Ronaldo, Our Ally Country Saudi Arabia, and War Crimes
By Costas Vergos
Amnesty International asked Cristiano Ronaldo to speak about human rights in Saudi Arabia, his new football homeland. (The Portuguese ace has a $500 million, 2.5-year contract with Al-Nasr.) But Ronaldo is no Maradona, Socrates, Breiτner, or Cantona, also famous players who once spoke out for rights. (By the way, Pele never spoke about tyrannies and rights in long-suffering Brazil.) Even so, that was a good opportunity for Amnesty International to cause interest in a country with huge secular wealth as well as theocratic darkness.
Human Rights Watch, in its 2022 report on Saudi Arabia, shows the country to be a negative champion of human rights. Let us notice that it makes a special mention to the war crimes of the country committed in the war being waged in Yemen.
In the authoritative newspaper 'Naftemporiki' we recently read that "Saudi Arabia is ready to submit a joint motion with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 World Cup." Saudi Arabia is now an ally on and off the pitch. Since Sept. 15, 2021, at the suggestion of NATO (IAMD concept), 150 officers of the Greek Army (and a Patriot battery system – bought for another purpose, of course) are "guarding Thermopylae" on the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen – without the opposition raising the issue of this anomaly in Parliament every day. Who declared war on the region (2,346 years after Alexander the Great)?
The bipartisan motion in the US House that was rejected a few days ago, which aimed to enforce Biden's pre-election commitment to immediately stop US support for the Saudi coalition, said: "Congress has not declared war and has not authorized participation in the conflict between forces under Saudi Arabia, along with forces from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal, and Sudan, against the Houthis, also known as Ansar-Allah, in the state of Yemen. … There is no declaration of war or national emergency caused by an attack against the United States, its territories or possessions, or its Armed Forces to involve the United States Armed Forces in the conflict.”
The US has been participating in the Saudi coalition since 2015, and a motion by Sanders et al. was discussed in December in the House of Representatives on the activation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, based on which the House can control the American President in declaring and conducting a war.
Despite the pre-election commitment, the White House today maintains that, as long as Oman's diplomatic efforts evolve, there should be no interruption in American support for Saudi Arabia. At the same time, the White House speaks generally of "two sides", without mentioning the need for an immediate relaxation of the Saudi blockade of Yemen - which continues to cause thousands of deaths from famine and disease, and which is a precondition of the other "side" for a more permanent truce.
Saudi Arabia is not defending itself (as it claims). She is waging war. Against the Houthi rebels of Yemen and for this war she is criminally scrutinized. 'Guernica 37', an international initiative of lawyers based in London and The Hague, has submitted a relevant file to the International Criminal Court.
The war in Yemen is yet another proxy war, on the other side of which is the evenly obscurantist Iran. As to the Houthis in Yemen, they impose the same theocratic darkness where they dominate. The 400,000 dead Yemenis, mostly civilians, are victims of war, from famine, pestilence, the bombing of infrastructure, and a suffocating seven-year blockade of the capital and most of the country controlled by the Houthis – a blockade by Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-backed government of the relatively (because of oil, ports, and central bank) rich southern Yemen.
PS.1: According to the UN, "there are no clean hands in this war". Special mention is made to the USA, Britain, France, and Canada, who are arming Saudi Arabia. (https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1072012)
PS.2: Perhaps it escapes the "public opinion" that, with Saudi Arabia as a prominent member, the OPEC-Plus (i.e. Russia included) have recently decided not to increase oil production, contrary to what America and Europe insistently request (in order to lower international prices).
PS.3: The words about democracy, rights, and against authoritarianism, which are said by our country (and by the USA and Europe, of course) against the truly evil Putin and Russia (in the other war we are fighting), are lost in the warm handshakes and hugs with the Saudi and Emirati princes.