Reading the headlines, I know, sometimes feels like we’re living in some alternate dimension of reality. The biggest headline of the day is President Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia to shore up ties with King Abdullah who reportedly has ‘strong reservations‘ about US efforts. Citing the recent nuclear talks with Iran, Saudi Arabia “is also disappointed over Obama’s 11th-hour decision last year not to take military action against the Syrian regime over chemical weapons attacks” according to a report from AFB.
The US government seems to be in Saudi Arabia trying to court the Saudis for stronger economic and regional ties, but as the beacon of democracy for the world and Ukraine, how can America and our president — in their right minds — support a country that is an existential threat to human rights? Women are literally not even allowed to drive in this country, and our president has flown there to kiss their feet?
Let’s not forget our support of ‘democratic movements’ everywhere, such as what the US government has said and done about the overthrow of the democratically elected former government of Ukraine. Yet, during the Arab Spring, they were silent as the Saudi Regime killed and terrorized demonstrators with American made military machinery.
For a quick look into some of the human rights violations being committed by the Saudis, read an excerpt from this informative article by Andy Fitzgerald:
“I met Qahtani in 2012 before his arrest, when I was a student in the kingdom. He described how he, along with Hamid and other activists, founded the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), a human rights organization formed to advocate for greater democratic freedoms and challenge abuses committed by Saudi Arabia’s security services in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The organization documented egregious human rights violations, including indefinite and arbitrary detention as well as torture of dissidents and religious extremists rounded up in the post-9/11 dragnet. ACPRA’s calling for democratic reform was strikingly courageous, given the kingdom’s severe restrictions on freedom of speech and political dissent. The organization even called out then–Interior Minister Crown Prince Nayef for overseeing the security services during these abuses and demanded his prosecution.
Subsequently, the Saudi government filed a number of criminal charges, including “breaking allegiance with the ruler and his successor,” against Qahtani, Hamid and other ACPRA members. ACPRA leaders knew the risks of their advocacy. After their arrest, Qahtani defiantly stated, “Make no mistake … we are all going to prison.”
On March 9, 2013, Qahtani and Hamid were sentenced to 10 years and five years in prison, respectively, for actions related to their activism. But the Saudi authorities’ crackdown on democratic activists did not end with their imprisonment. In December a Saudi court sentenced another ACPRA member, Omar al-Saeed, to four years in prison and 300 lashes. Earlier this month, a special criminal court in Riyadh upheld a verdict carrying a five-year prison sentence and 10-year travel ban (along with a ban on writing, use of the Internet and public appearances) against writer and human rights activist Mikhlif al-Shammari; he is expected to appeal the verdict next week.[continue at aljazeera.com“
The US Government supports democracy…when it’s convenient.
After justifying the bombing of Libya in 2011 citing human rights concerns, the US government has utterly ignored the human rights abuses committed by ‘friendly’ dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia. They went so far as to prop-up Egypt’s former dictatorship for decades, supplying the army with the weapons, also known as ‘foreign aid’, used to kill hundreds if not thousands of protesters in the streets. Democracy* ehh?
The US government has become the poster child of hypocrisy in the world’s eyes. Our foreign policy has grown so large and cumbersome that the benefactors of this complex are literally willing to keep the world at war just to satisfy their thirst for control and wealth. We go around overthrowing or supporting the overthrow of elected democracies as we have and are currently doing in Ukraine, meanwhile ignoring blatantly undemocratic actions by aligned countries, regimes and from within our own government.
When will the Orwellian rhetoric stop? When will this insane foreign police come to an end? How can our government support democracies and constitutions around the world while they undermine our own freedom, democracy and rights at the same time?
I’ll leave you with this warning from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s exit speech on Jan.17,1961:
Courtesy of The Anti-Media.