Bowing down to a Saudi dictator
Why did Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman get “a hero’s welcome” in the U.S.? asked Zack Beauchamp. The Saudi crown prince, nicknamed MBS, just completed a triumphant tour of the United States, where he “was received less like a human rights abuser and more like a visionary civil rights hero.” It’s no surprise that Trump’s White House would roll out the red carpet for a country that’s lavishly flattered this president. But journalists also hailed MBS as “revolutionary” for modest reforms like allowing women to attend soccer matches and drive cars, while Hollywood celebrities invited to a private dinner treated the prince like “a rock star.” His reforms—part of a carefully crafted public relations campaign—don’t change the fact that Mohammed is the de facto ruler of a country where political dissidents and gay men face the death penalty and women cannot marry, travel, or make other decisions without permission from their “male guardian.” The prince is also the chief architect of Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, which has killed an estimated 10,000 people and left millions on the edge of starvation. His tour “was a triumph for his PR team,” and an embarrassment for America.