Sep 15, 2018, 4:03 PM
News Code: 83034038
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No prospect of Saudi system reform: US activist

New York, Sept 15, IRNA – Although Saudi Arabia is trying to display an image of itself other that what it really is, there is no prospect of modernization of the system of absolute monarchy in the country, an American right activist said.

On the recent reforms that Riyadh is investing in as a propaganda to display a different image of itself to the world, Medea Benjamin told Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that this is 'a well-paid PR campaign to paint Saudi Arabia something other than what it is; it is an absolute monarchy which tolerates no freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of association, and national election.'

Although Riyadh is trying to project an image of modernization under a young leader, 'but there is nothing on the table for modernizing the system of Saudi Arabia in terms of the absolute control that one family has had over the country from the time it was founded in 1932.'

'The Saudi government is involved in a very cruel catastrophic war in neighboring Yemen as well as cracking down on activists at home, including the very women who have been fighting for their right to drive,' said Benjamin, who is also co-founder of human rights group Pink Code.

Commenting on Trump's U-turn on the Saudis' role in the 9/11 attacks, she said, 'Trump is working extremely closely with the Saudis not only to continue providing them with weapons, but to provide them with cover for the horrendous bombing of Yemen and what they are involved in.'

'On the anniversary of the 9/11, his key cabinet officials were going to Capitol Hill where they are briefing members of congress about how much the Saudis are taking care not to kill civilians in Yemen and how positive the Saudi involvement is going,' she said.

'And it is very upsetting, I think, on the day like 9/11 to see the US in such a tight embrace with Saudi Arabia,' the US activist said.

The trump administration has embraced Saudi Arabia more warmly than other administrations, she said, noting the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

Describing the US officials' remarks in supporting the Saudi performance as 'lies', she said, 'If we just look at the past the number of civilian casualties has been horrific with the august night bombing that led to 44 children killed and then following on the heels of that, two weeks later, another 21 children killed.'

She noted that there were continuous protest against the US support for the war in Yemen and the American Lockheed Martin that is the one who provided the Saudis with the bombs to kill Yemeni children.

Commenting on the ruling of some US courts aimed at making the Saudis accept the responsibility and pay compensation the victims' families, Benjamin said she believed that the efforts would not go to anywhere, since 'as long as the US government including the Democrats and the Republicans continue to have the close relationship with the Saudis, they are not going to allow these kinds of things to happen and they will always use our poor national security as an excuse to stop justice from being done.'

The US is concerned with money, that they can make them from trade with the Saudis, from their weapon sales, from the Saudi investment in the US economy and from the Saudi-related lobbies, therefore the close relationship will continue for at least short to medium term, according to the activist.

She advised that the attacks should not be forgotten because the Saudis are still spreading their extremist ideology of Wahabbism and they are still responsible for a lot of terrorist organizations that are not only involved in actions of terror in the Middle East but also in Europe, and might well be planning them into the United States.

Referring to the US military presence in Afghanistan, she said, 'There is one sector of the US community that is benefiting from the endless war, and that is the weapons industry.'

The industry benefits from the bloodshed and chaos that is going on in the Middle East, she said.

The activist also noted that the so much abuses the US has inflicted on the Muslims have prompted the negative sentiment against the United States, including the drone warfare, torturing the Muslims in notorious prisons, will create more enemies and keep the violence and hatred going on and on and on.


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