middle east

Statement on Executions in Saudi Arabia

The Oregon Progressive Party opposes the death penalty and deplores the mass execution of 47 people by Saudi Arabia, including the peaceful Shia cleric, Sheik Nimr Al-Nimr. These were only the latest of 157 executions committed by Saudi Arabia during the past year. These executions, coupled with Saudi Arabia's ending of the ceasefire in Yemen, have dramatically escalated tensions in the region.

Similarities certainly exist between these executions, which included beheadings, to those committed by ISIS, so roundly denounced by the western press and governments in order to build support for continuing and growing military intervention in the affairs of Middle Eastern nations.

The reaction of the American government to the ISIS committed executions differs from its reaction to these Saudi Arabian executions. Rather than commit military resources to the defeat of Saudi Arabia as we have with ISIS, the United States instead approved military contracts worth tens of millions of dollar to them. As reported by Paul Gottinger in Reader Supported News, the U.S. recently approved contracts with Raytheon ($24 million), Advanced Electronics ($12 million), and Boeing (multi-millions).

The status of the United States as the world's largest military weapons manufacturer and exporter, selling to the world's worst violators of human rights, enrages people around the world, making America less safe. The resources which America spends on war would be best spent on the needs of the American people, as well as people around the world. Instead, America uses those funds to build up the military-industrial-Congressional complex and enrich the CEO's of Amecian military contractors.

Source: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/34426-focus-us-appro...

Statement on U.S. Military Interventions in Middle East

United States foreign policy in the Middle East has been a policy of forced regime change for decades. A few examples include:

  • 1953 overthrow of the elected Iranian government of Mossadegh by U.S. and British forces
     
  • 1958 U.S. invasion of Lebanon with 15,000 troops
     
  • 1963 CIA-aided coup deposing the Qasim government of Iraq, which 5 years earlier had ousted the U.S.-allied Iraqi monarchy
     
  • 2002 invasion of Afghanistan, followed by a decade+ of occupation
     
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq, followed by a decade+ of occupation

The U.S. has been pushing regime change in Syria since at least 2001. These policies should end.

U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of grievously injured Americans, and the lives of hundreds of thousands Afghanis and Iraqis. They have displaced millions of Afghanis and Iraqis who fled their homes to save their lives. $2 trillion American taxpayer dollars have been spent. The wars have accomplished nothing, apart from creating an environment that bred the creation of ISIS and allowed it to thrive and expand.  Now the U.S. is pursuing the same counterproductive policies to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

John Pilger wrote in 2014:

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of a US-made apocalypse, this time in Southeast Asia. . . .

Al-Qaeda - like Pol Pot's "jihadists" - seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of "shock and awe" and the civil war that followed. "Rebel" Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. . . .

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington, London and Paris who, in conspiring to destroy Iraq, Syria and Libya, committed an epic crime against humanity. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS is the mutation of a Western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great distance. Their culpability is unmentionable in "our" societies, making accomplices of those who suppress this critical truth.

All human life should be protected. French warplanes carried out airstrikes in urban Syrian areas using its 12 jet fighters based in Jordan and the U.A.E. for months prior to the brutal killing of innocents in France. The government of France saw no outrage in bombing the Syrians.  Nor does the U.S. government.

The solution is not more war. The solution is for western powers (particularly the U.S.) to stop their decades-long practice of military intervention to create or prop up compliant regimes, regardless of the wishes of the people who live there.

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