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"Umm... Err...": Brutally Long Silence by Top US Diplomat Speaks Volumes About Saudi Democracy


#1

"Umm... Err...": Brutally Long Silence by Top US Diplomat Speaks Volumes About Saudi Democracy

Common Dreams staff

Sometimes a nearly twenty-second pause by a top U.S. diplomat reveals much more than words could about the troubling lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia and the special relationship the United States retains with the repressive Gulf monarchy.

Recently returned from an overseas trip with President Donald Trump, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Stuart Jones was asked by a reporter on Tuesday about remarks made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when in Riyadh. But Jones' answer was more telling for what he couldn't say than what he ultimately managed to come up with.


#2

Admitting to a corrupt bargain with the House of Saud is still awkward even in the Age of Dump.


#3

God damn. Doesn't answer the question about Saudi and then just makes a bunch of shit up while hoping nobody calls him out on the deflection. WTF!!!!!!!!


#4

Actually Jones did a splendid job of catching and distorting the question, the essential job of a diplomat. In a sense the question was rhetorical -- everyone, who has paid the least bit of attention, knows that Saudi Arabia is one of most oppressive countries in the world, there is not even a whiff of democracy there, and so there is no possible answer to the question as formed by the reporter.


#5

Saudi Arabia is a monarchy rife with "princes" grabbing every piece of gold they can while extorting nations with demagogues like DJT...their idea of trade is "we have the oil, you will obey." Wahhabism and all its cruelties will live on and democracy is a word that is not in their vocabulary, their minds, or their future. And every nation on the planet knows this implacable truth. Their repression is ongoing and reaping widespread civil unrest. An excellent documentary aired last year on PBS Frontline: Saudi Arabia Uncovered - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/saudi-arabia-uncovered/ is revelatory and well worth watching.


#6

Sometimes silence can speak volumes, as witnessed here. What's amazing is Iran is still portrayed as a terrorist state when Saudi Arabia has far more influence and spreads their extreme form of Islam around the world.(Wahhabism, similar to the Salafist Islamic State). Saudi Arabia is matched only by North Korea as far as repressed control of the citizenry but they don't spread terrorism and didn't fly planes into buildings on 9/11. Oil is the biggest reason to be BFF's of administrations past and present and a good way to sell weapons and violence. Sometimes I have a good chuckle watching officials 'splainin' the awkward inconvenient questions that arise in press conferences.


#7

They have the biggest Get Out Of Jail Free card printed, so far, in the 21st Century. But, it's only 2017, so there's that, too.


#8

The fairytale of good & bad leaders continues...
Or what are our leaders doing in Saudi Arabia ?
One has to be very stupid, awfully ignorant or simply criminal to cooperate with a
house of tyrants like the House of Saud.
But, then it’s just a couple of centuries ago that we began to rid our societies of these feudalistic monstrosities and we still have a long way to go to understand the depth of this process.
There are still a lot of people around who believe that this hierarchic world-order is God’s creation
and that we need strong leaders to guide us to ‘The Promised Land ’.
That’s why Republics or ‘Democracies’ turn Fascistic and become Oligarchies.
And then there is still the Oath of Allegiance or Citizenship in ‘western democracies’, like the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica etc., swearing to “…be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of [country], Her Heirs and Successors according to the law. So help me God.
- What a mentality ?! Or are we dealing here with a mental Disease ? - Homo Sociopathis


#9

The problem is in the question.

The sword dance was very interesting. The orb allegiance was endearing. When he went to the Western Wall, I thought they would come tumbling down...and he would then claim all kinds of great and miraculous power.


#10

15 of the 19 perpetrators of 9/11 were Saudis and GWB gave any number of wealthy Saudis after 9/11 freedom to leave the US on private jets. The powers that be in the US sell their souls for fossil fuel regardless of the purveyor and their ongoing human rights abuses.


#11

Brilliant "gotcha" question - that is what journalism is supposed to look like! Was it a US reporter who asked it?

Good thing Mr. Jones only managed to only stumble and stammer. He and his boss might choke to death on their hypocrisy next time.


#12

The reporter (who?) did an even more splendid job in asking the question...


#13

OK, finally saw the video. The reporter (like the beaten-up one for the Guardian in Montana) has a British accent.


#14

Every time I come across anything that has to do with the Saudis, I think 28 pages. They are as complicit as can be for 9/11/2001, and This does not seem to anger, dismay or inform hardly anyone in the United States. WTF?


#15

But that doesn't mean anything because it was the Iranians who are responsible, just ask Senator John McCain or Bush.


#16

The Trump speech in Saudi Arabia was just plain insulting to our intelligence. Praising Saudi Arabia was bad enough and then contrasting it with the 'evil' of Iran was beyond silly. The US was involved in overthrowing the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mossadegh, in 1953 because it was in'our interest'. We installed the Shah and the Iranians have rightly hated us ever since. Of course Iran must position itself to defend against other actions on our part. When we play in someone else's yard we are asking for trouble. But to blame it on the people whose yard it is, is pure propaganda. It would be dangerous for Iran to forgive and forget. We have an agenda with that country. Americans are encouraged to have short memories or better yet, no memories of our past and present actions in distant lands. Out of siight, out of mind. But we look like idiots to the rest of the world and electing Trump means we are idiots.


#17

It's a Monarchy. There is no democracy.


#18

But on the plus side, Saudi Arabia has not used stoning for the death penalty since 1992, favoring public be-headings instead.


#19

hahaha. Progress!

it's messy, but I'd prefer beheading to the torture chambers of injections here in the US.

when you're being murdered, speed matters. and beheading is at least relatively fast.

that said, all of it's barbarism.


#20

LOL!!!!!!