Monday, 18 June 2012

David Cameron and his Saudi friends

In response to the death of heir to the House of Saud, Prince Naif bin Abd Al Aziz Al, Prime Minister David Cameron issued the following statement“It is with great sadness that I heard today of the death of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Naif bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. My thoughts are with the Kingdom and its people at this time. I had the pleasure of meeting Crown Prince Naif in January and was struck by the leadership and dedication with which he served his country for so many years.” 

Issuing condolences on the death of a national political figure is one thing (even Kim Jung-Il received them). But expressing personal "pleasure" and "admiration" for one is another entirely. This is a matter of concern when we consider the following facts about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the practices directly decreed by the ruling the theocracy that Cameron is so delighted to fraternise with:

  • Saudi Arabia regularly carries out the execution of its subjects. Capital crimes include apostasy and idolatry (religious thoughtcrimes), homosexuality, adultery and fornication (consensual sexual relations between individuals), sedition (a term generally referring to any political dissent), and witchcraft and sorcery. Execution methods employed for these "crimes" include beheadings, crucifixions, and stonings. 
  • Saudi authorities also regularly engage in non-lethal responses to such felonies, including floggings and amputations of limbs.
  • Saudi Arabia is notorious for its misogynistic treatment of women, virtually amounting to their apartheid and slavery within fundamentalist social roles. Girls are forced into marriage as young as ten; domestic violence and rape, often used to punish any female disobedience, are technically illegal, but often unreported, ignored or used to judicially punish the women victims themselves (for being raped by men, some Saudi women have been executed or tortured for adultery). In the 2006 Qatif rape case, an eighteen year old girl was sentenced to 800 lashes and ten years imprisonment for being gang-raped by a group of men (only being acquitted by King Abdullah due to international outcry, who still ordered the "discretionary" punishment of the rape victim involved). Perhaps David Cameron's advice to them would be to "calm down dear."
  • Most hypocritically relevant to Cameron is King Abdullah's supply of weaponry, including that manufactured by British arms manufacturing and dealing company BAE Systems, to the security forces of Bahrain, used in efforts of mass killing and torture to crush the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement in that country. King Abdullah and Hamad of Bahrain are determined to form a political union between the two kingdoms, in contempt of the significant opposition of the Bahraini people. 
David Cameron is just as keen to rhetorically portray himself as a world leader vapidly supporting the notions of "democracy" and "human rights", as he is to act in his skills as a PR man to defend the Saudi regime's authoritarian brutality and religious totalitarianism, when its geopolitical position pertains to the interests of multinational corporations. It's clear that the domination of the House of Saud is to Cameron what Generals Pinochet, Suharto and Franco, and Saddam Hussein and apartheid South Africa, were to Margaret Thatcher.

No comments:

Post a Comment