Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘kingdom’

“Biden’s Embrace of Saudi Arabia Despite Horrid Rights Record” — KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST author Medea Benjamin interviewed on Democracy Now!

Thursday, August 25th, 2022


Watch the full interview here.

“You rarely hear the voices of Saudis because the royal family makes sure of that.”- MEDEA BENJAMIN on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Sputnik

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing October 2 after having entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was “a mild critic” of the Saudi government, peace activist Medea Benjamin told Radio Sputnik Tuesday. Nonetheless, “the royal family makes sure” dissidents are rarely heard, she said, even abroad.

Listen to the full interview here.

MEDEA BENJAMIN, author of KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Democracy Now

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Fears are growing over the fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say they believe was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, entered the Saudi Consulate in Turkey seeking a document he needed to get married and has not been seen since. .

Watch the full interview here.

“Why Are Democratic Senators Enabling One Of Trump’s Worst Decisions?” MEDEA BENJAMIN in Huffington Post

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

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“10 Reasons the US Should Stick With the Iran Nuclear Deal.” MEDEA BENJAMIN in Alternet

Monday, October 16th, 2017

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“Time to Hit the Reset Button on US-Korean Policy.” MEDEA BENJAMIN is interviewed by Common Dreams

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

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“Don’t stop long enough to get depressed.” MEDEA BENJAMIN is interviewed in Little Village

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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“Our War Machine is Hungry.” MEDEA BENJAMIN interviewed on KPFA

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

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“The height of hypocrisy” — MEDEA BENJAMIN on Democracy Now discussing Trump in Saudi Arabia

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

I think going to a country like Saudi Arabia, that has no free speech, no free association, no national elections, no political parties, no trade unions, where people like Raif Badawi, the blogger, is imprisoned for 10 years for blogging, where human rights lawyers are imprisoned for 15 years for defending human rights—it is appalling that Trump would go to Saudi Arabia and not even mention the issue of human rights, much less try to meet with one of the advocates for human rights, while he was visiting Saudi Arabia.

Listen at Democracy Now.

MEDEA BENJMAIN appears on FAIR’s Counterspin

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

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“10 Reasons Trump Should Not Strengthen U.S.-Saudi Ties,” by MEDEA BENJAMIN

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Donald Trump has selected Saudi Arabia as the destination for his first trip abroad, strengthening U.S. ties to a regime that is fueling the very extremism, intolerance and violence that the US government purports to eradicate. Here’s 10 reasons why the United States should not be closely allied with the Saudi kingdom.

Read the list at Common Dreams.

“What’s happened to the anti-war movement?” MEDEA BENJAMIN on The Laura Flanders Show

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

“Why not paper over our differences, if it will result in unity? What’s happened to the anti-war movement? Where’s the more expansive vision of the Left? And what’s it got to do with immigration, trade and sanctuary?”

Read the full review here.

“Is this really how history will remember him?” MEDEA BENJAMIN in Sputnik News

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

“Barack Obama gave his farewell address last night and talked up the supposedly strong economy and his administration’s military action against terrorism. Is this really how history will remember him? What was left unsaid?”

Get the full story here.

“In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs.” MEDEA BENJAMIN in The Guardian

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

“Looking back at President Obama’s legacy, the Council on Foreign Relation’s Micah Zenko added up the defense department’s data on airstrikes and made a startling revelation: in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.”

Get the full story here.

“She speaks truth to power”: KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST on KPFA

Monday, December 12th, 2016

“Assuming you live in the United States, you should be aware of how much effort your government puts into facilitating and defending the crimes of Saudi Arabia. The Saud royal family keeps millions desperately poor. They send religion police around to beat the hell out of people, while they themselves party all over the globe with alcohol, cocaine, prostitutes, and gambling. Most religions are banned; you can be imprisoned, tortured, mutilated, or beheaded simply for being a follower of another religion.

With U.S. support, Saudi Arabia manages to be both the only nation that bans all churches and any non-Muslim religious building, and the leading proponent of global terrorism. In fact, Saudi Arabia spends three times as much per person as the U.S. does on its military, and it spends the biggest chunk of it buying weapons from U.S. profiteers. As the U.S. State Department is well aware, there are no civil liberties in Saudi Arabia. People are jailed, whipped, and killed for speaking out. Saudi Arabia didn’t ban slavery until 1962 and maintains a labor system referred to as “a culture of slavery.” Saudi schools have helped to create branches of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups across Western Asia and Northern Africa at least since the joint U.S.-Saudi operation in Afghanistan that created the Taliban, not to mention the Saudi role in Iran-Contra, in Boko Haram in Nigeria, in Yemen, in Syria and in Europe.”

Read the full piece here.

“Benjamin shines a light on one of the weirder, and most important, elements of our foreign policy”: Medea Benjamin on KPFA

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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“If we’re ever going to see an end to the threats of terrorism against us, we have to reexamine our relationship with the very country most responsible for the spread of extremism”: Medea Benjamin in The Southern Illinoisan

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Read the full article here.

“Let’s go on the road to de-escalation, get rid of nuclear weapons and put money from the military into diplomacy”: Medea Benjamin speaks at PNW

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Read the full article here.

“Saudi Arabia has become by far the number one purchaser of US weapons”: MEDEA BENJAMIN on Russia Today

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Saudi Arabia has become by far the number one purchaser of US weapons, with $115 billion deals under the Obama administration alone. Congress has just rubber-stamped every single one, says author and activist Medea Benjamin.

Saudi Arabia carried out 158 executions, 63 for non-violent drug crimes last year, often through public beheadings. Early this year, it executed 47 men for terrorism-related offenses, including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. It practices gender apartheid against women, who are not allowed to drive, are banned from most jobs, and are controlled by male guardians. It prohibits freedom of expression, including freedom of religion. Homosexuals can be put to death.

It promotes a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam throughout the Muslim world known as Wahhabism, which sanctifies violence against those considered infidels or apostates, including Sufis and Shiites. The autocratic Saudi royal family, whose wealth is estimated at 1.4 trillion dollars, lives in unimaginable extravagance, and often decadence. Yet Saudi Arabia is considered one of the US’ closest allies in the Middle East.

RT: Let’s talk about this special relationship with Saudi Arabia, especially in light of the fact, as you point out in the book, the US now takes only 13 percent of Saudi oil…

Medea Benjamin: Yes, certainly the relationship was started out on the basis of oil when the Saudi Kingdom was first established in 1932, then oil was discovered in the 1930s, and then for 12 different administrations, Republican and Democrat, a close relationship with the Saudis based on oil. But as the years went by, the US produced more of its own oil, imported more from Canada, and so oil is not as important as it was. The US wants to be able to control where that oil goes to other countries. But the relationship has really started to shift in terms of what is the big focus, and I think the big focus is now that they have become the number one purchaser of US weapons by far. $115 billion over the last eight years – that is just under the Obama administration alone. It is a staggering sum, and it is amazing that it has been 43 different deals just under the Obama administration, and Congress has just rubber-stamped every single one.

RT: What about Saudi society? Give us a profile what Saudi Arabia is like.

MB: One of the most repressive countries in the world, where there is no freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, no political parties, no unions allowed, where dissent is treated as treason. You can be beheaded for insulting Islam, for insulting the King, for spreading atheism, for being convicted of being a homosexual, for sorcery. There is discrimination against entire groups of people like women who are not only forced to fully cover in public, it is the only country where women aren’t allowed to drive. A guardianship system where women have to have a male legal guardian from the day they’re born to the day they die. It is the most sex-segregated society in the world. Immigrant population, which is huge – of a 30 million population, 10 million are migrant workers, many of whom are coming from some of the poorest countries in the world and are treated like indentured servants.

RT: Let’s talk about how they are treated.

MB: First, let’s say slavery was only eliminated in 1962 in Saudi Arabia, and with this huge oil money that has flooded the country, many people, including middle-class Saudis, have used the money to bring in foreign workers and it is a sponsorship program. You can’t just say: “I’m from the poor country in Bangladesh, I am going to go try my luck in Saudi Arabia.”. You have to have a sponsor, and the sponsor then becomes like your owner – you couldn’t even leave the country if you don’t get permission from your employer. And you’re treated like an indentured servant. You have no redress, you have no ability to fight back, the only thing you can do is try to contact your embassy, and good luck if they’re going to come to your town…

Read the full article here.

“You get kind of a feeling that the Saudi government are a big mafia and they can threaten people way beyond their borders in such a way that it intimidates all kinds of people”: MEDEA BENJAMIN speaks to Leveller

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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MEDEA BENJAMIN on Here and There with Dave Marash

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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Jill Stein says cabinet could include Richard Wolff or MEDEA BENJAMIN on WMNF

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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“The suffering and the deaths of the Yemeni people is laid in large part on the responsibility not only on the Saudis but of those who provide the Saudis with the means to do that and that is the United States”: MEDEA BENJAMIN on The Real News Network

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Read the full feature on The Real News Network here.

“For 19 months, the U.S. has armed and supported a destructive Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East”: MEDEA BENJAMIN is interviewed on Salon

Friday, October 14th, 2016

“Benjamin discusses the hypocrisy of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that brutally represses internal dissent and refuses to grant basic rights to women.

“Saudi Arabia spreads its extremist state ideology known as Wahhabism throughout the world. Benjamin notes that ISIS shares a similar fundamentalist ideology. As Salon has previously reported, recently released emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton show that, according to U.S. intelligence sources, the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported the Islamic State.”

Watch the full interview on Salon here.

“If Americans Can Sue Saudis over 9/11, Drone Victims Should Be Able to Sue U.S.”: MEDEA BENJAMIN talks to Democracy Now!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

“If Americans Can Sue Saudis over 9/11, Drone Victims Should Be Able to Sue U.S.”: MEDEA BENJAMIN talks to Democracy Now!


“Finally, we have an example of the U.S. Congress putting U.S. citizens above the relationship with the Saudi government,” says CodePink’s Medea Benjamin in response to the vote by Congress to allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks, overriding President Obama’s veto of the bill. The legislation would allow courts to waive claim of foreign sovereign immunity after an act of terrorism occurs within U.S. borders. “If innocent families [of drone attacks] were able to take the U.S. to court instead of seeing joining ISIS or al-Qaeda as their only resort, that would be a very positive thing.”

Listen to the full interview on Democracy Now! here.

“To this day, there is no clarity about the role of the Saudi Arabian government in the 9/11 attacks” KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST excerpted in TruthDig

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

“To this day, there is no clarity about the role of the Saudi Arabian government in the 9/11 attacks”


An excerpt from KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST:


“We know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. We know that the bin Laden family had close ties to the family of George W. Bush. We know that right after the attack, wealthy Saudis living in the United States frantically contacted the Saudi Embassy in Washington asking to leave because they feared a backlash. Just days after the attack, some 140 Saudis, including about two dozen members of the bin Laden family, were mysteriously spirited out of the country with little questioning by the FBI.”


Read the full excerpt from KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST: BEHIND THE U.S.-CONNECTION here.

“For decades, the United States has supported Saudi Arabia despite the latter country’s record of human rights abuses” MEDEA BENJAMIN in TruthOut

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

“While there have been major gains for Saudi women in the past decades due to campaigns by women themselves and reforms implemented by the late King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia remains the most gender-segregated nation in the world. The discriminatory male guardianship system persists despite government pledges to abolish it. Under this system, a woman, no matter her age, is treated as a minor and must live under the supervision of a wali, or guardian. This is a legally recognized male — her father, husband, uncle, or some other male relative (even her son) — who must grant formal permission for most of the significant issues affecting her life. Some refer to this system as a form of gender apartheid.”

To hear more, visit Truthout.

“A Brilliant Primer” MEDEA BENJAMIN reviewed in Red Pepper

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

“Set out in an accessible self-answered Q&A-style format, the book’s
first half summarizes the political, economic and social conditions in
the theocratic Gulf monarchy. All public gatherings are prohibited, with
no freedom of worship and a near total intolerance of dissent. Trade
unions are banned, the death penalty implemented for non-violent crimes
and women continue to be treated as minors who must be supervised by a
male relative. Reform is painfully slow.”

To read more, visit Red Pepper.

“There will be a hawk in the White House” MEDEA BENJAMIN interviewed in Frontline

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

“In 2013, United States President Barack Obama spoke in Washington, D.C., on the issue of national security and drone policy. Not long into his speech, a woman got up and asked him to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She was Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of the activist group CODEPINK. She was relentless. She interrupted Obama thrice. Medea Benjamin, who is 10 years older than Obama, was nonplussed when he called her a “young lady”. Fear does not seem to be part of her lexicon. With Medea Benjamin undaunted, Obama said: “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

To read more, visit Frontline.

“It’s Time to End the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Special Relationship” MEDEA BENJAMIN in Alternet

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

“Medea Benjamin’s new book – Kingdom of the Unjust – is an activist’s dossier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and American complicity. She is like an accountant of suffering – lining up columns and columns of information about human rights abuses, denial of basic democratic freedoms and export of nastiness that borders on terrorism. The United States government is aware of everything in Medea Benjamin’s book – for, after all, she makes good use of US reports on these violations of basic questions of human dignity.”

To read more, visit Alternet.

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