Obama, the Sauds, and Bottomless Hypocrisy

obama_saudi_01 April 4, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci-NEO) – US
President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia confirms what
many even causal political observers have begun to suspect regarding
recent US political history, that Washington’s values aren’t just
nonpartisan, driven entirely by special interests permeating both sides
of the political aisle, but are altogether non-existent. To understand
why requires an understanding of both US-Saudi relations, not just
during the Obama administration, but over the past several decades, as
well as a basic understanding of Saudi Arabia itself.

 

Despite
the integral role Saudi Arabia plays in US foreign policy, particularly
but not limited to the Middle East, many know very little regarding
this nation. American, British, and European media intentionally serve
up disjointed reports regarding the internal affairs of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia. Should ever a complete picture be given to global
audiences and the same amount of attention given to the shortcomings of
Saudi Arabia as is given toward the perceived enemies of the Western
world, clear limitations would be demanded by the public in regards to
their respective governments’ relationship with the Saudis until badly
needed reform was undertaken.

 

Saudi Arabia: By Western Standards, a Nation In Need of Reform 

 

Even
the name of Saudi Arabia itself is problematic. It is literally named
after the family that has ruled it, uncontested, for decades, the House
of Saud. Thus, Saudi Arabia means, “Arabia of the Sauds.” The House of
Saud rules the majority of the Arabian Peninsula under one of the last
remaining absolute monarchs on Earth. Elections are held, but only for
local administrative posts, and even then, half of the population is
disenfranchised, as women are entirely barred from voting. In addition
to this, women are subjected to a ban on driving and other restrictions
based solely on their sex.

 

Women are not the only victims of the House of Saud’s brand of governance. Those accused of apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorceryhomosexuality,
and of course the House of Saud’s political opponents (charged for
treason, sedition, or terrorism) face public execution by sword in a
place known as “chop-chop square.” Short of execution, prisoners may
also be flogged for their alleged misdeeds.

 

The overall perspective of Saudi Arabia,
as seen through the lens of the West’s impressive number of prominent
human rights organizations is abysmal. The World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Report (PDF) ranks Saudi Arabia as 127 out of 136 nations in terms of gender parity. Freedom House’s 2014 “Freedom in the World” report (PDF) lists Saudi Arabia as “not free,” while Human Rights Watch’s 2013 World Report (PDF) alleges
that Saudi Arabia has suppressed or failed to protect the rights of 9
million Saudi women and girls and 9 million foreign workers. The report
also cites thousands of unfair trials and arbitrary detentions.

 

Based
on the given pretexts the Western World has used to justify a
belligerent foreign policy toward other nations, it would appear that
Saudi Arabia is a suitable candidate to likewise be subjected to
sanctions, internal political meddling, and open calls for regime
change. Yet for some reason, it most certainly is not. Instead, it is
clearly protected by media self-censorship and diplomatic double
standards across the West.

 

While the US recently closed Syria’s
embassy in Washington and ordered Syrian diplomats out of the country
claiming, “it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime
to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States,” the
US gladly continues its close relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is
even after revelations have come to light that the Saudis have been
funding and arming terrorists listed as such by the very US State
Department that shuttered the Syrian embassy in D.C.

 

342342Reuters had reported the creation of the Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) in its article, Insight: Saudi Arabia boosts Salafist rivals to al Qaeda in Syria,
however, while it mentions Liwa al-Islam as one of the founding members
of the new front funded and armed by Saudi Arabia, it fails to mention
that Liwa al-Islam has been documented to regularly coordinate with
Jabhat al-Nusra, an internationally designated terrorist organization
with direct ties to al-Qaeda.

 

Confirming this is the US “Institute for the Study of War” headed by many of America’s foreign policy architects and backed by the West’s most prominent arms dealers, in its 2013 “Middle East Security Report 9: The Free Syrian Army” (PDF) stated
specifically that, “Liwa al-Islam is known to cooperate with Jabhat
Nusra and conduct joint operations,” and that “Jabhat Nusra is the most
prominent Salafi-jihadist organization in Syria and is associated with
al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Due to the overlap in leadership structures
between AQI and Jabhat Nusra, the organization was designated a foreign
Terrorist Organization by the United States on December 10, 2012 as an
alias for AQI.”

 

Surely then it should be unacceptable
for individuals appointed by a government funding global terrorism to
conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States. But for
Saudi Arabia, apparently an exception to the rules has been made and it
is an exception that has transcended multiple US Presidential
administrations from George Bush Sr. all the way to the current US
President, Barack H. Obama.

 

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander 


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