Last week, President Obama met with representatives from six Gulf Arab states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Oman.
The Saudi leader supposedly snubbed Obama because of U.S. negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. A defense minister was sent in the Saudi leader’s place.
Obama attempted to assure the representatives – which did include the leaders from the UAE and Oman – that the U.S. would only lift sanctions against Iran when it is certain that Iran is abiding by its terms of the agreement over its nuclear program.
But that wasn’t the only thing that Obama was providing assurances for. He also said that the U.S. government would respond to any external threats against the six Gulf Arab countries. This could even include using military force.
Why would Obama promise support – which could include military operations – for these six countries that are essentially dictatorships?
Of course, all of these places have oil, which likely comes into play, although the UAE’s economy is now largely dependent on tourism and international finance. Iran has oil too, but there is a major difference in that the government there does not play ball with the wishes of U.S. politicians.
The U.S. government really shouldn’t be providing assurances to any other country, especially when it comes to using military force. This is how world wars get started. You can have one little squabble between two parties and then all of their alliances end up getting involved because of previous pledges.
Obama’s promises to these particular Gulf states is perhaps worse, but not just because they are essentially dictatorships.
It is rather well known that many of these countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, do not treat women very well. They are treated as second-class citizens.
This is rather ironic because of the left’s support for Obama. Here he is supporting these countries that have terrible records in terms of their treatment of women.
Obama and the left like to talk about equal pay for women. This is a ridiculous notion – as if the government is going to set the pay scale of what employers pay their employees, just based on their gender.
Instead of equal pay for women, why can’t Obama and his leftist friends just start by not overtly supporting other governments that routinely violate the rights of women?
Aside from just women, Amnesty International has listed human rights abuses in each of the six countries. Some are worse than others. We have heard the stories of people being executed for things that we would consider minor crimes, or perhaps not even criminal at all. There are problems in all of these places with the governments inhibiting free speech and not allowing dissent against the government.
The UAE is far more economically free than the United States, but even the UAE has problems of the government restricting free speech and expression.
The United States is not exactly a bastion of freedom today as it once was, but supporting other governments that strongly violate civil liberties even more than the U.S. is not a step in the right direction.
Our tax money is wasted on a lot of things, but it seems especially egregious when it is being pledged to fight wars on behalf of dictators in the Middle East. And we already know that our tax money is used to fund and prop up many of these dictators. Without the support of the U.S. government, the House of Saud would likely have fallen a long time ago.
I could say that Obama should focus more of his attention at home, but he has already done a good job of expanding the national surveillance state at home, along with expanding government in other areas as well.
Since he has violated the privacy rights of Americans by spying on our electronic activities, maybe he is now moving on to helping his political friends in the Middle East do the same to their citizens.