Biden Betrayed His Promise to Defend Human Rights and Jamal Khashoggi

The U.S. gave the Saudi Crown Prince a pass for the murder of the Washington Post columnist, which autocrats may see as a green light for abuse.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/biden-betrayed-his-promise-to-defend-human-rights-and-jamal-khashoggi
Since 2015, the Crown Prince has also got the country bogged down in a costly and unwinnable war in Yemen, which has spawned the world’s largest humanitarian disaster. And now he has disrupted the kingdom’s relationship with the United States, its most important ally. The Biden Administration has notified the kingdom that it will no longer provide offensive military equipment to pursue the war in Yemen, although it has vowed to continue selling weapons to defend the kingdom. This weekend, after the Saudi military intercepted a missile attack near the capital and bomb-laden drones in the south, both launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the State Department reaffirmed its “longstanding partnership” to protect the kingdom. Yet experts say that Saudi Arabia needs the United States far more than Washington needs Riyadh. “We have total and absolute leverage over the Saudi military,” Riedel said.

The Dark Reality Behind Saudi Arabia’s Utopian Dreams

Mohammed bin Salman’s absurd plan for the Line — a 106-mile long city with no cars and no roads — comes with a grisly human price.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/magazine/saudi-arabia-neom-the-line.html
The film’s final words, spoken as a multicultural parade of faces flickers across the screen, are deliciously preposterous: “A home to all of us — welcome to the Line.” As I heard it, I couldn’t help wondering about the woman who spoke those words. Would she even consider moving to a remote desert city, to be subject to 24/7 surveillance and the whims of a murderous prince? My guess is that she did what so many others who work for the Saudis have done: spoke her lines, picked up the check and fled.