Double Standards: U.S. Middle East Policy
The dictionary defines a double standard as a rule or principle applied more strictly to some than to others. Double standards are seen as unjust because they violate fairness, that everyone is equal before the law. When this basic principle is violated, it creates anger and resentment. U.S. policy in the Middle East has long engaged in the practice of double standards. Washington’s staunch ally Saudi Arabia is one of the most theocratic, puritanical countries in the world. The Riyadh regime, a family-run dynasty, is a state sponsor of religious intolerance, discrimination, homophobia, and misogyny. It has notoriously funded some of the most extreme madrassas, Islamic seminaries, which have been incubators of jihadis. Notwithstanding all that it gets a free pass from Washington.
Interview by David Barsamian,
Recorded at the American University of Beirut.
Rami Khouri has reported on the Arab region for decades. He is a senior fellow with the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He was the Founding Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut in 2006-14. He was Executive Editor of the Beirut Daily Star and before that Editor-in-Chief of The Jordan Times. His articles appear in major newspapers around the world.