Ted Obvious writes from Damascus: You know what’s really weird about this crisis surrounding Syria and the efforts of others to solve it? It’s the way some ruthless dictatorships have jumped on the international bandwagon, calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down and let his people enjoy some freedom for once.
Step forward the Saudi royal family, all the 8000 odd members of it, who have been at the front of the efforts to bring down the Assad regime and liberate Syria from the clutches of tyranny. They should be the last people to lecture anyone about freedom and equality and all that other stuff that has become so fashionable when you are plotting to pull off a juicy regime change. And yet, no one seems to be surprised that the House of Saud is actually leading the way in bringing freedom to the people of Syria. (By the way, are we to suppose that the luxury lifestyle that the Saudi royals lead is in strict accordance with the teachings of the Koran? Just wondering, you know.)
Anyway, at that recent odd gathering of ‘friends of Syria’ in Tunisia, a country that is sliding towards a strict fundamentalist arrangement and has less freedom now than under the previous regime, the most vocal critic of Assad and the most fervent supporter of some sort of intervention in Syria was – surprise, surprise – the Saudi delegation headed by that uncompromising foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. He was the one who delivered a passionate speech at the conference, saying that humanitarian aid was not enough and that a more active involvement was vital. All to protect the people of Syria and help them build a healthy democratic state on their troubled soil. Probably among the lines of the one that exists in Saudi Arabia at the moment.
And that was not all. The freedom loving Saudi delegation then walked out from the gathering, citing its ineffectiveness to deal with the crisis in Syria. If that was not proof that the Saudi royals are determined to install democracy in Syria then I don’t know what is.
By the way, for some unknown reason it is accepted as a given that the Saudis are supplying arms to the opposition in Syria, just like it happened in Libya where, as you may know, the new regime is proving to be not much better than the one that was ousted, with the single difference that it seems to be keen on Sharia Law and other attributes of a fundamentalist Islamic state. So the question that comes to mind is this: how come the Saudis are allowed to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign state? And one more: when will the Saudi royal stops pretending that it’s the freedom of Syria that it is preoccupied with, nothing else?
Mind you, serious questions still remain about the way the Saudi regime had crushed its bit of the Arab Spring and then sent its American armed and trained security forces to suppress pro-democracy movement in Bahrain, another country that seems to be concerned with the plight of the Syrian people. And how about those executions in Saudi Arabia that ate happening practically daily now? How come no one is asking these despots about that? Nor forgetting the nasty way the Saudis are treating other religions.
Western government obviously decided to side with the Saudis in carving up a new Middle East. Maybe they should think twice before they start seeing more of the stuff that happened on 9/11.