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Vergara Cid on Biden’s Friendly Fist Bump with Saudi Arabia

Writes Agustina Vergara Cid on “Saudi Oil Isn’t Worth the Betrayal of American Values“:

…In an op-ed for the Washington Post, the president claimed that the goal of his visit was “to strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values.” But this is a fantasy: everything about the Saudi regime is hostile to fundamental American values.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute Islamic monarchy. The ultimate authority, even on judicial matters, is the king. Citizens have no rights or due process — the legal system is based on Sharia law, which empowers the state to control every aspect of people’s lives, including what they can think and say…. Just as there’s no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of thought: those who renounce Islam are subject to public decapitation. Dissent is punished by lashings, torture, wrongful imprisonment, kidnapping (see the case of Loujain al-Hathloul) and murder.

…Biden said that he is “not going to remain silent” when it comes to “a clear violation of human rights.” But what does that lack of silence mean if it has no implications for how he acts towards the perpetrators? Is empty finger wagging what Biden means by “holding true to fundamental American values”?

By the very act of sitting at the table with the Saudis, President Biden has whitewashed the regime’s despotic nature and crimes. He has empowered the regime by giving it a moral sanction.

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