I would have done this differently, but it is interesting nonetheless. I found the video here.
It is so good to see that our allies are so good to their own people and to those who work for them. The following is from a story about a domestic worker who has been sentenced to death.
Varia says that because domestic workers in Saudi Arabia are not protected by labor laws, they don’t have access to training, paid leave, reasonable hours or even one day off.
“They’re not seen as real human beings,” she says.
“It is socially accepted to lock your domestic worker inside the house. There are employers who forbid their workers to make phone calls home or write letters or talk to neighbors,” says Varia, who interviewed domestic workers’ employers in Saudi Arabia. “The reason they give is that, ‘We paid a lot of money for this worker, and if I leave the door unlocked, she’ll run away.'”
The problem is so severe that the embassies of Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines in Saudi Arabia can have as many as 150 women staying in embassy shelters because of abuse suffered at the hand of their employer, says Varia
Elder has an interesting story about Saudi Summer Marriages. The more I read about Saudi Arabia the more irritated I become that they are one of our allies.
If you spend any time reading about the policies and positions that Saudi Arabia takes on foreign and domestic issues it becomes all too clear that they are given carte blanche to do things that would bring down UN sanctions on most countries.
All because of the power of oil. It just disgusts me.
The Sudanese ambassador has issued a threat in response to new sanctions on his country. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post.
“It cannot happen,” he said, “so rule it out.” As for the Sudanese regime itself: “We are the agents of peace, people like me, my colleagues who are in the central government of Sudan.”
What’s more, the good and peaceful leaders of Sudan were prepared to retaliate massively: They would cut off shipments of the emulsifier gum arabic, thereby depriving the world of cola.
“I want you to know that the gum arabic which runs all the soft drinks all over the world, including the United States, mainly 80 percent is imported from my country,” the ambassador said after raising a bottle of Coca-Cola.
A reporter asked if Sudan was threatening to “stop the export of gum arabic and bring down the Western world.”
“I can stop that gum arabic and all of us will have lost this,” Khartoum Karl warned anew, beckoning to the Coke bottle. “But I don’t want to go that way.”
Someone better warn this guy not to irritate the Diet Coke drinkers of the world. I know more than a few who will lose their minds without this drink. They say it is not addictive, but we know better. Go through with this threat and ten million housewives will pour into the Sudan and wreak havoc like you have never seen.
Bernard Lewis has an interesting essay here. Two sections for your digestion:
“During the Cold War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians, punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians, journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading inquiries: “What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it right?”
A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and ’80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals–notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnappings of Americans, both official and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released, and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout the period of the Lebanese troubles.
These different responses evoked different treatment. While American policies, institutions and individuals were subject to unremitting criticism and sometimes deadly attack, the Soviets were immune. Their retention of the vast, largely Muslim colonial empire accumulated by the czars in Asia passed unnoticed, as did their propaganda and sometimes action against Muslim beliefs and institutions.”
The second excerpt begins below:
“Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.
We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.”