Wednesday, December 18, 2002
More on our friends the Saudis: The American people aren't buying Saudi Arabia's PR offensive, with good reason.
Two more Westerners -- one of them a Canadian -- have stepped forward with allegations that they were tortured by Saudi officials who wanted them to confess to bombings in Riyadh.
The allegations will be aired tonight on the CBC program The Fifth Estate.
Ron Jones, a British accountant, was injured in a bomb blast outside a bookstore in Riyadh in March, 2001. He said he suffered scorching along the left side of his body, but was taken from hospital to a jail where he was beaten with a cane on the soles of his feet in an attempt to get him to confess to the bombing that injured him.
"He just swung this cane on to the soles of my feet and then he screamed at me, 'Don't move your feet.' The pain was absolutely excruciating," Mr. Jones said.
"I was screaming 'I haven't done anything, why are you doing this?' and the more I screamed, the more they hit.
"I remember saying to them, 'I'll tell you anything you want, just please don't hit me again.' "
Mr. Jones had been in the company of a Canadian at the time of the bookstore bombing. The Canadian was also detained by Saudi authorities and said he suffered beatings and sleep deprivation during his 60 days in a Saudi jail. He was spirited from the country by Canadian authorities, who told him not to talk to the press. His name has never been released and he has requested anonymity.
And the Saudis like to complain about some of their terrorist countrymen being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Once Iraq falls, Iran will follow. Give it a few more years and things in Saudi Arabia will change -- one way or another.
The Wahhabi strain of Islam that has its home in Saudi Arabia cannot exist side-by-side with Western civilization. One of them's got to go -- and we have a much better military.