The Spectacle Blog

Saudi Sunday

By on 12.7.08 | 5:46PM

You have to hand it to the Washington Post: they've just discovered that there is chronic slavery and domestic-servant abuse in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, in the same Sunday paper, they mention that women in Iraq have had enough of the usual fate reserved Arab women (including honor killings) and are trying to do something about it. Not a word in there suggests this may be due to the presence of an American army in the neighborhood. But the major papers -- like the major human rights organizations, so called, that usually share their mind-set -- have a problem with the chronic, indeed normal and customary, abuses of human beings in the large swathes of the non-Judeo-Christian world, as one might say, since "third world" is out of fashion. It reminds me, if I may lay out some sour grapes, that when I published a major investigation years ago on female genital mutilation, the only person in either the big papers or the human rights organizations to take an interest was Abe Rosenthal, then a mere columnist at the paper whose honor he saved and unable to impose some big assignments on his erstwhile staff.

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