Sarah Saga alive or Prince Bandar dead

Here’s a good “Jackson-Vanik” to use on Saudi Arabia: its practice of allowing its citizens to kidnap their American-born children in custody disputes already resolved by American courts, and of keeping American women married to Saudi men virtual prisoners in the country. Even the Wall Street Journal seems to be appalled, though naturally it takes a completely irrelevant swipe at American feminists for not making more of a fuss, omitting any criticism of the Saudi liegeman now sitting in the White House. (See Grant Rabenn’s post for the link to the WSJ editorial and to some background material.)

I remain completely befuddled by the silence of the Democrats on the issue of the Saudi tyranny and the Bushies’ connections to it. I’d hate to think that Saudi penetration of the K Street lawyer-lobbyist corridor is so complete that no one dares to say the right thing. Dick Gephardt, not otherwise my favorite candidate, did take whack at the Saudis in the course of criticizing the administration’s energy policies, but that seems a little bit too oblique an approach if this is going to be developed into the winning issue I think it could be.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com