A young man is about to be beheaded and then have his body crucified in public.
Sounds like some novel that takes place at the time of the Inquisition, but this is very real and is scheduled to happen in Saudi Arabia this week. What great crime did this young man, Mohammed Al Nimr, commit to warrant such a punishment?
Did he commit mass murder? No, in fact he killed no one!
Did he rape young children? No, in fact he raped no one!
Did he blaspheme the Prophet Mohammed? No he did not!
Did he defile a sacred Mosque? No he did no such thing!
So what did he do to warrant such a heinous, medieval punishment? He spoke out against the Saudi Monarchy and participated in protests against them. The official charges include: "..breaking allegiance with the ruler, going out to a number of marches, demonstrations, and gatherings against the state and repeating some chants against the state."
Let's remember, this is our great ally in the Middle East...our bastion of support for western civilization, a beacon of excellence...REALLY???
The UN Human Rights Commission has condemned Israel no fewer than 61 times in the past 9 years for human rights violations...Saudi Arabia? Never. Yemen? Never. Afghanistan? (see my post of a few days on Afghanistan) Never. Somalia? Never.
Clearly all of these countries must be so squeaky clean that they fully honor and respect the rights of their children and all citizens, and only Israel does not...at least by UNHRC standards.
How very comical this is.
Back to our young man in Saudi Arabia. He was merely 16 when he committed the absolutely heinous act of speaking out against the Monarchy and sought freedom of expression in one of the world's most oppressive states...BUT we must remember that Saudi Arabia has vast reserves of oil (perhaps as much as 20% of the world's supply) and oil is much more valuable than human rights or the life of a young man who uses words instead of guns to try to make his point.
But Mr. Al Nimr isn't the only one... another young Saudi, Raif Badawi, has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes...yes 1,000 lashes because he spoke out against the Monarchy!
Don't we all agree that these punishments are just?
Well I do NOT!
And that is not all. To make this even more surreal the UN just named Faisal Bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, as the Chairman of a major group on the UN's Human Rights Panel, thus giving him control of any potential criticism or sanctions. How can a representative of a Government that murders and beats the life out its people merely for speaking out be put in charge of any UN Human Rights Panel? I dare not ask the question...but I can explain this in one word. OUTRAGEOUS! Oil is power and people are expendable.
The government of the United States should have the courage to tell the Saudi's that if they carry out this awful decree, all military aid and shipments of weapons to the Kingdom will be halted and all funds due for payment of oil shipped to the USA will be frozen. Let them turn to Russia and learn what a wonderful and reliable partner the Russians can be as they exact their pound of flesh.
And the UN? Well the UN should be sanctioned by its own Human Rights Commission...oh, I forgot, the Saudi's control that Commission...how stupid of me.