06.12.2018 Author: Viktor Mikhin

Saudi Arabia and the USA: a Close Alliance of “Democratic” Nations

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The President of the “most democratic nation on Earth”, as the several journalists closely allied to the US call Donald Trump, has given us an impressive and easily comprehensible lesson on American democracy in action.

In an official statement from the White House, the President asserted his intention not to upset the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the USA because of the assassination of some Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Afterwards, US senators openly accused Trump of putting Saudi Arabia “first” with his decision not to take any punitive measures against the kingdom or Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud for the brutal murder of the journalist. The President’s decision is “yet another fawning prostration to a foreign authoritarian” regime tweeted the Democratic senator Tim Kaine. “It’s only a matter of time until actions like this by the President directly threaten our security,” added the senator.

It is common knowledge that in the statement, released by the White House, Donald Trump said the US intends to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, although “it could very well be” that the Crown Prince had knowledge of the journalist’s murder. He added that he had no intention of cancelling military contracts with the kingdom, stating “If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries”.

Donald Trump’s next statement immediately drew journalists’ attention. In his announcement, he highlighted that “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”.

What is clear, at this stage, is that Donald Trump can no longer handle the enormous psychological and physical strain he has been experiencing during the last two years of his presidency. He keeps replacing his cabinet staff in bouts of hysteria, insulting them publicly, and raising his voice at his foreign allies and friends. Nowadays, global media outlets are discussing Trump’s rude telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May. After he publicly rebuked her, the recording of his conversation with Theresa May was widely circulated by the media. This is yet another striking example of American tolerance and democracy.

It is worth mentioning that the “great Democrat” made his comments about Saudi Arabia in public, despite pressure from US politicians, who have been calling on Washington’s administration to take action and not to simply make a statement urging for Saudi Arabia to be brought to justice. This pressure continued to mount after media outlets reported that the CIA had concluded the Crown Prince not only knew but also ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi himself. This conclusion was further corroborated by the fact that Turkish media outlets, including the daily Hurriyet Daily News, published quotes from the recording of the Saudi journalist’s gruesome murder, citing materials provided by Turkish security sources.  The audio recordings have been published in full. However, even their fragments support the CIA version that the premeditated murder of the journalist was the work of Saudi special forces in collusion with the staff of this nation’s consulate general in Istanbul. And every Saudi Arabian knows for a fact that nothing happens in the kingdom without the Crown Prince’s behest, and no one would have dared to commit such a serious crime without orders from the Royal palace.

In response to the latest events, the Republican senator Rand Paul tweeted “We should, at the very least, NOT reward Saudi Arabia with our sophisticated armaments that they in turn use to bomb civilians.” Mounting evidence supports his statement, for instance, the TV channel Al Masirah reported that at least 19 people were killed and 10 injured as a result of the air strike by the Saudi Arabian coalition against the Masoudi area in Bayt al-Faqīh of the Al Hudaydah Governorate in western Yemen.

The US foreign policy’s double standards, manifested by the different approach it takes to Russia, Iran and Syria, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, have once again led to its failure on the world stage, reported a specialist in geopolitics, Alexandre del Valle, on the news website Atlantico.fr.  According to him, the United States is constantly imposing new sanctions against Russia and Syria and re-imposing old ones against Iran. But, at the same time, it is failing to react to atrocities perpetrated by Saudi Arabia against Yemen.

Even evidence supporting the role Saudi Arabia had played in the September 11 attacks has not affected the relations between the two countries. However, in the US view, everything is different when it comes to the analogous situation in Ukraine, where every blame is on Russia. In yet another situation, the conflict in Syria, the United States holds Bashar al-Assad’s government forces fully responsible for all the war casualties, while it conveniently choses to forget that most Syrians were killed by thugs and terrorists, heavily armed by the Pentagon with the aid of Saudi Arabian funds.

The US failure to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the role Saudi special forces had played in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi can be explained by the West’s double standards towards its Saudi “allies”, Alexandre del Valle stated.  The issue of the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is directly responsible for, stands out separately. According to official sources, since 2015, the Saudi military has caused the death of 4,000 people in Yemen, while the blockade of this nation, initiated by Saudi Arabia, has resulted in the death of 50,000 children, with 8.4 million people close to starvation.  What is more, the Saudi coalition has indiscriminately bombed medical facilities, as well as education, cultural and religious institutions. This contravenes humanitarian laws of waging of warfare, an accusation levelled against Syria on more than one occasion, added the political scientist. But the United States chooses to shut their eyes to these developments, and beseeches Russia and Syria, in the manner of a demagogue, not to bomb insurgents in Idlib so as, supposedly, to avoid a humanitarian disaster, but, in reality, to provide relief to thugs and terrorists of various creeds much needed by the Pentagon.

All in all, this unlikely alliance seems odd to the world, as it is between the so-called “democratic” United States, and the authoritarian Saudi Arabian kingdom, which imprisons members of the House of Saud royal family without trial only to extort money from them. CNN, citing the organization Amnesty International, reported that Saudi women, arrested in May 2018, had been tortured. These human rights activists were sexually harassed, tortured and pressured by other means.  According to the testimony of three victims, they were sat in electric chairs and beaten with batons. The women also said that after their ordeal, they were unable to walk or stand upright, their hands shook and their bodies were covered in bruises. One of the victims attempted to commit suicide on more than once occasion while in prison.  The organization Human Rights Watch published a similar report with analogous testimonies to those in the Amnesty International documents.

Hence, there is seemingly nothing unnatural about this alliance, since the US authorities also resort to torture in US territories, as well as in numerous secret prisons, located all over the world. Incidentally, you can find out more about these from Gina Haspel, the current Director of the CIA and the former chief of a CIA black site in Thailand, where prisoners were often subjected to the cruelest torture while Ms Haspel watched with pleasure. It has been said that she had invented some of the most sophisticated torture methods herself, after all she can not have received the promotion to the post of CIA Director without being a good henchman.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


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