Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Saudi "Friends" Respond to Criticism

It's interesting to note that our so-called "friends" and "allies" in Saudi Arabia are not immune to criticism. They appear to have responded amazingly quickly to criticism from Daniel Pipes in an article "Uniting To Exclude Saudi Arabian Airlines" published in the New York Sun just eight days ago.

Pipes pointed out that "Saudi Arabian Airlines declares on its English-language Web site that the kingdom bans 'Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David.'"

As I write this, a Google search still shows that text appearing at www.saudiairlines.com/services/travelguide.jsp, but the web site itself has already been changed so this no longer appears. Nor do the warnings that "items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam" and Korans of non-Saudi origin are banned.

The good news is this shows Saudi Arabia sometimes responds to criticism, although I wouldn't advise trying to bring a crucifix or a Magen David into Saudi Arabia. I doubt the Saudis have actually changed any of their obnoxious policies; they're just not publicizing them on the Saudi Arabian Airlines web site.

Daniel Pipes makes suggestions about pressuring Saudi Arabian Airlines, but the issue is much deeper.

Our government generally treats Saudi Arabia with kid gloves, as if it was a friend and ally. Yet this is the country that produced most of the 9/11 hijackers and supplies many if not most of the non-Iraqis fighting our troops in Iraq, terrorizing Iraqis and generally destabilizing Iraq.

We simultaneously subsidize Saudi Arabia to the tune of countless billions of dollars each year, in the form of outrageous oil prices, and we foolishly transfer massive amounts of advanced weaponry to it.

Besides being a repressive regime rooted in a different millenium, Saudi Arabia is fundamentally unstable. We've had prior experience with our arms winding up in the hands of an unremittingly hostile thugocracy. By arming the Shah of Iran, we wound up arming the mullahs who have been in charge of Iran for the last three decades; by arming the Palestinian Authority, we wound up arming the Hamas terrorists who are now in control of Gaza.

Ultimately, the Saudi royal family will be overthrown by the people it has repressed far more and far longer than the Shah ever repressed the people of Iran. When that happens, those weapons will fall into the hands of fanatical enemies even more dangerous than the Iranian mullahs.

How many times will we repeat the mistake of arming our enemies?

2 comments:

R Hampton said...

I track the Saudi funded expansion of militant, extremist Wahhabi Islam on my blog, Wahaudi -- nearly 600 stories from around the world in less than 6 months. http://wahaudi.blogspot.com/

KGS said...

Excellent PrimerPrez....I just knew that your blog would make waves :-)

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