RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN -- Relations between Arab nations and the United States hinge on American leaders living up to their rhetoric about commitment to lasting peace in the Mideast, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal told CNN Saturday."President Obama, in his statement yesterday, said that he's genuinely making the effort to accomplish a peaceful resolution," al-Faisal, who served as Saudi ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2007, told CNN's Nic Robertson in an interview Friday.
"We've heard this before," al-Faisal said. "We need to see implementation. We need to see facts on the ground change. We need to see rhetoric change. We need to see presence on the ground."
He said he was encouraged by Obama's appointment of George Mitchell as Mideast envoy, saying, "Mitchell comes with a track record of success." But he suggested Mitchell spend some time in the region to make real progress.
"American envoys, when they've dealt with the Middle East, have always come and gone," he said.
"I think it would be wise for Sen. Mitchell ... to pitch his tent in Ramallah or in Jerusalem, let's say, and spend a year, two, perhaps three years on the ground dealing with the daily aspects of making peace there." The United States' backing of Israel, in light of the latest Israeli military operations in Gaza, does not improve its standing in the Arab world, he said.
"What happened in Gaza, people have called it a tragedy," al-Faisal said. "I'd go further and say it was a catastrophe in all aspects of that word. The killing and the destruction was so barbaric by Israel, and unprecedented in a such a small area like Gaza.
Hmm...The Arabic expression for bite me comes to mind. The chutzpah it takes to say this sort of stuff with a straight face is incredible. To place all of the blame on Israel and to wave his finger in Obama's face is unmitigated gall.
It is really hard for me take any sort of Saudia Arabian peace initiative seriously. They are morally bankrupt, two faced and exceptionally intolerant to people who do not practice Islam. So when I see them try to lecture us or anyone about what we should do I roll my eyes.
Let's take a quick look at a recent story about child marriage.
(CNN) -- The debate over the controversial practice of child marriage in Saudi Arabia was pushed back into the spotlight this week, with the kingdom's top cleric saying that it's OK for girls as young as 10 to wed.This is sick and wrong. There is no justification for this. There is no spinning this to say that it is ok because it is culturally acceptable or religiously ok. Child sacrifiee and slavery once were considered to be acceptable and we don't do that.
"It is incorrect to say that it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom's grand mufti, said in remarks quoted Wednesday in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. "A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she's too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her."
The issue of child marriage has been a hot-button topic in the deeply conservative kingdom in recent weeks.
Late last month, a Saudi judge refused to annul the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man.
Want another example of their barbarism and why we cannot allow them to dictate morality. How about the time when the religious police murdered school girls fleeing a fire at their school.
Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.Or what about the fact that 19 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi Arabian. The sad truth is that we can continue to cite chapter and verse about why the Saudis are among the last people to serve as arbiters of morality. Were it not for their oil money they would be a very poor and backwards nation with all of the relevance to the world that the Congo now holds.
In a rare criticism of the kingdom's powerful "mutaween" police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.
About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurredAccording to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.
One witness said he saw three policemen "beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya".
The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police - known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned "it is a sinful to approach them".
The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.
If there is justice in this world we will witness the demise of the cash cow that has permitted these intolerant, small minded, bigots and promoters of terror to thrive.
Crossposted on Yourish.