This piece by Eric Margolis: “a columnist, author and a veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East. Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq. His latest book is American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.”
What’s going on in Saudi Arabia? Over 200 bigwigs detained and billions of ‘illegal profits’ of some $800 billion confiscated.
The kingdom is in an uproar. The Saudi regime of King Salman and his ambitious 32-year old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, claim it was all part of an ‘anti-corruption’ drive that has Washington’s full backing.
Utter nonsense. I’ve done business in Saudi Arabia since 1976 and can attest that the entire kingdom, with its thousands of pampered princes and princesses, is one vast swamp of corruption. In Saudi, the entire nation and its vast oil revenues are considered property of the extended Saudi royal family and its hangers-on. A giant piggy bank.
More mysteries arose this tumultuous week. One of Saudi’s most influential princes, Mansour bin Muqrin, died in a mysterious crash of his helicopter, an ‘accident’ that has the smell of sabotage. Another key prince, Miteb, was ousted. He was commander of the famed ‘White Guard,’ the Saudi Bedouin tribal army designed to protect the monarchy and a former contender for the throne. Meanwhile, three or four other Saudi princes were reportedly kidnapped from Europe and sent home, leading to rumors that Saudi’s new ally, Israel, was involved.
But behind all this lies the stalemated Saudi war against wretched Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest, most backwards nation. Saudi Arabia has been heavily bombing Yemen for over a year, using U.S.-supplied warplanes, munitions, including cluster bombs and white phosphorus, and U.S. Air Force management. A Saudi blockade of Yemen, aided by the U.S., has caused mass starvation and epidemics such as cholera.
When I first explored Yemen, in the mid 1970s, it was just creeping out of the 12th century AD. Today, it’s been bombed back into the 6th Century.
In spite of spending over $200 million daily (not including payoffs to ‘coalition’ members like Egypt) the Saudis are stuck in a stalemated conflict against Yemen’s Shia Houthi people. The US and Britain are cheerfully selling bombs and weapons to the Saudis. President Donald Trump has been lauding the destruction of Yemen because he mistakenly believes Iran is the mainstay of the anti-Saudi resistance.
Yemen is a horrible human rights disaster and scene of widespread war crimes.