“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, September 19, 2014

The US Ally, Saudi Arabia, The Real Axis Of Evil, Beheaded 22 People Between August 4 and 22, Eight Of Them For Nonviolent Offenses, Including Sorcery

The Beheading Coalition

Posted on Sep 18, 2014


The U.S. plan to fight Islamic State with a coalition of countries, including gems like Saudi Arabia, should make us reflect carefully about the motives behind the operation. In Mark Fiore's new animation, the cartoonist points out the inherent hypocrisy and contradictions involved in attacking brutal IS forces with brutal forces of our own (and while he focuses on Saudi Arabia, it's also worth turning the mirror on some U.S. military tactics which, lest we forget, were recently deemed torture). Read about Fiore's inspiration in his customary introduction and watch his latest animation below.

Now that the United States is forming another military coalition to combat evil in the Middle East, maybe we should pause to take a closer look at the members of this coalition. Sure, ISIS is terrible and does awful things like behead people, but they’ve got nothing on Saudi Arabia, which beheads people as a matter of policy. Between August 4th and 22nd, Saudi Arabia executed 22 people, bringing the yearly total to 34. (They executed 79 people in 2013 and killed 2000 people between 1985 and 2013.) They recently killed four members of the same family for drug trafficking.

I’m not saying every one of our allies in the fight against ISIS has to be perfect, but it does seem a bit hypocritical when one of our most important allies in the Middle East has such a thing for beheading— just something to keep in mind when the next terrible ISIS beheading video is released. Nobody seems to get worked up when prisoners who have been tortured and condemned by a religious court are beheaded in a public square, as long as it happens in Saudi Arabia. Dogboy is a little confused by this whole thing, and Mr. Dan is trying desperately to make the world black and white. You can of course find more links about the news behind this cartoon here.


  1. Barack Obama failed to raise “a single human rights issue” with Riyadh during his trip to Saudi Arabia in March. John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia recently to discuss U.S. strategy to combat Islamic State fighters in the region. In press briefings there was no mention of human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia.

  2. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs.

    Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

    As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

    I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together.

    When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

    Apparently, I'm still's a man thing.

  3. Think how different the world would be if on 9/12/01 the world would have awakened to 2,000 fewer Saudi princes. Had we selectively killed about 5,000 people (just to be safe) in retaliation for 9/11, the world would be, well, at peace. Instead, some dimwit pitched getting out to those malls to buy and keep America strong.

    By the way, BBC is calling it a "No" vote for Scots' independence.

  4. On Sept. 1, 2014, a Saudi appeals court upheld the sentence of human rights activist Raif Badawi, co-founder of Liberal Saudi Network, a website created to foster political and social debate. For this “crime” of blogging – tweeting – about reform, Badawi was sentenced by the Saudi government to 10 years in prison, a 10-year travel ban thereafter, a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyals (roughly $267,000), and 1,000 public lashes.

    Could ISIS improve much on that? As reported by the Gulf Center for Human Rights, the court stipulated that Badawi receive “no more than 50 lashes per session, with a break of no less than a week between sessions.

    It is feared that the sentence and the first of the lashes will be imposed any day.”

  5. The U.S. military has given President Barack Obama a plan for airstrikes targeting Islamic State “safe havens in Syria,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

    Commanders could hit the extremist group’s “command and control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure” once the strategy is approved, Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee yesterday. While Obama hasn’t yet signed off on the plan, Hagel predicted he will.

    The defense secretary outlined “a three-front” battle that would be waged by Syrian rebels, Kurds and Iraq security forces. French President Francois Hollande said yesterday that his country will join the U.S. in using air power against the Sunni militants in Iraq, though not in Syria.

  6. The “NO” voters in the US Senate, who opposed training and arming “Syrian Rebels”:

    The no votes included Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Mark Begich of Alaska, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

    The GOP opponents included Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, Ted Cruz of Texas, Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jim Risch of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

    Independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont also voted no.

  7. The bodies of eight people – including three journalists – were found in Guinea after an Ebola health team came under attack two days ago, officials said. Meanwhile, the UN plans to deploy a special mission to fight the virus in the worst-hit countries.

    The group, which included three doctors and three journalists, is said to have been attacked near Nzerekore, a city near Guinea’s southern tip. With the Ebola death toll now topping 2,600, the team was sent to the area to help raise awareness about the virus. They had been missing since Tuesday.

    The six were found dead on Thursday. The identities of the other two bodies are currently unknown.

    Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters that the workers and journalists were brutally beaten to death.

    “The eight bodies were found in the village latrine. Three of them had their throats slit,” he said.

    Earlier this week, the team members met with locals. A resident named Yves told the Guardian that there were no problems until after that assembly took place.

    “The meeting started off well; the traditional chiefs welcomed the delegation with 10 kola nuts as a traditional greeting,” Yves said. “It was afterwards that some youths came out and started stoning them. They dragged some of them away, and damaged their vehicles.”