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Saudi Crimes… Western Business As Usual

By Finian Cunningham

January 12, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "American Herald Tribune" - The United States and Britain are probably the biggest impostor nations known to mankind. The Anglo-Saxon duo never ceases to remind the world of their self-declared democratic virtues, highest regards for human rights and upholding of law. In reality, their relations with the rest of the world are more fitting to criminal enterprise.

Last weekend, a key client regime of Washington and London carried out yet another war crime. Saudi Arabia has been bombing its southern neighbor Yemen for over nine months now. In the latest crime, a hospital was struck by Saudi warplanes in the northern Yemeni province of Saada, killing five people. It is but the latest instance in a litany of such war crimes committed by Saudi military forces in Yemen.

Thousands of civilians, women and children, have been slaughtered in Saudi air strikes on residential areas in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and many other towns and villages across the Arab Peninsula country. Shipping works and store facilities have been hit in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in a deliberate attempt to cut off the 24 million population from food, fuel and medicines.

The munitions dropped on Yemen include internationally banned cluster bombs, as confirmed by video footage showing “US Air Force”on the ordnance shrapnel.

Saudi claims that they are fighting on behalf of the exiled “government of Yemen”are balderdash. As are Saudi claims that the Ansarullah forces who kicked out the erstwhile American and Saudi-backed president are stooges of Iran, and that the Iranian government is subverting the Arab Peninsula. That’s Saudi paranoid fantasy, as even the New York Times and Washington Post have coyly admitted.

The real reason for the Saudi slaughter in Yemen is that the autocratic rulers in Riyadh cannot tolerate the idea of a popular uprising next door to their despotic regime. When the Ansarullah forces and Yemeni army joined forces to oust the corrupt puppet-president Adel Rabbo Mansour Hadi at the end of 2014 that was a red line for the Saudi dictators.

Popular uprisings in the oil-rich Persian Gulf are absolutely anathema and must be ruthlessly crushed, out of fear that the contagion of democratic power might spread. The people of Bahrain painfully demonstrated that back in 2011 and are still demonstrating it with ongoing Saudi-backed repression against their pro-democracy protests.

But the real villains in this piece are Washington and London. The Saudi regime and the other closely related monarchies in the Gulf would not get away with their despotism and crimes against humanity were it not for the unswerving indulgence afforded by the Anglo-Saxon “champions”of democracy and rule of law.

It is astounding the double-think that Washington and London are allowed to perpetrate, thanks to the obsequious Western mainstream media. US President Barack Obama and British premier David Cameron are indulged in their awry focus on “bringing democracy”to Syria or in their remonstrations with Russian leader Vladimir Putin over unsubstantiated infringements in Ukraine.

Yet Obama and Cameron have evidently nothing to say, and are scarcely questioned in the obsequious media, when it comes to their “ally”in Saudi Arabia.

No elections, women banned from driving cars or opening a bank account, people routinely flogged for allegedly practicing “sorcery”, human rights activists jailed and tortured for expressing mild criticism of the House of Saud. Even after these absolute autocrats order the beheading of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al Nimr, the “champions”of democracy in Washington and London still have nothing to say.

During his five years in office as prime minister, David Cameron’s United Kingdom has earned some $10 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, according to the London-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

For the United States, the Saudi proceeds are far greater. Last year alone, the US sold nearly $20 billion in weapons to the Saudi regime. That’s about 12.5 per cent of total US annual arms exports, according to figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

In 2012, the Obama administration signed off on an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth about $60 billion –reportedly the biggest weapons contract in history.

British and American munitions, warplanes, attack helicopters and cluster bombs are being used by the Saudis to terrorize the population of Yemen into submission. The same state-sponsored terrorism is, to varying degrees, deployed across the entire Persian Gulf to ensure that the Western-backed Arab dictatorships remain in power.

Washington and London’s silence is not merely unscrupulous muteness for the sake of maintaining profits and lobbying graft for the monstrous weapons industries; it is not even just about maintaining the flow of hydrocarbons from the oil-rich Middle East where 70 per cent of the world’s reserves are estimated to be.

It’s more disturbing business-as-usual than that. The arming of despots to oppress people is the reality of how Washington and London assert their power in the world. Democracy and human rights have nothing to do with, except to serve as a bit of rhetorical window-dressing to conceal the barbarity. 

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. For over 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

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