Saudi Arabia not a friend of the U.S.

VICE News published a depressing story March 14 about some Saudi royalty. Surprisingly enough, it was not another story of a maid being abused by a princess.

Instead, the second wife of King Abdullah went public with claims that her four daughters have been held captive and forcibly drugged for over a decade. Predictably, the United States said and did nothing about this.

After 9/11, President Bush told the people of this now struggling nation that we had to go to war in Afghanistan. He said the Taliban were harboring Osama Bin Laden and that the nation should not be a base for terrorist operations.

However, as the war that started when I was in third grade winds down, I can’t help but think we might not have targeted the right nation.

Out of the 19 hijackers, 15 of them came from Saudi Arabia, according to USA TODAY. There was not a single Afghan citizen among the group.

In addition, Time notes that Saudi Arabia was one of only three governments on earth, along with Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates that recognized the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan.

Maybe I have too much common sense, but those two facts raise some serious red flags. To be fair, the Saudis did confiscate Bin Laden’s passport in the 90s, but when you take into consideration that attempts to investigate that regime’s involvement in 9/11 were covered up by the Bush administration and later reported on by The New York Times and the Huffington Post, it becomes clear that those thugs with a 13th century mindset are hiding something, and it is big.

In addition to possible connections to 9/11, the Saudi regime is also just as brutal as the Taliban regime that once ran Afghanistan. Like the Taliban, the Saudis have a religious police that make sure everyone in the nation adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam. According to Russia Today, the religious police in that nation can arrest Twitter users for promoting witchcraft and sorcery.

That is sad. This is not the fifth century. This sort of unjust treatment of the fairer sex and free thought on the internet has to stop. But it won’t anytime soon.

As long as Saudi Arabia remains an oil producing nation and pays lip service to U.S. interests, they will not be subject to the same criticisms that Iran is at the present. The human rights abuses will go on and they will continue to rob the people of the freedom and basic dignity that they so richly deserve.

– Evan Pretzer is a junior communication major from from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by opinion@dailyevergreen.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.