Hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia response

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Jebus
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Hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia response

Post by Jebus » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:30 am

Governments and business leaders, such as Richard Branson, have suspended business with Saudi Arabia until the kingdom can prove that they had no involvement in the death of Khashoggi.

Basically what they are saying is that we are ok with public stonings of rape victims and torture of homosexuals. You can keep doing that, but just make sure you don't kill outspoken journalists.
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Post by Jamie in Chile » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:33 pm

Governments and business leaders have to make ethical judgements on who to deal with. These judgements are going on constantly. The problem is it's rather arbitrary and needs to be more systemic. We should, as possibly you imply, make ethical judgements about who to deal with based on a range of factors. As I said in my article, "A New Trading System" viewtopic.php?t=3880 we should consider a combination of factors. These could relate to human rights and oppressions and freedoms in particular.

Saudi Arabia is clearly an awful country (in terms of its system and governance). Our (US, UK etc) alliance/tolerance of it is mostly strategic because Iran is thought to be even worse.

There is an element of accumulation of things gong on here. If they had been a perfectly clean country before this, the reaction might have been different. So they may be adding this to previous things to reach a point where they go "OK, now this is all too much."

However I think the greater truth is that the things that you referred to happen INSIDE Saudi Arabia whereas the journalist killing happened in another country.

The rules, perhaps largely unwritten, or international diplomacy and relations, is that what you do in your own country we can turn a blind eye to (within reason) but don't do bad things in other countries.

Hence Putin shuts down the free press, kills journalists and opponents inside the country causing a smaller degree of complaint, but received a bigger degree of complaint for opponents of Russia dying outside Russia and the invasion of Crimea.

Likewise China is an awful country (government/system). Its oppression of the Uigher people alone must have caused 1000 times the suffering and death of one journalist dying. But they keep it all within their own borders and so it hasn't become a big scandal.

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Post by Lay Vegan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:18 pm

Not only does the U.S. (other western nations) completely ignore the atrocities being committed within and by the Saudi government, it actively defends them. Back in 2016, Obama tried to block legislation that allows the victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for reparations. Despite 15 of the hijackers being Saudi Nationals.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:33 pm
Saudi Arabia is clearly an awful country (in terms of its system and governance). Our (US, UK etc) alliance/tolerance of it is mostly strategic because Iran is thought to be even worse.
You hit the nail on the head. Saudi Arabia is an oppressive, authoritarian regime with some of the worst human rights violations in the world. But the U.S. continues to do business with them because they rely heavily on Saudi oil. Saudi Arabia is currently the largest producer in the OPEC, and until very recently, the U.S. was the world’s largest oil importer. However, it’s possible that the U.S. will soon become self-sufficient due to the discovery of shale. Fortunately, Shale might be a sufficient economic incentive for U.S. businesses not to trade with the Saudis (at least until they improve their policies/legislation).
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:33 pm
We should, as possibly you imply, make ethical judgements about who to deal with based on a range of factors. As I said in my article, "A New Trading System" viewtopic.php?t=3880 we should consider a combination of factors. These could relate to human rights and oppressions and freedoms in particular.*
I like this trading system, but wouldn’t it be more effective to evaluate individual companies, and levy taxes on imports from the “unethical” ones? It provides an economic incentive for businesses to reform their social policies, and may even be a better idea if you’re trying to avoid an all-out trade war. Although I’m aware that this wouldn’t necessarily improve some of the political/civil rights abuses of citizens in the country.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:33 pm
However I think the greater truth is that the things that you referred to happen INSIDE Saudi Arabia whereas the journalist killing happened in another country.

The rules, perhaps largely unwritten, or international diplomacy and relations, is that what you do in your own country we can turn a blind eye to (within reason) but don't do bad things in other countries.
That's interesting way to look at it. It's a bigger PR problem when the abuses happen up close and personal.

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:50 pm

The issue of country vs company in the trading system was discussed in the comments to my article "A New Trading System". I feel doing it by country is more productive because the worst abuses are usually directly caused by government or happen because of other government failures. There must be perfectly ethical companies in Saudi Arabia but trading with them still props up a sexist regime and culture with human rights abuses.

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:08 pm

Watching how this story has developed, the Saudis have handled it really badly. First flat out denial he was even dead, then silence, then claiming an accidental death in a fight, then rogue agents.

It seems to me that at least one of the following 3 must be true (most likely the first).

1. The operation was carried out under orders from very high levels and since then they've been lying, moving from one lie to another as the previous one becomes proven nonsense. So they are just telling the most plausible lie possible at any given time.

2. The Prince of Saudi Arabia MBS is a total fool.

3. There is total disarray in the governing regime, perhaps uncertain power structures or who is really in control.

Curiously enough quite some days before the Saudis suggested "rogue agents" Donald Trump suggested it as an explanation and I felt at the time that he was trying to give them a hint about what to say. He wants this to just get buried so he can continue to sell them weapons and he was trying to give them the hint. But the Saudis were too slow.

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Post by Jebus » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:38 am

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:08 pm

It seems to me that at least one of the following 3 must be true (most likely the first).

1. The operation was carried out under orders from very high levels and since then they've been lying, moving from one lie to another as the previous one becomes proven nonsense. So they are just telling the most plausible lie possible at any given time.

2. The Prince of Saudi Arabia MBS is a total fool.

3. There is total disarray in the governing regime, perhaps uncertain power structures or who is really in control.
Definitely 1 and 2.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

Jamie in Chile
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Post by Jamie in Chile » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:23 am

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:33 pm

However I think the greater truth is that the things that you referred to happen INSIDE Saudi Arabia whereas the journalist killing happened in another country.

The rules, perhaps largely unwritten, or international diplomacy and relations, is that what you do in your own country we can turn a blind eye to (within reason) but don't do bad things in other countries.
I thought about this a little more and I think the truth is a little more complex than what I said, because Saudia Arabia does get involved in wars in places such as Yemen (and I think perhaps some other places), and its actions do lead to a greater number of deaths there.

So there still remains the question as to why people are more upset about the Turkey situation than Yemen, where more people have died and suffered in Yemen.

I suppose that it comes down mostly to direct murder in peace time rather than killings and collateral damage as part of a civil war, although the distinction may not be clear in terms of which is morally worse.

It may be also the case that Yemen is perceived as a chaotic backwater so people are less concerned about what goes on there.

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