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Saudi Arabia May Receive $90 Billion in U.S. Arms

10:29 AM, Sep 14, 2010 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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Foreign immigrants make up almost a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s total population of 28 million.  Among their poorest of them, living conditions are abominable. Saudi journalist Khaled Al-Maeena reported at the end of August that five Ethiopians who were held for deportation as illegal entrants, in a location at Jazan on the country’s southwest coast, died of asphyxiation because of the crowded conditions there. An official committee has been appointed to investigate the case.

And so, tiny step by tiny step, with Abdullah alive, Saudi Arabia may prove worthy of the trust symbolized by the proposed arms sale, which could be the largest in American history. And the contract may prove more than another gambit by President Obama to improve America’s image in the Muslim lands. Hope for progress in Saudi Arabia is eternal – notwithstanding the many previous chapters of deception in the history of the two-faced monarchy.

Stephen Schwartz is a frequent contributor.  Irfan al-Alawi is executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, based in the UK. 

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