US Arms Used by Saudis against Entire Region, Even Russia: Australian Prof.
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior political analyst based in Australia underlined that the Riyadh regime, which is “the biggest single customer” of US arms in the world, is using them against the entire region and even the Russian government.
“Overall, US weapons sales in the Obama years were said to have increased by 43%. The biggest single customer was the only country on earth named after a family,” Professor Tim Anderson, a lecturer of political economy at the University of Sydney, said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“Over his full term, Barack Obama did not halt or even slow the arms sales to the Saudis. Remember these are weapons used against the entire region, and even at times used against Russia,” he noted.
Professor Tim Anderson is a distinguished author and senior lecturer of political economy at the University of Sydney, Australia. Author of the 'The Dirty War on Syria', he has been largely published on various issues particularly the Syrian crisis.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: For two years, the Yemeni civilians have been targets of cruel attacks and airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, has recently put the civilian death toll at 12,041, including 2,568 children and 1,870 women. According to the United Nations, nearly 3.3 million people in Yemen, including 2.1 million children, are acutely malnourished because of the war and total siege imposed on them. They include 460,000 children under age of five with the worst form of malnutrition, who risk dying of pneumonia or diarrhea. Why is the international community so indifferent to the heinous crimes committed by the Al Saud regime in the Arabian Peninsula country?
Anderson: The brave Yemeni people are 'invisible' to much of the international community. This is the deep racism of an imperial, neo-colonial world. Those big powers do not see others as full human beings.
How could they do this, while they sell arms to the Saudis to carry out these greatest of all crimes? The imperial powers must either demonize or ignore and bury, the subjects of their power plays.
Far more tears are shed for a few people killed in London or Paris, than for the many thousands in Yemen. And now they face starvation, due to Al Saud's financial sabotage of Yemen's payments system.
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 that critics have linked to Riyadh’s killing of civilians in Yemen. Former President Barack Obama previously blocked the $1.15 billion deal after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral hall in Yemen killing scores of civilians, provoking an international outcry. How do you see the role of the US in the regime’s aggression against the impoverished Arab country?
Anderson: Yes, there has been a great continuity in US policy and arms sales to the Saudis: from Bush to Obama to Trump.
According to 'Defence News', the USA "hit $33.6 billion for foreign weapon sales in fiscal year 2016, down $13 billion from the record-setting FY 2015 number".
Overall, US weapons sales in the Obama years were said to have increased by 43%. The biggest single customer was the only country on earth named after a family.
Over his full term Barack Obama did not halt or even slow the arms sales to the Saudis. Remember these are weapons used against the entire region, and even at times used against Russia.
No one on earth has bought more weapons than the Saudis, and mostly from the USA. And the re-export of those weapons from Saudi Arabia to other regional countries is closely followed by Washington.
This surveillance is managed by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), a section of the US Department of State.
The 'weapons trail', that Washington always follows, leads both to Yemen and to every single terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
However the US has tried to justify or hide the arms flow to the Saudi-sponsored armed groups in Syria and Iraq, and to bury their own deep complicity in the war against the Yemeni people.
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?
Anderson: Those with money often believe they have power, and that they can do as they wish. It is this arrogance, and not mere stupidity, that leads them to underestimate the resistance of united peoples.
When the ambitions of arrogant men are frustrated, they have difficulty in understanding or learning from their mistakes. The Saudi regime is a strange and paranoid creature.
Its social and political base is vulnerable. That is why they both serve and cling to the big powers.