Suddenly it gets complicated
The arrest of 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers in Saudi Arabia is already being linked by innuendo to political events in the United States. Fueling the speculation is the fact that one of the most prominent of the arrested billionaire princes was a foe of Donald Trump. The New York Times writes:
Prince Alwaleed ... has also recently sparred publicly with President Donald J. Trump. The prince was part of a group of investors who bought control of the Plaza Hotel in New York from Mr. Trump, and he also bought an expensive yacht from him as well. But in a twitter message in 2015 the prince called Mr. Trump “a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.” ...
As president, Mr. Trump has developed a warm, mutually supportive relationship with the ascendant crown prince, who has rocketed from near obscurity in recent years to taking control of the country’s most important functions. ...
At least three senior White House officials, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were reportedly in Saudi Arabia last month for meetings that were undisclosed at the time.
Alawaleed was also a supporter of Hillary Clinton with all that implies. Lee Stranahan noted the connection in 2016, "Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch is partnered in multiple media ventures with Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaweed Bin Talal, including an Arabic religious TV network with a direct tie to Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin."
Conspiracy theorizing? Alas things are so interconnected that events in Saudi Arabia can't help but naturally resound in Washington. As Medea Benjamin pointed out in the Huffington Post more than a year ago, the Kingdom was a political presence. "If I told you that Democratic Party lobbyist Tony Podesta, whose brother John Podesta chairs Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is a registered foreign agent on the Saudi government’s payroll, you’d probably think I was a Trump-thumping, conspiratorial nutcase. But it’s true," she said.
Nevertheless only recently did the public realize to what extent "we are the world" was literally true. New York Times noted signs that Hillary's international experience was telling against her in the last presidential campaign. "For years the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation thrived largely on the generosity of foreign donors and individuals who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the global charity," the NYT wrote. "But now, as Mrs. Clinton seeks the White House, the funding of the sprawling philanthropy has become an Achilles’ heel for her campaign and, if she is victorious, potentially her administration as well."
She boasted of being an internationalist. Now perhaps that is not such a good thing to be. The danger is that the connection to Washington will begin to unravel in the very place it cannot be managed; from the Saudi end as the billionaire princes are netted in the "anti-corruption" campaign. The downside of interconnectedness is that pulling on one thread can unravel another part of the political fabric .