Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Picture: REUTERS
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Picture: REUTERS

The article on Mohammed bin Salman (“Visions of Mohammed bin Salman — the reality and the fantasy”, October 15), failed to mention that Saudi Arabia is the only country named for its ruling family.

The éminence grise who successfully supported the bandit Ibn Saud against the Rachids and Hashemites was Harry St John Bridger Philby. After a stint in colonial intelligence with TE Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, the Anglo-French betrayal of the Arabs in the aftermath of World War 1 turned him against the British, a dislike he seemingly passed on to his son Kim.

After securing Ibn Saud’s position, St John Philby organised competitive bids for the oil prospects but made sure Americans prevailed, thus securing for them the most lucrative commercial project in the history of the planet and untold riches for the Saud family.

Feeling that succeeding generations had become infected by the fleshpots of the West, he decamped to Beirut. Salman’s performance to date would support Philby’s views on the Saud family as well as the old saying “clogs to clogs in three generations”.

James Cunningham 
Camps Bay

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