The United States has long supported one of the most repressive regimes in the world. It invaded Iraq where women were able to do anything men could (which wasn’t much admittedly) but not Saudi Arabia where women are kept in subjection. It also ignored the fact that Saudi Arabia is home of the Wahabi brand of puritanical Islam that is the ideological inspiration for the Taliban and other extremist groups. Australia has trotted faithfully behind.
The New York Times and the US Congress now claim that at least some parts of the Saudi ruling clique were involved in the 9/11 attacks on the USA and the US Government has begun to criticise some aspects of Saudi domestic policies. This has led to Saudi Arabia threatening to withdraw funds in the US but this may not be a serious threat since it could do as much damage to theSaudis as to the Americans.
The Saudis are of course players in the kaleidescopic imbroglio in Syria and Iraq, a major oil producer and a strategic ally of the US. All of this poses a dilemma for countries that wish to export their version of human rights to countries like Saudi Arabia which are not interested in receiving it. It is perhaps one example of a wider phenomenon. Western countries do not always practice what they preach and then wonder why they are not trusted.