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 to 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.
- US, Saudi Arabia Differ on Tactics, Agree on Goals in Syria (voanews.com)
- Why phone call threatens longtime US-Saudi alliance (worldnews.nbcnews.com)