In today’s New York Times, Maureen Dowd criticizes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for not pressing Saudi Arabia harder on women’s rights. As in most of her recent work, Ms. Dowd ignores or brushes aside inconvenient facts.
Let’s take it from the top. Again.
1. Ms. Dowd wonders why Secretary Clinton is not pressing Saudi Arabia on women’s rights as fiercely as she pressed China. Ms. Dowd finds her own answer later in the column, noting that Secretary Clinton is no longer the First Lady, but the prime diplomat charged with advancing the United States’ interests overseas.
‘Puter was glad to see an unnamed State Department “top foreign policy official” opining that State had bigger fish to fry than women’s rights.
Shocking as it may be to Ms. Dowd, America does indeed have bigger fish to fry with Saudi Arabia.
For starters, there’s oil prices. Saudi Arabia doesn’t control OPEC, but it is extremely influential. The Saudis can use their oil as an weapon of economic mass destruction if they so choose. Perhaps if American oil companies were freed to explore and to drill on American soil, the Saudis might have less leverage, but sadly for America and its companies, that’s not going to happen under the Obama Administration.
Saudi Arabia is also an American ally, though not always the best. Of course, that could be said about many European nations as well. Sometimes, Saudi Arabia advances American interests without saying so.
Take, for instance, this Wall Street Journal article on the Saudis recent Iran position:
A leading member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family warned that Riyadh could seek to supplant Iran’s oil exports if the country doesn’t constrain its nuclear program, a move that could hobble Tehran’s finances.
In closed-door remarks earlier this month, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal also strongly implied that Riyadh would be forced to follow suit if Tehran pushed ahead to develop nuclear weapons and said Saudi Arabia is preparing to employ all of its economic, diplomatic and security assets to confront Tehran’s regional ambitions.
“Iran is very vulnerable in the oil sector, and it is there that more could be done to squeeze the current government,” Prince Turki, a former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and U.K., told a private gathering of American and British servicemen at RAF Molesworth airbase outside London.
Perhaps this explains Secretary Clinton’s seeming reticence to directly confront the Saudis on women’s rights. Despite Ms. Dowd’s fervent belief otherwise, Saudi assistance in curtailing Iran is far more important to American interests than the regrettable plight of Saudi women.
Secretary Clinton seems to get what Ms. Dowd does not. The Secretary of State’s first duty is to advance and to protect American interests. Sometimes, advancing American interest entails dealing with unsavory regimes and keeping quiet about the regime’s less-than-Western practices. It’s what grown ups do.
2. Ms. Dowd uses approximately one quarter of her column to run an extended quote from fictional White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (as written by noted international diplomat Aaron Sorkin) ripping Saudi Arabia for its poor human rights record.
While correct on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, ‘Puter’s a little disturbed that Ms. Dowd thinks the rantings of a fictional character dreamed up by a lefty, pothead [N.B., cokehead —ŒV] Hollywood writer (redundant, ‘Puter knows) are persuasive. ‘Puter eagerly awaits Ms. Dowd citing the case of Smith v. Jones, from Law & Order: SVU episode 426A in support of her position on same sex marriage.
Perhaps Ms. Dowd’s employer as well as her editors should ask her to get some facts to support her argument.
3. “Clinton is a diplomat now. She knows it’s tricky to push Bedouins, who get stubborn and dig in their heels. Saudis prefer concessions to be seen as gifts.”
TEH RASIST!!1!! Seriously, though, what would Ms. Dowd say if George W. Bush had said something along the lines of “everyone knows the Irish are drunks,” or “everyone knows Asians are smart?” Ms. Dowd’s generalization about Bedouins is not a big deal, other than being an object lesson in the media’s double standard.
So, in closing, Ms. Dowd is correct that Saudi women are mistreated, and that this mistreatment should stop. However, her simplistic world view, coupled with her juvenile, smart-assed writing style, does nothing to address a serious problem.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.