Op-Ed: Western countries choose "Middle Eastern" countries to berate carefully. Take Saudi Arabia for instance, a long-time ally of the USA, this week though that alliance took a battering.
Having worked with CIA agents from the US to support the rebels in Syria, Saudi Royals are now looking further afield.
As military strikes against the Assad regime of Syria look unlikely to happen by western forces Saudi royals are looking elsewhere. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan al-Saud, head of Saudi intelligence, made sure that the US administration knew the recent UN security council seat refusal by Saudi Arabia was aimed at the USA and breaking ties.
A side swipe at their long-time allies.
Anger at the west’s failure to arm rebels and escalate the civil war in order to oust Assad has resulted in a Saudi American rift.
For those who thought a planned military strike on Syria was all about easing the refugee crisis in the country think again. It was always about oil, money, the elite, power, munitions suppliers, and control.
The UK is as bad. British royals visited the kingdom in 2013, yet Saudi has a terrible human rights track record. On the same Middle Eastern trip British Royals, Charles and Camilla, stopped by a Syrian refugee camp to publicize the humanitarian crisis and support the push for western action against Assad, but what about human rights in Saudi Arabia? What about women’s rights
In Saudi Arabia women are not even allowed to drive a car.
Under Saudi law women face tough consequences if they challenge this rule. Protests have taken place in the past and Saturday a group of brave women will once again challenge the no-driving rule. You have to assume they are brave as going against Saudi leaders could lead to stiff punishments.
The protesters have been told that if they get behind the steering wheel of a car Saturday they will be immediately arrested. They may face legal action and be stopped by force.
Yes, it takes a big man to remove a woman from the driving seat of a car.
Dr Mahida Al Ajroush, a prominent Saudi campaigner and psychotherapist told Sky News: "The law says women can drive but the system does not give you a license ... when a woman cannot drive it means she can't go to work on her own, she can't pick up her children, she can't run her errands nor take her children to emergency."
Traditional and powerful clerics are pushing the authorities to clampdown on any protests.
You have to wonder what they are so afraid of? In September one cleric went as far as to claim that driving a car could damage women's ovaries!.
Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are explained on Wikipedia thus:
“Women's rights in Saudi Arabia are defined by Sunni Islam and tribal customs. The Arabian Peninsula is the ancestral home of patriarchal, nomadic tribes, in which separation of women and men and namus (honour) are considered central.
The fact that women will be able to vote and stand for election in 2015 is not reassuring. In a country where women are not allowed to drive it is doubtful those plans will come to fruition.
All women in Saudi must have a male guardian. It can be a father, brother or husband. Whilst reportedly some Saudi women welcome their guardian’s protection and special relationship others do not. It is however non-negotiable.
Women have protested this antiquated rule since 1995. Those arrested in earlier protests were forced to sign agreements that they would not protest again.
The activists website has been hacked by Saudi authorities and threats have been made to potential protesters and those women simply speaking out.
Saudi Arabia may have snubbed its UN seat offer but it is trying to get its own place on the council. Saudi wants a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) seat.
What's that I hear you say? Not a hope in hell?
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