Friday, April 26, 2002[posted by jaed at 12:17 AM]
Surely the man is mad:
This transcript of a Middle East Policy Council forum on US/Saudi Arabia relations is well worth reading for insight into the diplomatic establishment's thinking on the history and realities of the relationship. Partway through, though, I came across this (the speaker is Charles Freeman, president of the MEPC and former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia:
If we knew what Saudi women wanted in an incremental way, then perhaps, to answer the question, we could be helpful by supporting those in the kingdom who are trying to promote change of a nature that is congenial to our values. But we don�t know that. Is it that they want to give up their chauffeurs and drive around? That might be good for American automobile manufacturers. Saudi Arabia is the only society outside the United States where the American automobile still dominates. And some of us who have been thinking for years about this issue would look forward to participating in building the separate road system that would be required if women could drive.
The what? The separate ROAD SYSTEM???
(Let's not even get into the sense of priorities displayed in the comment about automobile manufacturers.)