Human rights activist William Spring in London to discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest operations in Yemen as well as the recent execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: So we have Saudi Arabia dominating news headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons, this time the war in Yemen. 7,400 have been killed so far. There was a truce supposedly, but this truce was already violated numerous times. What’s the point of Saudi Arabia declaring an end to the ceasefire when they never respected it in the first place?
Spring: The so-called ceasefire was merely a cosmetic exercise probably to keep the United Nations happy or something. Saudi Arabia does not have the slightest interest in any peaceful settlement with any problem, anywhere in the world and it is now locating itself in an even more proto-fascist state. This is the same on the other side of the coin. On the one hand the assassination of 47 people in Riyadh or in Qatif, which is not judicial at all, it is just a flagrant assassination, and on the other hand, you have got totalitarian war being pursued by a state that seems to have no real common sense.
Now, obviously as I have said before on this program, the amazing thing is the attitude of the world community, so-called, in particular Great Britain, as it once was, Great Britain and the British Foreign Secretary [Philip Hammond] have supported the aggression in Yemen right from day one. Now what does he think that he is gaining by this? I can’t see it at all. I can’t see any respect for European nations if the European nations failed to condemn the attacks on Yemen, which have killed so many thousands of civilians.
The basic situation in international law is that there should not be interference in the internal affairs of another state and this is exactly what Saudi Arabia is doing. A civil war of sorts was going on in Yemen and Saudi Arabia decided to use all its American firepower and what it had gotten from the British and French and so on to crush these people and now the Yemenis are not exactly the world’s most aggressive individuals. They have been a wonderful society for many years. Anyone who fights them tends to be a loser.
I am old enough to remember the British in Aden and how we got out of there as soon as we could, after leaving a lot of dead behind, British dead. I think the Saudis, is they got any sense, which they don’t appear to have, will eventually realize that their bombing of civilian targets in Yemen, is causing an imperishable stain on their national honor, if you can even speak of national honor.
When a country such as Saudi Arabia executes so many people in this staged Trotsky-type of bloodletting, when I say Trotsky I got in mind the assassination of Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940 by Joseph Stalin and this is exactly has been done to this [Shia] cleric [Sheikh] Nimr al-Nimr.
He has been a voice against the Saudi occupation of Bahrain, which was engineered by the United States. Robert Gates went down to see the Saudis and the next day the Saudis went over the course way. This is not aggression only by the Saudis. It is an aggression by the United States government and the US has supported every single act of aggression Saudi Arabia engaged in and this is not the only case and their state department made comments on the execution of al-Nimr. It is quite disgusting.
I think the Americans and the British and the French, who claim to have democratic credentials, who claim that they are high-minded, moralistic, should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing more you can say about it. It’s just an international standard, the extent in which we suck up to the Saudis simply because they got some oil and we have had contracts with the Saudi monarchy such as the al-Yamamah project and these sorts of things.
Why is Britain backing this tyrannical, evil, aggressive, totalitarian, pro-Nazi regime in Riyadh? We should be completely disassociating ourselves from these people. The king and his royal family, his innumerable henchmen, is not to be put on the pinnacle and everybody else just decide when we will … out to the Saudis. There is no value in that policy.