The truth about Saudi Arabia is that they have an inhumane record where human rights are concerned. The country treats women poorly; they are super sensitive to Western criticism, and it was less than four months ago when they executed 47 people for alleged terrorism-related offenses. The Saudi connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers on 9/11/01 is not disputable. None of these terrible truths, however, have stopped President Obama from lobbying against a pending bill in Congress that would hold the Saudis responsible in American courts for their roles in the attack
The Saudis have threatened to sell off $750 billion in assets they have in the United States if the bill passes. Obama takes the position that passage would add to the list of threats to America’s security in the region. Family and friends of the 9/11 victims are infuriated with the President, and many feel that he has had the Saudi’s backs since the attack: Knowledge as to the extent of their involvement has been hampered by the failure of the U.S. to promptly release publicly a report compiled by the 9/11 Commission.
Canada is also walking on eggshells when it comes to a critical assessment of the Saudi’s human rights record. “The Liberal government has come under heavy criticism for defending ‘as a matter of principle’ Canada’s $15-billion sale of light-armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia”, according to a recent report filed by CBC News.
Both governments should exhibit stronger positions on their trade deals with the Saudis because of their horrific human rights record. The U.S. should take the lead and pass the 911 bill, and at a minimum, reduce trade with the Saudis until they have cleaned up their intolerable disregard for the civil rights of people. The families of the 911 victims do not deserve anything less.