Europe and the US seem to be addicted to oil and unable to pursue their security interests and moral values in regard to Saudi Arabia. US government reports indicate Saudi support for terrorism and the lack of counter-terrorism coopertation. The State Department determined the non-existence of religous freedom in Saudi Arabia and the non-compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking. While countries without any oil were sanctioned for these violations, the Bush administration spared Saudi Arabia. And the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee canceled unexpectedly a hearing on Saudi incitement in U.S. mosques.
Now in more detail:
According to Rachel Ehrenfeld's Front Page Magazine article:
Under U.S. pressure, Saudi Arabia declared repeatedly that it would close some charities identified as spreading Wahhabism and funding terrorism. However, the GAO report notes that “in May 2005, ...it was unclear whether the government of Saudi Arabia had implemented its plans.” Despite Saudi promises to establish a new National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad, the GAO said: “as of July 2005, this commission was not yet fully operational.” At least two members of the Saudi government, Riyadh Governor Prince Salman and Minister of Defense Prince Sultan, are sponsors of the Saudi High Commission, which evidence in the 9/11 victims lawsuits shows “has long acted as a fully integrated component of al-Qaeda’s logistical and financial support infrastructure.” Moreover, the lawsuits detail that “the Sept. 11 attacks were a direct, intended and foreseeable product of [the High Commission’s] participation in al-Qaeda’s jihadist campaign.”
Law.com reports that this "charity"
cannot be sued for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a federal judge has ruled. Southern District of New York Judge Richard Conway Casey found that the Saudi High Commission was shielded from suit under the act because it presented a prima facie case that it is a foreign sovereign. Because the Saudi High Commission "was formed by order of the Kingdom's governing body, it provides the Kingdom's aid to Bosnia, it is governed by a Saudi official and its employees are civil servants, it is an organ of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Casey wrote in three of the several cases connected to the Sept. 11 attacks that have been consolidated before him by the Panel on Multi-District Litigation under 03 MDL 1570. The court also found that the Saudi High Commission has not waived its sovereign immunity. "
American Future refers to a Freedom House report, that
A hearing by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Saudi incitement in U.S. mosques scheduled for October 25th was cancelled unexpectedly. Israpundit believes:
According to the State Department, religious freedom is non-existent in Saudi Arabia. While Eritrea was punished for lack of religious freedom under the Religious Freedom of Information Act, Saudi Arabia got another waiver for half a year. The San Antonio Express-News editorilized on October 17th:
State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli told the Voice of America that
The Daily Demarche writes about the oppression of Saudi women. It's even worse for many migrants: The US State Deportment's annual survey of international human trafficking states:
Saudi Arabia is a destination for men and women from South and East Asia and East Africa trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation, and for children from Yemen, Afghanistan, and Africa trafficking for forced begging. Hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Kenya migrate voluntarily to Saudi Arabia; some fall into conditions of involuntary servitude, suffering from physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, the withholding of travel documents, restrictions on their freedom of movement and non-consensual contract alterations.
The Government of Saudi Arabia
does not comply with
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not
significant efforts to do so.
Criminal cases are adjudicated under Sharia law, and there is no evidence trafficking victims are accorded legal assistance before and during Sharia legal proceedings. The government should consider adopting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that would punish traffickers, provide for the protection of victims, and facilitate prevention programs. It should also collect and disseminate data on prosecution and mediation efforts, prosecute aggressively cases of physical and sexual abuse using available criminal laws, and increase its efforts to prevent and investigate the trafficking of children for forced begging.
Saudi Arabia is one 14 countries failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers, wrote The Boston Globe on June 3, 2005:
Saudi Arabia implement the US recommendations in the meantime? The SF
Chronicle wrote about the
Of those 14, Bush concluded that
Cambodia and Venezuela were not considered to have made similar adequate improvements. But Bush cleared them nonetheless to receive limited assistance, for such things as combatting trafficking. In the case of Venezuela — which has had a tense relationship with the United States under the leadership of President Hugo Chavez, one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of U.S. foreign policy — Bush also allowed funding for strengthening the political party system and supporting electoral observation.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Ecuador and Kuwait — another U.S. ally in the Middle East — were given a complete pass on any sanctions, Jordan said. Despite periodic differences, oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the United States have a tight alliance built on economic and military cooperation.
That left Myanmar, Cuba and North Korea as the only nations in the list of 14 barred completely from receiving certain kinds of foreign aid.
Perhaps the Bush administration did
not sanction anti-American Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, because the US
imports so much oil from these countries. According to the Department
During the first five months of 2005, Saudi Arabia exported 1.57 million bbl/d of oil (of which 1.51 million bbl/d was crude) to the United States. For this time period, Saudi Arabia ranked fourth (after Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela) as a source of total (crude plus refined products) U.S. oil imports, and third for crude only. Saudi Arabia is eager to maintain and even expand its market share in the United States for a variety of economic and strategic reasons. During the first five months of 2005, Saudi Arabia's share of U.S. crude oil imports was 14.9 percent, up from 13.9 percent during the first five months of 2004.
The Department of Energy believes
Oil, however, fuels the United States and Europe's foes as well. In August The Atlantic Review wrote that SUV drivers undermine US foreign policy by strengthenening anti-American and anti-democratic forces in oil rich countries. Europe and the US seem to be addicted to oil and unable to pursue their national interests and moral principles in regard to oil-rich countries.
Fulbrighter Fahmy Youssef pointed us to a graphic that suggests a strong correlation between President Bush's approval ratings and the gasoline price.
Kirk H. Sowell responded to some of the criticism against Saudi Arabia in his Window on the Arab World.
This post was also quoted by Americans for Freedom...Afghanistan Iraq Lebanon Egypt Syria Saudi Arabia Iran Belarus... and inspired GM Roper to write Our Friends, Allies, Adversaries, The Saudis!.
And Dr. Demarche was so kind to call this post "one of the best I have read when it comes to policy issues, oil dependence and terrorism, linking to a wide array of greatly varied sources."
Linked at: The Mudville Gazette, Euphoric Reality, Cao, , The Uncooperative Blogger, Choose Life, MacStansbury, Iowa Voice, TMH’s Bacon Bits, Everyman Chronicles, Big Dog, Obligatory Anecdotes, Something... and Half of Something, STOPACLU, Publius Rendezvous, Political Teen, 10ft2ft,
Thank you all!