Cue the Internecine Clusterf%$#

The Saudi King, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has died at age 90, and will be replaced by his brother, Salman ibn Abdilaziz Al Saud, who is 79 and is rumored to be suffering from dementia:

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died at age 90, state television reported early on Friday, with his brother Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz succeeding him as the new ruler of the world’s top oil exporter.

King Salman, 79, immediately appointed his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, a move seen to avert widespread speculation about the path of the royal succession.

State television said King Abdullah, who took power in 2005 after the death of his brother King Fahd, died of pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital on December 31, state media reported at the time.

It’s pretty clear that Salman is a place holder.

It is tough to figure out what is going on in the mess that is the dynastic mess that is the House of Saud, but a year ago, I would a have argued that Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was next in line after King Salman, but seeing as how he has been the driving force behind backing the group now known as ISIS/ISIL/IS while trying to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, and it appears that he was fired from his position as Director General of Saudi Intelligence Agency as a result.

This sort of dynastic instability has does not bode well for the future of the House of Saud, which to my mind, is a good thing.

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