by craig on March 29, 2011 6:35 pm in Middle East
William Hague just gave a press conference on the big Libya conflab in London at which he obviously thought it would look good to be flanked by an Arab. So he sat next to the Prime Minister of Qatar, who solemnly told us that the Libyan people have the right to choose their own leadership. Fucking QATAR! An absolute monarchy.
This is from the State Department’s annual Human Rights Report 2009:
The emir exercises full executive power. The 2005 constitution provides for continued hereditary rule by the emir’s male branch of the Al-Thani family. Shari’a (Islamic law) is the main source of legislation. The emir approves or rejects legislation after consultation with the appointed 35-member Advisory Council and cabinet. There are no elections for national leadership, and the law forbids political parties
Rather amusingly, but completely wrongly, the State Department call this unmitigated hereditary autocracy a “constitutional monarchy”. It is also worth noting that the State Department has listed Qatar as a Tier 3 – ie absolutely terrible – country for human trafficking in bonded domestic servants. Homosexuality is illegal as are Christian religious symbols, even in churches.
Of course the chief decision of the London conference was that Qatar will take over Libya’s oil resources. I am still astounded that anybody can still be taken in by all the bullshit about democracy and human rights, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other human rights abusers in the thick of the politicking.
Finally, hours of broadcast coverage have been given to the poor woman who says she was raped by Gadaffi’s militia. I am inclinded to believe her, but it sticks in my throat that it is paraded everywhere as a justification for war. As detailed in Murder in Samarkand, rape by the security forces is a constant occurrence in our ally Karimov’s Uzbekistan, and neither these outraged western journalists nor western governments have ever said a single word about it.