Obama and Kerry Ally U.S. with 8 Arab Dictators to Combat ISIS

Saturday, September 13, 2014
President Barack Obama with Saudi King Abdullah

In the name of combating an undemocratic force threatening the Middle East, the Obama administration has enlisted the help of numerous governments, including several dictatorial regimes.


Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia this week seeking the wealthy kingdom’s support for rolling back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and securing use of a base there to train Syrian rebels. Gaining Saudi Arabia’s assistance reveals the steep compromise that President Obama is willing to embrace to stop ISIS from carving out its own state in the area it occupies. The Saudi dictatorship has long been criticized by human rights groups for everything from lack of free elections to its medieval approach to justice.


Last month alone, the country executed 22 people, including eight by beheading. Their crimes were for drug trafficking, adultery, apostasy and “sorcery,” according to The Washington Post. Seeking the Saudis’ help in this cause is especially ironic since the United States was moved to action after ISIS beheaded two U.S. journalists.


“The active cooperation of Saudi Arabia, with its vast oil wealth, its well-equipped military and its broader influence among the Middle East’s Sunni states, is key to any extended U.S. war effort in Iraq and Syria,” the newspaper reported, adding this critical point: “Though long an incubator of the Salafist ideology that now inflames the Islamic State and militant groups of its ilk, the kingdom has grown increasingly concerned with the destabilizing chaos the Islamic State has wrought in the region.”


In addition to courting leaders in Saudi Arabia, Kerry also had talks with representatives from other Arab states, none which are democracies: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait,

Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Leaders from Lebanon and Iraq were also present for talks.


Some have questioned whether the short-term gain of creating Arab allies is worth the long-term stigma of having supported so many anti-democratic dictatorships.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Broad Coalition Quickly Forms for Fight against Islamic State (by Sebastian Payne, Washington Post)

Saudi Arabia, Key To Obama’s Strategy, Beheaded at Least 8 People Last Month (by Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post)

Saudi Royal Family Organizes Fight against Arab Democracy (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

In Egypt, Arab Spring Replaced by Military Dictatorship (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


ravikumar 9 years ago
Dictators in the list brought political stability and economic progress.However when other strong rulers like Mrs.Indira Gandhi or Vladmir Putin restrict freedom they are criticised by USA.Double standards

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