The Hypocrisy of the United States

Few regimes are as tyrannical as Saudi Arabia’s. There, religion not only makes the law (what is imposed is Islamic law), but the most basic human rights are suppressed. “Crimes” like blasphemy and adultery are publicly chastised through particularly absurd forms of punishment. Suffice it to mention the case of Raif Badawi, a blogger condemned to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “daring” to critique the Saudi clergy or the case — which took place in the same month as the Islamic State’s horrendous decapitation of James Foley — of the 19 people who were decapitated for various crimes, including “witchcraft.”

Given these facts, one would think Western governments would exhibit a strong condemnation toward the Saudi monarchy. Doesn’t the West, after all, emphatically condemn human rights violations around the world? Did Western leaders not forcefully denounce the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, marching through the streets of Paris?

The truth, however, is that the West is extremely amenable toward the abuses of one of the few remaining absolute monarchies in the world. As a matter of fact, the United States government — the same administration that led the crusade against Russia’s invasion of Crimea (Ukraine) and that has steadily criticized Latin American tyrannies like Cuba’s and Venezuela’s — is an ally of the Saudi regime. As unbelievable as it may sound, the White House and the Pentagon have mourned, via official communications, the death of king Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz.

Why does an administration that purports to be in favor of world “democratization” remain silent in the face of the crimes of a dictatorship that perpetually infringes upon human rights? It’s very simple: geopolitical interests. Whenever the U.S. government boasts about fighting on behalf of world freedom, it is not telling us the truth — at least not the whole truth. The United States chooses carefully which regimes to critique and which not to critique, all depending on what, at the time, is most favorable toward it — regardless of how authoritarian it may be.

Anyone who thinks this is an exaggeration can compare Obama’s official statements following the deaths of Hugo Chávez and Abdullah, respectively. At the death of Venezuela’s dictator, Obama said in a statement that, “The United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people,” adding that his administration “remain[ed] committed to policies that promote democratic principles.” On the other hand, following the Saudi king’s death, Obama not only issued a statement that was three times longer — employing therein such terms as “courage” and “warm” — but also described the king’s efforts to bring peace to the region as “an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution.” Worse yet, the only thing he said regarding the king’s treatment of his own citizens was that he “was dedicated to the education of his people.” This is a disgrace when we bring to mind all those innocent people subjected to floggings or decapitated for having exercised their freedom.

For a long time, the United States has practiced a type of foreign policy that can at best be described as “convenient.” When a dictatorship acts against its interests, the White House transforms itself into a freedom knight; when it doesn’t, it conveniently keeps quiet. In fact, at this very moment the Department of Defense is initiating an essay contest to honor Abdullah’s memory. What about all the victims of his tyranny? They do not matter: The king was an ally.

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  1. As a citizen of the United States I can only wish that our own-literally bought and sold -news media were as honest as this commentary on the mind boggling hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. Did the working class people here ever decide that King Abdullah was a great friend of the United States, that socialist Cuba was a perennial enemy, that Israel- simply as another STATE -could do no wrong ? And after the collapse of the old Soviet Union we find fault with Czar Putin ?
    I just read Eugene V. Debs’ famous and most instructive ” Canton Speech “. The American plutocracy has always operated under the banner of freedom and democracy. Will young working class Americans continue to die for the same Wilsonian blather that the old socialists ridiculed ? And what cant over FREE SPEECH here ! ” Je Suis Charlie ” Humbug, I tell you. Humbug !
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