Pentagon Launches Essay Contest To Glorify Former King Abdullah

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Pentagon Launches Essay Contest To Glorify Former King Abdullah

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a “man of remarkable character and courage” according to some, will be honored by his US military admirers – with an essay competition.

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Martin Dempsey, announced on Monday the creation of a research and essay competition, to be hosted by the National Defense University. The competition will seek to foster “scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world”, Dempsey said in a statement.

Billed as a fitting tribute to the “life and leadership” of the Saudi monarch, the competition and award was the brainchild of General Dempsey himself.

“General Dempsey saw this as a good opportunity to honor a key Arab partner,” said Richard Osial, the spokesman for the joint chiefs of staff. “He had a personal relationship with the king, this was somebody he knew; General Dempsey and his wife both lived in Saudi Arabia.”

The essay competition is the latest act of flattery directed towards the kingdom and the reigning al-Sauds in recent days by the US, echoing the heavy praise heaped on the deceased 90-year-old monarch by western leaders. British prime minister David Cameron praised Abdullah for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths”, as US secretary of state John Kerry called him a “man of wisdom and vision”. IMF head Christine Lagarde even called Abdullah a “strong advocate for women”.

President Barack Obama, who will shorten his trip to India and divert to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the leader of the US’s staunchest Arab ally, saluted the king’s commitment to maintaining close ties with the US, offering effusive condolences. “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions,” Obama said in a statement.

Praise for the king’s courage was echoed by Dempsey, who called the leader “a man of remarkable character and courage”. He first met Abdullah in 2001, when he was serving as US advisor to the Saudi Arabian national guard.

Essay contest billed as tribute to 'life and leadership' of Saudi king Abdullah | World news | The Guardian
 
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This is unprofessional of the pentagon. They are getting involved in politics and it also makes them appear to be impartial. Maybe King Abdullah is a saint, but the President should state this, not the pentagon. The pentagon is supposed to do what the President orders.
 
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