How not to progress democracy

Washington is dedicated to…  human rights, we’re constantly told (well, yes, as long as energy reserves and arms sales are sorted first). Exhibit one:

A group of Democratic senators wants to make a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia contingent on getting cheaper oil, reports AFP. “We are saying to the Saudis that, if you don’t help us, why should we be helping you?” says Chuck Schumer, a Democratic senator from New York. “We are saying that we need real relief, and we need it quickly. You need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers.”

The American establishment must be so proud:

When clerics, ministers and businessmen gathered at a forum in Riyadh in April to discuss women in the workplace, there were no women in sight.

Typically for Saudi Arabia, the women who took part were seated in a separate room so the men could only hear them.