“Saudi Arabia world’s most repressive regime”
Press TV has conducted an interview with Don DeBar, an activist and radio host, in New York, to discuss the provision of cluster bombs by the US to Saudi Arabia, which has used such munitions against Yemen.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: What do you make of the excuse being presented by Pentagon saying that recipients of the US cluster bombs commit that the weapons will only be used against clearly defined military targets?
DeBar: It is another example of American exceptionalism. America is the exceptional country. Whether it is the signing of the Rome Statute and submitting to an international order with the ICC and such, or signing treaties to deal with the cluster bombs. Those are things for the rest of the world but not the United States.
This past week, forty years since the end of the Vietnam War, and yet there are explosives that were left behind by the United States being detonated every day in that small country left behind by the United States. The legacy of this country around the world is like that, and now they’re adding, unfortunately, the country of Yemen to that list.
Press TV: Does that exceptionalism though extend to allies like Saudi Arabia, who are using it against the civilian population of Yemen?
DeBar: The international order applies to those countries that the United States decides it will be applied to. Ask Israel. Israel is the exception in the Middle East with respect to nuclear weapons. Iran has no nuclear weapons, no nuclear weapons program, and yet it has been sanctioned by the US-led international community for better than a decade over the thought by others that Iran might consider having nuclear weapons.
Israel has hundreds, and Israel pays nothing for it, even bringing it up is outside the pale.
So, if the United States says Saudi Arabia can do it, Saudi Arabia can it, until there is another international order established where the United States does not have the power to shield others from the international law.
Press TV: Also countries like Saudi Arabia, some of the largest buyers of US-made weapon, be it cluster ammunitions that have been used against the population of Yemen or other weapons such as tear gas canisters, which were used against their civilian populations to suppress indigenous movements against oppression of the regime. Now, this obviously brings to the forefront the US’s role as far as where these weapons are being used and for what purposes.
DeBar: It absolutely does.
First of all, an illegal weapon that has been primarily manufactured in the United States is clearly a product of the United States. And so, its use anywhere is the result of the US policy.
But more essentially, in accordance with what you just said, the United States is arming the most repressive regime. The Saudi regime is the most repressive one on the planet, the most backward, the most medieval, the least democratic and the most hostile to its own population on planet Earth. That’s saying something. And the United State is not only keeping that regime in power by arming it against its own people, but arming it with the most advanced weaponry in the world to advance its interests in the region and as far as it can go. That says, in my opinion, just about everything you can say about the country I live in.