(ANTIMEDIA) A specific moment from the biopic film, The Doors – starring Val Kilmer – took up residence in my subconscious years ago. In actuality, it’s two lines of slurred dialogue that randomly and subtly float into my thoughts as if they are propelled by hot air into the atmosphere. The scene depicts an inebriated Jim Morrison taunting an audience of unsuspecting concert-goers from a stage in Miami, Florida in 1969. With the sincerity that only a vainglorious sot could conjure, Morrison towers and growls over the crowd of mostly teenagers and bellows out: “Adolf Hitler is alive and well and living in Miami! I f***ed her last night,” and with the following alcohol-fueled breath he concluded the thought: “You’d all eat sh*t, wouldn’t you?”
Because the plebeians choose to eternally dine at the media’s trough of propaganda, the ramblings of a bloated drunkard are all that make sense after the frustration takes hold. People will believe anything. One man’s lies are another man’s facts.
The overwhelming rush of bewilderment clouds any intellectual discourse I could bring to the topic of Saudi Arabia. I have exasperated myself on the subject to a manipulated mass of deafened sycophants. Just because the veil is lifted doesn’t mean anyone will look.
So I will leave you with strictly the facts.
According to state-run Makkah Newspaper in Saudi Arabia, the wealthy Gulf-nation is threatening its citizens with the death penalty for spreading rumors about the government on social media.
An anonymous source within the Ministry of Justice stated only the worst “rumour-mongers” will be sentenced to death, while lesser offenders of the new policy will be disciplined with flogging, imprisonment, travel bans, house arrest, fines and social media bans.
Although the source is not mentioned by name, it should not be assumed that details of the column are any less credible. Human rights organization Reprieve reports that Makkah’s allegiance to the Saudi government is such that the claims should be considered legitimate.
“Although the report does not use a named source, the nature of state-censorship in the Kingdom makes it unlikely that such claims would be made without the consent of the authorities. In addition, the Makkah Newspaper appears to enjoy government support – according to local news reports, it was launched last year by the Governor of Mecca, in the presence of the Minister for Culture and Information,” according to Reprieve.
The inside source went on to state that social media websites “cause confusion in societies.”
Maya Foa, director of Reprieve’s death penalty team, said “This looks like yet another heavy-handed attempt to crush dissent in Saudi Arabia, especially among the young.”
Saudi Arabia, which was recently chosen to head the U.N. Human Rights Council, has already been the subject of staunch criticism by human rights groups around the globe in recent months for various vile rulings and barbaric acts.
Last month, the oil-rich nation and strong ally of the United States denied the final appeal for 20-year-old Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested at age 17 for alleged involvement in anti-government protests. He faces beheading and crucifixion at the hands of the regime, which could be carried out any day.
UNICEF has also recently reported that a Saudi-led military campaign resulted in the deaths of over 2,300 civilians – including over 500 children – since March 26th of this year.
If free speech in the modern era includes the phrase ‘Give us Tweets or give us death,’ the Saudi royal family is more than content to administer the latter.
How does the United States still align itself with a kingdom that is a clear perpetrator of countless human rights abuses while at the same time militarily intervening in numerous other countries under the guise of promoting human rights? Even stranger, why have the American people still not acknowledged the blatant hypocrisy of their government?
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