This is why the U.S. still backs Saudi Arabia

Christopher Dickey writes: Long before his visit to Riyadh this week, when President Barack Obama was asked if the Saudis were America’s friends, he said coyly, “It’s complicated.” During his visit, a veteran of the Saudi intelligence services told me, with a similar note of irony, “It’s a special relationship — and there are special differences.”

No kidding.

How are Americans supposed to get behind a government that carries out dozens of beheadings on a single day, that has shown a recent penchant for waging wars it can’t manage to win, that supports the preaching of an extreme version of Islam that helps prepare the way for jihadists being groomed around the world, and has such a screwy relationship with women, giving them strong educations (they are 55 percent of the students in Saudi universities) then refusing to allow them to drive cars or walk the streets without head coverings?

Add to that, the suspicion lingering for the last 15 years that Saudi officials, not just Saudi citizens, were involved in some way with the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. [Continue reading…]

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