Tears for Ukraine, Sanctions for Russia, Yawns for Yemen, Arms for Saudis: The West’s Grotesque Double Standard

“We’re brutally bombed every day. So why doesn’t the Western world care like it does about Ukraine?!!… Is it because we don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like Ukrainians?”  Ahmed Tamri, a Yemeni father of four, asked with furrowed brows about the outpouring of international support and media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lack of such a reaction to the war in Yemen.

Over the weekend, a member of Tamri’s family was killed and nine relatives injured when their family home was targeted in a Saudi-led Coalition airstrike in the remote al-Saqf area in Hajjah Governorate. Tamri claims that al-Saqf has been subjected to a brutal Saudi bombing campaign for the past seven years – more so, he says, than all of Ukraine has endured since it was invaded by Russia.

Despite the horrific bombing campaign against Yemeni civilians, Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and war crimes have garnered nowhere near the level of coverage and sympathy that the mainstream Western media has rightfully given to Ukraine. “They shed tears for the Ukrainians, and ignore our tragedies… What hypocrisy and racism!” Tamri told MintPress News.

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Senate Skeptics Are Right: End Missile Sales To Saudi Arabia

In response to the proposed sale of U.S. missiles to Saudi Arabia, Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders are leading a bipartisan effort to oppose the sale. This is still a fight of David and Goliath, as Congress has never successfully stopped an arms sale. It’s time for that to change.

While President Biden has pledged to end support for “offensive operations,” U.S. support for Saudi Arabia has continued under the guise of defense. There have been advances, namely a halt on new SDB smart-bomb sales. But the U.S. has relabeled, not halted, the support, which could end Saudi involvement in the Yemeni war altogether. The U.S. continues logistical support for Saudi warplanes and helicopters, the chief means through which the Saudis conduct their offensives.

Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity isn’t threatened. The country is actively engaged in an offensive war of its own choosing, and the U.S. tipping the scales in Saudi Arabia’s favor just perpetuates that war. U.S. neutrality, by contrast, would bring Yemen closer to a negotiated peace. As Saudi Arabia has been forced to deal with diminished U.S. support since April, it has begun brandishing diplomacy instead of bombs.

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Despite Pledge, Biden Leaves Tap Open, Approving Billions in Arms Deals to Saudi Arabia

“The war in Yemen must end,” declared President Joe Biden in his first major foreign policy speech; “and to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive [Saudi] operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.”

Yet studying sales records from the Department of Defense (DoD), MintPress can reveal that less than one year into his presidency, the Biden administration has already approved 20 separate weapons contracts, worth just shy of $1.2 billion, to Saudi Arabia alone. This includes a $100 million shipment of Black Hawk helicopters, support for Apache gunships, and a $78 million deal to buy 36 cruise missiles. A new and controversial $650 million deal announced earlier this month has yet to be finalized but will likely soon follow, boosting sales up to levels equal with the earlier years of the Trump presidency.

The Saudi-led Coalition is once again pummelling Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Images appear to show U.S.-made aircraft attacking ground targets. This is hardly surprising: American arms sales to Saudi Arabia have long been a point of contention. But this MintPress investigation will reveal the extent to which private American companies are profiting off the infliction of suffering on the Yemeni people.

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Newly declassified documents show extensive FBI investigation of Saudi links to 9/11 terror attacks

Newly declassified documents from the FBI give a sense of the depth of the bureau’s investigation into potential ties of the Saudi government to the 9/11 terror attacks.

According to The Hill, the FBI investigated how much support Saudi officials — including one at their embassy in Washington — may have given to three Saudis involved in the attacks, including “procuring living quarters and assistance with assimilating in the country.”

The declassified records also reveal the hijackers were kept unaware of certain aspects of the terror attacks, but all of them knew they were participating in a “holy war.”

“In relation to the 9/11 attacks, the hijackers knew there was a martyrdom operation, but did not know about the nature of the operation until shortly before the attack for operational security reasons,” the documents allege.

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How much did Saudi Arabia know? FBI release first secret 9/11 files showing anonymous Saudi embassy staffer ‘helped two hijackers in LA and let them stay at his apartment before the attack’

The FBI has released its first declassified 9/11 document exactly 20 years after the deadly terror attack which claimed the lives of 2,996 people.  

The document was published Saturday evening, a week after President Biden signed an executive order directing the agency to make the secret files available to the public for the first time. 

The order to release the documents came amid significant pressure from the families of 9/11 victims, who are eager to probe potential Saudi government links to the attack.

The FBI file that is significantly redacted details a 2015 interview with an official who worked at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles. 

He admitted that he allowed two hijackers to use his apartment and helped them travel around LA. He was found to be an al-Qaeda ‘facilitator’ by the FBI and the Saudi Consul General wanted to fire him for distributing extremist Muslim literature. 

He was also a close associate of two other Saudis, Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy, who the helped the hijackers.  

The new FBI file reveals that al-Bayoumi, who has admitted befriending them, worked as a ‘ghost employee’ at a Saudi aviation firm in the US.  

And it details how al-Thumairy gave the hijackers money, travel assistance and lodging.  

The Saudi official, who is only referred to as PII and who applied for US citizenship in 2015, is thought to be Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah who worked at the Saudi Consulate in Washington, DC. 

Al-Jarrah’s name was accidently left unredacted in separate court papers penned by an FBI official. However, he has vigorously denied any involvement and insists he did not know any of the hijackers.  

Of the 19 hijackers on board the four doomed 9/11 planes, 15 were Saudi nationals. 

Last Wednesday, Saudi Arabia released a statement maintaining its innocence, saying ‘it is lamentable that such false and malicious claims persist’.  

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Robert Mueller helped Saudi Arabia cover up its role in 9/11 attacks

After a lengthy investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller charged Russia made “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election” and said the incursion “deserves the attention of every American.”

But former FBI investigators say their old boss didn’t feel the same concern when they uncovered multiple, systemic efforts by the Saudi government to assist the hijackers in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks — a far more consequential, to say nothing of deadly, foreign influence operation on America.

As the head of the FBI at the time, they say Mueller was not nearly as interested in investigating that espionage conspiracy, which also involved foreign intelligence officers. Far from it, the record shows he covered up evidence pointing back to the Saudi Embassy and Riyadh — and may have even misled Congress about what he knew.

9/11 victims agree. “He was the master when it came to covering up the kingdom’s role in 9/11,” said survivor Sharon Premoli, who was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center 18 years ago.

“In October of 2001, Mueller shut down the government’s investigation after only three weeks, and then took part in the Bush [administration’s] campaign to block, obfuscate and generally stop anything about Saudi Arabia from being released,” added Premoli, now a plaintiff in the 9/11 lawsuit against Saudi Arabia.

In fact, Mueller threw up roadblocks in the path of his own investigators working the 9/11 case, while making it easier for Saudi suspects to escape questioning, multiple case agents told me. Then he deep-sixed what evidence his agents did manage to uncover, according to the 9/11 lawsuit against the Saudis.

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As Saudis Suck Up Weapons, US Accounts for Over 1/3 of All Global Arms Sales

A new analysis of global weapons sales published Monday revealed that the United States now accounts for well over a third of all arms exports worldwide over the last half decade and nearly half of these weapons of war were sold to nations in the Middle East—a region beset by war and conflicts unleashed and exacerbated by American foreign policy.

According to the new data on global arms transfers compiled and analyzed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a decrease in arms sales between 2016 and 2020 by Russia and China—the second and fifth exporters overall, respectively—was offset by increasing sales made by the other top five weapons exporters: U.S., France, and Germany. And while the sales remained steady compared to the 2011–2015 period, the report shows that the past decade still saw the highest levels of weapons sales worldwide since the height of the Cold War in the 1980s.

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Biden’s Protection of Murderous Saudi Despots Shows the Hidden Reality of U.S. Foreign Policy

A staple of mainstream U.S. discourse is that the United States opposes tyranny and despotism and supports freedom and democracy around the world. Embracing murderous despots is something only Donald Trump did, but not normal, upstanding American Presidents. This belief about the U.S. role in the world permeates virtually every mainstream foreign policy discussion.

When the U.S. wants to start a new war — with Iraq, with Libya, with Syria, etc. — it accomplishes this by claiming that it is, at least in part, motivated by horror over the tyranny of the country’s leaders. When it wants to engineer regime change or support anti-democratic coups — in Venezuela, in Iran, in Bolivia, in Honduras — it uses the same justification. When the U.S. Government and its media partners want to increase the hostility and fear that Americans harbor for adversarial countries — for Russia, for China, for Cuba, For North Korea — it hauls out the same script: we are deeply disturbed by the human rights violations of that country’s government.

Yet it is hard to conjure a claim that is more obviously and laughably false than this one. The U.S. does not dislike autocratic and repressive governments. It loves them, and it has for decades. Installing and propping up despotic regimes has been the foundation of U.S. foreign policy since at least the end of World War II, and that approach continues to this day to be its primary instrument for advancing what it regards as its interests around the world. The U.S. for decades has counted among its closest allies and partners the world’s most barbaric autocrats, and that is still true.

Indeed, all other things being equal, when it comes to countries with important resources or geo-strategic value, the U.S. prefers autocracy to democracy because democracy is unpredictable and even dangerous, particularly in the many places around the world where anti-American sentiment among the population is high (often because of sustained U.S. interference in those countries, including propping up their dictators). There is no way for a rational person to acquire even the most minimal knowledge of U.S. history and current foreign policy and still believe the claim that the U.S. acts against other countries because it is angry or offended at human rights abuses perpetrated by those other governments.

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US Expanding Military Presence in Saudi Arabia With Eye on Iran

The US military is expanding its operations in Saudi Arabia and looking to establish bases in the western part of the country. The initiative began about a year ago and was just revealed to reporters by Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command.

According to McKenzie, the US has been using various air bases and seaports in western Saudi Arabia and is working to build its own bases in the region. As part of the plan, the US and Saudi Arabia are negotiating infrastructure projects that would make two ports on the Red Sea and two airbases in the west more suitable for the use of the US military.

The idea is that US bases in Qatar, the UAE, and Bahrain are in the range of Iran’s ballistic missiles, and bases further west would be beneficial in a conflict with Tehran, something McKenzie explained to reporters.

“The Arabian Gulf would be contested waters under any scenario of armed conflict with Iran, so you look at the places where you would move your forces as they enter the theater from being in a contested area,” he said.

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