What does Saudi Arabia have on David Cameron?

Saudi Arabia is not a regime known for sentimentalism toward human rights.  In fact, the Saudis are quite brutal in repressing dissent and equally zealous in enforcing the mandates and punishments of sharia law.  Hardly a résumé for leadership in the field of human rights, yet the House of Saud is a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.                                                      

The silliness that is the United Nations has made for a great many head-scratching and belly laugh-inducing decisions over the years, and the rotating membership of the Human Rights Council (HRC) has been a who's who of despots and dictators.

Conceived to replace the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights, the HRC has featured membership from many giants of individual freedom and fair treatment – names like Libya, Qatar, Angola, and Cuba.  One could be forgiven for wondering if a tendency toward sporadic genocide might be one of the characteristics by which a future member might be recommended.

In all fairness, the membership of the HRC is decided by a vote of the General Assembly – which of course is made up of the member-nations of the U.N.  What is lost amid the semi-orgasmic pandering of the New-World-Order internationalists is the harsh reality that the United Nations itself is made up of a majority of brutal dictatorships, faux democracies, and thuggish monarchies.

Simply put, individual thugs and killers don't cease to be thugs and killers when placed in groups with other thugs and killers.  They become bolder thugs and killers.

Why anyone would believe that a majority of vicious, corrupt regimes would suddenly become advocates of their own sanction and removal from power simply because they are sitting in the same room with a minority of sane leaders from free nations remains an enduring mystery, and one of the most tragic fallacies of internationalism. 

In a recently revealed secret deal, the world learned that the prime minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, made a deal with the Saudis to advocate and support Saudi Arabia's election to the HRC.  In return, the House of Saud would reciprocate on behalf of the United Kingdom's bid for inclusion as well.

As one might expect, these revelations have ignited a firestorm of criticism in the U.K., especially with the specter of an unrepentant Saudi Arabia preparing to behead (or possibly crucify – literally!) a teenager for demonstrating during the "Arab Spring" period three years previous. 

The now-17-year-old has been on the radar of human rights groups since his initial arrest, yet all the pressure thus far brought to bear has been fruitless, as the House of Saud simply brooks no opposition.  Ever.

"How can you make a deal with a regime that behaves in this fashion?" is the question on everyone's lips in England.  The answer is as disturbing as it is clear and simple. 

In Prime Minister Cameron's own words, "[i]t's because we receive from them important intelligence and security information that keeps us safe[.]"

The Saudis play both sides of the Islamist fence, providing just enough useful intelligence to Western powers regarding terrorism to keep those same powers indebted to them – to the extent that certain "peccadillos" of the regime will be overlooked.

It is an alliance formed initially from pragmatism but increasingly maintained through Western weakness.  After the end of the Cold War, the United States in particular and the Western powers in general began repurposing dollars formerly spent on defense and intelligence toward more politically palatable social programs.  As we spent our so-called "peace dividend" on an ever more bloated welfare state, our ability to gather human intelligence decreased significantly.

We shuffled our appropriations toward technology, gaining marvelous capabilities in electronic intelligence-gathering, while at the same time eviscerating our hands-on spying, outsourcing much of the "dirty work" to other nations, like Saudi Arabia.

As Cameron admitted, we are in bed with those who ultimately seek our destruction because we can no longer do it ourselves. 

The House of Saud is well aware of our circumstances and routinely takes advantage of their favored position within our government to further its own economic, military, and yes, Islamist ambitions.

The West is addicted to more than Saudi Arabian oil.  We are addicted to their intelligence services and the crumbs of information they deign to release.  Much of our "War on Terror" was guided by Saudi intelligence (which of course furthered Saudi interests), just as our current support of the "Arab Spring" also assists in empowering the House of Saud's desire for Middle Eastern hegemony.

The fact that a nation like the United Kingdom, long known for unwavering support of international human rights, feels it necessary to abandon principle in favor of pragmatism should be a huge warning sign to the United States that our dependence on Saudi intelligence is an addiction the West can no longer safely indulge, nor prudently trust.

Joe Herring is a freelance writer and serves as the communications director for the Global Faith Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.  www.globalfaith.org  Dr. Mark Christian is the president and executive director of the Global Faith Institute. A former Islamic Imam who converted from Islam to Christianity, he has dedicated his life and work to the proposition that "the first victims of Islam are the Muslims themselves."