This post (2 in a row!) is by OldVet…

A first alert story by Agence France-Presse detailed a horrible story of how the rule of law works in Saudi Arabia . The American press, except for Jack McCafferty on CNN, remains largely silent. The US State Department calls the report “astonishing” and moves on at its press briefing.

The followup story by the BBC reports some public comments by American politicians, none of whom are in a position to do anything about the outrage. It also reports that the Saudi Ministry of the Interior has supported the verdict of 200 lashes and six months in prison for a 19 year old Shia rape victim by seven Sunni men, and also warned the public about “agitation through the media.”

“I know who my friends are”

What could account for the strange silence by our leadership? Perhaps it’s the years of business and personal friendships formed between the Bush family and the Saud family, decades of intertwined dealings. Perhaps it’s something more immediate, and temporary. For example a last ditch fling at peacemaking in the Middle East as suggested in this story.

August 1, 2007 · Saudi leaders said they would seriously consider attending a Mideast peace conference later this year.

This pow-wow seems a paltry reason for any of the following: (a) friendship with the Saudi family regime, (b) failure to comment on the lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia, (c) abandonment of human rights as an American policy, or (d) support of theocracies and their brutal ways.

The Quixotic and demented effort by Americans to settle the grievances in the Middle East never had less chance than under the current US administration, IMHO. Why? How about – American armies invading the Muslim world? And is it truly in our national interest to be “united rather than divided” from the ruling “royals” of Saudi Arabia? How would they have treated Princess Diana, to draw an obvious parallel?