Saudi Arabia Rules the World
President Bush meets with Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah
Ah, those wild and crazy Saudis. Several recent comments and news items inspired me to scan the news for further fascinating Saudi tidbits. Interesting reading, for being possibly one of the most politically backward and repressive nations in the world, they get surprisingly good press. And even more surprisingly, good treatment by western governments. I suppose having the world’s greatest proven oil reserves gives one certain privileges. Still, having oil reserves didn’t save Saddam Hussein, probably because he wanted all that oil money reinvested in the Middle East instead of Swiss Bank accounts.
For example a man was recently publicly beheaded with a sword, standard justice in Saudi Arabia. Public hangings in Iran are frequently touted as “proof” of how barbaric the Iranians are, yet dozens of public be-headings annually are no big deal in Saudi Arabia? As I said, Saudi Arabia gets surprisingly good press.
There is a scandal going on now in Britain where Saudi Arabia is threatening “sanctions” against the UK unless they drop an investigation into illegal practices involving a Saudi arms deal. (Thanks to Mike for bringing this to my attention.) The Saudis are claiming that the deal they made was secret and that the British government has no right to investigate it. If I understand this correctly, the Saudi’s are saying that they have the right to break the law as long as the details are kept secret? Certainly shows the Saudi government doesn’t hold the western legal system in much stead, understandable I guess. In Saudi Arabia the ruling family is above the law for all practical purposes.
In a lovely complement to my recent blog about Saudi Arabia and the Colorado Justice system, nine women have escaped from Saudi Arabia and recounted being kept as slave labour and being sexually abused. I don’t see any indication that the people responsible for holding them in captivity are even being looked into, let alone charged with anything. Apparently keeping foreign women as slaves is no big deal in Saudi Arabia. I guess this explains why the Saudi Royal family had such trouble understanding why a Saudi in the US was locked up for doing the exact same thing. Jesus wept.
Then of course there’s all the strange goings on around 9-11. Osama is from a wealthy Saudi family, most of the hijackers are Saudis, yet in the days after 9-11 when all flights in the USA were cancelled, the Bush administration made special provision to fly 140 Saudis out of the country, including members of Osama’s family? This is disturbing beyond words; I’m not a big fan of 911 conspiracy theories, but this is awfully hard to explain. The worst crime in American history is perpetrated, yet people who may very well have had information on how the 9-11 attacks were financed and arranged are immediately spirited out of the country? The Saudis may not rule the world, but they apparently rule the Bush Administration.
For some further random information and opinions on the seamier side of Saudi Arabia:
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. It is an historically important image, it is not being used for profit, and it is central to the subject of the post.)