Thursday, January 3, 2013

Barack Obama: Dump These 8 Unsavory Allies

January 2, 2013

".......But plenty of governments deserve, if not being directed to the bus, at least being shown the door when it comes to unconditional U.S. support. So-called realists will offer the usual rationalizations for ignoring that prescription. Their view of the national interest, however, is outdated in a world where modern communications make it easy for people to coalesce around grievances and perilous for governments to ignore them. The Arab Spring showed nothing if not the folly of relying on strongmen to bring stability......

Saudi Arabia: Yes, it has lots of oil. But the Saudis, who need cash to fuel their welfare state, are going to sell it regardless of how Obama treats them. Meanwhile, the Saudi monarchy holds thousands in arbitrary detention, imposes archaic restrictions on women, suppresses most dissent, mistreats its Shiite minority, and insists that the neighboring Bahraini monarchy crush its pro-democracy movement. Obama has been silent.

BahrainSaudi Arabia's next-door neighbor is the most glaring exception to Obama's generally supportive posture toward Arab Spring demonstrators. The ruling Al Khalifa family uses lethal force, torture, and arbitrary detention to crush protests. Yet out of deference to Saudi sensibilities and fear of losing the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet base, the Obama administration has allowed its security relationship with Bahrain to trump its concern for the rights of Bahrainis -- a selectivity that undermines its broader support for Arab freedom......"

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