Skip to comments.Riyadh Scores One for Tehran
Posted on 03/24/2011 12:10:11 AM PDT by cunning_fish
The democratic currents sweeping the Middle East have created unease, even consternation, in Washington and European capitals. These democratic governments all formally welcome democracy in the Arab world, but fear losing friendly tyrants with whom the West long did business. Libya was an easier case, at least in the U.S., since American support for Muammar Qaddafi was minimal. Despite the lack of U.S. security interests at stake, a no-fly zone seemed to offer the possibility of defenestrating a corrupt and anti-Western tyrant.
The real test of American commitment to democracy is long-time ally Saudi Arabia. U.S. and Saudi Arabian troops conducted a joint military training exercise in early March. Riyadh acts as the critical swing oil producer, upon which Washington long has relied to stabilize the international oil market. Saudi Arabia also is a major arms buyer. Perhaps most important, the Saudi royals have spread their wealth around Washington, collecting many influential friends.
Unfortunately, Riyadh also is essentially a totalitarian theocracy. A handful of feeble gerontocrats rule and 7,000 princes mulct a nation of 27 million. There are no elections or civil liberties and non-Muslims cannot even freely worship at home. The Saudi government underwrites fundamentalist Islam around the world and Saudi citizens have provided substantial financial support for terrorism. Yet U.S. officials say little to encourage the Saudi royals to adopt democratic reforms. Not that the well-heeled princes are interested in American political values. Theyre not in a mode for listening, one administration official recently told the New York Times. The regime in Riyadh always has used whatever force was necessary for self-preservation. Now Saudi Arabia has adopted Washingtons strategy of imposing its values abroad, moving troops into neighboring Bahrain. Riyadh intends to stifle Bahrains growing democracy movement and preserve the Khalifa family dictatorship.
What should Washington do?
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalinterest.org ...
The author threw away every shred of credibility behind all if his high-minded talk of western values with that sentence. If Saddam Hussein's brutal rule was acceptable on the basis of being a check on Iran then any gripe about the internal brutality in SA or Bahrain or anywhere else is hypocritical so long as they keep the oil flowing.
That shouldn't bother the 0bangbang administration since his SecState Hillary began their foreign policy by publically telling China not to sweat their human rights violations.
It is an excellent article though in spite of that glaring inconsistency.
So no blood for oil,saudis financed 911,got it.
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