Let’s not talk about Saudi Arabia
Let’s not talk about Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, September 16,2008 10:07
By Shadi Hamid

It"s been 7 years since 9/11 and, yet, it"s really quite remarkable how we have done very little to recast our relationship with Saudi Arabia. I bring this up because a couple days ago, one of Saudi Arabia"s most senior judges declared that the owners of "immoral" Satellite channels could essentially be murdered for their sins. The thing is all of us know that Saudi Arabia is a pernicious force in the Muslim world, continuing to propagate extreme interpretations of Islam. It is also one of the most authoritarian countries in the world, right up there with Burma, Libya, Syria, and North Korea.

Yet we just signed a multi-billion arms deal with the Saudis earlier this year. It is really quite remarkable when you think about it how little this has been talked about by the presidential campaigns. But then again, there hasn"t really been much discussion this election season about much on the Middle East besides Iraq/Iran, even though those two countries are two parts of a much bigger problem. Saudi Arabia would be an obvious place to start, since most reasonable people can agree that our relationship with the Saudis is problematic not just from a moral standpoint, but also from the perspective of U.S. national security interests.