The death of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah ibn-Abdulaziz al-Saud brought out gushing praise from both British and American leaders of what a wonderful man he was. King Abdullah may have been a political ally, and a good partner to United States corporate interests. But was he a humanitarian, a supporter of women’s rights, a man of peace, and a man of wisdom, as our leaders said? I think not.
King Abdullah was a brutal dictator in a land where beheadings, stoning to death of women, and public floggings of dissidents are commonplace. A man was recently sentenced to 1,000 lashes for the crime of stating that church and state matters should be separate. Women have very few human or political rights in this country. In 2014, Freedom House ranked Saudi Arabia as one of the worst countries in the world in regards to personal freedom, civil liberties, and political rights. As for peace, Saudi Arabia has been involved in arming extremist jihadists in Syria. We have all witnessed how that turned out with the emergence of ISIS.
Our leaders may have to go kiss the ring of the new king, but do they have to make all of these false praises for the old king?