“OUR FEAR OF SAUDI ARABIA” May 16, 2011Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
It is unwise, and not human, to demonize any person or a country, in which case is meant a government supported by what is believed necessity due to it’s oil wealth. Still Robert Fisk is merely pointing out the obvious with respect to Saudi Arabia.
In The Independent, he writes:
Christopher Hill, a former US secretary of state for east Asia who was ambassador to Iraq – and usually a very obedient and un-eloquent American diplomat – wrote the other day that “the notion that a dictator can claim the sovereign right to abuse his people has become unacceptable”.
Unless, of course – and Mr Hill did not mention this – you happen to live in Bahrain. On this tiny island, a Sunni monarchy, the al-Khalifas, rule a majority Shia population and have responded to democratic protests with death sentences, mass arrests, the imprisonment of doctors for letting patients die after protests and an “invitation” to Saudi forces to enter the country. They have also destroyed dozens of Shia mosques with all the thoroughness of a 9/11 pilot. But then, let’s remember that most of the 9/11 killers were indeed Saudis.
And what do we get for it? Silence. Silence in the US media, largely silence in the European press, silence from our own beloved CamerClegg and of course from the White House. And – shame of shame – silence from the Arabs who know where their bread is buttered. That means, of course, also silence from al-Jazeera. I often appear on their otherwise excellent Arabic and English editions, but their failure to mention Bahrain is shameful, a dollop of shit in the dignity that they have brought to reporting in the Middle East. The Emir of Qatar – I know him and like him very much – does not need to belittle his television empire in this way.
. . .
What is this nonsense? Well, I will tell you. It has nothing to do with the Bahrainis or the al-Khalifas. It is all about our fear of Saudi Arabia. Which also means it is about oil. It is about our absolute refusal to remember that 9/11 was committed largely by Saudis. It is about our refusal to remember that Saudi Arabia supported the Taliban, that Bin Laden was a Saudi, that the most cruel version of Islam comes from Saudi Arabia, the land of head-choppers and hand-cutters. It is about a conversation I had with a Bahraini official – a good and decent and honest man – in which I asked him why the Bahraini prime minister could not be elected by a majority Shia population. “The Saudis would never permit it,” he said. Yes, our other friends. The Saudis.
The point made is accurate, I think, although one notices that Robert is getting somewhat carried away. As we all do from time to time. He has not quite reached Pam Geller proportions, but then I suppose his editors might have a word in ear. As for Britain bestriding the world and been influential – I would suggest that Pakistan, through a supportive alliance with China will be more independent of the Military Industrial Complex, which having not been born there I naturally do not understand.
Describing the US Government as the Military Industrial Complex is not too much of an exaggeration, consider this interview with Chris Hedges.
Consider Scott Horton’s interview with Gareth Porter.