide-ranging input from groups that clearly will be impacted by some of the changes that are being made. and so if there's no debate, it could just breed resentment or repression even, going forward. i think that's a mistake. a lot of social debates need to be have. as jamal said, he isn't
necessarily going about it the right way. >> okay. jamal, there are several questions regarding the kind of issues of succession and governance. one basic question is, can we infer from the fact that mohammed bin salman has no deputy or crown prince at this time, that his sons will be the future? are we witnessing even saudi 2.0? >> it is too early for that. but because of the situation, rumors there are. one of the most interesting rumors i heard from an h.r. in london, that mbs is thinking of downsizing the royal family. this is good news for us. and it is good for him, because actually the number of the royal family is abundant. because they always have demands and they will come to him and they need an administration by themselves, to manage their
problems or their needs. and now, the royal family members who have hrh title are the sons of the grand -- of the founder. and then we are talking about five to six thousand grandsons, around that number. i don't have the figure. but there is a department, ministry of finance, that bears the stipend for them, who has details of each one of them and has details of their allowances, or the stipend. so his plan is to issue a decree to call only the king and his sons as an hrh.
so if he becomes a king or his father now, it will be -- the rest are royal families. also, previously, his father used to include other weak or distant members of the family into the family. for example, the new minister for the national guard, he wasn't a prince 20 years ago. and they were not part of the royal family. they were added to the royal family by a decree made by prince salman when he was the governor. during that time, he had an interest to widen the circle of the royal family. others were also not part of the family, but now they are part of
the family. so it seems like, this is the rumor that he will restructure or redefine who is a royal, which maybe will lead him to develop similar to the prince of jordan or morocco, that style of royal family. i think this is good. it is good for the public, for the future, new emerging classes. royals enjoy privileges. and they have an advantage. if he has a better chance to get a better hospital bed than me, he has a better chance to get way more, larger land grant than me. so the royals that we have, the merrier. it's good for saudi arabia to do that. and it is good for him. >> kristian, do you think that the kingdom of saudi arabia has exaggerated or given too much credit to the houthis? or is that threat genuine? >> well, obviously the houthis had already swept out of their
traditional strongholds. and they had taken sanab by 2014. i think it was the same night he came into power, that the president was imprisoned temporarily, so the government fell the same night that he came to power. clearly, the houthis had an alliance of convenience with the former president, who had his own interest in destabilizing his successor. i think yemen is a warning of what happens in a transition state, when the former leader is still playing an active political role. this hasn't happened in any of the other states that went through a regime change, as a result of the 2011 uprisings. of course, it made for a very
unlikely pair of partners, given the series of wars that had been fought by the yemeni government with the houthis between 2004 and '10. i think maybe there was an overreaction in terms of imagining this to be another sort of front organization. but as with the missile that we saw two weeks ago, that kind of has become a self-fulfilling prove fy, as it's created the conditions for the breakdown of authority and control that has allowed iran and iranian-backed groups to gain influence. kind of the situation is now basically as if the one that they had been saying in 2015, that this is another front. what i would say, trying to take on the iranians with proxy groups is not necessarily -- i mean, the iranians have a 40-year practice of working with groups like hezbollah. and this is a dangerous -- i mean, they're expert in how they
do that. i think in yemen and also in syria, it's been shown that they can maintain levels of direct and indirect influence that has far outmatched the sunni arab's states to do the same. that's going to be a problem in every regional conflict, i think, going forward. >> jamal, michael huffman would like to know a little bit more about the background, education-wise, and how did that shape mohammed bin salman's world view? where does he get his advice? >> i was surprised to learn yesterday, from a friend of mine, who teaches in an american university, that he advised mohammed bin salman. so that was good news for me, that he does reach out to proper advisors. but the same friend said to me,
what makes me angry, he doesn't listen to my advice. [laughter] >> and he has the best advice, when it comes to development and changing the face of saudi arabia. he spent billions of dollars on those consultants. so he has no problem with advisors. he could benefit from others, who is an excellent -- who have excellent expertise on foreign policy. but he doesn't. he does need proper advice. because if he looks back at the decisions he made, he will realize that they did not evolve into his likeness. if it's not failure, it is stagnation. but we also failed in syria. we also failed -- failing now in
yemen, in lebanon. but one can argue about that. he needs to revise either his advisors or his strategy. there is need for that. and there is also a need -- maybe there would be a question about this. this is what i call the trump effect. trump, i think, had been a negative influence on mohammed bin salman. he gave him the wrong premises, or a false premises, that he can support him to change the middle east, that he can support him to oust iranians out of syria and out of iraq. but, again, mohammed bin salman should have an advisor who would tell him that even trump, as sincere in his promise, he cannot deliver, because it's gigantic.
for trump to get involved against the iranians in syria, he needs to get the consensus from the pentagon, from the congress, to do such a thing. so he should know that whatever jared kushner and trump promise, they cannot deliver. but we need to spend time, about the trump effect, and how that is destabilizing the middle east. also, they have to speak in one voice, not dual voices, so that we'll send the wrong message to a leader like mohammed bin salman, listening to trump and listening to others, and
assuming that there's a difference between them. but basically they can play a very positive role in impacting things in saudi arabia, because they are the only ones who have kind of a leverage on saudi arabia today. >> i do think the biggest miscalculation that he made was to assume that if trump won, the u.s. government would swing with him. perhaps it does qo back to the -- does go back to the fact that maybe there was an overexpectation or a sense that the personalization of decision making in the u.s. government, at least in his first year in office, offered an opportunity. and i think maybe more calmer advice or decision making might have cautioned otherwise. but i think that is the key miscalculation that was made.
>> all right. the next question is from andrew graves, department of energy. addressed to both of you. how do you see the pace of economic reforms unfolding? specifically, in terms of the reduction in subsidies for the domestic gas and electricity prices and so on. >> well, i think so far, some of the initial measures have been either watered down or even put off. and i think one benefit, if he's serious about going through with a lot of the painful measures that inevitably will have to be part of vision 2030, is if he can show with his actions over the past two weeks that he's serious about this, because i think over the past two years, over the first sign of a public backlash, the government has, to some extent, changed course. and i think the trade-offs involved in transitioning the saudi economy to a more sustainable long-term economic structure, not just with reduction in subsidies, but also clearly labor market reform and
creating those jobs that young saudis will move into, not foreign workers, is going to involve taking on those vested economic interests, to have a vested interest in maintaining the advantages they have. and so if those vested interests are now thinking, well, he's taking on key elements that are going to resist some of the changes, then he could have a chance to succeed. but i mean, that's going to be the main thing, creating those jobs that can really show a trickle-down effect and that can actually make it a reality for the young saudis. >> one of the highest expectations he promised us is
to have a more transparent budget. and we need to see more of that, because now with all those discussions about the persian corruption, with the aim, according to the financial times, is to gain some of the -- to ed a it to the national treasury, that shows a negative sign to the status of the national treasury, that it needs to take money from the corrupt to add to the national treasury, so that is a true situation in our reserve and the national treasury. there is reluctance that is influenced by politics when it comes to stopping subsidies or allowances to government employs. government employees. they were corrupt from government employees. and i think there were two drivers to that, politics, and the other driver is the local market.
the things i like and the government is still doing that, the drive against illegal businesses, illegal foreign businesses in saudi arabia who are working under a cover-up by saudi arabians is a major epidemic that is affecting our national economy. a huge number of businesses are operated in saudi arabia by foreigners, who own it, who manage it, who operate it, but it is in the name of the saudis. so i begin to see pictures of the -- it was shut down.
even though it's a sign of recession, but it is good, because those businesses are not contributing to the national budget, to the national economy. and they need to let go of it, so the saudis will go back to the culture of work. this is continuing. and i hope it will continue. but there's a great deal of reluctance on the plans altogether. >> all right. warren david asks a question regarding the saudi perspective,
vis-a-vis iran. kristian, is the so-called iranian expansionism that jamal referred to earlier, is it really a genuine threat? and why isn't -- ha ha! >> why isn't mohammed bin salmad nonstate actors. clearly iran has been involved have a they need -- they lot more ability to use for their own ends. you know, these are not conventional conflicts, but they are conflicts using the tools .ran has developed for decades as i said earlier, both in syria and now in yemen, we are taking withying to outsmart it your own proxies is a difficult task when your flow has been doing -- foe has been doing this expertly for years. that is the challenge they face.
also the creations of state failure over the last seven years, because it has been almost seven years of turmoil on every regional front. it has really resulted in expansion of the opportunities available. going back almost 15 years, if you talk about the occupation of iraq after 2003. so this is kind of a fast-moving situation which has clearly pathways that have been felt by iran and their groups. i think the defeat of isis and in northern iraq and syria while obviously welcome is potentially another deeply concerning element if you are looking at this from the iranian point of view because i think a lot of the spaces that could be filled now link with those groups across the region in a contiguous way, and that is
another key concern to watch. >> john anderson would like to know, what percentage of the saudi a budget -- saudi budget goes to pensions, royal family members -- do you have any idea? >> may be the future, but i don't know. ce, and theom pen grandson of the king. riyals aed 130,000 month. his father received about that. his children will receive less of that. and you do your calculation, if you know the number of royalties. >> [indiscernible] jamal khashoggi: this is from firsthand from a prince.
it for youran use calculations. jamal, is asked to comment on the campaign. preferred to have another monarchy? is this another regime? >> he is already on the throne. he does not need to. become aot need to king -- he is already, he is already the first king of saudi arabia. did that enforce his position? it is as much as he has intimated. the people of saudi arabia, most
of us are afraid to speak out in associate.ecause an the royals have intimated with us. useful for him to enjoy total authority? no. he can answer that, but i don't think he needs to intimidate us to rule, because he -- really there is no challenge, no power that could challenge him or stop him from becoming a king of saudi arabia. he is using the most powerful power. it is absolute monarchy, one of your powers. any,is enough power that if it was not -- is he was the king of saudi arabia today, it would be the same power.
let's step out and say there is a new crown prince, his son would have the same power. salman isd bin marked. -- theres own personal are minutes in which are not so powered. aziz was in the same position, but not the same as mohammad bin salman. now he has to reform as a leader in economic and for a policy. but his most important source of power is relying numbers. -- reliable numbers. there is plenty of power. it is an absolute monarchy. maybe you can simply execute. toi think if you start tinker with these traditional resources of power, your opening
up a kind of -- a can of worms you might want to open up. and when you are engaged in such a wide-ranging attempt to reformulate the economic or social religious aspects of society. there is a danger of being spread through -- too thin especially with issues going on, and try to do too much too fast. on every front at the same time, that would be another concern i would have going forward. think mark probably answers this question, in terms of how these deaths are taken over the past several weeks will impact of the relationship between the saudi monarchy and the fundamentalist rid the just -- fundamentalist religious establishment. >> the establishment, they are
on the payroll of the government. says weammad bin salman should destroy, it will be radicalism. radicalism will not be the same if it were not for government support. justhe needs to do is unplug it. powerradicals who were in in booking their radicalism into this by the government, they did not win an election, and they shared power with us. they were empowered by them for a sensitive time. prints or the kingdom realize that they are on it, so they are unplugging their support and blaming the others for them. the radicals are in the
-- they had the infrastructure that surround the government. and still today. the senior counsel is infested with radical views, radical views about that she, women's right -- the shiites, women's rights. it will be useful to do a paper about the political thinking or the social thinking of those people. views about minorities, relation to muslims, adversities, -- diversities. how do they see other muslim sects. then you will judge who is truly radicals. there was a saudi who was ago.made notice that the prince talking on a tv program a few talking on aho was
tv program a few days ago and made notice that the prince was impacting people who could stop his reform. it is not true. 90% of them, they ask for reform, whether about whether about democracy, whether about women driving. the monarchy from last september, they called to remove men guardianship right on females in saudi arabia. this is one of the most sensitive issues on saudi arabia to remove men guardianship on woman. this man who has been accused of being a radical wrote an essay about that. none of the guard, none of the clergies in the senior counsel would dare right -- write a similar essay. they are the ones being respected by the authority today. the true reformers in saudi
arabia today are in jail. [applause] >> all right. >> [indiscernible] >> we are going to conclude with the last question. the last question i will entertain is from john duke anthony. one minute each. how do you see the near or long-term future of the jcc as a -- gcc as a result? >> unless the catholic right is resolved, the curators are also anxious and worried. the jcc -- gcc will be on the phrase. -- freeze. the summit will not be held this december with all the six members, we might lose the gcc. >> i think it is a great shame if the summit does not take place in kuwait.
because 28 has been the leading regional mediator. it would be an opportunity to get everyone in the room. i think we have seen in the past, in the region, institutions don't necessarily get dissolved. they just become irrelevant and marginalized. and i suspect the gcc will remain on paper with or without. -- with or without qatar. we have seen at every stage of this crisis every major decision , has beentaken, then bypassing the jcc -- gcc. i think that will just continue. >> ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our event today. please join me in ranking the speakers. thehinking -- thanking speakers. thank you for being here. we look forward to seeing you in future events. thanks. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
road to the white house 2020 kicks up tonight with democratic presidential candidate representative john delaney at the kennedy clinton dinner in hollis, new hampshire. he does about how democrats get supporters to the polls. here is this portion you will see tonight. [applause] >> donald trump became the president of this amazing country because of two things. democrats did not turn out, and two, for some reason we talked -- we stopped talking about what people care about. the first point has got to take care of itself. the energy you are showing, the enthusiasm this party is showing, is extraordinary. the we have to remember, we have to talk to people about what they care about. issues we care about, and we will be proven right on every one of them.
but that does not mean that moves people hearts and minds. what moves hearts and minds is their job, their pay, and the opportunity for their kids. every time we are not talking about that, and every time we talk about how bad the republicans are, it is a missed opportunity for us. that is how we take this country back in my opinion. announcer 1: part of a speech by -- he was joined by ohio democratic congressman tim ryan. see you tonight on road to the white house 2020 at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. thanksgiving day on c-span. here are some of the highlights. at 11:30, the liberty medal ceremony honoring thunder -- .onoring john mccain at 1:00 p.m., former secretary of state john kerry receiving a lifetime achievement award at the kennedy institute in boston.
at 2:45, new york times columnist david brooks, historian ronald white discuss character and the presidency. the center of books in nashville. in the former heavyweight champion of the world muhammad ali. at 3:10, authors discuss the middle class of politics. at 4:50, eric erickson on his book before you wait, life lessons from father to children. on "american history tv," on the presidency, the life and times of teddy roosevelt. at 11:00 a.m., native americans and trade in 19th-century california. at 2:55 p.m. eastern, national archives, a look at the first motion picture units of world war ii films. thanks giving day on the c-span network. democratic legislators from
around the country met in washington dc to talk about advancing and defending progressive policies. their local and state lawmakers who participated in the annual state innovation exchange conference. this is an hour and 15 minutes. [applause] >> good evening, everyone. it is a pleasure to welcome you all here for our program. before we get started, i want to go over very quick housekeeping details. please silence or cell phones, and if you have -- to let you know, no photos allowed during the programs, and