Western countries undeterred by ‘death cult’ in Saudi Arabia
RT:Amnesty International say there's been an unprecedented spike in Saudi executions this year. It seems since there was a change in leadership in January, the situation has got worse. Yet still the West remains silent. Why is that?
Michael Raddie: Of course the West remains silent because Saudi Arabia is an official ally of the West and obviously a deal was done decades ago with the US, and probably a little bit of consultation with Britain that we would have unimpeded access to the oil resources of that country as long as we stay out of their internal politics and their religion. So we don’t get involved and we allow our princes and queens to host the royal family of Saudi Arabia: Prince Charles often visits the country, Prince Andrew often gets himself involved in corrupt arms deals within the country. But we don’t say a word about it because the deal has been done and we do not get involved in the politics and the religion of Saudi Arabia, however appalling most of us would find it.
I don’t actually think it was a spike, I think it is a general increase from maybe August of last year. So I’m not sure if it can be wholly attributed to the new King [Salman] although he has obviously done nothing different from the previous incumbent in the role.
RT:Why do you think there has been an increase since August last year? The numbers have incrementally increased, haven’t they?
MR: Yes, they have. It is getting to a level now where they’ll probably be double this year- the amount of executions that they did last year. I suspect they’re basically saying to everyone in the world that this is what they do and this is what they can do. They have a little bit of a death cult in the country. We know, for instance, that they are – together with Qatar and the US - the biggest sponsors of terrorism around the world and death squads from South America to Ukraine, to other parts of Asia, funded mainly by Saudi Arabia on behalf of the US and the UK. The proxy wars that we engage in, we have to get funding and arms from somewhere, and that is the usual conduit is the Middle East Gulf monarchies.
RT:Islamic State also executes people in accordance with a hard-line interpretation of Sharia law. Those executions are widely considered and condemned as acts of terrorism. Can you explain to us what the difference is?
MR: They both are equally barbaric, obviously. But when ISIS beheads people and it makes the news, it makes the news because they are our official enemies. When Saudi Arabia does the same we can turn a blind eye because we can say: “Well, that has been through their court system; that has been through their judicial system, and therefore Saudi Arabia has the right to do exactly what ISIS is doing.”
We know that there is no 100 percent full-proof judicial system in the world, so having capital punishment you have to accept the fact that some innocent people are going to be killed. It just seems that this regime in Saudi Arabia doesn’t really care what everyone else thinks - they know that they are going to be protected; their arms deals with the US and the UK and all our arms companies will continue because of this level of protection because we will get their oil and we won’t say a word.
RT:If national governments are failing to act on this issue, can organizations like Amnesty International really do anything, or is it futile?
MR: I think it is pretty futile. What would happen if this was an official enemy, if this was, say Syria that was beheading people on the scale that Saudi Arabia is, then there would be obviously sanctions and there’ll be more calls at the UN for more strikes against the country. But, as I say, they are allies of ours [West] and they’ve done the deal with the West, and they’ve sold their souls effectively for a level of protection, and that protection means that the Western media will not cover this story. Or if they do they won’t cover it in the right way. They’ll mention the fact that there are also beheadings, and they’ll mention the fact that they are now recruiting eight additional swordsmen, but they won’t talk about the real issues, they won’t talk about the fact that Saudi regime sponsors terrorism around the world, not just within its own country.
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