US Turning Blind Eye to Saudi Crimes in Yemen: American Academic

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American university professor said the US is overlooking the ongoing Saudi crimes and child killing in Yemen.

US Turning Blind Eye to Saudi Crimes in Yemen: American Academic

“The US considers Saudi Arabia an important ally and has always closed its eyes to abuses committed both inside the Kingdom as well as to what the Saudis are doing in Yemen,” Daniel Chirot, Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at University of Washington, told the Tasnim news agency.

Following is the text of the interview.

Q: The US has introduced itself as a self-declared champion of human rights across the globe. Earlier, Washington approved the sale of more than 130 Abrams tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment worth about $1.15 billion to Saudi Arabia, which can prolong the Kingdom’s military aggression against Yemen. Nearly 9,400 Yemenis, including 4,000 women and children, have lost their lives since the start of the deadly attacks in 2015. In fact, US has adopted a double-standard policy in defending its interests. What is your take on this as well as the UN inaction? 

A: The US considers Saudi Arabia an important ally and has always closed its eyes to abuses committed both inside the Kingdom as well as to what the Saudis are doing in Yemen. None of this is new. The old Soviet Union used to consider Nasser's Egypt an ally even as Nasser was jailing and killing Egyptian communists.

As for the UN, it does not do anything that is opposed by one of the big powers on the Security Council.

All the big arms sellers, including a peaceful nation like Sweden, will sell to anyone willing to pay unless a country is considered an enemy, a potential enemy, or an ally of an enemy. The US is a very big arms seller and its companies make money selling arms. The Russians, the Chinese, the French, and even some smaller nations like Sweden do the same. Those with money to pay for American weapons would turn to one of the other major arms sellers if the US backed out.

Part of the violence in the Middle East is certainly due to outside involvement, not just in arms sales, but in direct involvement. But people in the Middle East should not assume that this is the only, or even main cause. The hostility between different national aspirations, different Muslim branches and communities, in some case even tribal conflicts are major contributors, and even if outside great powers, most obviously Russia and the United States, left entirely, that would not solve any of the major problems, lessen the hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia, end the Syrian civil war, solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, cure Lebanon's divisions, heal Iraq, end the Yemeni civil war, or any of the other existing problems.

I have no doubt that big power intervention, including arms sales, makes things worse, but it would not be correct to say that this is the only reason for conflicts. It is the general situation in the Middle East that drives arms sales, so these are really more a symptom of problems than a direct cause.

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