News Americas, New York, NY, Fri. Feb. 6, 2015: Corruption has many faces. See a group portrait at left.
Sadly most Americans don’t have clue for the fact is that the worst form of corruption is not listed as illegal. It is institutional corruption. The kind of corruption those with power have interpreted as perfectly legal.
I presented it in a different context last episode.
This week enter once again President Barack Obama and the Sauds.
I have written about Obama’s obsequious (look it up) attitude toward the Saud family before and don’t be surprised if I do again; it is a notable way to characterize Obama’s hypocrisy and lack of institutional integrity.
The Bush family’s affection for the Sauds is well known, even legendary; but President Obama while avoiding that kind of collegiality with them or personal benefits from them is in ways that matter most just as culpable.
But as an aside do not be surprised if a few years from now they contribute generously to the work of the Obama library and foundation. Whether or not Obama anticipates them doing so I have no idea. We do know the Clinton Foundation has received many millions from the Saudis to no ones’ surprise.
Back to the present and right now we have another one of those moments when it makes sense to devote some more ink to Obama and the Saudis. It is predicated on the death of the old Saudi so called “king” replaced by one of his relatives the “new” old Saudi so called “king.”
This is highlighted by President Obama’s decision last week to cut short his state visit to India so he could rush to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the Saudi so called “royal family.” What makes them royals they are the super-wealthy goons who stole all the oil and claim it as their own and with their own national army and secret police to insure everyone in Saudi Arabia calls them kings and princes or anything they want to be called and utilizing their huge stock pile of American weapons to insure they keep POWER.
So let me say it again Obama went to Saudi Arabia to pay his RESPECTS in effect the respect of all Americans pay our respect to goons who operate one of the most repressive regimes on Earth where democracy is a very dirty word punishable by a thousand lashes, life imprisonment or beheading. The only good news here is that Obama did not bow to the Saudi “king” this trip.
So how can you justify Obama going to pay his “respects” to the Saud family, as spurious as it is the only way is in admitting that the U.S. is a traditionalist imperial power ever eager to make alliances with any despot anywhere who has some resource the U.S. wants and/or can be employed to fight American enemies real or imagined. The problem is Presidents l never admit to calling the U.S. a typical imperial power. Well Obama does not have to say anything his actions speak very well to expose this reality.
It turns out to be fortuitous in its own way I waited a week to write about Obama and the Saudis because only in recent days has the matter of the Saudi clown “kings and princes” and the 9/11 attacks surfaced one more time. It is all part of a unified story of this unholy alliance Obama embraces.
Let’s stay with the main issue for a moment and let me turn to one of my more occasional media ‘partners’ to graphically explore the reality of the Saud family and those Obama calls our close friends and allies.
This is from the January 31st issue of The Economist ..
Titled “Keeping it in the Family” …
“Saudi Arabia still lives by a particularly puritanical strain of Islam and severely limits the rights of its women—including the right to drive cars and to travel abroad without permission from a male relative.”
“One reason is the enduring pact between the Al Saud dynasty and the Wahhabi clerics. In exchange for conferring religious legitimacy on the family, the state helps the clerics impose an extreme brand of Islamic law that includes stoning adulterers and flogging of dissenters, such as the liberal blogger, Raif Badawi, who dared to mock clerics for, among other things, claiming that astronomy provokes skepticism of sharia, or Islamic law.”
The Economist article does not focus on the other issue that Saudi Arabia under the Al Saud family is noting more than a family dictatorship. There is nothing close to anything you could call an election and there is no reason to believe there will ever be any as long as the Sauds rule.
There is nothing new in repeating information about this tyrannical abusive regime except that it is worth repeating again and again s we never forget. But allow me to add one very current example of the reality.
Let me use U.S. News & World Report on 2/4/15 as my source ….
“In 2013, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced 31-year-old Saudi blogger Raif Badawi to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. Last year, an appeals court decided the sentence was not harsh enough and increased the punishment to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million riyals (equivalent to over a quarter of a million dollars). Badawi’s “crime” is nothing more than expressing religious and political dissent, including such dastardly acts as running a website called Free Saudi Liberals and liking the Facebook page of a group of Arab Christians.”
That’s right Saudi Raif Badawi’s crime “blogging.” Did President Obama raise the issue while paying “respects” on his visit to the Saud family that controls the criminal code that provides for this kind of punishment? The White House said it would have been “inappropriate” to do so.
Now let’s get to the Saud family, 9/11, terrorism and the Wahhabi clerics.
Here I will go to my most reliable sources The New York Times, the most useful media ‘partner’ for Obama’s America. It has just been revealed it turns out Al Qaeda ‘super star’ terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui locked up for life in the most secure super max prison in the U.S. decided he wanted to spill some beans about the truth about the Saudi “royals.”
Here is what he said in a court deposition according to NY Times ….
“In highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.”
Let’s repeat part of that. Moussaoui testified … “prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s,” which leads us to the even wider story of the role of the Saud family in the 9/11 attacks. Most of the hijackers were Saudi citizens we all know. But where did they get the money they needed we think we know.
That right the “royal” Saud family those ‘wonderful’ despots President Obama just went to pay his “respects.” How impressive is that?
Back to The New York Times and another story …
“A still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years — 28 pages that examine crucial support given the hijackers and that by all accounts implicate prominent Saudis in financing terrorism.”
“Now new claims by Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted former member of Al Qaeda, that he had high-level contact with officials of the Saudi government in the prelude to Sept. 11 have brought renewed attention to the inquiry’s withheld findings, which lawmakers and relatives of those killed in the attacks have tried unsuccessfully to declassify.”
“Proponents of releasing Part 4, titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain National Security Matters,” have suggested that the Bush and Obama administrations have held it back for fear of alienating an influential military and economic partner rather than for any national security consideration.”
So what is the difference between the Bushs’ and Obama in their worship of the Saudi goons nothing really, and I predict even less once Obama starts shaking his golden cup for contributions to his post Presidency foundation. Indeed for Obama cynics like me the Saud millions were already dancing in Barack’s head when he went to pay his “respects” to them last week.
So here is the point of this week’s episode if Noble Pace Prize winner Barack Obama was the President we thought we elected in 2008 this is just one more example of his duplicity and lack of integrity. And far worse Obama’s lack of understanding of how to keep America great in the 21st century. It is not by consorting with these Saudi goons.
Here is what the Obama I thought I was voting for would have done.
President Obama would have REFUSED to go and pay his ”respects” to these despots rather 6 years into his Presidency he would have cut them off as an ally if they had not changed their form of government, held normal elections by now and have ended repression and torture as their means of control. If anything the Sauds are more repressive than ever since Barack Obama has been President and nothing has improved there the last 6 years.
Excuse me there has been one change.
This time Obama did not bow to the Saudi clown “king.”
In Obama’s America that passes for progress. What a joke.