Aren't we often told that we have to support Israel above all else when it comes to foreign policy decisions regarding the Middle East? And aren't we also told that those who wish harm to Israel are our enemies simply because of their antipathy for Israel? And that states shouldn't sponsor terrorism? And that countries that treat women badly are backwards? And that theocratic, fundamentalist absolute monarchies are anathema to us?
If that's so, why does George Bush stroll hand-in-hand with representatives of Saudi Arabia? After all, we are reminded in an AP report today that:
"Olmert specifically called on Saudi Arabia on Sunday to take the lead in holding a regional conference, the first time Israel has made such a request of the Saudis, who maintain a state of war with Israel but are pushing for a peace deal."
A few facts about Saudi Arabia
Fifteen of the 19 supposed 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
Here's a description of the restrictions on women in Saudia Arabia from Human Rights Watch:
"In interviews with roughly 100 Saudi women academics, educators and medical professionals, Human Rights Watch documented how male guardianship of adult women denies women the right to employment, education, health, and freedom of movement. Government policy often explicitly requires male consent for a range of everyday activities. This system, premised on the idea that women have limited or no legal capacity to act on their own behalf, affects all Saudi women across economic or social divides. While guardianship is construed as a form of protection for women, in fact, it fails to protect some of their most basic rights."
Here's some info from Amnesty International on Saudi Arabia's medieval system of law enforcement:
"There are still scores of political prisoners and possible prisoners of conscience. Saudi Arabia continues to use flogging and amputations as punishments. Executions, beheadings with a sword, occur regularly and are disproportionately carried out against foreign nationals. Foreign workers are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, particularly female domestic workers, who have virtually no protection at all."
And here's some info on Saudi Arabia's relationship with Israel:
"However, the fifth Arab nation contiguous to Israel, Saudi Arabia, now the dominant nation in the Arab League, remains in a formal state of war with Israel, having never agreed to any armistice or any semblance of a peace agreement with Israel. Instead, Saudi Arabia has consistently funded all terror groups at war with Israel, from Hamas to the 10 PLO terror factions based in Damascus.
Saudi Arabia has earned the distinction as the first nation since the Third Reich which is officially "Judenrein" - Jew free. By law, no Jew may visit or live in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia is a known state sponsor of terror and yet is one of the U.S. defense industry's biggest clients.
Saudi Arabia has never made peace with Israel and forbids Jews to even enter their country.
Saudi Arabia calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestianian territories and a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capitol.
Saudi Arabia oppresses women and has a horrible human rights record. Saudi Arabia is not a democracy and makes no pretense of being one--they don't even have demonstration elections.
And according to the official 9/11 story, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
But the Bush admininstration considers Saudi Arabia to be a strong ally in the war on terror. What the fuck is wrong with this picture?
Many of the things we've established about Saudi Arabia were also true of Saddam Hussein. Many of the arguments neocons used to condemn Saddam Hussein (or Arabs and/or Muslims generally) are true of Saudi Arabia. So why was Saddam demonized while Bush holds hands with Prince Abdullah? I would sum up the difference in one word: Petrodollar.