Filed under Op-Ed

Time’s Up For Saudi Arabia

The time has come for the world to stop complying with Saudi Arabia's constant human rights abuses.

Standing+empty%2C+the+United+Nations+serves+as+a+meeting+ground+for+countries+to+collectively+deal+with+international+
Standing empty, the United Nations serves as a meeting ground for countries to collectively deal with international

Standing empty, the United Nations serves as a meeting ground for countries to collectively deal with international

By Mr Bullitt (Photo taken by Mr Bullitt from Sweden) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mr Bullitt (Photo taken by Mr Bullitt from Sweden) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Standing empty, the United Nations serves as a meeting ground for countries to collectively deal with international

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Conflict. Death. Corruption. What do these all have in common? They’re all aspects of Saudi Arabia. For years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has maintained its position as one of the top oil producing countries in the entire world. As a result, the Saudi Government holds immense power in the Middle East and strong influence over governments throughout the world. Due to its influence, Saudi Arabia has been able to get away with abuses and atrocities. Even though they hold immense power, it’s about time that the US should start considering to cut ties with the Saudi Regime.

Meeting at White House, US President Donald Trump and Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salaman discuss important issues that impact each country.

Saudi Arabia has committed both foreign and domestic abuses, but for now, let’s talk about their domestic policy. The monarchs of the kingdom are extremely tyrannical and oppressive in the way they govern. While the Prince Mohammed bin Salaman has portrayed himself as a “reformer,” he has largely continued the human rights abuses that have been part of the kingdom since its inception. According to Business Insider, these abuses include cracking down on freedom of speech and press and jailing people without a trial. Perhaps one of worst abuses,  is that they have the death penalty for actions that shouldn’t be considered punishable crimes such as infidelity or “sorcery.”

 An example of their crackdown on the press is that they have recently come under fire for allegedly killing Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who was critical of the Saudi Regime. On October 2nd, 2018, according to multiple news sourcesKhashoggi went missing, creating suspicion towards to the country, as they have been known to be aggressive towards their critics.  This alleged assassination has drawn criticism from the entire world, costing Saudi Arabia a multitude of business deals.

Gathering for basic needs, Yemeni civilians still suffer from the damage of the ongoing Yemeni Civil War.

While Saudi Arabia has conducted a multitude of human rights violations within its borders, it has also committed atrocities and abuses in other countries. In recent times, they have been involved in brutal attacks in Yemen. In 2012, the Sunni government of Yemen lost its power due to Shia Houthi Rebels forming a rebellion against the government. Since Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim Theocracy, they do not want Shia Muslims in power in Yemen. As a result, they have been relentless in their military efforts in Yemen, consistently violating international law with their tactics. For instance, they have made use of chemical weapons, specifically White Phosphorus, which can burn human flesh to the bone. They have also used cluster bombs, which, along with chemical weapons, are strictly prohibited under international law. On top of that, the Saudis have created a naval blockade around Yemen, making it so that food and medical supplies cannot reach the suffering civilians. These actions are inexcusable, as Saudi Arabia has shown no respect for civilian lives. Some studies estimate that around 48,000 civilians have died as a result of actions of the Saudis. As this has made clear, Saudi Arabia desires Sunni control of the Middle East, and they do not care how many civilians will have to die in order to achieve it.

Jamal Khashoggi, the missing journalist for the Wall Street Journal, who was critical of the Saudi Regime.

The malevolence doesn’t end here. Throughout the years, it has been discovered that Saudi Arabia both directly and indirectly funds Sunni-aligned terrorists and militant groups. Since Saudi Arabia is a Theocracy, they are largely driven by ideology. Due to this fact, they fund unsavory characters that will help them achieve their goal of practically wiping out any Shia power in the Middle East, making Iran their number one target.

After being presented with this information, there is only one accurate way to describe Saudi Arabia: a brutal theocracy. One may question why our country, our government, a government that touts the values of freedom and democracy, still funds and supports a brutal monarchy? It’s a simple answer: corruption. Saudi Arabia has had heavy influence in the US, since the Bush administration and 9/11. For the past 20 years, Saudi officials have come to the White House to discuss official policy and make deals with the US. Most recently, Trump negotiated a 100 Billion dollar weapons deal with the Saudi Regime, further increasing the scope of the toxic relationship.

Unfortunately, our public has remained largely ignorant about this brutal regime. “I honestly didn’t know much about Saudi Arabia before that journalist was killed”. Zach Yelich, Lafayette High School, 12th Grader said. This reflects both a problem with public interest and media coverage of certain topics. Overall, while most have just heard about the abuses conducted by Saudi Arabia, it is about time for the public to speak up and encourage this administration to stop supporting this brutal regime.

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Time’s Up For Saudi Arabia