UN, US, Britain Complicit in Saudi War Crimes in Yemen: Canadian Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Canadian political analyst said the United Nations Security Council, Washington and London are all complicit in Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen as they directly or indirectly support the Riyadh regime in its relentless aggression against the impoverished country.
“Since the humanitarian crises in Yemen is the direct result of the UN’s illegitimate embargo on Yemen and the KSA-led war, basic principles of justice dictate that the UN, the US and the UK are every bit as culpable as the KSA in this humanitarian disaster…,” Barry Grossman, who is also an international lawyer, told the Tasnim News Agency ahead of the March 26 anniversary of the start of Saudi Arabia’s aggression against Yemen.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: The Saudi-led coalition has been launching deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement for two years in an attempt to restore power to the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. Some 11,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign. Why has the international community remained passive in the face of the ongoing Saudi crimes?
Grossman: US exceptionalism and unilateralism have created a new global political reality in which we no longer have anything that can rightly be called “the international community.” What we have is an apex group of ‘predator’ nations within which the economic elite move freely and their money moves even more freely. The wealth in these nations, though it has never been equitably distributed, has also never been greater or concentrated in fewer hands. This reality arose in no small part from a not so coincidental coincidence of opportunities created by:
- the emergence of the fractional reserve banking system;
- the rise of the corporate form of business organization;
- the emergence of equity markets which enable elite players to take and spend today, ‘profits’ which will not be earned for generations to come;
- the circumstances created by the new phenomena of “total war” which dominated the 20th century; and
- the 21 st century emergence of the security state, along with the related collapse of the rule-of-law and its replacement by policy and "realpolitik".
In today’s world, all economic enterprise is held to ransom by the Atlantic World’s corporatist system. That system which was imposed by stealth sees the ubiquitous, all-powerful corporate sector completely dominate the policy-making apparatus, having already long controlled the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, to say nothing of the now completely unaccountable security apparatus.
In this post-Brave New World, most new economic activity and wealth is not ‘real’. Not surprisingly, the US economy has become addicted to war profits and dependent on tilting the global ‘playing field’ by military intervention. Law – both domestic and international - which supposedly once reigned supreme, are now a poor cousin to policy, and the line which once separated private from public interests in matters of security has been largely erased. Public opinion is seen by the political elite as something to be contrived and imposed on the masses rather than something to be discovered and taken into account when making policy. It is votes, not opinions, that are wanted, the basic underlying assumption being that the people are too 'stupid', self-interested, and uninformed to have a valid opinion.
Meanwhile, ownership of the now deregulated media has become concentrated in a very few tightly controlled, if loosely owned, corporations which see their role as inculcating the correct political inclinations in people rather than informing them.
As for elections, they have become little more than a ritual to appease the masses much the way pagan ceremonies and "games" played out in Rome's Colosseum once did.
Against that backdrop, it seems very clear that a deal was made at the highest levels which sees the geopolitical interests of the Atlantic World’s special allies in the region – that is, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – dominate all other considerations, including humanitarian concerns and adherence to international law. In that regard, the Atlantic World, along with Israel and the KSA have clearly decided that their number one regional priority is to isolate and destabilize Iran with the aim of both overthrowing Iran’s Islamic Revolution and dismantling the wider “armed Resistance” to Atlantic World hegemony in the region. As a result, we are seeing more and more belligerent and clearly illegal military interventions, including but not limited to, Syria and Yemen. After all, the Atlantic World’s predator nations have ensured that we still do not have any competent international court or diplomatic process committed to enforcing what we once knew as “International Law.”
The ruling family in Saudi Arabia, of course, continues to see itself threatened by any scenario which does not place the KSA as the dominant power among nations which are predominantly Muslim. In that regard, the Yemen War, like the Syrian and Iraq-Iran Wars, is yet another ill-conceived proxy war against Iran.
Tasnim: Certain Western countries are continuously claiming that they are champions of human rights. However, it seems that they are pursuing double standard policies on Saudi Arabia's atrocities. On March 10, 2017, the administration of US President Donald Trump approved the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia which critics have linked to Riyadh’s killing of civilians in Yemen. The $1.15 billion deal was previously blocked by former President Barack Obama after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral hall in Yemen killing scores of civilians, provoking international outcry. How do you see the role of the US in the regime’s aggression against the impoverished Arab country?
Grossman: US and UK support for the illegal KSA position is a concession, or, if you prefer, a ‘gift’ to the Saudi regime although clearly the war also serves the interests of both the US-led Atlantic World and Israel as well. If that is not horrible enough, the very few Americans and British who understand that their governments fully support a belligerent war on Yemeni civilians have been conditioned by decades of propaganda to not identify in any way with Yemenis and they, therefore, do not see themselves as having any personal interest in the matter. Dead Yemeni women and children are even less newsworthy in America and the UK than dead Syrian refugees who wash up on the shores of Greece.
As for the belligerent war on Yemen itself, it is important to understand that as biased as the UN is, no related Security Council Resolution actually conferred authority on the KSA or any other nation to use forces against Yemen or the Houthi. It is also worth pointing out that the Security Council’s hypocrisy in citing concerns about al Qaeda in the Peninsula to in part justify Resolution S/RES/2014, since, unlike the Hadi government, the Houthi were already then actively in conflict with al Qaeda. Indeed, at the original UN-sponsored Yemen peace talks, the UN and US warmly welcomed a senior member of the Hadi negotiating team who had long been designated by the USA as an al Qaeda terrorist.
Moreover, it was very clear from the beginning of the KSA war on Yemen that the original premise for attacking the Houthi was to reinstall Mansur Hadi as President after he had resigned before fleeing Yemen for the safety of Saudi Arabia. Before “cutting and running”, he had overstayed his two-year term of office - which was won in an unopposed election - by a full year without announcing any plans to hold another election. Yet even now, the Western Press continues to refer to Mansour Hadi as Yemen’s President although he is no more Yemen’s incumbent President than Barrack Obama is the serving President of the United States.
Of course, anyone with even a sophomoric understanding of such matters recognizes this. All others need only consider the position taken by the US and its allies about the Ukraine and the status of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych after he resigned and fled the Ukraine during the US-backed Maiden Protests. Indeed, it is impossible to reconcile the US position on the Ukraine with its position on Yemen.
That being the case, in order to create some alternative justification for the hostile intervention in Yemen, the press has from the start also spoken loosely about supposedly imminent threats presented by the Houthi- Ansarullah movement to the KSA’s border security when, in fact, the Houthi only took action against Saudi territory after the KSA launched its belligerent war on Yemen with full US, UK and UN support. In that regard, the order in which things happened is every bit as important as what actually happened.
The KSA led war on Yemen is by any measure illegal under international law and the fact that there is no competent court in which Yemen can make its case only confirms what I have already said; that is, that we now longer have anything that might be called an International System or the Rule-of-Law, so much as a runaway Corporatist system which relies for its existence on US hegemony and exceptionalism.
Since the humanitarian crises in Yemen is the direct result of the UN’s illegitimate embargo on Yemen and the KSA-led war, basic principles of justice dictate that the UN, the US and the UK are every bit as culpable as the KSA in this humanitarian disaster which they all clearly once again see as a “price worth paying” to advance a regional geopolitical agenda that, above all else, targets Iran. There is not enough water in the world to wash the blood off the hands of decision makers who not only allowed but encouraged this ongoing massacre of Yemeni civilians to happen.
Tasnim: Since the start of its war on Yemen, the Saudi regime has failed to reach its objectives. In 2015, the kingdom had a record budget deficit of almost $100 billion, prompting it to rein in public spending in a bid to save money. Why is the regime continuing its heinous attacks on the Arab country despite its failures and cash-strapped economy?
Grossman: The fact that the illegal war on Yemen’s civilians continues despite the Saudi regime’s failure to achieve its objective of restoring Mansour Hadi to power and, through him, re-asserting Saudi control of Yemen, only tends to confirm that this belligerent war on Yemen is just another tactic in the Atlantic World’s ongoing agenda of weakening Iran. Peace in Yemen is the last thing those behind the war on Yemen want.