|code: 314929||Date: 2012/05/13 - 19:25||source: Press TV|
Interview with Kevin Barrett, author and Islamic studies expert
Saudis seek Nazi-style occupation of Bahrain: Analyst
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are expected to meet and discuss closer union among the six countries on May 14.
The member states claim the purpose of the unity is to counter regional threats.
In December 2011, Saudi King Abdullah called on the council members to move “beyond the stage of cooperation and into the stage of unity in a single entity.”
Reports say Saudi Arabia will merge initially with Bahrain in order for the six-member Arab council to reach unity.
This comes while some members of the council have expressed concern about Saudi Arabia’s possible dominance over the other five countries if the council becomes unified.
A Qatari official, whose name was not mentioned in the news reports, said on Friday that Doha “sees this all as Saudi’s way of undermining the [Persian] Gulf States bilateral relations and forcing its own agenda.”
Meanwhile, many commentators say it is unlikely that such unification occur within the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council.
The following is the transcript of our interview with Kevin Barrett, author and Islamic studies expert, about the issue:
Q: The Bahraini information minister has said the union could start with two or three members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. On the other hand, we are already seeing rejections being voiced by some of those member states. Is this primarily about a Bahrain-Saudi Arabia union and a move by Saudi Arabia to get the support of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on this?
Kevin Barrett: Yes, I think the Saudis are trying to keep the lid on protests in the region and they are trying to strengthen their position in Bahrain which they already invaded last year.
To call this a move on the European Union model is disingenuous. I think this is more of an alliance of Hitler’s Anschluss, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria. The big difference is that the majority of people in Austria supported that. Whereas today, the vast majority of people in Bahrain will be horrified to be occupied by and digested into Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.
Normally, I think it would be a good thing for countries in the Islamic world to join together according to a sort of European Union model, perhaps have a united currency -- gold Dinar being the obvious currency standard -- but in this case we have seen the most regressive countries, the sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf that have been repressing their people for many decades up until very recently, half the people in Saudi Arabia were still illiterate and impoverished. There has been some improvement, but this is not a regime that has the welfare of it own people in mind. This is a regime that is playing ball with the world’s biggest imperialist financial powers to privilege the region of its oil wealth and to put that money into the petrol dollar.
Q: We were speaking to a Bahraini human rights campaigner earlier and he said it is not only Saudi Arabia. Even Saudi Arabia, because of the crisis that it is facing inside the country itself, it is on shaky grounds itself and these are orders that Saudi Arabia is getting from the United States and these cannot happen without the US consent. What is your view on that?
Kevin Barrett: I am sure that is correct. The Saudi leadership has been with the US leadership since [former US president] Franklin Roosevelt signed a pact with the king of Saudi Arabia in 1945 and another key moment in this very close relationships was in 1970 when the US and Saudis arranged to take the US dollar off the gold standard and inaugurate the petrol dollar backed by Saudi oil sales.
Since then, revenue from the Saudi oil has been propping up the dominance of the petrol dollars in the world trade. So, these two countries are very closely connected and from a human rights perspective, it is a shame. The United States is always talking about democracy and human rights and yet Saudi Arabia is one of the worst countries on earth for that. It is a terrible example for the Muslim world and yet we have the Americans propping up this cruel dictatorship and encouraging it to invade neighboring Bahrain, where they have an Arab Spring mass movement happening.
The American people, I think if they knew what was going on there, I hope would stand up stop supporting this kind of oppression. The US needs to allow the countries of the Persian Gulf and the rest of the world a lot more independence. The US has been running an empire since the World War II and it is time for the US to let go of this empire and start dealing with the people of the other countries in the world fairly and once we do that the Arab Spring will reach to the Persian Gulf.
Q: The US has for decades been urging the Persian Gulf Arab states to agree to set up, for instance, a shared missile shield and this is seen as a step towards a joint arms pact that would require basing radar system in one country missiles in another country. But does the fact that this has not happened up until now show that there is strong end to the Arab feud do you think and is this latest proposal going to intensify that feuding between these states?
Kevin Barrett: I think the question pretty well answered itself correctly. The US is pushing for this kind of so-called cooperation, meaning Saudi dominance, because basically these countries have not been very effective at setting up powerful modern societies. So, basically they have been colonial outposts of the US empire which has dominated these countries, but they continue to squabble. I would not be surprised if this proposal does not go very far.
Certainly, the people of Bahrain are not likely to welcome it and I think they will keep their Arab Spring protest going and I assume that the world will not look happily upon Saudi Arabia invading a neighbouring country and incorporating it to its own country.
This is what [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hossein tried to do it to Kuwait and the world was not terribly happy about it. I think a similar lack of success will probably be met in this and that as well.