17:39 GMT09 April 2020
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    Following airstrikes on two Saudi oil facilities over the weekend, US President Donald Trump said the US was “locked and loaded” and they thought it was Iran, even though the Yemeni Houthis claimed responsibility. However, now is the time to study the question in depth and let cooler heads prevail, not rush into war, an activist told Sputnik.

    “I think the United States is constantly not just ‘locked and loaded’ for war - we’re making war, we’re profiting because of war,” Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Monday.

    “I think it’s the predictable outcome of so much of the United States’ resources being invested in warmaking endeavors. There’s a whole raft of people who will say, ‘Yes, let’s go forward with the war.’ If a crown prince in Saudi Arabia can manage to exacerbate tensions enough that finally there might be a full-scale regional war, this is good news to many people who are in extremely powerful places of lobbying and governance inside the United States.”

    While Trump equivocated Monday, saying it was “certainly looking” like Iran carried out the attack, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set about preparing the ground for an attack on Iran, making fantastic claims such as that “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia” and the affirmative statement that “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

    However, neither Washington nor Riyadh has actually reached a firm conclusion about who it was that attacked Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco’s facilities in Buqayq and Khurais. Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen War that includes the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, claimed on Monday the weapons used in the attacks were of Iranian manufacture. Tehran has denied responsibility and called the accusations “unacceptable and entirely baseless.”

    On the other hand, the Houthi militant group in Yemen, which has been resisting a brutal Saudi-led coalition war against the country since 2015, firmly claimed responsibility. The group has gone on the offensive in recent months, pioneering drones as a tool of asymmetric war against their technologically superior foe by using them to stage “suicide” attacks on airfields used to attack Yemen as well as Saudi oil infrastructure across the country.

    ​“This is a time to slow down, research and try to get a grip on facts,” not “go rushing into a war that would benefit Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Kelly told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou Monday.

    “And also, allow into the picture some of the facts that have to do with Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen. You know, when Saudi Arabia says, ‘We want help because we’ve been attacked,’ why can’t the nations of the world say, ‘Well, how about you end your attacks, your vicious, consistent, several years’ worth of attacks against the country of Yemen. Stop making those attacks, and then they won’t have the incentive to attack you.’ But rushing to the conclusion that this was definitely Iran seems to me to be very, very premature,” she noted.

    “I mean, it’s possible that there were people in support of the Houthis even living inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or someplace inside of Iraq,” Kelly noted. “And the black market for weapons is very, very strong. Drone proliferation is something people have been warning about ever since the United States first began to massively produce and sell drone technology to countries all around the world.”

    Kelly said that at such a critical time while war seems likely but not yet certain, people who object to the prospect of war need to be organizing to protest it and to make their dissident voices known. “This is no time to be mesmerized by the news and to sit back. I think this is an important time for people to be organizing in their grassroots groupings and, as quickly as possible, actions, in terms of where to gather and at what time, if an attack is made, and certainly to be in touch with local media and with all local groups that one can be in touch with to say, ‘Let’s stand up and resist this,’” she said.

    “We have to say that we don’t want to be led by warmongers and by war profiteers and that this is an extremely dangerous process; and it’s our turn, all of us, to step up and say that we don’t believe a regional war is in anybody’s best interests.”

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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