Meet the dictator of Saudi Arabia. But be careful not to call him that, even if you are as powerful as the New York Times or Fox News Network.
The New York Times calls him King Abdullah, not to be confused with King Abdullah II of Jordan. His full name is Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
Truth is, I am not sure anyone holds the official title of dictator in any nation. Even Joe Stalin of the former U.S.S.R. had the official title of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Saddam Hussein was President of Iraq. Adolf Hitler, the great dictator himself, was Fuhrer (leader) and Chancellor of Germany.
Dictator is what you call a strongman (or woman) you don't like.
Dictator Abdullah Al Saud is a friend of the United States, of current President Barack Obama, and of his predecessor President George W. Bush. A few days ago President Obama agreed to sell his friend a fleet of F-15 fighter jets. In return Boeing will get about $30 billion and might even squeeze out a bit of reportable net income to pay taxes on and help a bit with the federal deficit. Obama will carry Washington State as Boeing spreads the joy. Everyone will be happy, except anyone ending up on the receiving end of the F-15 weaponry. [See U.S. Bolsters Saudi Ties, 1/29/2011]
A few days before the big sale Dictator Abdullah Al Saud chopped off the head of a woman. Her crime: practicing witchcraft [See Saudis Behead Woman, U.S.A. Today, 12/12/2011]. You might think that "Hope for Change" Obama and his sidekick "I am a woman, vote for me" Hillary Clinton would not want to be too friendly to witch killers. But rhetoric for elections aside, neither Obama nor Clinton cares about human rights except when it is an excuse to beat up on some nation they don't like.
Do witches float in Saudi Arabia? If the U.S. mission is to interfere in the internal affairs of nations that abuse human rights, as we are currently doing in (at least) Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and Yemen, why do we refer to the gentleman born as Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud as King Abdullah? Reminds me of King Cole and King Arthur. Or maybe King George.
Yes, I can hear you screaming OIL, but that is not enough. Saddam had oil, and Iran has oil. The difference is that as long as Dictator Abdullah plays along with the global corporate security state, he can behead anyone he wants. Of course he needs assistants, he does not have time to do all the beheading personally. After all, he has over thirty wives and far more children and a whole town full of grandchildren and parasitic relations to look after.
What can get you beheaded in Saudi Arabia, aside from witchcraft? The Dictator strictly enforces Sharia law, which is not quite as cruel as English law was 3 centuries ago, but let's just say that you had better walk right if you want to keep your head. If you are a homosexual boy in Saudi Arabia you had better hope you get sent to English Boarding School and never have to go back. Rape and drug trafficking can also lead to headlessness.
The Obama-Clinton team take a very dim view of Sharia law, with its discrimination against women, when enforced by any Islamic group in Somalia or Afghanistan. But in Saudi Arabia, it is okay.
But hey, the real enemy is Iran, right? They attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor and nuked Japan, right? Wait, it was Japan that attacked Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. that nuked two cities filled with civilians. Let's see, what did Iran do? Nothing, absolutely nothing wrong except ... not following U.S. orders.
But the majority of the Islamic faithful in Iran are of the Shia branch (think Protestant) while the Dictator of Saudi Arabia is Sunni (think Roman Catholic). The Dictator discriminates against Shia Muslims in his own nation, which is also ethnic discrimination, since way back when usually whole tribes either became Shia or Sunni. No no religious freedom, even within the Islamic fold.
If Hillary Clinton were anything more substantial than a bunch of cosmetics painted on animated corruption, she would go to Saudi Arabia and drive a car around, demanding rights for women, free elections, freedom of religion, free speech and free abortions. Even if it meant American F-15s buzzing the Arabian sky to protect her. Then she would go apologize to the Somali people for all the damage the U.S. has done to their nation.