U.S./SAUDI WARS CAUSE DEVASTATION IN YEMEN AND THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST
U.S., Saudis and ISIS Collaborate to Destroy Yemen
There are wars that the U.S. fights in its own name or jointly with NATO, or “the U.S.-led coalition” currently bombing Syria and Iraq with the justification that they are fighting against ISIS and Al Qaeda. In other instances, the U.S. stays in the background but fully supports its allies and proxies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) to destroy any independent movements that arise, attempts by governments to break from U.S. control or offer any possible advantages to competitors like Russia, China, and Iran. When the Saudis and the other oil-monarchs in the region choose to intervene to return a dictatorial puppet regime to power, the U.S. provides unconditional support.
The intensive bombing that started on March 25, including U.S. cluster bombs that target civilians, has killed at least 3000 people, wounded thousands more, displaced 1.2 million people, destroyed hospitals, schools, factories and water purification facilities, and razed entire cities in an already impoverished nation. The humanitarian catastrophe leaves millions without sufficient food, water, and medical supplies to survive. Attempts by the UN and international relief agencies, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to deliver aid have been turned away by a U.S.-backed (by an aircraft carrier and seven American warships) Saudi blockade.
What goes under the radar is that the bombs and planes and weapons being used were sold for $60 billion to Saudi Arabia by the U.S. and they can’t be deployed without the direct logistical, technical and intelligence assistance and direction of the U.S. U.S. military technicians target the bombs; the U.S. Navy is organizing the blockade of Yemen; and relief goods are diverted to a U.S. base in Djibouti. In addition, the U.S. has waged secret CIA and JSOC “targeted” drone, jet and missile strikes in Yemen killing more than a thousand Yemenis, including many civilians, since 2002, but particularly since the 2011 rebellion by the Houthis. At the same time, Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has gained a significant foothold in the strife-ridden country, heightening sectarian conflict as well.
U.S.-Saudi Relationship and the Building of ISIS
The U.S. has maintained a special relationship with Saudi Arabia since 1932 by supporting the establishment of a House of Saud monarchy to give priority to the U.S. in profiting from the discovery of huge oil reserves. Oil money goes to the coffers of the Saudi royal family while much of the country remains undeveloped and the majority of the people live in poverty. In exchange for oil for security, the Saudis agreed to purchase billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the U.S., store their wealth in U.S. banks, take loans from the IMF, and ensure that U.S. corporations prosper. Although Saudi Arabia has quasi independence, the U.S. maintains controlling power and often uses Saudi Arabia as a proxy in its quest for world dominance.
The Saudis have been useful (along with Israel, the other major ally and proxy in the area) to stem the wave of revolutionary nationalism sweeping the Middle East in the ‘50’s and 60’s and to be an ally in the anti-communism of the Cold War. Since the early 80’s, the U.S. and the monarchy built a mercenary army of sectarian Islamic fundamentalist fighters that spread throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and Northern Africa in order to combat any potential democratic secular movements, to fight against Soviet influence (in Afghanistan and Syria), and to thwart rivals like China and Iran. Today, these groups are AQAP, Jabhat Al Nusra, and the Islamic State. The U.S. allowed them to grow but they do not always act in U.S. interests and they have been used more recently to justify U.S. political/military initiatives.
While the U.S. claims to be fighting a “War on Terror,” their Saudi allies spend billions to support terror and destabilization around the globe and continue to recruit and arm these forces (with American weapons). Casualties are Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In addition, the Saudis have formed an alliance with Israel against their regional neighbors, including the people of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen. The secular governments of Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey are targeted; and of course, the major rival in the region, Iran.
Brutal Oppression is the Norm in Saudi Arabia – the Beheadings Capitol of the World
The House of Saud practices Wahhabism, a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. They advocate a brutal formulation of Sharia law, enforced by the police state, where amputation, lashing and beheading are standard penalties. Thieves lose their hands, while murders, drug dealers, apostates and so-called witches are beheaded. Those who speak against the state are imprisoned and tortured.
The House of Saud has expanded rapidly to more than 4000 through an extreme form of polygamy where Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the founder of the current Saudi dynasty in Arabia, had 22 wives and many of his 35 sons had even more.
About 10% of the indigenous population is Shia. They are unemployed or poorly paid for the lowest levels of labor and have no civil rights. There is persistent economic, religious and educational discrimination against them. Shia are blocked from building mosques and celebrating Ashura, a focal Shia religious holiday. Meanwhile, the educated oil workers are foreign contractors with no civil rights and no option to obtain citizenship.
The Saudi system of gender-based customs and law that make women heavily reliant on men for their basic, day-to-day survival makes it one of the worst countries for women. They live under the guardianship of a husband or male relative who must sign for them to marry, travel, work, go to school, or get medical treatment. Because they cannot drive, they need permission and a driver even to shop and visit relatives and friends. There is little protection from domestic abuse.
The U.S. government and the corporate media don’t mention Saudi Arabian oppression or their criminal aggression in the Middle East. The U.S. government and mainstream media now support them in a vicious unilateral assault on neighboring Yemen. Their atrocities are never condemned because of their close relationship with the United States. Even human rights NGOs rarely note the abysmal oppression of the majority of Saudi people. In a context of global domination, the Saudi regime is a useful tool and massive war crimes are never a deterrent.
We must demand:
End U.S./Saudi Aggression in Yemen and End the Blockade!
U.S. Stop Supplying Arms and Technical Assistance to Saudi Arabia!
End Covert Support to Proxy Fundamentalist Mercenaries!
Denounce Saudi Arabian Human Rights Abuses and Oppression of Women!
U.S. Out of the Middle East!
Self-Determination for the People of the Middle East!