Fareed Zakaria is a very influential media figure, but his understanding of the region is somewhat limited, and his approach to foreign policy analysis is quite immature. Both qualities featured in his recent Time Magazine article: “Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough! Why we shouldn’t care that the world’s most irresponsible country is displeased at the U.S.”
If the logic which Zakaria used in his article was applied in an analysis of German or Russian foreign policy, it would become a laughing matter. But applying that logic to Saudi Arabia made it a political analysis.Abdullah Hamidaddin
Zakaria goes on to say that he the Saudis should be awarded “a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy.” The reasons he offers for awarding this to the Saudis can be summed in their relationship with “Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world.” Now, let’s assume for a moment that the Saudis had such relations, which would only be bad because many innocent people had died violently because of Islamic radicalism. But, would he also give such an award to all countries whose foreign policy had destructive consequences? Had caused immeasurable human suffering? Would he give such a prize to a country that had supported some of the most ruthless dictators in the world? Or a country which had sought to obliterate democracy in Central and South America? Or a country whose secretary of state believed that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was a worthwhile price for containing Saddam Hussein? Or a country whose victims in one day may exceed the victims of Islamic terrorism since the early 1980s? Or the country that had trained and financed death squads in Central and South America?