The reaction of industrialized countries to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s death reveals not only their hypocrisy concerning human rights, but also lifts the veil on the geopolitical joust behind plummeting oil prices.
The death of the Saudi Arabian king happened at the worst possible moment for Western strategists in Middle Eastern policies. Caught in a situation where they have had to reveal their true allegiances, leaders of several countries have been forced to let their humanist masks fall. They have shown their solidarity with this country that tortures its prisoners with whip lashes and beheads them in public squares. However, a few days ago, these very same leaders denounced the first 50 whip lashes of Raif Badawi’s 10-year sentence. He will receive these lashes 20 more times for having dared to say what he thinks of Riyadh, which enforces a literal version of Islam. In 2014 this tiny country committed the third highest number of executions in the world, of which some were by public beheading.
Everything rings false when you hear leaders of industrialized countries offer their condolences for the death of the Saudi Arabian king. The complete lack of human rights in this country doesn’t seem to have prevented American President Barack Obama from making Saudi Arabia a political and economic ally, a true and warm friend. King Abdullah, although at the head of a country which punishes the crime of apostasy with death, was lauded by the British Prime Minister David Cameron, for his reinforcement of understanding between religions. The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid tribute to him as an ardent defender of peace in the Middle East even though Saudi Arabia executed 87 convicts in 2014 and 78 in 2013. Even top international finance added its voice to this concert of hypocrites. The director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, presented King Abdullah as a man who was, in a discreet way, a great supporter of women. At the head of a monarchy with religious police, he couldn’t, however, be classed among the reformers. Her praise showed her organization’s complete submission to the monarchy of one of the worst countries when it comes to women’s rights. It is the last country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. They have to ask permission from a man before being able to travel, pursue higher education studies, work or get married.
On the other side, the organization Human Rights Watch has held its head up and has continued to defend human rights, something which no Western country has done. All these leaders who marched the streets of Paris to condemn those who forcefully deny the right to speak, didn’t say a word in this sense while they described the king of the country which oppresses this right the most. None of these heads of state asked the new Saudi Arabian monarchy to put an end to the persecution of dissidents, discrimination against women, or to demand the introduction of a fair and impartial legal system. The future, however, doesn’t promise to be brighter for women in this cradle of Wahhabism. The designated successor, Prince Salman ben Abdelaziz al Saud, is 79 years old and will rule over the Majlis as-Shura, the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, without opposition, trade unions or civil society since only local elections are authorized. Salman considers, incidentally, that democracy is not called for in his kingdom and his first decision was to designate Muhammad bin Nayef as his crown prince. How can we understand the fact that Abdelaziz Bouteflika has imposed three days of mourning in Algeria for such a regime? The king’s decision to let gasoline prices fall is the main problem that Algeria currently has to deal with and King Abdullah was the architect of the strategy to maintain high production. The most logical explanation is that he has more affinity with the Saudi Arabian monarchy than with his own people.
The fact that leaders of Western countries so strongly highlight their support for Saudi Arabia, a country that is indifferent to human rights, reveals a lot more about their game than they would like. The organization Amnesty International has caused big ripples by denouncing the many Western countries that have protected the oil monarchy during these decades of human rights violations. Thanks to their petrodollars, given to a great extent by the West, the cradle of Wahhabism has financed a sectarian version of Islam across the world. By showing that the protection and exchange agreement sealed in February 1945 between America and King Ibn Saud still holds, the death of King Abdullah sets the record straight concerning the present oil war. These aren’t American businesses but rather the Russians, the Venezuelans, Iran and Syria who are targeted by this international fall in the price per barrel of oil. As in 1986, Saudi Arabia is deliberately making the price of oil drop at the request of their American friends with the goal of weakening the Soviet Union which lifted its head up a little too much. The affected countries and particularly the Russian President Vladimir Putin can therefore consider this as an intentional act of war and can act accordingly.
About this publication