Al Saud, Israel playing same game in Mideast: Author
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, author and Middle East expert from Madison, to get his take on the violation of human rights by Riyadh during the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: A top UN official says Riyadh is in violation of international humanitarian law but then why does not the United Nations do anything about it?
Barrett: Unfortunately, Riyadh is one of the powers in the world that is allied with the empire that would be the Zionist-American bankster empire. The key players in that empire propping up the petro-dollar with their oil production, which is priced by the big oil companies and the banks that run and own them. So, the Saudis have a lot of power and they are starting to exercise it even more irresponsibly than they have in the past with this brutal and pointless attack on Yemen. They are lying constantly, claiming that they are starting a ceasefire and then escalating their bombing. They are going around the region, telling people that they are protecting the Haramayn [two Sanctuaries] that is the Islamic holy places of Mecca and Medina from aggression, when in fact it is the Saudis who are the aggressors. They are the ones who attacked Yemen. And so they are basically just lying and killing in this pointless war that really serves no purpose for them strategically.
I imagine that the reason that they are doing it is that the Houthi rebellion in Yemen against this imperial dinosaurs, is a threat to the kinds of regimes that we have in Riyadh and elsewhere in the [Persian] Gulf. And so in the long term the popular uprisings are a threat to the current Saudi regime and I think they are trying to teach people a lesson by just crushing Yemen. But I do not think this is going to work, I think, on the contrary, they are going to undermine their own power by doing this. In the long-run, there will be an overthrow of the dynasty in Saudi Arabia.
Press TV: How much can Yemen take legal action against Saudi Arabia and are there any obstacles in this way?
Barrett: Well, Yemen absolutely should sue under international law, go to international human rights courts, but the problem is that there is no honest form for international human rights issues today. It is all determined by power. And so very small time powerless countries that say something that the big powers do not like are likely to be harassed over human rights issues, well much more powerful countries that are committing vastly worse abuses tend to be given wrist slaps or less. What we are seeing in Yemen right now, the Saudis are playing the same role as the Israelis played in Gaza last summer. There is massacre in the country in the kind of collective punishment and they are basically admitting that is what they are doing.
So this is completely unacceptable. They just like the Israelis, the Saudis are probably going to get away with it, international human rights courts and not going to do anything significant to stop them. We may hope that the American policy makers will wake up and recognize that this kind of Saudi aggression is actually a threat to regional stability and that may be in Israel’s interest and might even be in Saudi dynasty’s interest, but it is not really in the American interest or in the interest of people of the world. Maybe the American policy makers will be able to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop this madness. And I hope that someday human rights abusers will be prosecuted just that today it does not seem very well.
Press TV: Despite the five day pause announced by Saudi Arabia, how do you think the humanitarian situation is going to be addressed considering that Saudi Arabia has imposed the blockade on humanitarian aid to Yemen?
Barrett: Well, right this is absolutely obscene. It is very much like Gaza. The Saudis are stopping food and fuel supplies. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food and it needs fuel to move that food around. So, they are essentially starving the country and what military purpose comes [of this]…will be collective punishment. So, once again, we see that people in the region of the Middle East who are not accepting imperial and Zionist control and oppression and have risen up to try to take matters in their own hands and resist are being punished brutally for having the temerity to stand up for their rights. And the Saudi blockade on food and fuel could conceivably end up qualifying as genocide. The people of Yemen are very very vulnerable. There are reports of people selling their jewelry and their valuables to buy just a handful of rice. And it is going to be stopped quickly or there is going to be a disaster of ethnic proportions.
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