Successive U.S. administrations are supposedly so committed to democracy that they are willing to go to war to make men (and women!) free. At least, that is the theory.
But what happens when tyrants sell oil? Well, never mind. Who needs democracy when you have a wonderful monarchy on your side!
The Saudi crown prince has died. He may have been a perfectly nice guy, loved by his family. But he was the heir apparent and defense minister in a totalitarian regime, which not only suppresses political opposition and persecutes non-Muslims, but exercises greater control over people's personal lives than did communist exemplars like Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong. So you'd think people who like democracy wouldn't be too concerned about the prince's passing.
You'd be wrong, however. Officials from governments around the world rushed out to express their heart-felt condolences. Including in Washington, the fount of democracy worldwide. Reported the Washington Post:
U.S. President Barack Obama called the prince “a valued friend of the United States” in a statement of condolence. “He was a strong supporter of the deep and enduring partnership between our two countries forged almost seven decades ago.”
“He will be missed,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to Tajikistan. “Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is strong and enduring and we will look forward to working with the leadership for many years to come.”
Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, said Sultan served his country with “great dignity and dedication.”
The next time a tyrant dies could U.S. officials at least hold back the tears? They need not dance on the grave of the recently departed. However, they could avoid overdoing the "valued friend" bit. I mean, Moammar Qaddafi also was a "valued friend" in recent years. And his country probably was freer than the Saudi monarchy. Just once it would be nice to hear a little discreet silence in Washington.