Sunday, September 18, 2005

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies

To hear statements from the U.S. government, one would think that Saudi Arabia is one of America's very best friends. Yet the truth is, because of America's appetite for oil, the terrible true nature of Saudi Arabia's government is overlooked.

Saudi Arabia, along with China, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam all rate as the very worst nations in the world for religious persecution, especially of Christians. Yet this fact is completely glossed over by the American government and much of the news media to promote trade with some of these states, especially with China and Vietnam, or oil from Saudi Arabia, or support in Afghanistan by Pakistan. In each of these cases, American business either wants cheap products made by cheap labor, a plentififul supply of oil, or foreign policy support. The moral values that are central to the American way of life that include religious freedom are put aside and ignored.

A recent case in Saidi Arabia points out what an oppressive system it is. Christian Brian O'Connor was arrested for mere Bible possession. But Saudi Arabian prosecutors looked for a way to find other other charges to satisfy a government request so as to deceive the American government that the charges were not for mere Bible possession. So in an effort to side step official Bible possession charges, prosecutors falsely are charging O'Connor with 160 counts of "pornography" possession for 160 videos that were made of Christian satellite TV programming. And a few bottles of wine, intended for communion purposes, are being made into another serious charge.

O'Connor was sentenced to a total of ten months in jail along with 300 lashes for the possession of the 160 Christian satellite videos and the possession of the communion wine.

The Bush Administration are champions of the big business community. The 24 cent an hour labor of China is a favorite for American businessmen who want huge labor savings by job outsourcing. Vietnam also offers very cheap labor to Nike shoes, when 16 year old children live and work at the shoe factory and are beaten if they fail to produce to company standards. The Bush Administration would love to put American military bases in Uzbekistan. And the American economy runs on Saudi oil. And Pakistan's support in Afghanistan is seen as critical to that effort. Yet in every case, America sells out the prinicples our nation is founded on these worst abusers of Christians are allowed to practice daily and government sanctioned religious persecution and America says nothing.

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