Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More on 'rebels without a clue'

The newspapers are having a field day criticising King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's visit. Whilst I'm no fan of his, I find the hypocrisy of these human rights activists and journalists astonishing. Yes, their accusations against Saudi Arabia are all perfectly true, but why oh why do they keep up the pretence that somehow the United Kingdom and it's government are better and thus that they should somehow be disappointed with it's position? Do they really expect any better or that they themselves are better? It takes two to tango or have they forgotten the history of their own country? Apart from "Empire" and it's racism there is also the apalling tradition of undermining governments in Africa and the Middle East and more recently, the invasion of Iraq, the stance on US "rendition", the fact Britain is a major weapons manufacturer and exporter, it's outrageous and criminal support of Israel's 2006 attack in Lebanon and it's continued support for Israel's 'right to exist' and erasure of the Palestinians. I don't like King Abdullah, but please spare me the self righteous indignation.

2 comments:

nadia n said...

i understand where you are coming from...but at the same time it's a point of view that i find frustrating. when you made your rant about the saudis a couple of posts down, do you feel it was necessary to make a symmetrical comparison between what happens there and in russia or syria? do you think that's something that should be done every time?

i don't know. say every time i will bring up race issues in the united states, some defensive american guy will immediately bring up "yah but what about you arabs that do this and this." and any time i talk about say, saudi or what some of the militias are doing in iraq, an overly difensive muslim guy will come in and say "well what about what christian militias are doing in african country x?"

i mean, yes, it's all true, but what did it have to do with what i was originally talking about? do we really need to turn everything into america vs. "america bashers"; muslims vs. christians, etc? i just wish i could say anything about anything without it being taken as some kind of demonization.

وسيم said...

Hi Nadia,
That's a good point, the injustice does deserve to be condemned in and of itself rather than negating its 'importance' by saying "everybody" does it, or deflecting the blame elsewhere. I guess my main rant was just that and other articles on Syria or Russia would probably deal with just those problems too.

This post was actually more about the relationship of these critics with their own government and how they perceived it. For example, the Saudis or Jordanians might express outrage at a visit by Condoleeza Rice, but they do so knowing full well that their own governments have betrayed them and do not represent them. I don't think critics in this country make that distinction, probably because of the different style of government they hold and alleged accountability.

I agree with you though, we should be able to make a stand of principle without being demonised or having the argument shifted elsewhere.