“Two princes: Kushner now faces a reckoning for Trump’s bet on the heir to the Saudi throne”
– Washington Post headline, Oct. 15
Excerpted from: “Salmanella and the Glass Orb: How Prince Charming Met His Prince Charming”
In 2017, there lived a handsome young prince by the name of Jared. Some called him Jared the Silent, but most called him Prince Charming.
And what a charmed existence Jared led! He earned a fortune from his family’s investments in commercial palaces but paid almost no federal income taxes. He made a bad investment and lost money, but lenders bailed him out. Others thought Jared was ignorant and easily manipulated. But what others thought about the prince did not matter, for Jared’s father-in-law was the king.
But for all Prince Jared possessed, he did not have what he wanted most: Saudi money. Jared saw how the Saudis spent millions at his father-in-law’s hotels. Could he not obtain their money, too?
Saudi Arabia was not really the paradise of young Jared’s imagination but the dark kingdom that produced Osama bin Laden and his hijackers. It persecuted women and made war on innocent people. But the Saudi leader, King Salman, waved a wand, and the despotic country was magically transformed into the peaceful, reforming society of Jared’s fantasy. Jared was captivated. He came to believe that King Salman’s heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or Salmanella, was the fairest of them all, not the bloodthirsty climber some feared but rather a young reformer who believed in human rights. Jared believed that Salmanella would bless him with $270 billion in Saudi arms payments, Saudi investments and lots of cheap oil. Prince Charming had found his Prince Charming. Or so he thought!
It came to pass that Jared did everything he could to make the beautiful image of Salmanella fit reality. He looked away when the Saudi prince killed civilians in Yemen, imprisoned rivals in the dungeon of the Ritz-Carlton, kidnapped the Lebanese prime minister and made mischief in Syria. Jared and his friends did all they could to win Salmanella’s heart: busting up Middle East diplomacy and tearing up an agreement with Iran, incurring the wrath of the world – whatever it took to charm the charming prince.
But when the clock struck midnight on the day the arms deals were to be signed, there was no $270 billion. The Saudi promises amounted to rags. And when Jared presented his new Middle East peace plan – a plan he had written himself, with love – King Salman and Salmanella rejected it.
Just then, when it seemed the sad prince’s despair could not be deeper, Jared learned that Salmanella – his Salmanella – was suspected of ordering 15 evil henchman to Turkey to kidnap a journalist living in Jared’s own land, and kill him. Salmanella denied it, but there were, reportedly, tapes. To his horror, Prince Jared discovered he was in the wrong fairy tale: His Prince Charming had turned into a beast!
Ridicule rained on the disgraced Prince Jared for his naive trust in the bad prince. And here our story might have ended, had a revelation not occurred to Jared in the depths of his sorrow: Salmanella may be unscrupulous, but he was still super rich! And so Jared decided that, Prince Charming or not, the shoe fit.
Prince Jared and Salmanella did real estate deals together. They didn’t pay taxes. They got recognized more and more. And they lived happily ever after.