For whatever reason, the Obama Administration seems to want to be Iran‘s best friend. The Administration is willing to disregard totally any human rights violations in Iran and dismiss any aggressive military action by Iran in an instant. This represents a major shift in America‘s Middle East Policy. The results are interesting. Saudi Arabia and Israel are beginning to form an alliance with other Middle Eastern countries that fear a nuclear Iran. The countries in the Middle East are much more aware of Iran’s military aspirations than the Obama Administration seems to be.
Tensions in the Middle East increased this past weekend as Saudi Arabia executed forty-seven people. Those executed included Shia cleric and political activist Nimr al-Nimr. The execution resulted in protests in Shiite countries in the Middle East and the burning of the Saudi embassy in Iran. The thing to remember here is that any protest in Iran that is allowed to proceed was sponsored by the government. Iranian citizens who don’t show up to approved protests can face unpleasant consequences.
CNN reported today:
Hillary Clinton said Sunday Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of 47 people, including Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr raises “serious questions” that the U.S. needs to ask the country’s government.
“Clearly this raises serious questions that we have to raise directly with the Saudi government,” Clinton said in response to a Derry town hall question about how she would handle the situation as president.
“We have governments we work with on a number of issues whose policies and values are antithetical to ours, to be just blunt about it. And yet who also have certain interests with us that we are involved in,” she said.
Clinton said she joined other leaders in “statements of concern” about the executions, specifically calling out the Obama administration, European governments and human rights groups.
Our alliance with Saudi Arabia has been somewhat prickly. There are still twenty-eight pages of the 9/11 report that are classified, and many who have seen the report but are not allowed to discuss the content of those pages have implied that they do relate to our relationship with Saudi Arabia. The hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.
When we form alliances with non-western countries, we always run the risk of supporting behavior that is contrary to our basic beliefs. Iran throws homosexuals off of buildings, Saudi Arabia refused to allow women to drive, and building Christian churches is not permitted in either Iran or Saudi Arabia.
As much as I feel that Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is deplorable and I feel that they are funding a large part of radical Islam, I do not consider it wise to shift our alliance from Saudi Arabia to Iran. Iran has been directly targeting Americans for decades. Saudi Arabia has simply turned a blind eye to the Wahabi Islam that has grown up within its borders.
In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson stated the following:
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations: entangling alliances with none.”
When I first encountered that statement, I totally disagreed. Now I see the wisdom of it. However, I would amend it to recommend that we form necessary alliances only with people who share our values. I don’t know how well that would work in today’s world, but obviously what we are currently doing is not working very well.