Over 300 People Attend Anti-Saudi Conference in Washington, D.C.
March 6, 2016 (EIRNS)—Over 300 people attended a two-day conference titled "2016 Summit on Saudi Arabia: Understanding the Kingdom and Its Global Role" at the University of District of Columbia Law School. Forget the neutral title: The conference was a full-scale exposé/denunciation of the Saudi role, and the Saudi-U.S.-U.K. partnership. A dozen organizations, from The Nation magazine to Code Pink to Veterans for Peace, sponsored the event. Among the speakers was Mohammed al-Nimr, the son of the late Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the Shi'a cleric from the Eastern Province who was executed on Jan. 2, 2016 by the Saudi regime.
Speaker after speaker provided first-hand accounts of the abuses by the Saudi government, the Saudi promotion of jihadist terrorism, and the Saudi war crimes being committed in Yemen.
EIR's Jeffrey Steinberg raised the issue of the suppressed 28 pages and the need to mobilize to force their release during the question and answer period for the panel on Saudi human rights abuses. The response from the panelists was very strong, with Amnesty International's Middle East and Africa director, Sunjeev Bery, emphasizing the importance of releasing the 28 pages, and citing other more current instances of Saudi financing and other support for the Islamic State and other jihadists.
The luncheon keynote was delivered by Vijay Prashad, a professor of international studies at Trinity College in Connecticut. He went through an in-depth historical account of the U.S.-Saudi strategic partnership, and highlighted the Saudi battle with Iran for control over the Persian Gulf region. He emphasized that the unipolar world is finished, and the world needs a new global "Grand Bargain."
In response to a question from EIR's Michele Steinberg about Xi Jinping's recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, and the Chinese One Belt, One Road policy for "win-win" development partnership, Dr. Prashad enthusiastically agreed. He noted that China is now getting the lion's share of its oil and gas from Russia and Angola, with payments made in renminbi. Based on this shift, the Saudi-U.S. relationship is going to be a "suicide pact," tied to the recycling of petro-dollars through London and Wall Street.