Tag Archives: saudi arabia

NED Ignores Saudi Barbarism

By Tony Cartalucci
July 15, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

435345111The Arabian Peninsula has been trapped in a time warp for nearly a century, thanks to the House of Saud and indomitable Western support.  Some may find it curious, browsing the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website, reviewing the unending lists of faux-NGOs special interests in the West have propped up across the planet to project influence and political meddling into every corner of the planet under the pretense of supporting “freedom and democracy,” to discover this meddling extends to nearly all nations except a select few.

One of these blind spots includes Saudi Arabia. In fact, under the category “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA), Saudi Arabia isn’t even listed. NED-funded NGOs attempt to leverage every noble cause conceived by human empathy, from representative governance, to the rights of women and children, from behind which to hide their true agenda of political meddling, undermining local institutions, and the overwriting of a nation’s sociocultural landscape. Yet, it would seem, even this farce has its limits, which begin at the borders of favored client-states including Saudi Arabia.

It would seem, were NED a genuine sponsor of such causes, Saudi Arabia would have attracted special attention. It is literally a nation where women do not exist as human beings legally or socially, unable to even drive, and were Saudi Arabia to have anything resembling actual elections, unable to vote as well. The lack of any semblance of representative governance is another aspect one might expect the National Endowment for Democracy to find issue with. Yet it doesn’t.

This transparent, obvious hypocrisy exposes the entirety of NED’s work for what it is – meddling behind an elaborate facade of defending freedom, democracy, and human rights.

But beyond this intentional blind spot the self-proclaimed arbiters of global freedom and democracy have created for the autocratic, brutal regime of Saudi Arabia to hide within, we find more than just silent approval, we find also active, even eager complicity.

The entirety of Saudi Arabia’s security apparatus, both internal and military, has been created and propped up by the West through billions upon billions of dollars in aid, weapon sales, and direct military cooperation and support. This includes the immense 60 billion USD arms deal signed between Riyadh and Washington, the largest arms deal in US history.

This says nothing of covert operations the West, including the United States and United Kingdom, have been carrying out throughout the MENA region with Saudi Arabia as the chief proxy and local facilitator.

Saudi Barbaria 

Saudi Arabia is ruled by an unelected, hereditary dictatorship. In fact, so autocratic is Saudi Arabia, the nation is literally named after the single family that has ruled it since it was created – the House of Saud – or “Saud’s Arabia.”

While Western NGOs fund to the tune of millions per year activists around the world agitating political instability in nations like Thailand, claiming that the constitutional monarchy there is some sort of impediment to “democracy,” the fact that a single family has ruled Saudi Arabia uninterrupted for decades, even naming the country after the family who rules it unopposed without even the semblance of elections or representative governance, seems to be more than acceptable.

To remain in power for decades, the House of Saud has instituted an extensive and barbaric punitive system which includes public beheadings for everyone from “witches and heretics” to enemies of the state. What is considered as intolerable barbarity in Syria or Iraq when Al Qaeda beheads prisoners of war or local civilians to impose their rule on seized territory, is just another day at “Chop-Chop Square” in Riyadh.

The International Business Tribune would report in its article, “Execution Central: Saudi Arabia’s Bloody Chop-Chop Square,” that:

In the capital Riyadh, public executions take place in the central Deera square, usually at 9am. The wide ochre square has been grimly dubbed “chop chop square” has seen dozens of condemned men and women put to death in recent years.

“When they [death row prisoners] get to the execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner’s head off,” al-Beshi said.

According to Human Rights Watch, from January to September 2012, at least 69 people were executed in Saudi Arabia. Another 10 beheadings have been reported in just the first six weeks of 2013.

Beheadings are imposed mainly for murder or drug offences, but cases of apostasy (renunciation of one’s faith), sorcery and witchcraft can also end up in Chop Chop square. Indeed a man named Muri’ al-‘Asiri was executed last year in the southern town of Najran, as punishment for being a sorcerer.

The parallels between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia are no coincidence. Al Qaeda and the subsequent “Islamic State” (ISIS) it has created, straddling Syria and Iraq and spreading across the rest of the MENA region in fact finds its genesis and chief patrons in Riyadh. The West props up Riyadh, and Riyadh props up a regional army of mercenaries waging relentless war on Washington and Wall Street’s enemies throughout MENA. A torrent of supplies brought in by literal convoys of trucks even streams into the war zone via NATO territory.

ISIS can in fact be considered a “colony” of Riyadh, and a reflection of the depravity actively encouraged by the West on the Arabian Peninsula for decades.

Saudi Barbarism Actively, Intentionally Enabled by West

A barbaric autocracy lopping the heads off its own citizens while creating colonies of terrorism across the globe through direct support of marching terrorist armies and a global network of madrases promoting the state-cult of Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, under the guise of Sunni Islam would seem like one of the West’s greatest threats.

Yet in most cases, particularly when these Saudi-sponsored madrases are established in Europe or North America, national intelligence and law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the CIA, MI5, and MI6 actively participate in the cultivating, exploitation, and entrapment of radicals created within. Never is it attempted to expose and dismantle these networks, and instead, an intentional strategy of tension is created around these rat nests of extremism to promote hysteria, division, and further fan the flames of fear at home, while justifying perpetual war abroad.

Considering this, it is clear why Saudi Arabia is not only pardoned for its inhumanity and criminality, but encouraged and enabled by special interests in the West. These interests are able to manipulate and terrorize their population at home, justify the creation and enlargement of domestic surveillance networks, and justify the use of military force abroad in campaigns of hegemonic conquest predicated on “national defense” against “terrorism” they and their allies have themselves created to begin with.

When Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on neighboring Yemen, we saw once again not only the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union fail to protest the extraterritorial aggression, but the United Nations itself also failed to condemn or act in response. Furthermore, Western support for Saudi military aggression has continued unabated regardless of the atrocities and deaths unfolding in Yemen.

And while it can safely be said that Al Qaeda is a reflection of Saudi Arabia, it can also be safely stated that Saudi Arabia, its barbarism and regional crimes against humanity, its state-sponsorship of global terrorism, and even the ideology it actively promotes worldwide that serves as the foundation global terrorism is inspired from, is a reflection in turn of the depravity of the special interests ruling Wall Street, Washington and their Transatlantic counterparts in London and Brussels.

Understanding the special accommodations made by the West for perhaps the most barbaric nation on Earth, amid disingenuous bleating about “Iran,” “North Korea,” “Russia,” “China,” and other enemies of Western hegemony, exposes the emptiness of Western principles – or more accurately – the emptiness of those hiding behind them.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  

The Ridiculous Nature of Saudi Intelligence: What the Saudi Cables Released by WikiLeaks Say and Don’t Say

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
June 23, 2015
Global Research

 

WikiLeaksWikiLeaks released the first batch of the so-called “Saudi cables” on June 19, 2015. By June 22, a total of 61,214 of the documents were released online. More than half a million of these cables are in the hands of WikiLeaks.

The documents are believed to have been hacked from the Saudi Foreign Ministry in May 2015 by a group calling itself the Yemen Cyber Army as retaliation to the House of Saud’s war against Yemen. The Yemen Cyber Army probably is not Yemeni and almost certainly is an outward show for another actor wishing to either penalize Riyadh or even possibly manipulate it.

In the Arab World there is great interest about the documents. The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akbar has also partnered itself with WikiLeaks to release the so-called Saudi cables, as it has with previous leaks. The Saudi cables, however, do not tell the world and Wikileaks readers anything new about Saudi Arabia.

 

The Buying Influence of Riyadh’s Petro-Dollar

The House of Saud has characteristically tried to buy influence. It wrongly believes that loyalty can be bought. Call them subsidies, grants, bursaries, or business contracts: they are all forms of bribery.

The documents released by WikiLeaks confirm that the House of Saud has used bribery as a major foreign policy tool by financing political figures in other countries—such as the pro-Israeli warlord Samir Geagea in Lebanon—and buying off individuals and organizations to secure its interests. This bribery includes co-opting and recruiting both Arabic and non-Arabic media outlets.

Additionally, the cables confirm that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been spying on its citizens abroad, closely following Saudi university students to see if they want changes in Saudi Arabia, watching dissidents, trying its hardest to handicap Iranian interests, destabilizing Iraq, helping the dictators of Bahrain, and using Saudi-financed media to sanitize its image and deceive Arab audiences. Again, none of this tells us anything new that we did not know about the Kingdom and its decadent rulers.

The House of Saud’s Information War

The documents depict the House of Saud as waging a perpetual and systematic campaign to influence and manage the media as part of a vulgar perception management strategy.  Not only are Saudi-owned media outlets like Al Arabiya and Asharq Al-Awsat part of this, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information has been central to this policy of “buying influence” using the revenues from Saudi Arabia’s oil sales.

The Saudi cables show that Riyadh’s rulers have used a gradient strategy. The House of Saud’s media strategy starts with co-optation through bribery by what we can call “agents of influence.” Agents of influence can include diplomats, public relations firms, and lawyers. The House of Saud has teams of lawyers, consultants, and public relations firms constantly working for it and monitoring the media and the House of Saud’s public image at all times.

It is the task of the agents of influence to find and contact the media outlets reporting negatively about the House of Saud. In some cases the agents of influence find them and in others Saudi officials in Riyadh order the agents of influence to contact the third parties. The preliminary task of the agents of influence is to “neutralize” the negative reporting about the House of Saud. This is primarily done through bribery. Riyadh has paid for massive subscriptions of Arab newspapers in countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, and Mauritania as a means of inducing the publications to self-censor themselves or to provide positive coverage about the House of Saud.

If bribery does not work then a strategy of “containment” involving slander is applied followed by a strategy of “confrontation” that involves litigation and sabotage.  Both the containment and confrontation strategies of the House of Saud involve falsely planting stories under what is generally categorized as black propaganda. Aside from promoting the image of the House of Saud, co-opted media outlets are important for the strategies of containment and confrontation because they launch attacks on those targeted by the House of Saud. Targets have included Arab activists, Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, the newspaper Al-Akbar, and Syria.

The Obvious versus the Unmentioned

Again, it has to be noted that it widely known that bribery have been an important and central policy tool for the morally bankrupt Saudi princes. It also has to be emphasized that the information about the Saudi media strategy released by WikiLeaks is not a new revelation. These Saudi activities have widely been recognized.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has reacted to the release of the cables by WikiLeaks by warning its citizens to refrain from reading the documents. Riyadh has emphasized that ignoring the documents is a matter of national security.  It has also declared that the documents being released by Wikileaks are doctored fabrications without even providing one example.

What is missing from the Saudi cables that WikiLeaks released heretofore are any documents about the House of Saud’s support for Al-Qaeda and the other armed gangs that are wreaking havoc inside Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. This is important and noteworthy.

The Timing of the Release: Targeting Rapprochement between Moscow and Riyadh?

There are some very important questions to be asked and thought over about the Saudi cables. Are the release of the Saudi cables retaliation for Saudi aggression in Yemen or punishment for efforts by the House of Saud to exert itself independently from Washington? Why is the crisis in Syria and Saudi support for the foreign fighters ravaging Syria largely left out of the leaks? If Saudi involvement in the fighting in Syria was seriously mentioned in the cables released by WikiLeaks it could incriminate other countries, such as the US, Britain, France, and Turkey.

The release of the Saudi cables may hurt Saudi Arabia economically and weaken its media strategy, which will lead to both economic and political instability for the Kingdom as it increasingly fails to control more information about the House of Saud’s actions. Furthermore, the Saudi cables have been released on the eve of important talks and negotiations between Saudi and Russian officials that follow agreements and earlier talks between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The bilateral talks are set to consolidate a series of agreements made on cooperation and trade between the Kingdom and the Russian Federation that will help boost the besieged Russian economy that Washington is trying to crash. This is why it is important to think over the origins and motives of the Yemen Cyber Army and ask who is pulling its strings? Is a genuine Saudi adversary behind the Yemen Cyber Army or an unhappy ally that wants to prevent any rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Russia?

One of the documents that is getting increasing focus is an agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia to vote for one another to join the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Is it a mere coincidence that UN Watch decided to focus on this agreement to criticize Russia and even refers to it as a dictatorship in an article published by Hillel Neuer on June 21,2015? Conversely, UN Watch has remained silent about the multitude of similar agreements made by the US with the House of Saud and other dictatorships. What has UN Watch said about Bahrain or Gaza? Why does it oppose the Venezuelan government? In reality, the goal of UN Watch has been to use the United Nations Human Rights Council to further the interests of the US and Israel while it undermines the body for criticizing Israeli human rights violations. UN Watch even helped legitimize the war on Libya by NATO in 2011 and has pushed for a war with Syria. Now it is targeting Russia.

Although Riyadh could be manipulating Moscow for Washington, joint funds, space cooperation, nuclear agreements, investments, and arms deals all seem  to be in the works. The last time Saudi Arabia made major deals with the Kremlin nothing came out of them, either because the House of Saud was toying with the Russians or due to orders being sent from the US to Riyadh.

The Ridiculous Nature of Saudi Intelligence 

Another point that is worth mentioning is the unprofessional nature of the Saudi intelligence structure. This is not new information either, but it still worth mentioning. Reading the leaked documents it becomes very clear that the Saudi intelligence structure is sloppy, unsophisticated, and badly trained. The analyses made in the Saudi intelligence reports are ridiculous and even rely on both tabloids and unverified internet research from open sources.

A case in point is the Saudi intelligence report that mentions this author. As one of the subjects inside the initial batch of Saudi cables that WikiLeaks released, I took particular interest in looking over the Saudi intelligence memorandum that I was wrongly mentioned in as “Mahdi Nazemroaya Darius.” This particular Saudi intelligence memo relies on internet research to look at the background of myself and several colleagues who have pointed out how Saudi Arabia has supported terrorism and worked with the US and Israel in a destabilization campaign in the Middle East and North Africa.

Probably based on an assumption that I am of Iranian origin based on the name Darius, the memo ambiguously and wrongly speculates that I could “be working for Iran” without giving any context to what that could mean. The description of others are also all vulgar caricatures that  simply refer to them as “anti-American” or “anti-Western.”

Deficit of Critical Thinking in the Information Age 

The type of misanalysis that is exemplified by Saudi intelligence analysts is increasingly endemic of intelligence services and the consultative firms that governments around the world, including in the United States, are increasingly relying on. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that this is actually the second time that I found myself mentioned in a document released by WikiLeaks; the first time was in 2013 when WikiLeaks released a hacked email about the possible whereabouts of Muammar Qaddafi from the Texas-based intelligence consultation company Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). Stratfor was also off. The Texas-based company mistakenly listed me as an employee of the Associated Press inside Libya during NATO’s bombing campaign while it was discussing the situation in the Rixos Al-Nasr and making arguments based on association fallacies.

In regards to the Saudi intelligence memo, it is clear that no real efforts were made to do proper background checks outside of the internet. It makes one cynically ask if Saudi Arabia’s intelligence structure does much more than police the Kingdom’s local population and if it is the intelligence bodies of the US and other countries, including Britain and Israel, that are doing most the important intelligence work for Riyadh.

Looking over the documents released by WikiLeaks it becomes clear that they confirm what is already known about the House of Saud and that there is a serious problem of analysis in the organizational structures of Saudi Arabia. A lack of critical thinking is not a problem that money and bribery can solve either. With this type of mentality and lack of analytical thinking about the world, it is of little wonder that Riyadh got itself in a quagmire in Yemen. There, however, remain important questions about the motives for the release of the Saudi cables and about the background of the Yemen Cyber Army.

US-backed war on Yemen leaves 20 million without food, water, medical care

By Bill Van Auken
June 7, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

The US-backed war against Yemen has left some 20 million people—nearly 80 percent of the country’s population—facing a humanitarian disaster, without access to adequate food, water and medical care, the United Nations top aid official informed member nations of the UN Security Council this week.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien described the situation confronting the population of the Arab world’s poorest country as “catastrophic,” placing much of the blame on the Saudi-led air strikes that have devastated Yemeni cities, and Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen’s ports, which have prevented not only the arrival of emergency relief supplies but also the basic flow of goods that existed before the war.

“The blockade means it’s impossible to bring anything into the country,” Nuha Abdul Jaber, Oxfam’s humanitarian program director in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa told the Guardian newspaper. “There are lots of ships, with basic things like flour, that are not allowed to approach. The situation is deteriorating, hospitals are now shutting down, without diesel. People are dying of simple diseases. It is becoming almost impossible to survive.”

The Guardian , citing a report by the aid group Save the Children, reported that hospitals have closed down in at least 18 of the country’s 22 governates, along with 153 health centers that provided nutrition to at-risk children and 158 outpatient clinics that treated children under five. “At the same time, due to lack of clean water and sanitation, cholera and other diseases are on the rise,” the paper reported. “A dengue fever outbreak has been reported in Aden.”

The Saudi monarchy, meanwhile, has provided none of the $274 million for an emergency humanitarian fund that it promised to create when, in late April, it announced an end to what it had dubbed “Operation Decisive Storm” and declared that it would shift from military operations to “the political process.”

Since then, along with the blockade, the air war against Yemen’s impoverished population, now in its third month, has continued unabated. On Wednesday and Thursday alone, at least 58 civilians were reported killed, as bombs struck a number of areas including in the north near the Saudi Arabian border, where 48 people, mostly women and children, were reported killed in a single village. According to the UN’s estimate, at least 2,000 civilians have lost their lives since the onset of the war.

The Obama administration has provided the Saudis with logistical and intelligence support, helping to select targets for bombardment, sending refueling planes to keep the bombers of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf monarchy allies in the air and rushing bombs and missiles to replace those dropped on Yemen.

It was reported Thursday that the leadership of the Houthi rebels have agreed to attend UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva on June 14. Agence France Presse quoted Daifallah al-Shami, a politburo member of the Houthi militia’s political wing as saying, “We accepted the invitation of the United Nations to go to the negotiating table in Geneva without preconditions.”

The rebels have refused to submit to a one-sided resolution pushed through the United Nations Security Council in April by the US and its allies (with Russia abstaining), imposing an arms embargo directed solely against the Houthi rebels, while demanding that they disarm, cede territory under their control and recognize the government of President Abd Rabbuh Monsour Hadi, a puppet of Washington and Saudi Arabia, who fled the country in March. The Security Council resolution made no criticism whatsoever of the Saudi air strikes, launched against a civilian population in violation of international laws against aggressive war.

Representatives of Hadi, who is holed up in Riyadh, are also reported to have agreed to attend the Geneva talks. Previously, Hadi had demanded that the Houthis bow to the UN Security Council resolution before any peace talks.

Also expected to join the talks are representatives of former president and longtime strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose loyalists allied themselves with the Houthis.

Not expected to participate are rebel factions in the south of Yemen who have resisted the Houthis but have no interest in restoring Hadi to power, fighting instead for the independence of South Yemen, a former British colony which existed as an independent state aligned with the former Soviet Union before its unification with the north in 1990. That unity broke down in 1994, resulting in a civil war that ended with the secessionist south defeated and forced back into unification.

The war in Yemen has led to a ratcheting up of tensions throughout the region, with the Saudi monarchy and Washington both charging Iran with supporting the Houthis, who are based among the Zaidi Shiites, and who make up approximately one third of Yemen’s population, dominating the north of the country.

Washington has repeatedly charged Tehran with supplying arms to the Houthis, while presenting no evidence. Iran has denied the charges.

War, Imperialism and the People’s Struggle in the Middle East

United States continues its occupation of the region

By Abayomi Azikiwe
June 4, 2015
Global Research

 

War-USA-400x293Since March 26 the Saudi Arabian monarchy along with its neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been waging war on the nation of Yemen. Daily bombing raids against residential areas and infrastructure are ostensibly designed to push back the Ansurallah (Houthis) movement which has taken over large sections of the country, one of the most underdeveloped in the region.

This war has been largely hidden from the view of people inside the United States. Nonetheless, this is a U.S. war aimed at maintaining Washington’s dominant position within the Arabian Peninsula extending to the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.

Prior to the beginning of the airstrikes by the Saudi-GCC Coalition, the administration of President Barack Obama withdrew its diplomatic personnel along with Special Forces operating inside the country. For many years the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has viewed Yemen as a key area for its so-called “war on terrorism.”

Regular drone strikes have killed many Yemenis along with at least three of whom were U.S. citizens. Washington has said that the Al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is major threat to American interests in an attempt to justify the drone attacks which have killed more civilians than supposed “armed combatants.”

However, in recent months the Islamic Republic of Iran has been designated by Washington and its allies as the principal threat in Yemen. The Ansurallah, which is a Shiite branch of Islam, is supported politically by Tehran. The Saudi monarchy views Iran as its major impediment in controlling the region on behalf of U.S. oil and financial interests.

The current hostilities in Yemen have been described as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the GCC on one side and Iran and its allies on the other. The total war strategy against Yemen consists of the banning of humanitarian assistance from Iran and others who oppose the bombing and ground offensive by militias which are financed by Riyadh.

According to an article published by the Telegraph in Britain, it says that “As Saudi Arabia has maintained an air and naval blockade on Yemeni territory, gas supplies have run perilously low. Even a five day humanitarian pause was not enough to bring in the necessary aid. Fuel prices have spiked as the casualty count mounts, and some hospitals have been forced to close altogether because they are unable to keep medical supplies refrigerated or perform operations since they can’t run backup generators.”

Reports of the number of Yemenis killed in the fighting range from 2,000-4,000 with many more injured and displaced. Yemeni-Americans who have been attempting to leave the country since late March have been abandoned by Washington.

Many Yeminis have taken refuge across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden into Djibouti where the U.S. has its largest military base in Africa. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is expanding its operations at Camp Lemonnier which is utilized as a staging ground for military strikes inside Somalia and other countries on the continent.

This same above-mentioned Telegraph article also notes that

“The UNHCR says a total of 5,000 Yemeni refugees have made it to Djibouti, including 3,000 in the capital, Djibouti city, and 1,000 in Obock, 300 kilometers (187 miles) to the north — making it currently the biggest Yemeni refugee population. The influx has hiked up local prices, with markets, hotels, and drivers trying to make the most of the situation in an already struggling economy.”

Yemen and the Imperialist Regional War

The war in Yemen is part and parcel of a broader regional war that encompasses Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, occupied Palestine and Iran. In Iraq where the U.S. occupied the country for over eight years, the Pentagon has redeployed 3,100 troops to the area. These troops are purportedly training Iraqi military forces although the Defense Department cannot claim any real successes.

When Islamic State fighters confronted Iraqi units in Mosul and other cities they fled. A similar situation was reported in Ramadi in Anbar Province. The Obama administration played down these events in order to deflect the attention of the U.S. public away from its failures in Iraq.

The Kurdish fighters seem to have fought with far greater commitment and vigor yet they are not privy to the military assistance in their struggle against IS. Fierce battles in Kobane on the border with Turkey revealed that the Kurds were a force to be reckoned with in the regional war against IS.

In neighboring Syria, the U.S. is behind efforts to destabilize and overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Since 2011, an estimated 200,000 people have died and several million dislocated both inside and outside of Syria.

The U.S. is bombing both Iraq and Syria under the guise of degrading and destroying IS bases. However, the impact of this aerial war is to create broader avenues of operation for the IS forces which were built up during the initial years of the destabilization campaign against Syria. At present IS military units have seized large areas of territory within Syria and Iraq, while the strategy of the White House is to continue the bombing targeting Daesh but at the same time opposing the continued existence of the Assad government in Damascus.

A massive air assault on Syria was planned for August-September 2013. However, public outrage in Britain and the U.S. stopped the president in his tracks. The effect of recent wars waged by Washington through successive administrations has resulted in greater instability and dislocation.

In Lebanon Hezbollah has maintained its strength against the Zionist regime occupying Palestine. The party and mass movement have also intervened in solidarity with the people of Syria and may escalate its involvement based upon developments taking place inside the country.

The plight of Palestinians has been negatively impacted by the wars in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, many Palestinian refugees were divided over support for the Assad government. A major camp housing Palestinians has been the focal point of IS attacks seeking to gain control of the area.

Israel is supported to the tune of billions every year from the tax dollars of the American people. U.S. warplanes and other defense technology are given to Tel Aviv where it is tested against the people of Gaza and other occupied territories.

Although the U.S. administration has signed an agreement on Iran nuclear energy program, the Obama White House is continuing the 36 years of hostility towards Tehran since the popular revolution of 1979. Washington’s coordination of the Saudi-GCC war in Yemen is a clear testament to the ongoing war against Iran.

Africa and the Middle East 

As we mentioned earlier, Djibouti, the pivotal staging ground for AFRICOM on the continent is located right across from Yemen. Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya are in close proximity. The artificial divisions between Africa and the so-called Middle East are merely constructs of colonialism and imperialism for the purpose dividing the regions in regard to spheres of influence for western powers.

Peoples who reside on either side of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden fundamentally want the U.S. out of their countries. They desire to live in peace and to determine their own destiny in the quest for development and unity. Washington and Wall Street dominate through their military prowess and economic machinations that bribe leaders making them dependent upon U.S. and European patronage and privilege.

The fueled hostility between various branches of Islam is indispensable in the imperialist strategy for the Middle East and Africa. Only when the peoples of Africa and the Middle East unite on an anti-imperialist basis will there be a genuine atmosphere of lasting peace and social stability.

Note: This paper was presented at the Left Forum held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY) during May 29-31, 2015. The panel was chaired by Bill Dores of the International Action Center. Kazem Azin of Solidarity Iran was also a participant.

US-Saudi- Israeli “Axis of Evil” Against Yemen, Carefully Planned Military Undertaking

By Stephen Lendman
June 1, 2015
Global Research

 

Saudi-Arabia-bombing-YemenYemen is Obama’s war – planned months before Saudi-led proxies launched naked aggression.

It’s been raging since March 26 with no end in sight. At stake is Yemeni sovereignty and the fate of its 24 million people suffering horrifically from relentless Saudi terror-bombing and shelling.

Israel is very much involved. In late April, Fars News reported its submarines and warplanes “readily observed” near Saudi Arabia’s coastline since conflict began – according to unnamed foreign diplomats.

They said Riyadh secretly agreed decades ago to give Israeli submarines and warplanes access to Saudi waters.

They’ve been patrolling them since the start of conflict. According to Fars News, “(m)any regional officials…earlier revealed collaboration among the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia in the aggression against Yemen.”

Weeks earlier, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said Washington and Israel are the main sponsors of aggression on Yemen.

Days after Saudi terror-bombing began, Fars News said Israeli warplanes participated in attacking Yemeni targets.

Yemeni Al-Haq political party secretary general Hassan Zayd said “Zionists are conducting a joint operation in coalition with Arabs.”

Everything is orchestrated and coordinated by Washington – including supplying weapons, intelligence and targets to strike.

On May 31, Haaretz headlined “Iranian report: Israeli arms found in Saudi embassy in Yemen,” saying:

Houthi fighters found “a large cache of Israeli-made weapons and ammunition” in Riyadh’s abandoned Sanaa embassy.

Documents were found indicating Washington plans a base on Yemen’s Perim Island island off its southwest coast in the Red Sea near the entrance to the Bab al-Mandreb strait.

Riyadh reportedly asked Israel to supply “state-of-the-art weapons” to wage war on Houthis.

On May 25, Veterans Today reported two Israeli F-16s downed over Yemen.

Saying “Yemeni air defense forces shot down a Saudi marked fighter jet in the northwestern province of Sanaa in Yemen as it was conducting airstrikes.”

“This is the second F-16 shot down this week – clearly the strength of the Yemeni air defences has been grossly underestimated.”

“The Saudi F-16 fighter jet was shot down and subsequently crashed in the Bayt Khayran area of the district of Bani Harith in the northern part of Sanaa.”

Wreckage of both planes “were found to be of types never supplied to an Arab nation, not Saudi Arabia” or others. “The only ‘buyer’ in the region for that type of plane is Israel.”

At the same time, Press TV reported two downed Saudi warplanes in the same areas.

On May 29, Pravda said “Saudis have begun to wipe Yemen off the map…Shocking video reveals proton bombardment from a neutron bomb.”

“Israel is reported to be the one to deploy such (weapons). Any doubts about the nuclear attack on Yemen attributed to Israel, as evidenced in two Israeli F-16s shot down and forensically identified, are now gone.”

“Forbidden strikes have brought about a storm of worldwide protest.”

“Obama has recently promised to provide every assistance including US military force to any ‘external threat’ the rich Arab states of the Gulf may face.”

A previous article said Obama wants Yemen bombed back to the 19th century. US orchestrated aggression is systematically committing mass slaughter and destruction – mostly affecting civilian men, women and children.

Thousands have been murdered in cold blood, many more injured and around a million displaced.

It gets worse. Fars News cited Djibouti sources saying “out of every 100 ships of humanitarian aids sent for the Yemeni people, the cargoes of only 10 ships are delivered to the poor Arab nation and the rest is sold to African and Arab traders.”

“These officials also forge documents and claim that the aid ships are on their way to Yemen and will unload their cargoes in Aden and al-Hudayda ports while aids are carried to the African and Arab ports.”

According to Fars News, “aid committees” said 173 ships with humanitarian aid reached Yemeni ports. Aden sources indicated only four vessels reached its port, three carrying food.

If the report is accurate, most desperately needed aid isn’t arriving. Profiteers are stealing it – perhaps as part of Obama’s plan to cause maximum pain and suffering to force Houthis to surrender.

A previous article discussed Riyadh using US-supplied banned cluster bombs. In early May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported their use – citing credible evidence.

On May 31, HRW again reported on cluster munitions harming civilians in northern Yemen’s Saada governorate. Its senior emergencies researcher Ole Solvang said the following:

“These weapons can’t distinguish military targets from civilians, and their unexploded submunitions threaten civilians, especially children, even long after the fighting.”

HRW documented US-supplied Saudi use of cluster bombs in 2009. They can be fired by rockets, mortars, artillery or dropped from aircraft.

Cluster munitions are banned for good reason. They’re terror weapons. They harm civilians. Unexploded ones look like toys. Children picking them up are killed or have limbs blown off.

Perhaps an entire generation of Yemeni children will be killed or maimed before conflict ends.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Saudi Arabian monarchy calls for more executioners

By Niles Williamson
May 20, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Another Pakistani beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Image from: samaa.tv

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Civil Service posted eight job openings this week for new executioners on its employment website. The job posting states that no particular qualifications are necessary and that applicants will not be subject to typical civil service entrance exams.

The new state killers, who are formally classified as religious functionaries, will be responsible for “carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Sharia after it is ordered by a legal ruling.” They will also be responsible for amputating the hands of those individuals convicted of criminal offenses that do not carry the death penalty.

The most common form of state sanctioned murder in the Islamic kingdom is beheading with a scimitar, a traditional Arabian sword with a long curved blade. Executions have also been carried out by firing squad and stoning, though these methods of killing are less prevalent.

The Saudi monarchy is in desperate need for new swordsmen as the number of beheadings is on pace to double from last year. According to Human Rights Watch there have been 85 beheadings so far this year, nearly matching in less than five months the 90 beheadings carried out in all of 2014.

Approximately half of those beheaded last year were Saudi Arabian. The others were migrant workers from Yemen, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Sudan, Chad, Eritrea, India, Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines.

With their noted quiescence, American officials including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sanction Saudi Arabia’s decapitations even as they hypocritically utilize the horrific images of beheadings by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to justify military operations in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia has consistently been ranked as among the top five countries for executions annually. The kingdom ranked third in the number of executions in 2014, behind China and Iran, and ahead of Iraq and the United States. According to figures compiled by Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia put a total of 592 people to death between 2007 and 2014.

The number of executions has risen dramatically since King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud took the throne in January. Salman has appointed a number of new judges to work through a significant backlog of death penalty appeals.

Saudi Arabia is one of the last countries to officially sanction public executions and the only one to carry them out on a methodical basis. Beheadings are routinely carried out in broad daylight in public squares. Deera Square, the main site of public executions in the capital city, Riyadh, is grotesquely nicknamed Chop Chop Square.

Earlier this month five men who had been convicted of murder were beheaded in Jeddah and their corpses were hung by a rope from a helicopter hovering above the city in a grisly public display. Recent cases have also been reported in which decapitated corpses were crucified and left to hang in the open air.

Though it is illegal to film the killings, videos depicting the barbaric practice often leak online. A Saudi security official was arrested in January for filming and posting online the video of a typical execution. The video shows a woman protesting her innocence as she is forced to the ground by security officers, positioning her to be beheaded. The swordsman pulls back his scimitar and butchers the woman with three successive hacks at her neck.

While most beheadings are carried out in punishment for murder, the death penalty is also applicable under Saudi law in cases of adultery, apostasy, burglary, drug smuggling, sorcery, witchcraft, fornication, sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, carjacking and waging war on God.

A Sudanese migrant worker was beheaded in 2011 after being convicted of practicing witchcraft and sorcery. According to Amnesty International, Abdul Hamid bin Hussein Mostafa al Fakki was entrapped by an agent provocateur from Saudi Arabia’s religious police, who asked him to cast a spell to reunite the police agent’s supposedly divorced parents. The Ministry of Justice filed 191 capital cases of alleged sorcery between November 2013 and May 2014, many against migrant workers.

The barbarity of the Saudi monarchy is not confined to its own borders. The spike in public executions also comes as the Saudi monarchy, with the full support of the US, is leading a punishing air war against the Houthi in Yemen. Airstrikes since March have resulted in the deaths of more than 1,800 people, half of them civilians.

The Saudi-led coalition has committed numerous war crimes, deploying illegal cluster munitions and dropping bombs on a refugee camp, a warehouse full of humanitarian supplies and a dairy factory. Schools, hospitals, airports and residential neighborhoods have all been deliberately targeted for destruction.

Saudi-led coalition resume air strikes in Yemen

By Niles Williamson
May 19, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Saudi air strike

Image from: hangthebankers.com

The coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States resumed its brutal assault against Houthi militia targets throughout Yemen Sunday, following the expiration of a five-day cease-fire that began last week.

The stated goals of the Saudi-led air war is to reinstate President Abd Rabbuh Monsour Hadi, who fled the country for Riyadh in March, and push back the Houthi militia that, with the support of military forces loyal to former long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, has taken control of most of Yemen’s western provinces.

A plea by a UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, that the five-day “humanitarian truce” should turn into a permanent cease-fire fell on deaf ears. The Saudi-led coalition rejected outright any extension of the truce to allow for the shipment and disbursement of further aid.

There were at least three air strikes reported Monday in the northern province of Saada, the stronghold of the Houthi rebels. Bombs were also dropped on the southern port city of Aden, where the Houthis and allied forces control the presidential palace and have been fighting for control of the airport and other key portions of the city.

Aden’s health chief Al Khader Laswar reported Sunday that four people had been killed and 39 others had been wounded in fighting, including four women and two children. According to Laswar, 517 civilians and pro-Hadi fighters have been killed in the city since fighting began in March.

Saudi Arabia also resumed firing artillery shells and rockets across its southern border against Houthi outposts in northern Yemen. The Saudi military reported Monday that their forces had responded to mortars fired from Yemen at a military garrison in its southern Najran province.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who praised the bloody war in Yemen earlier this month when he met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, blamed the Houthis for the resumption of air strikes. “We know that the Houthis were engaged in moving some missile-launching capacity to the border and, under the rules of engagement, it was always understood that if there were proactive moves by one side or another, then that would be in violation of the ceasefire arrangement,” he told reporters on Monday.

From the beginning, the Obama administration has backed the assault on Yemen as part of its efforts to maintain control of the country, which occupies a key geostrategic position along critical oil transport lanes. Yemen has also functioned as a base for US drones in the region.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir released a statement in which he expressed “regret that the truce did not achieve its humanitarian goals,” and echoed Kerry’s statement that the Houthis were at fault for continuing violence. Yemeni Foreign Minister Reyad Yassin Abdulla also placed blame on the Houthis for the failure to extend the halt in air strikes. “That’s what we said before—that if they start again, we will start again,” he told Reuters.

Adbulla told reporters that the resumed air campaign would avoid facilities necessary to the receipt humanitarian aid. “They will keep places for aid to come. They will keep places safe like Sanaa airport, Hodeida seaport, Aden seaport. We will encourage and support any humanitarian aid to come in,” he said.

In fact, the Saudi coalition has repeatedly carried out air strikes on the civilian air strips in Sanaa and Hodeida as part of its efforts to enforce a no-fly zone since it began military operations in March. It has also enforced a punishing blockade of the country’s ports, which, taken together with the no-fly zone, has cut off Yemen’s normal supply of food, fuel and medical supplies. As a result, as many as 20 million people, approximately 80 percent of the population, are going hungry.

Coalition bombs have been dropped on residential neighborhoods, a dairy factory in Hodeida, a refugee camp in northern Yemen and a warehouse containing materials for distributing clean water. The Saudi regime has admitted to targeting hospitals and schools, in violation of international law, because they claim they are being used by the Houthis to store weapons and stage attacks. More than 30 schools have been wrecked by air strikes, while the fighting has kept more than 2 million children from attending class.

The brief cease-fire has done little to ease the increasingly desperate conditions confronting millions of civilians in what was already one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. Residents of Saada and Aden reported that, in spite of the delivery of new aid into the country, the much-needed food and medical supplies had not been adequately distributed.

“There is still no fuel available and an extreme shortage of food,” Ghassan Salah, a resident of Aden told the Wall Street Journal. “Some families have received [aid], some haven’t. Government officials who are supposed to distribute it free sometimes sell it. Nothing has improved.”

Civilians have borne the brunt of the assault, accounting for more than half of those killed and wounded. The UN estimates that in less than two months at least 1,820 people have been killed and 7,330 wounded in air strikes and fighting on the ground. Additionally, the US-backed, Saudi-led war has already displaced more than half a million people.