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The ‘new’ Saudi Arabia is still a dungeon

The ‘new’ Saudi Arabia is still a dungeon thumbnail

ONCE AGAIN, news from Saudi Arabia points toward the old thinking and not the modern society promised by the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Despite the lofty rhetoric of the crown prince’s “Vision 2030” declaration, he increasingly resembles an earlier generation of leaders with authoritarian methods. Saudi Arabia has been, and seems determined to remain, a dungeon for those who want to practice free speech.

The latest evidence is a wide-ranging crackdown on influential clerics, activists, journalists and writers who have been jailed with hardly any public explanation. A Sept. 12 statement by the government’s new security agency, set up in July by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, hinted darkly that the arrests were caused by “foreign parties” that were trying to hurt “the security of the kingdom and its interests, methodology, capabilities and social peace in order to stir up sedition and prejudice national unity. They were neutralized.”

This vague language masks the fact that many of those arrested were relatively outspoken online, not secret agents plotting against the kingdom. The exact number of arrests is unknown, but some reports say in the dozens. According to Reuters, the roundups included three clerics who are outside the official religious establishment but have large online followings: Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omary. They have previously criticized the government but have recently stayed quiet or failed to publicly back Saudi policies, including the blockade against Qatar. Human Rights Watch says that Saudi authorities imprisoned Mr. Awdah from 1994 to 1999; since 2011, he “has advocated greater democracy and social tolerance.” Mr. Qarni, who has more than 2 million Twitter followers, was banned from tweeting by a court in March that convicted him of jeopardizing public order. He announced the ban on Twitter.

The latest crackdown may reflect Saudi nervousness over any internal dissatisfaction with the kingdom’s blockade of Qatar. Some reports say those arrested may have simply failed to speak up loudly enough in support of official Saudi policies. What better way to make the point than to throw them in jail? Writers and activists are also being hauled into prison.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and its conservative religious establishment are wandering in some earlier century. How to explain the punishment of a severe lashing to blogger Raif Badawi, who has been jailed since 2012 following his online appeal for a more liberal and secular society? His sentence was 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, of which he has been given 50, simply for speaking out. How to explain the recent call by the Saudi authorities on the population to use a phone app to inform on anyone who may be considered subversive? This is how Stalin would have used Twitter.

It is easy to issue fancy blueprints for reform, as the crown prince has done. Building a modern, healthy society is a lot harder. It requires, among other things, actions to guarantee basic rights, including the speech of people you don’t agree with.

Wash Post



27 Comments on "The ‘new’ Saudi Arabia is still a dungeon"

  1. shortonoil on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:30 am 

    As Saudi Arabia burns through it sovereign wealth fund at a rate of $135 billion per year, expect their barbarism and brutally to increase – exponentially.

  2. joe on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 8:09 am 

    They use the phrase ‘religious conservative’. Just to make it clear, there is NO religious difference between Saudi and Isis. Isis merely practiced what Saudi preaches. Thats all. Please Trump, please Putin, I dont want oil, just nuke Saudi, please.

  3. Cloggie on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 9:49 am 

    They use the phrase ‘religious conservative’. Just to make it clear, there is NO religious difference between Saudi and Isis.

    KSA = ISIS + oil (=money).

    The US loves KSA, not for its ideas but because KSA can be used by the US as a “cat flap” to inject unlimited amounts of fresh inked dollars into the world.

    #PetroDollar

  4. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 11:02 am 

    You can’t nuke Saudi Arabia
    just saying I don’t want
    radioactive gasoline…..

    Well, maybe if it has greater acceleration,
    higher octane.

  5. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 11:04 am 

    14th Century culture with 21st Century weapons and technology.
    What could possibly go wrong.

  6. Boat on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 11:16 am 

    clog,

    “The US loves KSA, not for its ideas but because KSA can be used by the US as a “cat flap” to inject unlimited amounts of fresh inked dollars into the world”.

    Also is the best customer and consumer of weapons. An alley against Iran, Syria etc funded terrorists. A great consumer of many other products.

  7. Boat on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 11:29 am 

    Duncan Idaho on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 11:04 am

    14th Century culture with 21st Century weapons and technology.
    What could possibly go wrong.

    Exactly, this is why N Korea, Iran, KSA can’t have nukes.

  8. Anonymouse1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 2:10 pm 

    How about you go find something to watch on TV boatietard? Something on your level, seasame street, 700 club, CNN, all good choices for you. Should keep you entertained and distracted for years.

  9. Sissyfuss on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 2:17 pm 

    The hypocrisy of the US to excoriate the various nations for their lack of human rights and freedoms and to embrace the Saudis as a stabilizing entity of righteousness is madhatter bizarro. Yes, it’s weapons sales and oil and petro dollars but it is also reaping what you sow. The House So Sad has to keep an iron grip on its people because the majority are of the wrong flavor of Islam. When the gate receipts fall to a level so low that buying off the masses becomes impossible, that then will be the epitome of the SHTF.

  10. Mick on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 3:49 pm 

    When the etp model starts to grind down there oil industry in 2 or 3 years they will go back to riding camels
    . Mabey they should start hourding mattresses sofas and old furniture speeds fusion incinerator is going to come in handy to keep the lights on.

  11. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 5:41 pm 

    Sissy, hypocrisy, hubris, arrogance, greed. ALL are adjectives describing the FSofA. Reminds me of one of the Kings of old England that went around talking to trees. Pure insanity. Maybe it is something in the water?

    I know what the collapse of the US will mean for my family and friends there, but I still wish it would happen today. I have lived in a world free of peace for all of my life, mostly because of the US’ desire to rule the world. I would like to see that ability end before my end.

  12. Apneaman on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 5:55 pm 

    Fuck them dumb assed rag heads and their primitive superstitious beliefs. Only a nation full of retards would believe in such things.

    Just 1/3 of Americans “believe” in the theory of evolution by natural selection

    http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/just-13-americans-believe-theory-evolution-natural-selection/

    Many Americans Believe Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

    http://www.extracrispy.com/culture/2992/many-americans-believe-chocolate-milk-comes-from-brown-cows

    One quarter of Americans believe God will intervene in the Super Bowl, survey says

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/02/05/one-quarter-of-americans-believe-god-will-intervene-in-the-super-bowl-survey-says/

    How Many Americans Believe in God, Ghosts, and UFOs? Poll Reveals the Answers

    “The survey also found that “42 perfect of Americans believe in ghosts, 36 percent each believe in creationism and UFOs, 29 percent believe in astrology, 26 percent believe in witches and 24 perfect believe in reincarnation.”

    “Depressing recap: More people (58 percent) believe in the devil (that red guy with horns) than Darwin’s theory of evolution (47 percent), and almost as many people as those who believe in Darwin’s theory believe in ghosts (42 percent).”

    https://www.bustle.com/articles/10964-how-many-americans-believe-in-god-ghosts-and-ufos-poll-reveals-the-answers

  13. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 6:25 pm 

    Ap, the amount of ignorance (denial?)in America is overwhelming. Certainly as evidenced by some of the ‘debaters’ on here. Even in my own family and circle of friends, there are examples of both. Floride in the water? Lead in the air? Drugs? An abysmal education system? All and more.

  14. GregT on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:03 pm 

    I would attribute most Of it to TV Makati, that and the psychology of propaganda that the deep state brought to the U.S. from Nazi Germany.

  15. Davy on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:35 pm 

    “Ap, the amount of ignorance (denial?)in America is overwhelming.”
    And you brought it with you to the P’s because no one is as far off his rocker as you mkat

  16. MASTERMIND on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:37 pm 

    BBC had an article a few years back saying that KSA purchased 12 nuclear bombs from Pakistan in exchange for oil. So now they have the great Islamic H bomb!

  17. MASTERMIND on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:44 pm 

    makati1- you wish your family and friends in the us death. Today? Wow you’re a mean one..Unreal. And totally psychopathic

  18. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:45 pm 

    DD, there you go again! Can’t you come up with a positive to defend the FSofA? Oh, that’s right, there is no positive these days. All negatives.

  19. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:49 pm 

    MM, I wish that the US is taken down to a 3rd world level so that it has to pull ALL of it’s military back into the 50 states and can no longer threaten the world with war. Any deaths will be of its own causing. Not mine.

    Anyone who defends the empire is the psychopath. Look in the mirror.

  20. Davy on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 7:51 pm 

    “makati1- you wish your family and friends in the us death. Today? Wow you’re a mean one..Unreal. And totally psychopathic”

    Exactly MM, it is hilarious how mkat discounts his family as expendable and collateral damage in is anti-American narratives. He sometimes has these moments of slight caring then goes right back to the hate and blood lust. The guy is a sicko!

  21. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 8:12 pm 

    Davy, you love to try to find fault with everyone who disagrees with you. You and muddymind have a very narrow view of life. You like to put words in other peoples mouths to suit your insanity. It doesn’t work. Intelligent people here have your number and it is a negative.

    You are the one who is putting your family in jeopardy by staying in the US when you have an option. Is it about money? It certainly is not about love or concern for them. The drugs and killing in America is exploding and will eventually touch your family.

    My family can take care of itself. I raised my kids to be independent and rational thinkers. So far, they have not disappointed me. All are over 40 now. They are on their own. They will survive. Survival is the name of the game when the SHTF. I’m prepared.

  22. Davy on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 8:21 pm 

    “Davy, you love to try to find fault with everyone who disagrees with you.”
    Mainly just with you, mkat. Most other are for the most part respectable and the name calling is only occasional.

    “You are the one who is putting your family in jeopardy by staying in the US”
    I am staying put and building on what I have to offer my family the best I can give them. I didn’t run away to a faraway land. You will never see that big family except on your Facebook page. I think that is pretty selfish or maybe there is more to it. Was it the boyfriend thing that caused the estrangement with the family? Maybe they want you gone. LOL

  23. makati1 on Thu, 21st Sep 2017 10:07 pm 

    Davy, all you are giving them is a chance to become drug addicts or to be killed in the coming chaos. They are being brainwashed 24/7/365 to be zombies. There will be no future for them there. When the SHTF, the US will be openly 3rd world. Not that Europe will be much better. If you think you can change that you are even more delusional than I suspect.

    I keep telling you that I seldom saw any of my family even when I lived in the US. Scattered all over the country with lives of their own, Dad was important, but not at the top of their “to do” list. Ditto for mom. You have not gotten that far in “family” so you may not understand. Your kids, IF they get to that point, will fly away from home at first chance and you will experience what I have. You may never see them again, even if they live in the next state as they will be “too busy” or the ability to travel will not be possible then. 100 miles or 10,000 makes no difference in that respect.

  24. Cloggie on Fri, 22nd Sep 2017 6:31 am 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OvFLIIFGpk

    Raqqa now for 80% ISIS-free and taken over by a coalition of Kurds and “moderate SDF rebels”.

    500,000 dead.

    Another war instigated by US neocons, in cooperation with already colonies KSA, Qatar and Turkey with the purpose of making Syria a US colony as well.

    It all failed, thank God, thanks to Putin the Great. And Turkey and Qatar could defect from the West as well, if they have not already.

    Now the time has come to destroy the West by Europeans world-wide and liberate it from the 1968 multicult regimes, before they manage to intentionally destroy us with mass immigration from the third world.

    The Russians and Eastern Europeans got rid of their commies. Now it is our turn.

  25. Haji alKidya on Fri, 22nd Sep 2017 2:07 pm 

    Canada, look what you have for a future if you keep heading in the same direction you’re driving. Bill M-103 almost guarantees sharia law will one day arrive in Canada…sooner than you think.

  26. Apneaman on Fri, 22nd Sep 2017 3:54 pm 

    Haji, just stop it with the hair on fire hysterics. You should be talking to the British or French who are the ones currently being blowed up and shot and knifed by radical Muslims. Not so much in Canada. Thanks fer da warning.

    “M-103 is a private member’s motion, which is a “proposal moved by an MP to draw attention to an issue considered urgent or of public interest”, and is not equivalent to a law.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_103

  27. DerHundistlos on Sat, 23rd Sep 2017 6:24 am 

    What do I have in common with:

    1. President Reagan
    2. President Carter
    3. President Nixon
    4. President Kennedy
    5. President Eisenhower
    6. President Harry S. Truman
    7. Dr. J. Allen Hynak
    8. Dr. Hermann Oberth
    9. Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell
    10. Monsignor Corrado Balducci
    11. Canadian Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer
    12. Gemini Astronaut Gordon Cooper
    13. Professor Stephen Hawking
    14. Premier Mikhail Gorbachev
    15. General Douglas MacArthur
    16. UK Air Chief Marshal Lord Hugh Caswall Treenheere Dowding
    17. J. Edgar Hoover
    18. Walter Cronkite
    19. William S. Burroughs
    20. US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Nathan Twining
    21. CIA Director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter
    22. etc, etc.

    All acknowledge the reality of ET UFOs.

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