House of Saud on Its Last Legs: US Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American author and political commentator said the House of Saud regime is “on its last legs” as it is desperately trying to pull the US into rescuing it out of the quagmire of Yemen war.
“The monarchical House of Saud which has ruled Saudi Arabia and its 28 million people since 1932 is politically on its last legs, as the people of Arabia have risen up since the Arab Spring of democratic revolts of 2011, demanding a say in the formation of their governments and the ouster of all undemocratic regimes in the area, especially the most reactionary and corrupt one of all, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Collin S. Cavell said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“As a consequence of this illegal and ruthless imperialist (US) support for this anachronistic, outdated, and wholly undemocratic and merciless regime, we have, since the onslaught of the war commenced in March of 2015, witnessed the deaths of over 10,000 people, with at least half of them being civilians, and the displacement of several million Yemenis," he added.
Dr. Cavell is currently Associate Professor of Political Science at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia, having previously served as Chair of the Department of Social Sciences. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
The full text of the interview is as follows:
Tasnim: As Saudi Arabia and its staunch allies are burying Yemeni civilians under the rubble of their airstrikes on a daily basis, some Western states, which claim to defend human rights across the world, not only are keeping silent but also supporting the coalition’s genocide in the Arabian Peninsula country. The US Senate recently voted against blocking a $1.15 billion arms sale to the Riyadh regime. The Pentagon also announced on August 9, 2016 that the State Department had approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. What is your opinion about the US role in the Saudi onslaught on Yemen and its war crimes?
Cavell: US support for the unelected monarchical regime in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to ensure continued US hegemonic control over the Arab Peninsula and Persian Gulf area for the purposes of ensuring access to the oil, natural gas, shipping lanes, and overall strategic control of the region. As a consequence of this illegal and ruthless imperialist support for this anachronistic, outdated, and wholly undemocratic and merciless regime, we have, since the onslaught of the war commenced in March of 2015, witnessed the deaths of over 10,000 people, with at least half of them being civilians, and the displacement of several million Yemenis.
From the Saudi perspective, they and their coalition partners, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates—i.e. all unelected monarchies or dictatorships propped up by Saudi Arabia—argue that their military operations in Yemen are in response to a request from former Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi who had resigned his office on January 22, 2015 and fled to Saudi Arabia in March of 2015 as the Saudis began to launch air bombardment attacks against the Yemeni people, quarantined its seaports, and shut down the country’s airports. Hadi rescinded his resignation as he fled Yemen, denounced the Houthi movement that had taken control of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a in the September 21 Revolution of 2014, and in September of 2015 returned to his native city of Aden, as Saudi-backed forces took control of the city, and claimed to be president once again.
The Yemeni people had risen up in the 1990s under the leadership of a political group formed by a Zaidi Shiite-led religious group called Ansar Allah (“Supporters of God”) in response to years of impoverishment and puppet rulers installed in Yemen by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. War broke out in 2004 when a rebellion led by the Houthi forces confronted then President Ali Abdullah Saleh Al-Sanhani Al-Humairi citing economic underdevelopment and political impoverishment of the people. In 2012, President Saleh was removed from office in response to political instability in a Saudi-brokered deal that guaranteed Saleh immunity from prosecution and replaced him with his Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi. In July of 2016, the Houthis came to a modus vivendi with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh and, in August 2016, established a Supreme Political Council to govern the country.
The Saudis and their imperial overlords, the US and the UK, recognize the regime led by former Saudi puppet Hadi who had resigned his office and then reclaimed it. They argue they are fighting a Shiite Houthi insurgency in Yemen, a country on their southern border, which, they allege, is being supported externally by Iran and, supposedly, this is sufficient reason for them to justify their completely indiscriminate bombardment of this largely rural and impoverished nation. The United States does not trumpet any such noble excuses for its actions, as it is merely an overbearing imperialist hegemon that simply wishes to guard its strategic control of the resources of the region as well as its pre-positioning options of military assets from the Persian Gulf kingdoms, and is aware that the vast majority of Americans have absolutely no idea what the US military is doing in the Middle East, and that most peoples in the region would understand any justifications for its actions as outright imperial lies.
The majority of the 24 million people of Yemen recognize the government led by the Supreme Political Council backed by the Houthi Ansar Allah forces with acting President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They are fighting to secure the independence of Yemen from foreign—mostly Saudi—domination that has been the norm now for many decades and to liberate its peoples from hunger, impoverishment, underdevelopment, lack of education, lack of adequate healthcare, etc.
Tasnim: In a speech earlier in August of 2016, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council said the Houthi forces will halt their retaliatory attacks if the Saudi-led coalition stops its relentless airstrikes on the Arab country. These remarks indicate that the Yemeni side is willing to put an end to the protracted war. A ceasefire that started on April 11, 2016 failed to hold as the Saudi regime repeatedly violated the truce. In your opinion, why do the Saudis, who have reached none of their objectives behind the 18-month war, not want to end the bloodshed and resolve the crisis through peaceful means?
Cavell: The monarchical House of Saud which has ruled Saudi Arabia and its 28 million people since 1932 is politically on its last legs, as the people of Arabia have risen up since the Arab Spring of democratic revolts of 2011, demanding a say in the formation of their governments and the ouster of all undemocratic regimes in the area, especially the most reactionary and corrupt one of all, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi monarchy lives luxuriously off the sale of the country’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas while nearly a quarter of its citizens live in dire poverty. Also, the regime runs perhaps the most exploitative immigrant labor system in the world promising riches to those who come to the Kingdom and then entrapping them in poverty and political isolation for the remainder of their lives. The Saudi people themselves, have no constitutional rights, no say in the running of their government, women are systematically discriminated in a multitude of ways, and workers are brutally exploited. For their imperialist overlords, the US and the UK, the existence of such a regime holding power over such vast natural resources has been useful to their reign as hegemons in the post-WWII era, not only for easy access to crucial natural resources but, as well, to a regime which allows them to launder ill-gotten monies from various sources, purchase surplus materials when their economies overproduce, and act as staging grounds for all sorts of nefarious activities in the region. Thus a combination of greed, lust for power, and imperial hubris underlie the Saudi intransigence and determination to continue to wage war against anyone who threatens their rule.