Is it time to consider new allies if the US are all about regime change, freedom, human rights, and democracy? I think the democratically elected allies of the US need to think about what entails from having regimes/kingdoms as allies. I will scratch the surface of six here. These six are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Israel.
Saudi Arabia is a close ally of the democratically elected coalition allies. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a monarchy which states that the descendants of the King will rule. Even though the country held elections for half of their municipal councils, women were not allowed to run for election or allowed to vote.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on Saudi Arabia;
“The most important human rights problems reported included citizens’ lack of the ability and legal means to change their government; pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression including on the internet, and freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and a lack of equal rights for women, children, and non citizen workers”.
Bahrain is another ally ruled by a King. The King then appoints the 23 cabinet ministers 9 of these ministers are from the ruling family. Council representatives are elected. Even though the country did not allow international election monitors to oversee the process the domestic monitors said all was fair.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on Bahrain;
“The most serious human rights problems included citizens’ limited ability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protestors (some of which were violent) on vague charges, occasionally leading to their torture and mistreatment in detention; and lack of due process in trials of political and human rights activists, students, journalists, including harsh sentences”.
“Other significant human rights problems included arbitrary depravation of life;...”
Qatar is a constitutional monarchy ruled by an Emir. The constitution provides for the rulers to be of the Emirs male descendants. The country held elections in 2011 for a municipal council which is considered an advisory and consultative body.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on Qatar;
“The principal human rights problems were the inability of citizens to change their government through free and fair elections, restriction of fundamental civil liberties, and widespread denial of the rights of migrant workers. The Monarch appointed government prohibited organised political parties and restricted civil liberties, including freedom of speech, press, and assembly and access to a fair trial for persons held under the protection of society law and combating terrorism law”.
Turkey is a constitutional republic that (before the 2015 elections) held elections in 2011 which observers said the elections were generally free and fair.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on Turkey;
“The judiciary and law enforcement agencies were politicised, giving the appearance of impropriety and bias. The government reassigned thousands of police and prosecutors in response to an anti corruption investigation they were conducting of a number of senior government officials and their families, and the prosecutors who initiated the investigation were suspended”.
And then there are the reports implicating President Erdogan and his family in the purchase from ISIS, stolen oil from Syria.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are made up of 7 semi autonomous emirates. The Emirates are under patriarchal rule with limited democratically elected institutions and NO political parties.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on (UAE);
“The three most significant human rights problems were citizens’ inability to change their government; limitations on citizens’ civil liberties (including the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and internet use); and arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions and lengthy pre trial detentions”.
Israel is a democracy with no constitution. Laws, orders, and regulations depend on the countries existence of a State of Emergency which has been in effect since 1948.
This from the US state departments 2014 human rights report on Israel;
“The most significant human rights problems were terrorist attacks targeting civilians and politically or religiously motivated societal violence; institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom self identify as Palestinian, including the Bedouin, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities; societal discrimination against women; and the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers, and irregular migrants”.
What I believe entails is a loss of confidence toward the US from some allied countries citizens, and some allied governments through double standards shown to certain countries. Such as Canada pulling out their aircraft from the coalition of the willing, and NATO members calling for US insisted Russian sanctions to stop.