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foreign policy, Uncategorized

Yemen: Of Saudi bombs made in Italy

By Gianluca Ferrara

Almost nobody talks of the war in Yemen. It is a conflict that reveals how disgusting and dangerous our trading partners are in the Middle East. Amid international indifference, Yemen and its 28 million inhabitants are suffering from the consequences of Saudi Arabia’s criminal policies since March 2015.

The Yemeni Houthi rebels, accused of being supported by Shiite Iran, the arch enemy of of Saudi Arabia, occupied the capital Sanaa and Aden, the capital of the south. This justified the Riyad regime’s attack on Yemen, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Saudi Arabia is the antithesis of the West’s model of democracy and freedom: women’s rights are non-existent, Wahhabism imposed by the Saudi monarchy represents the most radical Sunni wing, in practice it is a religious fundamentalist state religion.

Saudi Arabia has produced not only Bin Laden, but also fifteen of the nineteen hijackers of the September 11, 2001 attack. After the 2003 Al Qaeda attacks, it sent into Iraq the highest proportion of suicide bombers and only (after Tunisia) the highest number (2,500) of foreign fighters to Islamic State. Yet, the USA and Italy are important trading partners of this country, selling immense quantities of arms.

Children and civilians in Yemen do not die just because of the bombs. Save The Children has calculated that every ten minutes in Yemen a child dies of hunger and illness caused by the continuing blockade by the Saudi coalition, affecting the ports of entry in the north of the country. There are 50,000 malnourished children who are likely to die this year. Altogether, 6 million civilians are in grave danger due to the lack of food.

I believe that religion is a cover used by Arab and Western elites to hide the immense interests of the area. Moreover, it was the US war for oil in Iraq that destabilized the balance between Sunnis and Shiites. In the Persian Gulf, there is the North Done which is the world’s largest undersea natural gas field that is largely part of the Iranian zone. It is a resource that is unlikely that Saudi Arabia and its US protectors will leave to Iran. Hence the media attacks on Iran and the recent seemingly bizarre alliance between Israel (home of Judaism) and Saudi Arabia Wahhabism, designed to deplete Iranian influence. Yet Iran, unlike Saudi Arabia and Israel, does not possess nuclear weapons and offered to help in denuclearizing the entire region.

Amid these scenarios so successfully hidden by the international mass media, our Catholic and conformist country continues to cheerfully sell its deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia in violation of Italy’s Law no. 185 of 9 July 1990, prohibiting the export of arms to countries in conflict.

In 2016 at least 21,822 bombs made in Italy were handed over to the Saudi army that is bombing Yemen, causing innumerable civilian casualties. Children, the most fragile part of the population, are suffering the most from the consequences of such violence.

In Italy, no politician has taken a clear position against these crimes, demonstrating what poor quality our current political class is, and how far we are away from the prospect of finding the courage to cut such sinister ties that only profit the arms industry.

Meanwhile in Yemen (although certainly not exclusively), children continue to suffer and die in general indifference, while ill-informed Italians have been convinced that today’s real drama is rather that our nation will not be going to the next World Cup.

Gianluca Ferrara is an essayist and Editor of Dissensi Edizioni

Source: Il Fatto Quotidiano

Translation/edit by Revolting Europe.

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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