The US has long been Saudi Arabia's leading arms supplier, to the tune of over $79.8 billion since 1950. That money has been used to enable them to repress the aspirations of their people and keep them under Sharia Law. Certain politicians have made a living from scaremongering about the threat of Islamism. But the fact of the matter is that Islamism has been alive and well since1950, aided and abetted by your taxpayer dollars. Given the fact that Libya is reverting to an Islamist state, that means that it is perfectly fine with the US government to have an Islamist government as long as the ends justify the means. The tragic 9/11 attacks changed nothing in that respect.

This amount is even more than the money given to Israel during that period. So apparently, it is important in US circles to support Israel, but it is even more important to support client states that they can yank the rug out from under if they step too far out of line. Witness the fate of Panama and Saddam, for instance.

The problem with this whole line of thinking is that the US has been propping up a whole clientele of dictatorships; however, the downside is that these dictators turn around and use these weapons to keep their people in line whereas they never would have survived otherwise. This is the sort of thing that plants the seeds of resentment and blowback for future 9/11 attacks against the US. Given recent news reports of a fake bomb successfully being smuggled into Newark Airport by an undercover agent testing our airport security systems, that is not outside the realm of possibility.

In the meantime, aided and abetted by your taxpayer dollars, the suppression of basic human rights continues. Saudi Arabia has sentenced two human rights activists to 10 years in prison for exercising their right to free speech.  And forced marriages of children are still practiced there, despite the Saudi dictatorship's frantic attempts to whitewash that fact. The headline claims that the government is drafting laws to restrict that. However, if you read the story, there are no actual consequences for violating the rule. That is like a referee telling players not to be rough and then not following through and calling a foul. And final approval would rest with the father -- same way it's always been. Women as property -- first of their fathers and then of their husbands.

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