It has almost reached the point when I miss the good old days of the eighties, when the difference between right and wrong in American foreign policy seemed straightforward, with little to no justification or intellectual merit to arguments advocating, say, support of the apartheid regime in South Africa, or American involvement in, and support of, dictatorships throughout the world (which is still more or less a problem these days, as well).
However, there is one country that is bad news, and that is Saudi Arabia. Everything that you hear about that country just kind of makes you shake your head and ask, "Why?"
Women are not allowed to vote, to drive, to dress as they want to. There are still public executions, public beheadings. Slavery was only outlawed there in 1960, and they still have what essentially amounts to pseudo-slavery (not all that dissimilar to apartheid or Jim Crow segregation) with immigrant workers. There are highways there that are Muslims Only, where anyone not of the Muslim faith is not allowed to drive, and the entire city of Mecca is forbidden to anyone not of the Muslim faith. They support extremist sects of Islam, and the major sources of funding for such groups have consistently come from Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden himself came from Saudi Arabia, and so did a majority of the hijackers on 9/11.
One thing after another, and none of it good.
Kind of makes you wonder why American leaders seem to always consider them our allies.
Why? Well, actually, that is simple enough, isn't it? The reason, pure and simple, is that they have oil. A lot of oil. And rich people there have helped numerous prominent American families to gain much greater wealth, not least of all, the Bush family.
Yes, it is clear why American leaders have traditionally had close ties with Saudi Arabia, and why they are considered an ally officially.
The real question is why the reality of the horrific Saudi regime, and crucial American and Western support of it, remains unquestioned by major news media. Why are there not mass protests against Saudi Arabia's backwards policies today, like there were against those of apartheid South Africa decades ago?
I have pondered that question at times, particularly these last few weeks, when it feels like we are edging ever closer to a true World War III. Apartheid in South Africa was harshly criticized by many before the 1980's, but the popular anti-apartheid protests really went up a few notches in the eighties. Hopefully, the same thing will happen with American (and western) involvement with that seemingly criminal regime.
Until then, we need to stay informed. So to that end, here are some links relating to this subject matter, which hopefully sheds some light on the paradox of Saudi Arabia being an accepted regime in the world, even rather incredibly being elected to chair the United Nations Human Rights Council Panel (imagine the outcry if South Africa had received this benefit during the days of apartheid!), and a couple of gruesome public executions that took place in Saudi Arabia, a modern nation in terms of technology, but one that subscribes to a way of thinking centuries behind the times. It feels like Saudi Arabia is the most backwards nation on earth, even more of a basket case than North Korea.
Please take a look at these links for yourself:
16 Things That Could Get You Executed In Saudi Arabia:
Again: Saudi Arabia Elected Chair of UN Human Rights Council Panel:
Human Rights Activist To Be Crucified & Beheaded By US Ally By Jay Syrmopoulos on September 19, 2015: