OK, I understand that Realpolitik means we probably have to do business with this government but a Presidential visit? What’s the next stop? Uganda? Because let’s face it, vile as the anti-gay laws are in Uganda it is Pink Paradise compared to Saudi Arabia and some of the other Gulf states. According to Wikipedia homosexuality in Saudi Arabia “is punished with imprisonment, fines, corporal punishment, torture, capital punishment, and chemical castrations.” And this is the place that Air Force One touched down in and the President stepped forth wreathed in smiles?
OK, the debate. Do we put their barbaric laws to one side with a mild ‘different strokes for different folks’ and continue with them as a strong ally in the region (but are they really)? Do we take a middle course and say, OK, we’ll continue to do business and stay allies but there is no way we’ll be sending our President or anybody else other than essential bureaucrats anywhere near your country with its toxic laws? Or do we go the whole hog and treat them and all who do likewise as the pariahs they should be?
I’m really tempted to go for the last but I realize that may not be practical. The second option it is then. At least it’s easier to stomach than the first.