Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Coalition Attacks School Bus A Day After State Department Justifies Airstrikes On Yemeni Towns, by Tyler Durden

If Saudi Arabia and its partners are this bloodily incompetent in Yemen, why does anybody in the Trump administration think they’ll be much use against Iran? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Though we are no longer shocked at the callous and indiscriminate nature of Saudi coalition attacks on Yemeni towns, we are surprised that major US networks like CNN have actually decided to cover coalition war crimes for a change.

Early on Thursday a coalition air attack scored a direct hit on a school bus packed with children as it drove through a crowded market place.

CNN provides the following disturbing details:

The bus was struck as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.

At least 43 people were killed and 63 injured in the strike, according to the Houthi-held health ministry.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of “mainly children” under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

Some of the images to come out of area hospitals currently treating the wounded confirm that it’s mostly children among the casualties.

Image source: Ansar Allah Media Center cia CNN

International media featured photographs of wounded children being treated in area hospitals in the aftermath of the airstrike, which happened in Dahyan, in the rebel-held north of Yemen; however, most of the images of dead and wounded released by Yemeni media accounts are too graphic and disturbing to show.

To continue reading: Saudi Coalition Attacks School Bus A Day After State Department Justifies Airstrikes On Yemeni Towns

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The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War, by Patrick Buchanan

The Saudi Arabian government does not much value being told by Canada how to run their country. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Is it any of Canada’s business whether Saudi women have the right to drive?

Well, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland just made it her business.

Repeatedly denouncing Riyadh’s arrest of women’s rights advocate Samar Badawi, Freeland has driven the two countries close to a break in diplomatic relations.

“Reprehensible” said Riyadh of Freeland’s tweeted attack. Canada is “engaged in blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

The Saudis responded by expelling Canada’s ambassador and ordering 15,000 Saudi students to end their studies in Canada and barred imports of Canadian wheat. A $15 billion contract to provide armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia may be in jeopardy.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been backsliding on his promises to modernize the kingdom, appears to have had enough of Western lectures on democratic values and morality.

A week after Pope Francis denounced the death penalty as always “impermissible,” Riyadh went ahead and crucified a convicted murderer in Mecca. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can get you a death sentence.

Neither President Donald Trump nor the State Department has taken sides, but The Washington Post has weighed in with an editorial: “Human Rights Are Everyone’s Business.”

“What Ms. Freeland and Canada correctly understand is that human rights … are universal values, not the property of kings and dictators to arbitrarily grant and remove on a whim. Saudi Arabia’s long-standing practice of denying basic rights to citizens, especially women — and its particularly cruel treatment of some dissidents — such as the public lashes meted out to (Ms. Badawi’s brother) — are matters of legitimate concern to all democracies and free societies.

“It is the traditional role of the United States to defend universal values everywhere they are trampled upon and to show bullying autocrats they cannot get away with hiding their dirty work behind closed doors.”

The Post called on the foreign ministers of all Group of Seven nations to retweet Freeland’s post saying, “Basic rights are everybody’s business.”

To continue reading: The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War

US Supports Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen, by Kathy Kelly

Many Yemenis are being apprehended and disappear into United Arab Emirate-run facilities, never to be heard from again. From Kathy Kelly at antiwar.com:

“If they would just confirm to us that my brother is alive, if they would just let us see him, that’s all we want. But we can’t get anyone to give us any confirmation. My mother dies a hundred times every day. They don’t know what that is like.”

Witness Against Torture activists protest at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates on January 9, 2018. Photo credit: Witness Against Torture.

In July of 2018, an Amnesty International report entitled “God Knows If He’s Alive,” documented the plight of dozens of families in southern Yemen whose loved ones have been tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared by Yemeni security forces reporting to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that, with vital US support, has been bombarding and blockading famine and disease-ravaged Yemen for three brutal years. The disappearances, and torture, can sadly be laid at the doorstep of the United States.

One testimonial after another echoes the sentiments of a woman whose husband has been held incommunicado for more than two years. “Shouldn’t they be given a trial?” she asked. “Why else are there courts? They shouldn’t be disappeared this way – not only are we unable to visit them, we don’t even know if they are dead or alive.”

The report describes bureaucratic farces in which families beg for information about their loved ones’ whereabouts from Yemeni prosecutors and prison officials, but the families’ pleas for information are routinely met with silence or intimidation.

The families are appealing to an unelected Yemeni exile government whose president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, (when “elected” president in 2012, he was the only candidate) generally resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The UAE has, so far, supported Hadi’s claim to govern Yemen. However, the Prosecutor General of Hadi’s government, as well as other officials, told Amnesty International the government of Yemen has no control over operations “spearheaded by the UAE and implemented by the Yemeni forces it backs.”

When months and years pass and families of people who are missing still have no news about their loved ones, some try to communicate unofficially with prison guards or with former detainees who have been released from various detention sites. They repeatedly hear stories about torture of detainees and rumors about prisoners who died in custody.

To continue reading: US Supports Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen

 

Saudis Destroying Yemen To Distract Oppressed Population, by Peter Crowley

Making war is a time honored trick by oppressive governments to divert their populations’ attention. From Peter Crowley at antiwar.com:

The excuse is Iran’s alleged support for the Houthis.

The rationalizer is Saudi Arabia.

The internal threat is both real and perceived socioeconomic change in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi regime’s survival mechanism has been to transmute social anxiety into heightened hostility and project it onto Iran.

The result has been the mass bombing and starvation of Yemen. With Iran, there is no sure win, while destroying Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, would be a relative cakewalk.

Problem solved: Saudi social discontent, which may well have caused a revolution, found an outlet in Yemeni mass death, famine and disease. The House of Saud survives.

With oil revenue reductions, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman faced a dilemma: how to maintain exorbitant Saudi royal wealth and the House of Saud’s survival? In 2016, he came up with the what is known as Vision 2030 to modernize Saudi society, at least in appearances. The U.S. media, always seeking an excuse to celebrate Saudi Arabia, salivated. Salman outlaid a social reform agenda to make Saudi Arabia a haven for investment and multinationals, including replacing most foreign workers with Saudis.

A primary goal would be to enact reform that would convince investors that Saudi Arabia did not treat women like movable furniture. Consequently, the first major photogenic, public relations reform allowed women to drive in Saudi Arabia. At last, Saudi Arabia has caught up with the lowest common global denominator for women’s rights! Yet recent jailed women activists in Saudi Arabia seem to suggest that improving women’s rights was more a public relations contrivance than a reality.

Nevertheless, women driving is seen by ultraconservative mullahs and much of the population of Saudi Arabia (though not the elite, who compose most interviewees referenced in popular Western media) as a dangerous change. Talk of social reform has been ongoing since Salman became chair of the Saudi Council for Economic and Development Affairs and Defense Minister in January 2015. Early on, the question became how to pacify one of the world’s most socially conservative societies’ – where women are overseen by male guardianship – response to allowing women to drive, opening movie theaters, cajoling Saudis to work and eliminating much of the country’s extensive welfare system.

To continue reading: Saudis Destroying Yemen To Distract Oppressed Population

Saudi Arabia Won’t Bring 2 Million Bpd Online, by Nick Cunningham

President Trump wants Saudi Arabia to bring 2 million barrels per day online, but it’s not clear Saudi Arabia could so or if they’re so inclined. From Nick Cunningham at oilprice.com via wolfstreet.com:

President Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia agreed to boost oil production by 2 million barrels per day (mb/d), a claim that surely came as news to the Saudis.

The tightening of the oil market has pushed up prices, which is always a concern for U.S. politicians wary of catching heat from their constituents.

The decision by OPEC+ in June to hike production by 1 mb/d looks increasingly inadequate in dealing with the growing number of supply outages around the world. It’s no surprise that Trump wants more Saudi oil on the market, but he likely misunderstood what the Saudis told him.

Saudi Arabia was producing 10 mb/d in May and recent reports suggest they might add as much as 800,000 bpd to 1 mb/d in July, a massive increase in such a short period of time.

But it’s a far cry from the 2 mb/d that Trump thinks Saudi Arabia will add. That would translate into overall production of around 12 mb/d, which is probably unrealistic for a few reasons.

First, there are technical questions about how far and how fast Saudi Arabia can push its oil fields. Can they ramp up to 12 mb/d? Probably, but there is not a lot of historical evidence to go on. Also, they probably can’t do it immediately, it would take time, perhaps more than a year.

The second – and more important – reason why Saudi Arabia won’t comply with Trump’s wishes to add another 2 mb/d onto the market is that they don’t want to. Ramping up that much would leave the oil market dangerously low on spare capacity, cutting it down to less than 1 mb/d. At that point, any supply disruption would send oil prices skyrocketing. Indeed, it wouldn’t even take a tangible disruption – the mere possibility of another outage would lead to a significant volatility.

To continue reading: Saudi Arabia Won’t Bring 2 Million Bpd Online

Leaked Emails Reveal Pro-Saudi Intrigue At 2016 GOP Convention, Attempts To Suppress 9/11 Documents, by Tyler Durden

Saudi Arabia’s high and mighty exercise a lot of influence in American politics, which should suprise no one—they have a lot of money. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Late last week Middle East Eye published the bombshell contents of newly leaked emails which confirm that “the relationship between the Emiratis and the president’s [Trump’s] inner circle was cemented earlier than previously thought.” And this follows previous emails which we’ve reported on here.

The new batch of emails shed further light on UAE and Saudi efforts to penetrate the Republican platform in 2016, which the emails show “was altered to remove a call for the publication of 28 pages of allegedly incriminating documents from the 9/11 inquiry” — and attempts to prevent Trump from making any remarks that could potentially embarrass Saudi Arabia, specifically (as one email reads) “the issue of her [Hillary Clinton] taking Saudi Arabian money”.

Though the 28 pages were ultimately released in redacted form just days after the Republican platform battle, the new emails provide a deeper glimpse into how the Saudis are constantly maneuvering to keep the American public in the dark concerning their role in 9/11, as the opening lines of the 28 pages suggest“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government…”

* * *

Below is analysis of the new emails authored by Brian P. McGlinchey via 28Pages.org

According to leaked emails obtained by Middle East Eye, an unnamed Republican Party figure orchestrated the defeat of a proposed 2016 GOP plank calling for the declassification of 28 pages on Saudi government links to the 9/11 plotters.

That individual then notified Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort of the plank’s defeat and claimed credit for providing instructions to “our political team” to kill it.

Manafort forwarded the news to Tom Barrack—Trump’s billionaire friend, surrogate and fundraiser—who notified Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States.

The behind-the-scenes communications seem to suggest that Trump campaign officials and associates, eager to strengthen their relationships with Gulf officials, supported efforts to thwart the release of the 28 pages even though candidate Trump had spoken favorably of it.

To continue reading: Leaked Emails Reveal Pro-Saudi Intrigue At 2016 GOP Convention, Attempts To Suppress 9/11 Documents

“No Escape”: Don’t Expect A Yemeni Version Of The White Helmets, by Tyler Durden

Nobody caterwauls for innocent victims and dead children when they’re victims of a US ally’s war. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Have you noticed the almost complete lack of video footage showing the ongoing Arab and US coalition aerial bombardment of Yemen’s key port city of Al Hudaydah?

Reuters reports the following:

“People are scared. The warships are terrifying and warplanes are flying overhead all the time,” university student Amina, 22, who lives near the port, told Reuters by telephone.

“People are fleeing the city to the countryside, but for those with no relatives there or money, there is no escape.”

Don’t expect a Yemeni version of the “White Helmets” to emerge with high-tech cameras, slick new gear, and professional uniforms capturing Yemen’s starvation and slow death under US, Saudi, and UAE warplanes.

Smoke rises from Al Hudaydah city of Yemen after Saudi-led coalition air attack. Image source: Anadolu, Getty

Don’t expect prime time news broadcasts to feature images of emaciated Yemeni babies — easily located on social media channels in the thousands.

And yet he numbers are staggering, as Reuters reports further:

The United Nations says 22 million Yemenis need humanitarian aid, and the number at risk of starvation could more than double to more than 18 million by year end unless access improves.

No, there won’t be rebel leaders in Yemen beamed into CNN studios via Skype to detail the suffering of civilians under the brutal siege, because this isn’t Syria… it’s Yemen, where the US and its allies have not only imposed a full military blockade of land, air, and sea on an urban population of half a million people, but have also ensured a complete media blackout of on the ground footage and reporting.

As we noted in our initial coverage the complete media and humanitarian blockade on the contested port city of Al Hudaydah means confirmation of the rapidly unfolding events have been hard to come by, though we featured what’s purported to be some of the earliest social media footage of the assault, now in its second day.

To continue reading: “No Escape”: Don’t Expect A Yemeni Version Of The White Helmets