Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI-USA, urged President Obama today to make the U.S.-Saudi alliance “conditional on fundamental change in the repressive and destabilizing behaviour of the Saudi state.”
Writing on the eve of the president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Eibner described the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a “totalitarian theocracy based on religious apartheid, where the practice and symbols of non-Islamic religions, and some Islamic sects, are banned by law.” He also highlighted the Saudi regime’s homophobia, oppression of women, anti-labor practices, military intervention in neighboring Bahrain, and promotion of international jihadi terrorism.
Eibner cited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2009 finding that, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” He furthermore noted that the Saudi regime has “provided extensive financial and military support for jihadi militants in Syria,” inflaming a war “in which over 140,000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced.”
Eibner called on President Obama to prepare “punitive political and economic sanctions against Saudi Arabia” unless its regime takes steps to “conform to internationally recognized norms of human rights.” In particular, he requested the president to ensure that the Saudi authorities sign, implement and promote the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, especially Article 18, which guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This binding International Covenant, to which 167 states have already subscribed, “provides an essential human rights framework for a civilized global political and economic order,” Eibner said.
President Obama was furthermore requested by Eibner not to complement his recently-announced sanctions regime againstRussia with a Saudi-backed ideological and military jihad, as happened during the Cold War, most visibly in Afghanistan, and is now happening in Syria.
Eibner concluded by wishing President Obama success in any endeavour undertaken to persuade the Saudi regime to participate in the United States’ global political and economic order on the basis of respect for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.