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Author Topic: Sanctions on Saudi Arabia? Somehow I doubt that ever happening anytime soon...
Sancselfieme
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U.S.: 14 Nations Not Stopping Trafficking of Human Sex Slaves

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States accused 14 nations Friday of failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers. The countries include Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism.

Three other U.S. allies in the Middle East - Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - were newly listed this year as nations that are failing to adequately address trafficking problems. The State Department said the 14 countries could be subject to sanctions if they do not crack down.

As many as 800,000 people are bought and sold across national borders annually or lured to other countries with false promises of work or other benefits, the State Department said in its annual survey of international human trafficking. Most are women and children.

"Trafficking in human beings is nothing less than a modern form of slavery," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. "The United States has a particular duty to fight this scourge because trafficking in persons is an affront to the principles of human dignity and liberty upon which this nation was founded."


The other countries listed as poor performers in stopping trafficking are: Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Venezuela, which has had a tense relationship with the United States in recent months, said it has taken several steps to combat trafficking. In a written statement by its embassy, it called Venezuela's inclusion in the list "a sad demonstration of how the administration has politicized its work on human rights."

The department placed China, South Africa and 25 other countries on a watch list. Those nations have trafficking problems, but their governments are making what the State Department calls significant efforts to combat them.

Saudi Arabia has turned a blind eye to the problem of poor or low-skilled workers brought into the country and exploited or who go there voluntarily but find themselves in "involuntary servitude," the report said.

Saudi employers physically and sexually abuse migrants from South Asia, Africa and other places, withhold pay and travel documents or use migrant children as forced beggars, the report said. Some of the migrants work as domestics in the homes of wealthy Saudis.

"The government of Saudi Arabia does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so," the 2005 Trafficking in Persons report said.

The report said the Saudis apparently prosecuted only one employer during the period covered by the report, from March 2004 to March 2005.

"We have domestic workers being brought in from many countries into domestic servitude, child beggars, a lot of beatings, reports of beatings and rape," said John R. Miller, the special ambassador for human trafficking.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington had no immediate comment on the report.

Despite periodic differences, Saudi Arabia and the United States have a tight alliance built on economic and military cooperation. Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, the kingdom's de facto ruler since his half brother King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, visited President Bush at his Texas ranch in April.

The United States spends $96 million to help other countries combat trafficking, Rice said.

The United States is not included on the list, although Miller said the country is far from immune.

"Modern-day slavery plagues every country, including the United States," Miller said.

The Justice Department is due to issue a separate report on trafficking in the United States later this month.

Congress began requiring the international ranking reports in 2000. This is the fifth report, and it covers trafficking to and from 150 countries.

Miller said the goal "is not to punish, but to stimulate government action to eliminate" human trafficking.

Countries that fail to crack down can be subject to a variety of sanctions, including the withholding of some kinds of U.S. foreign aid. The United States will not cut off trade and humanitarian aid, the report said.

Countries that receive no such assistance can be declared ineligible to take part in cultural and educational exchange programs.

Two countries have been sanctioned since the reports began - Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela.


As much as I'd love to see Saudi get punished for this gross, archaic practice (don't forget the Al Qaeda amnesty thing or their 9-11 links either) I somehow doubt the Bush admin. will ever seriously impose sanctions no matter how bad this problem gets in Saudi Arabia.
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Pelegius
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Despite being one of the most opresive dictatorships around today, Suadi Arabia are the good guys. They love America. They give us Oil. We need Oil. We really need oil. But it's okay, we can stop anytime we want to, really.
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Adam Masterman
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Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that, of the handful of countries with connections to 9-11, one got overthrown (Afghanistan), one is on the s**t list (Syria), and one gets invited to Crawford like, once a month? How is this not an issue?
Adam

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Mabus
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Pelegius> In fact, we cannot stop, and we know we cannot stop. We do, in fact, need oil to maintain a remotely decent standard of living, and when the supply runs out, technological society will most likely collapse. I doubt whether there is any long-term solution, which is depressing; in the meanwhile, we desperately need to keep what we can get.
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Pete at Home
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If you think that having a democratic, shiite-majority, woman-emancipated, pluralistic federated country next door isn't an attack on the status quo in Saudi Arabia, then I'm not sure we share enough reality in order to have a meaningful discussion.
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Sancselfieme
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
If you think that having a democratic, shiite-majority, woman-emancipated, pluralistic federated country next door isn't an attack on the status quo in Saudi Arabia, then I'm not sure we share enough reality in order to have a meaningful discussion.

Since that country is next door and not Saudi itself, it's not an attack, it's a retreat. Saudi engages in slave trading and granted amnesty to over 1000 Al Qaeda, among other things. Whoever thinks they "love" America needs to go hear what the Wahhabists clerics are teaching in the Saudi school system. There is a new generation rising in Saudi, one that has only been taught hatred of the US, even as the House of Saud looses control over the Wahhabist extremists that are indoctrinating the nation's youth with alarming success.

Saudi has blatantly spit in our faces so many times but the Bush admin. and all its appologists are quick to placate them and look the other way.

[ June 07, 2005, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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Pete at Home
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Whatever happened with that multi-billion dollar lawsuit by 911 victims against the Sauds?
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Sancselfieme
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I have no clue, but I'll tell you this, you cannot put a price on human life. Those terrorists shouldn't be let off the hook for ANy amount of money. I remember hearing at the time that the families could still pursue action against the terrorists, but since then (surprise surprise [Roll Eyes] ) The Saudi government has been dragging its heals saying that none of the Al Qaeda they granted amnesty to were "dirtectly responsible for 9-11." They defined "directly responsible" as the ones who hijacked the planes. Yeah, what did you expect from a nation that has back stabbed us so many times?
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Pete at Home
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[[Edging away from the conversation since Sanc is implicating all Bush apologists in some grand cover-up conspiracy that I was never invited to.]]
quote:
you cannot put a price on human life.
Sanc. have you never heard of discovery?

Can you put a price on the truth? Publicity?

A lawsuit could do more to expose this problem than all of the conspiracy theorists ranting in the wilderness.

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Sancselfieme
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You think it's some big conspiracy? Nope, it's right out in the open, that's the sad part. Your attempt to de-legitimize my concerns by labeling me a wild conspiracy theorist just shows your own discomfort at having to defend the position you've taken.


Besides, even if it was in the shadows and was a conspiracy, would that be so hard to believe coming from the Bush admin. who has secretly endorsed torture as a policy? You were just as stubborn in that discussion as well. How much does Saudi have to keep hurting us and screwing up before you stop defending them too?

[ June 08, 2005, 01:03 AM: Message edited by: Sancselfieme ]

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Pete at Home
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You labeled me as someone trying to placate the Saudis and trying to look the other way. Be careful with your blanket generalizations, and you won't get slapped.
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Sancselfieme
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Originally posted by me:
quote:
Saudi has blatantly spit in our faces so many times but the Bush admin. and all its appologists are quick to placate them and look the other way.
That comment wasn't directed at you, you went out of your way to identify yourself as a Bush appologist and feel offended on your own. I guess this clears up confusion for future discussions about where you will always stand regardless of the facts eh?
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