Mohammad bin Salman and Nasser bin Hamad: Who is Iron Man?

2016-12-10 - 1:26 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): During a Press Conference at the "Four Seasons" Hotel, the Bahraini King's son, Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, announced the launch of "Bahrain International Defense Exhibition and Conference 2017".

The exhibition, which is to be held a year from now, is supposed to attract over 100 international manufacturers and suppliers of the latest military equipment, technology and systems, in addition to more than 50 official military and political delegations.

Nasser believes that this military exhibition would promote cooperation between Bahrain and the International Community, and support the Bahraini army in promoting its military capabilities.

This exhibition will not be allowed to take place with a Saudi approval, and therefore it will be held in partnership with the Saudi-led coalition, which launched war on Yemen in 2015.

Nasser's Adventures

Throughout the past months, especially after a British Court ruled lifting his immunity, and opened the door for prosecuting him over torture accusations, Nasser went on to start his own version of the Bahraini regime "project" to clean his reputation.

Although this defense exhibition is part of this strategy, this adventure seems a little bit bigger than Nasser bin Hamad. This is the third image that Nasser strives to portray himself as- "a man of war." This comes after his first two images were deformed, when he painted himself as an "athletic prince", and was later exposed as a torturer.

Due to the large number of similarities between both princes, Nasser's nature could be compared to that of Saudi Arabia's crown prince's successor, Defense Minister and rising prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Khalifa.

Both are sons of a King, yet neither is a crown prince. They both neither received their education in foreign universities, nor do they speak English fluently. Both are very adherent to the Arab attire. They both share a thirst for war, and have an overexcited "youth" rhetoric.

Another common factor between these two men is that both tried to gather, in record time, the largest number of positions in various fields.

The Bully Face: Torture Race

After February 14, 2011, the King's spoiled son would have a new face, unlike that of the one he was previously known for as a young athletic prince and a "star".

At the height of the crackdown, his famous statement on state TV said, "Those who demand to topple the regime will have a wall topple on their heads... Bahrain is a small island... where would they run to?" From here emerged Sheikh Nasser's bully face; sports no longer became his only breather, especially after the psychological pressure that the royal family suffered from during February 2011.

With a young bully spirit, Nasser was given freedom by the Royal Palace to go over limits, and by orders from the commission of inquiry that he formed, 22 Shiite athletes were arrested and tortured.

Horses and fields were no longer enough for him, Nasser took part in another race, this time a race of torture. He would become an expert in torturing detainees whom are despised by his father due to their public calls for regime toppling. On top of those is the main man of the Pearl Roundabout podium, Sheikh Mohammad Habib al-Mokdad.

This information sparked the attention of international organizations and foreign newspapers, and formed a new image of Nasser bin Hamad, now linking him to torture and not sports!

Star of Sports Diplomacy and Instagram

At the same time, the King raised his son's military rank from captain to colonel (skipping the two most senior ranks), and appointed him commander of the Royal Guard, who are in charge of his personal security.

However, the military image of Nasser froze at that point, due to a continuous ferocious campaign against him in several European countries, after accusations raised against him of torturing political prisoners, with his own hands.

Nasser disappeared from the military and security scene, and was no longer in the limelight. He hastily returned to sports, youth, charity, and stardom. His presence in "sports diplomacy" was intensified. He jumped from horse races in Normandy and Windsor, to triathlon races, Ironman races, and the Bahrain Cycling World Team race!

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On Instagram, it is possible for Nasser bin Hamad to show the face that he wants, and create the "star" that he sees in himself, just like other movie stars and athletic champions. To a million followers, he will portray himself as a handsome, multitalented, military and athletic youngman filled with love for the people, enthusiasm, and optimism.

Nasser bin Hamad began a huge project to repair his reputation and the reputation of his country, but in the end, he received a big blow when a British court lifted his diplomatic immunity. In July 2016, the French newspaper "Liberation" slammed the Royal Instagram star in a report entitled, "Prince Nasser's Sports: Horses and Hikes ... and Repression!"

Yemen War: The Face Nasser Seeks

People see that Nasser, supported by his father, is naively trying like teenagers to create a role for himself inside the ruling regime.

Nasser was no one. Since people knew him, he was just a young man who lacks decency and civility; he was naive and uneducated, and lacked the characteristics of a leader. He was a teenager that always wanted to appear as the best and most significant. He was dubbed "miracle boy", the "Number 1 boy", and yet the only thing that he was probably good at was popular poetry.

However, many reports and rumors spoke about him being the most prominent candidate to succeed his father, in case the ruling family (or the Saudis) decided to set aside his brother Salman bin Hamad from the line to the throne. The most ridiculous rumors said that Nasser was the most likely candidate to succeed Al-Mushir Khalifa as commander in chief of the army.

In fact, despite the fact that both possibilities will not be in action so far, yet the new face that Nasser has been wanting to put on, since February 14, is that image of a savage warrior, and a "forever-victorious" one. His golden chance came when Saudi Arabia declared war on the Houthis in Yemen, dubbed "Operation Decisive Storm" in March 2015.

This war that Bahrain took part, which continues to commit crimes and atrocities against the Yemeni people to date, was Nasser's way back to get in his military uniform. In September 2015, Sheikh Nasser was caught on video calling every Bahraini soldier to kill five Yemenis in retaliation to the death of Bahraini military soldiers.

At the same time, during a visit to the army headquarters, the King announced that both his sons, Nasser and Khaled, were part of the forces involved in the Yemeni war.

Photos were circulated of Nasser, not in a triathlon or Ironman race, but wearing a military uniform with his brother. The Bahrain News Agency (BNA) published pictures of the Bahraini King's sons in Yemen's Shemagh.

These are nothing but photos as in a planned photo session to "show" that the King's sons are participating in military operations. BNA even said that Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa is leading the Bahraini duty group affiliated to the royal guard of the Bahrain Defence Force that joined the ranks of the Arab Coalition Forces in Yemen.

Of course Nasser will not get killed and will return to his Instagram accounts a few days later to post another picture of him in the "battlefield", "pretending to be a war hero and military leader."

Despite the international condemnations of Saudi crimes in Yemen, Nasser still strived to build that military image of his.

A Chair at Table of the Princes of War

(Nasser bin Hamad at announcement of Bahrain's first tri-service defence exhibition)

Now, 29-year-old Nasser wants to have a chair for himself at the big boys table of war princes, following the footsteps of Mohammad bin Salman (31 years old) who became the decision maker at this table.

It is not shocking that the only Gulf state that the United States still refuses to sell military equipment to will make Nasser bin Hamad the head of its first arms exhibition.

Although there are many similarities between Nasser and Mohammad bin Salman, Nasser seems to be forgetting the fact that Mohammad bin Salman is next in line to the throne and at the very least will remain at the top of this royal institution.

Unlike Nasser who openly brags about torturing prisoners with his own hands, Mohammad bin Salman did not speak of war but rather committed his crimes silently for he is working for a clear goal that is to create an intimidating persona for himself.

(Nasser bin Hamad, Personal Bodyguard of his Father, the King)

They are both alike in their brutality and thirst for blood, but the Saudi Crown Prince did not need to head to Yemeni territory to prove he is a man of war, or in Nasser bin Hamad's case pretend to be a military leader whilst in reality being merely a personal guard for his father the King.

Perhaps Nasser bin Hamad does not know that Al Saud once arrested his great grandfathers in Al-Diriyah, when they were fighting over power, or that the Saudi military commander at the time occupied Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia that has not shown any mercy on Yemen today, once raided every Gulf state and attempted to secure its grip on each one of those countries during the establishment of the first Saudi state.

Perhaps Nasser thought for a second that he could play the "Ironman" game on Yemeni territories occupied by Saudi forces. He forgot that the one at the helm is Mohammad bin Nasser. However, one can say that this ridiculous show of muscle that Nasser bin Hamad is putting on reflects the true character that Mohammad bin Salman is trying to conceal. All we need to do is go back to Nasser's statements on February 14 and the atrocities he committed to realize that a reckless bully is leading a major war in the region.

Arabic Version    


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