Fareed nailed this one….


When I first read the news headline that Saudi Arabia declined a seat on the United Nations Security Council my first reaction was who cares?  Citing the UN’s inability to solve the Syrian conflict and how Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime continues to kill its one people, including with chemical weapons, without facing any punishment Saudi Arabia has some nerve.  Syria opened itself up tosaudi_arabia_map inspection in ways the Kingdom would never dare do; chemical weapons are no longer an issue there and yes Syria is still embroiled in a civil war but it’s really a matter of degree.  What Middle Eastern Arab country is NOT killing or otherwise oppressing its citizens?  Fareed states the case rather well.

Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks……

Saudi Arabia’s objections to the Obama Administration’s policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi’ite ideology. Riyadh has long treated all other versions and sects of Islam as heresy and condoned the oppression of those groups. A 2009 report from Human Rights Watch details the ways in which the Saudi government, clerics, religious police and schools systematically discriminate against the local Shi’ite population, including arrests, beatings and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition. (And not just the Shi’ites. In March 2012, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti issued a fatwa declaring that it was “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.”)……

Saudi royals have been rattled by the events in their region and beyond. They sense that the discontent that launched the Arab Spring is not absent in their own populace. They fear the rehabilitation of Iran. They also know that the U.S. might very soon find itself entirely independent of Middle Eastern oil.

Given these trends, it is possible that Saudi Arabia worries that a seat on the U.N. Security Council might constrain it from having freedom of action. Or that the position could shine a light on some of its more unorthodox activities. Or that it could force Riyadh to vote on issues it would rather ignore.

The US must learn to say to all those in the Middle East that America will act to preserve its interests and sometime they will not concur with those of our allies in which case we must be able to say good riddance, so long and if an ally has a conniption fit because America is doing something that ally doesn’t like the US must stay the course of whatever interest it has embraced, all others be damned.

 

Why Is this Woman Smiling? C’mon, you know the answer to that!


As’ad AbuKhalil in his blog post asks, regarding the photo above of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife who is smiling after charges were dropped against him, why is she smiling when the dropped charges mean her husband was engaged in consensual sex.  I hope his was a rhetorical question.  A fairer question would be why has corporate media and particularly New York city media taken such a like to an avowed socialist and former communist?

As for the former, Strauss-Kahn has returned to being  one of the most powerful men in the world  after these charges were dropped.  Even though he is no longer in charge of the IMF, a vindicated DSK could declare his candidacy for the presidency of France in an election only a year away. If he were to defeat Sarkozy, the hugely unpopular incumbent, Strauss-Kahn would then govern a country that is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and has the world’s third-biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons. That’s why his wife is smiling.  Power is an aphrodisiac that his wife Anne Sinclair has grown accustomed to and likes.  She lives with, tolerates his very public infidelities in order to remain his wife, close to the center of power.  She has abrogated her role as a wife and taken on the role  of a call girl, prostitute, mistress.  In the process, she is teaching her two sons from her first husband a valuable lesson in how French women are supposed to behave.

I think the answer to the latter question lies in the racial, socio-economic complexities of this case.  An African housekeeper who has a questionable past is far less valuable and certainly more vulnerable than a white reporter reporting during the Arab spring from Cairo, Egypt who claims she was traumatized, raped and then goes into a months long seclusion before emerging to tell her story.  No aspects of Laura Logan’s story were questioned or examined, except by bloggers like us, and consequently journalistically she remains pure and her story blemish free.  Not so for DSK’s victim who faces potential legal action  by DSK himself, which is meant to show to the poor and disenfranchised when they are pitted against the rich and powerful there  is nor should they expect justice.  No doubt that’s another reason why Strauss-Kahn’s wife is smiling.