Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Mideast ally

A member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family was found innocent on Sunday of the torture and rape of an Afghan in a case that embarrassed the Gulf Arab emirate and raised questions over human rights.

The judge reading the verdict at a court in the United Arab Emirates, the world's third largest oil exporter and a U.S. ally, did not give a reason why Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan was exonerated of responsibility for abuse shown in a video first made public on U.S. network ABC last year.

ABC identified one of the people taking part in the abuse as Sheikh Issa. . . . a son of UAE founder Sheikh Zayed . . .

Mohammed Shahpoor, the Afghan grain trader abused in the video, showed no reaction when the verdicts were read out. In the footage, which dates back to 2004, Shahpoor is seen struck with an electric cattle prod, beaten with whips and a plank of wood with a nail in it . . . driven over by a car at a desert location near the oasis of al-Ain [and] . . . sodomiz[ed] with a stick.

What's surprising about this incident is that anyone in America continues to be surprised when revolutions break out against our Mideast "allies".

If George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were citizens of the United Arab Emirates, wouldn't they take up arms against its government?

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