How Saudi Arabia Inhibits Democracy and Progress in the Arab World
[By Arezki Daoud | firstname.lastname@example.org | 508-981-6937 | Twitter: @northafrica] President Obama’s Middle East and North Africa speech of May 19, 2011 was promising and encouraging yet incomplete. Setting aside the mine field of the never ending and unsolvable Arab-Israeli conflict, the speech will likely be a source of more strength for pro-democracy activists in some Arab nations as it confirmes America’s siding with the right side of history in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. But while the President managed to clearly define some of the key issues that led to the Arab revolt and provided some directions as what he expects the outcome to be, he has avoided focusing on the actions of a highly disruptive nation, a partner of the US, that has long been source of repression and insecurity worldwide. For those of you who wonder who this partner is, consider this basic quiz: What do the following statements have in common?1- It protected dictator Ben Ali when he fled his country
2- It sided with Mubarak and provided him support when his people demanded his departure
3- It sent heavily armed troops to Bahrain to discipline the Bahraini people who were seeking some democracy
4- It invited the Monarchies of Morocco and Jordan to join the Cartel of Kings to protect the interests of Arab royalties
5- Many of its shadowy characters support and finance international terrorism
6- The key leaders of Al Qaeda are from that country
If your response is Saudi Arabia, then you passed the test. By Saudi Arabia I do not mean the people. In fact, the people of Saudi Arabia are some of the most repressed individuals on earth. In particular if you are woman, tough luck. You have the right to remain covered and serve the males around you. You are not allowed to drive and if you attend university, your chances of working would be like winning the lottery. Indeed, women make up 5% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia. Like Iran, Saudi Arabia has a bizarre enforcement system in form of religious police that are used, let’s face it, to perpetuate the reign of a few families in the name of religion. Continue here | Not a subscriber? follow this link | Join our mailing list.