Source: Press TV
Press TV has conducted an interview with activist Caleb Maupin to discuss the ongoing Saudi airstrikes on Yemen.

The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Over fifty days of bombardments by Saudi Arabia except for that five day humanitarian pause; how do you view and assess the way that Saudi Arabia is going after? What are they after?

Maupin: Well the only way you can describe what the Saudis are doing to the people of Yemen is as a crime against humanity. When you have people bombing schools, bombing medical centers, hospitals, civilian infrastructure, leading to the death of thousands of people, the majority of which are not combatants of any kind but only civilians, I mean this is simply unacceptable and the fact that the world is sitting back and allowing this to happen and that my own government, as someone from the United States, is complicit and supporting the Saudis and committing this horrendous crime against the people of Yemen, this is something that really disturbs me.

The people of Yemen are being killed basically. They are being attacked simply because they want to write a democratic constitution. The Ansarullah movement is at the center of a broad coalition of forces in the country that simply do not want their country to be under the control of the Saudis any longer. They want to control their own country. They want self-determination and this relentless, horrendous bombing campaign by the Saudis, these attacks on innocent people and civilians, this has to stop. The world needs to step in and stop the Saudis from committing these vicious crimes.

Press TV: Let us expand a little bit about the US role in this case. Obviously they are known through the media, the description placed on the US a “backseat role” but we know they are providing logistics, we know they provided these fighter jets to the tune of 70 billion dollars. Could they do more to actually go after a political solution and why aren’t they?

Maupin: Well the entire conflict is basically caused by the fact that the people of Yemen just want to compose a democratic constitution. You know the former president [Abd Rabbuh] Mansur Hadi, he was not a democratically elected leader. He ran in an election where there were no other options. The only person on the ballot was him and he was the Saudi-selected candidate, Saudi money backed up his campaign and the people of Yemen who want democracy, they want the right to control their own country, they rejected him and they have largely been coming together, a whole coalition is being built up, tribal forces, Sunnis, the Ansarullah organization, people from all across Yemeni society who want control over their country, control of their natural resources and independence.

And the fact that the United States is lined up with Saudi Arabia providing air surveillance support, refueling the air jets that are carrying out these horrific bombings, this is outrageous. The US likes to talk about human rights and democracy and whenever it is looking to attack a country, it starts using rhetoric about human rights and democracy but yet now the people of Yemen are trying to establish their independence and compose a democratic constitution and the US is supporting the Saudi monarchy in attacking them.

And the Saudi regime does not even pretend to practice human rights to be democratic in any way. There are no elections of any kind in Saudi Arabia, whether they be rigged elections or otherwise, there are none. The Saudi king is not elected. This is one of the only societies in the world that does not even pretend to have any basic notion of human rights so why is the United States lined up with them? And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the Wall Street oil corporations are very much making lots of money from the Saudi regime and that level of corruption, that level of dishonesty from the part of the leaders of United States is something that very much disturbs me.

Press TV: Do you think that in some ways maybe the Saudis are using Iran as a scapegoat saying that this is Iran, they are supporting these movements and Iran is trying to portray their power but it is really that they do not want democracy to creep into the kingdom?

Maupin: Well the rhetoric from US leaders regarding the situation in Yemen and the way the US media is portraying the conflict is really almost ridiculous. You know there was a time in the United States when Martin Luther King was leading a very broad movement for civil rights and the response of the Republican Party and a lot of the media in the US was to say, Martin Luther King, he is a paid Russian agent, people do not want civil rights, they are just being paid by the Russians.

And now in Yemen the people are rising up, this is a mass uprising, seizing the government buildings but the US press, the way they portray it is they say, this is just Iranian proxies, Iranian agents. Who in their right mind would believe the only reason the people of Yemen would want to control their own country, control their own resources is because they got orders from Tehran? This is outdated, Cold War style rhetoric is really ridiculous.

The people of Yemen are fighting for their independence, they are fighting for their lives and the Saudis are bombing and destroying them and waging a really horrific war of aggression, slaughtering civilians and the whole world knows what is going on and the hypocrisy of the United States is really being exposed in Yemen.

Press TV: And finally and quickly giving your view of Yemen and we know that you were involved in this ship that was headed there for humanitarian supplies to be delivered to these poor people. Do you think that a political solution is anywhere close on the horizon? We know about that UN meeting that is supposed to take place … something that obviously Saudi Arabia at this point has shown no interest in but a political solution in sight or not?

Maupin: Well as far as a political solution, if a political solution to the conflict were a political solution that involved only Yemenis and the Yemeni people alone had the right to determine the fate of their country, this war would be immediately over. The people of Yemen would begin the process of writing a democratic national constitution, they would begin resume the national dialogue that went on in Yemen following the Islamic Awakening or the Arab Spring in 2011. The war in Yemen is very much the result of foreign meddling by Saudi Arabia and if the Yemeni people are allowed to determine the fate of their country and begin the process of negotiations, this war would immediately end. However, it is the result of foreign power, foreign intervention that is keeping this fighting going. Look, I was on a ship, on the Iran Shahed. All we were trying to do was with the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran bring water, medical supplies and flour, food to the people of Yemen who are desperately suffering under this blockade. And the reason we could not complete our mission was because of one thing and that was Saudi terrorism.

They bombed the port of Hudaydah not once, not twice but eight times in a single day. There was a conspiracy of Sudanese mercenaries who were hired to attack our ship if it ever reached the port of Hudaydah. So this level of viciousness is very extreme. The Saudis very much want to keep Yemen under their control and under the control of the Wall Street bankers and corporations. They do not want the Yemeni people to assert their rights, to control their own country and they are willing to use very vicious and criminal methods to assert that and the whole world should be standing against what the Saudis are doing right now.