It’s ironic, really. That when you drive, you line the pockets of the only country in the world that doesn’t permit women to drive. Or bike. Or take a bus. Or be out by themselves.
Meet Manal al-Sharif. She’s now facing the prospects of a public flogging because of the stand she took on her right to drive a car. She might be up against the same punishment if she’d shot a video of herself biking, or taking a bus, or even walking the streets on her own. That’s because Saudi Arabia is one of the most backward-minded countries in the world when it comes to women. In fact, it’s the only country in the world with policies this stringent. But the United States is crippled when it comes to taking the moral high ground because of our addiction to oil.
For the past two years, Saudi Arabia has been our biggest overseas importer of oil, surpassed only by our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. And Mexico’s lead is only edging Saudi Arabia out by a thread.
So while we gulp down oil and Senators try to cut funding for more energy efficient transportation options, we churn cash into the economy of a nation with a history of oppression. I’m sure Ms. al-Sharif wants her country to prosper, but the fact of the matter is that our nation’s addiction to oil has long kept us from taking a stand on issues in the Middle East, particularly in Saudia Arabia, one of our staunchest allies in the region. I think after the revolutions against propped-up regimes across the Middle East and Northern Africa, the blinders are off about America’s true stance on “freedom and justice for all.” You just can’t trust an addict.
To sign the petition to drop charges in this case, go here. And you know where we stand on freedom from [foreign] oil (it’s scrawled across the top of our website).