May 30, 2011
Interview with Stephen Lendam, writer and radio host from Chicago
As the US is leading a joint military drill with Persian Gulf Arab monarchies amidst popular uprisings against the same Arab states, we're discussing why the "Club of Kings" is being accused of forging a counterrevolution.
In an interview with Stephen Lendam, Press TV discussed the attitude of the West, particularly the United States and Saudi Arabia towards the change of regime in Yemen.
PressTV: Media reports say Saudi Arabia is presenting the US with a choice between its values and interests and that the US should make the right historical decision but hasn't the US already made that choice because in the case of Bahrain we heard that Saudi Arabia sent tanks and troops to Bahrain two days after US Defense Secretary Robert Gates left Manama.
Lendman: Indeed hypocrisy is gross, the double standard is glaring and I would say America is the dog that really wags in the Middle East and the Saudis are deeply involved. Britain, France are also deeply involved and they absolutely want to deter democracy and deter uprising movements. The very notion of democracy terrifies these countries. I think it's a losing struggle with their waging. They are buying time. They will defuse the uprisings. The uprisings in the Middle East are really glorious, but I wrote an article and I said the Arab Spring is yet to bloom, indeed it is yet to bloom, but it will bloom because the courage of the people from Morocco to Oman to Yemen to Bahrain to Saudi Arabia to Kuwait, Algeria, the courage is really extraordinary and people persist no matter what terror is unleashed against them, including the power of the West against them. And the Libyan people will soon discover, once Gaddafi is gone, they will get the same brutality that the Bahrainis are getting now and the other people are getting now and they will rebel against that and there will be another uprising, a real popular uprising for change.
PressTV: Some say Riyadh thinks the opposition in Yemen might prove a more reliable, less unruly southern neighbor. Others suggest it supports defected Hashid tribe leader Sadeq Ahmar while one senior Saudi cleric says groups like the Houthis and the Muslim Brotherhood should not take power there. What kind of support do you think Saudi Arabia will give to the president there or rather to the opposition there?
Lendman: Certainly the Saudis are very concerned and they have been in Yemen for sometime including at least a couple of years ago at the behest of Washington during the Bush years, bombing the rebel areas. The CIA has been there underground; US Special forces have been there underground. But I believe America is calling the shots and don't forget that Saudis are very dependent on America for their security while the Saudis are putting money to buy all weapons they want and they buy them from Britain; they buy most of them from America. What regime America and the Saudis may have in mind, I don't know, I don't know the names of these people, but I do believe that the feeling generally has been for some weeks now that Saleh is damaging and he needs to go but he needs to be replaced with one friendly to the West, that the West can control, mainly America.
America is the ruling force in the Middle East and the Saudis obviously have their own concerns and their main concern is their survival. They better leave on America if they want their survival preserved. But sooner or later they will run in trouble. I think there will be regime change in Yemen, but the struggle may grow because it may not be the kind of regime replacing Saleh that the people want and just like in Egypt they got rid of Mubarak. Egyptians discovered they have not wanted them back in streets again protesting. The military is brutalizing them. The Yemenis will discover the same thing if Saleh goes, because another regime will come in, just as repressive. So the struggle goes on. I think the people in Yemen will prevail that this will go on for many months.