The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Saudi Arabia:
Where Islamic Fundamentalism Is Protected by the U.S.

Jan 21, 2002

Three men were decapitated on the first of January in Saudi Arabia. They were condemned to death because they were homosexuals. If such an act had taken place in Afghanistan after September 11, U.S. commentators would have run out of harsh words to say against such executions. And we would undoubtedly have seen images of this event over and over again on television. But there was no such reaction because Saudi Arabia, which is run by a religious regime just as barbaric as that of the Taliban, is a long time ally of the United States.

As far as cruelty and religious obscurantism is concerned, the monarchy in Saudi Arabia is just as bad as the Taliban, to whom they previously gave substantial financial support. These Saudi brutes publicly execute a hundred people a year, killing the men by sword and the women by pistol. These cases almost always begin with arrests carried out by the religious police, an institution which the Taliban copied from the Saudis down to using the same name: “Committees for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice.” Whippings, beatings and amputations of body parts are a common form of punishment. Confessions under torture are used as proofs. Accusations of sorcery or of "corruption on earth" are used to justify charges of violating Islamic law. Immigrant workers–Filipinos, Middle Easterners and African–are among the first to face such punishment.

Since the end of World War II, American leaders have maintained an agreement reached by Roosevelt and Ibn Saud, the founder of the Saudi dynasty. Saudi Arabia guaranteed oil at reasonable prices to the United Sates, passing it through the intermediary of American oil companies, who were guaranteed a very hefty profit. In exchange, the U.S. government pledged to use its power to keep the Saudi regime in place.

This agreement has been scrupulously respected by both sides ever since 1945 and let the peoples who live under this regime by damned!