I have said for quite some time that the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is going to have to be addressed, and addressed thoroughly, if we are going to be consistent in the war on terror. But there are few signs that this is going to happen anytime soon. Here is more evidence that Washington is still busy placating the House of Saud: “The Bush administration has termed Saudi Arabia as the worst violator of religious freedom in the Middle East, but refrained from placing the kingdom in a category that would have resulted in U.S. arms sanctions.” This from Middle East Newsline.
“A State Department report cited Saudi Arabia as the most flagrant violator of religious freedom in the region. They said the Saudi kingdom continues to display hostility toward non-Islamic religions despite numerous U.S. appeals.
“‘Freedom of religion does not exist in Saudi Arabia,’ the report said. ‘Muslims not adhering to the officially sanctioned version faced harassment at the hands of the [religious police].’
“But the report, dismissing a recommendation by a congressionally-mandated U.S. commission, avoided placing Saudi Arabia in a category termed ‘countries of particular concern.’ The six countries in that category have been subject to a range of U.S. sanctions, including a ban on the delivery of U.S. military platforms. Saudi Arabia is the biggest client of U.S. weaponry and has been negotiating several major deals to modernize the kingdom’s military and National Guard.”