Very upsetting article, but confirms by thoughts of these digusting Saudi royals.
This horrendous aritlce underscores one thing, and one thing alone. The US NEEDS to END ITS DEPENDENCE ON SAUDI OIL NOW.
Because politics in in countries dependent on oil become totally focused on who controls the oil revenues — rather than on how to improve the skills and education of both their men and women, how to build a rule of law and a legitimate state in which people feel some ownership, and how to build an honest economy that is open and attractive to investors.
In short, countries with oil can flourish under repression — as long as they just drill a hole in the right place. Think of Saudi Arabia, Libya or Iraq. Countries without oil can flourish only if they drill their own people's minds and unlock their energies with the keys of freedom. Think of Japan, Taiwan or India.
QatarAirways: Do you think Saudi Arabia would be able to keep most of its women unemployed and behind veils if it didn't have petrodollars to replace their energies?
Do you think it is an accident that the most open and democratizing Arab countries — Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Dubai and Qatar — are those with either no oil or dwindling oil reserves? They've had to learn how to tap the talents of their people rather than their sand dunes.
The Saudi ruling family stays in power not by a democratic vote but by a bargain with the conservative Wahhabi Muslim religious establishment. The Wahhabi clerics bless the regime and give it legitimacy — in the absence of any democratic elections. In return, the regime gives the Wahhabis oil money, which they use to propagate a puritanical version of Islam that is hostile to the West, to women, to modernity and to all non-Muslim faiths.
This bargain suits the Saudi rulers well. If the Royal Family empowered the secularized, pro-American Saudis, and not the Wahhabi clerics, it would not be long before they demanded things like transparency in budgeting, accountability and representation. The Wahhabi religious establishment, by contrast, doesn't care how corrupt the ruling family is in private — as long it keeps paying off the clerics and gives them a free hand to impose Wahhabi dogma on Saudi society, media and education, and to export it abroad.
Many on here question US support for Israel, citing a 30 year old military blunder. The real question is US support for Saudi, a country that gives huge oil resources to the Wahhabi conservatives, which they use to build mosques and schools that preach against tolerance, pluralism and modernity across the Muslim world — and in America. And it is our oil addiction that keeps us from ever confronting the Saudis on this. Addicts never tell the truth to their pushers.