Jeff Sparrow

Australian writer

Jeff Sparrow (born 1969) is an Australian left-wing writer, editor and former socialist activist based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Jeff Sparrow


  • Everything we feared about communism – that we would lose our houses and savings and be forced to labor eternally for meager wages with no voice in the system – has come true under capitalism.
    • Communism: A Love Story (2007)

Why the West turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's brutality (September 29, 2015)

Why the West turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's brutality, ABC News (September 29, 2015)
  • The kingdom has oil - and lots of it. But that's only part of the story. Saudia Arabia is important to the West not despite of its brutality but because of it, for the Saudi dictatorship's seen as a buttress against "instability" in a strategic region. Riyadh's deeply conservative leaders did everything they could to derail the Arab spring, suppressing an upsurge of democratic sentiment that threatened the regimes with whom the West had always done business.
  • We're all familiar with the outrage that politicians display about certain human rights violations in the Middle East - generally, those committed by regimes or organisations we're about to bomb. But the more usual attitude is a realpolitik in which the West either supports or quietly ignores the barbarities of favoured states.
  • The same kind of logic holds in respect of Saudi Arabia. The regime might inflict punishments every bit as obscene as those enforced by the Islamic State. But it's a reliable ally, prepared to enforce the status quo in an oil rich region - and that matters more to the West than the life of a democracy protester.
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