James Zogby is assuring everyone that a wave of democracy and freedom uprisings across the Arab world will not reach the Arabian Gulf states, the American oil-colonies are stable, and business confidence remains high:
WASHINGTON // Business confidence in the Gulf region remains high despite the revolutions convulsing parts of the broader Middle East and North Africa. And the major concerns of business leaders in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are external macroeconomic shocks rather than domestic political turmoil.
Those are the conclusions of a new Oliver Wyman-Zogby International poll released on Monday and presented in Washington at a reception held by the UAE, Saudi and Qatar-US business councils.
Zogby goes even further claiming labor rights and democracy are not even a priority in those societies, and people can live without it:
Labour reform, Mr Zogby said, meant access to labour rather than labour rights. Political reform in the three countries was the least of the business leaders’ concerns.
“Executives don’t feel governments need an election to get to education and labour reform,” Mr Zogby said.
The results of Zogby’s polling of a small business elite conducted on behalf of his friends in the region may not be inaccurate, but they hardly represent the views of the general population. The brutal Saudi regime continues to be the most repressive regime in the world, and the only one that openly rejects democracy in principle and considers peaceful protests a “sin against God.”
The regime also continues its crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain on behalf of its monarchist counterparts. Zogby came out in support of the Saudi assault on peaceful protesters in Bahrain that apparently are more concerned with freedom and democracy than they are with the business environment. If people were not rising up demanding freedom and democracy why would the Saudi regime unleash its security forces against its own population and send reinforcements to help the equally thuggish Bahraini regime violently put down a peaceful democratic uprising?
In the past Zogby has described Bahrain as a “beacon of democratic reform” and continues to describe Saudi Arabia as a state engaged in some uniquely Wahabi process of evolving reform. Zogby’s “Gibran Gala” last month was sponsored by Saudi Aramco and the Saudi embassy in Washington DC with each donating a minimum of $100,000.