Monday, May 11, 2015

Let them snub

I'm having a hard time seeing what the downside would be to having Saudi Arabia be less close to the U.S.

The KSA is everything that the U.S. regularly accuses Iran of being, it is intolerant of dissent, deprives women and minorities of their basic rights, sponsors anti-American terrorist groups in various parts of the world, etc. Except that those criticisms are more accurate when they are directed at the KSA than when they are at Iran. Saudi Arabia, not Iran. Al Qaeda-central was a Saudi-dominated group (bin Laden and 15 of the 19 terrorists on the planes in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi). Saudi women are not permitted to travel without a male relative, have virtually no political rights, and are prohibited from driving. While Iran is a terrible place for women's rights when compared with the West, Iranian women can vote, drive, and travel without a male escort. No Saudi citizen can be Jewish or Christian. It is illegal to be a non-Muslim religious minority in the country unless you are a foreigner. In Iran, there are designated seats for Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians in the Iranian parliament (although again, all non-Muslims face very real discrimination in Iran).On top of that, Saudi paranoia about the Shia (including Iran) has infected U.S. policy considerations and warps American views of the region.

I don't think that the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia to be an enemy, but it would not hurt the U.S. for it to be a little less close with the Wahhabi kingdom.