It’s a story straight out of a fairy tale. Four beautiful Princesses are being starved to death in a Royal Palace by their tyrannical father for the crime of advocating equal rights and better conditions for their people. The reason the United States and other Western nations will not force a “happily ever after” ending to this story rests on the fact the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the strongest US allies in the region, despite the deplorable living conditions of its subjects. If the same situation was occurring in Syria to President Assad’s daughters, it is an almost certainty that the media would be covering the story in a way that advocated intervention. US Special Forces would be serving as the knights in subdued body armor. They would valiantly storm the Palace, slay the dragon, rescue the imprisoned princesses, place them on the throne, and justice would be restored in the Kingdom. This is not the narrative anyone should expect to hear from the US media about this situation. Western media will continue to ignore the plight of the princesses simply because to raise the issue of their imprisonment, raises the subject of why they were imprisoned to begin with. It certainly wouldn’t do well for the administration’s media lackeys to point out that the United States is propping up a regime that denies equal rights to women, and that the mere advocating of better conditions is punishable by imprisonment and starvation. That storyline just doesn’t fit well with the image of the land of the free that the media is intent on selling the American people. The story began 13 years ago when the Princesses reportedly advocated better living conditions for the people of the country and equal rights for women. Princesses Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher Al Saud have been held captive ever since. Sometime within the last two months, King Abdullah and his sons reportedly cut off food and medicine deliveries to the women. For their part, the Princesses are maintaining their dignity and resistance to King Abdullah. In a recent video plea that has been taken as a call for an uprising, Princess Sahar states that victory is within their grasp. The video, uploaded from confinement in the Royal compound in Jeddah has made waves throughout the Middle East. It brought support from a Saudi Prince, currently living in Tehran, who defected from Saudi Arabia in 2013. He saluted the Princesses for their support of “the oppressed people of the city of Qatif.”Princesses Sahar and Jawaher with their pets.
Activists from around the world are standing in solidarity with the Princesses and are coordinating through Twitter using the hashtag #FreeThe4. Multiple protests are scheduled over the coming weeks at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London, and a petition is circulating asking for UN intervention. The regime of King Abdullah has a long and sordid history of human rights violations and oppression. Activists detail that over 30,000 political prisoners are jailed in the country, with some of those prisoners being children under the age of 14. Western media will furnish a list of reasons why they aren’t covering the story, starting with the claim of being unable gain sources with first hand information. This journalist has nowhere near the resources of the major media outlets such as CNN or BBC, but has already managed to find points of contact for two of the imprisoned Princesses and their mother, who is living in exile in London. Their mother, Al Anood Al Fayez, is extremely accessible and responded to a request for photographs of an upcoming protest in London in less than fifteen minutes. Even though the Kingdom is known for the veil of secrecy wrapped around the Royal family, it is not impenetrable. Some Westerners have already laid out the belief that the “girls are exaggerating” about the denial of food and medicine. First and foremost, the Princesses are not “girls.” Princess Sahar is 42 years old. These are not the actions of a petulant child who is upset that she didn’t get the present she wanted for her birthday. To classify them in this manner is an insult to sacrifices they have made for more than a decade. Even if one was to disbelieve the accusations of starvation and physical abuse, the fact would remain that the Princesses have been imprisoned for 13 years for daring to advocate basic human rights. To give that a ready point of reference for Americans, the Princesses have been confined since the year the Twin Towers fell.Princess Sahar in confinement.
The next talking point is that the United States has no business in Saudi Arabia. This is completely untrue. Sadly, the fact that the US has so much business there in the form of multi-billion dollar arms deals and oil contracts is the reason the government will not intervene. More importantly, nowhere in America’s creed is it written that beyond the borders of the United States live a lesser people. This incident should not be tainted by business interests or politics. This is a fight for the basic human rights and dignity of not only the Princesses, but the entire population of Saudi Arabia. It’s a fight that deserves the support of any freedom loving society. Due to the sixty-year-old ties between America’s ruling elite and the Saudi royal family, the knight in shining armor that will free the Princesses will have to be the Saudi people. American citizens should lend support for this cause in any way they can, but to expect the US government to act on behalf of the Princesses is to ignore the fact that the United States is no longer a republic. It’s an oligarchy and the corporate royal families of the Untied States have more interest in preserving profits than they do preserving Princesses.
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Contributed by Justin King of The AntiMedia.