In a move already raising eyebrows, Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has come up with a baffling way to honor the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, who passed away on Friday at the age of 90. Announced Monday on the official page of the Department of Defense, officers attending the National Defense University war college during the fall semester will participate in an essay competition to pay tribute to the late Saudi King, who was fond of beheading and torturing those under his tyrannical rule.
“This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU,” Dempsey said in a statement announcing the competition. “In my job to train and advise his military forces, and in our relationship since, I found the king to be a man of remarkable character and courage,” Dempsey went on to say about the event he is personally sponsoring.
To address the specifics of Dempsey’s comments about the King’s “remarkable character and courage,” let’s take a look at an extensive list of human rights violations that the District Sentinel put together from the State Department’s own 2013 report, highlighting the conditions that citizens under this Saudi king were forced to endure.
The report added that King Abdullah’s Saudi Arabia played host to a range of human rights violations including, “torture and other abuses; overcrowding in prisons and detention centers; holding political prisoners and detainees; denial of due process; arbitrary arrest and detention; and arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence. Violence against women, trafficking in persons, and discrimination based on gender, religion, sect, race, and ethnicity were common.”
Between January and October of last year, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 59 people. In both 2013 and 2012, the kingdom beheaded 79 individuals.
Other common practices include public floggings and beatings—with some brutal punishments targeting bloggers–and persistent sexism that had until recently prevented women from driving, voting in national elections, and walking around in public without a male companion.
Although considered an ally to the Untied States, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, where all women are treated like trash and citizens are forced to live under the iron fist of Sharia Law.
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