“This was an Iranian attack. It’s not the case that you can subcontract out the devastation of 5% of the world’s global energy supply and think you can absolve yourself of responsibilities,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his way to talk with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The Crown Prince is demanding that the US and the international community retaliate against Iran after a drone attack on their oil fields.
Five days after the oil field attack, Saudi-led war planes bombed a Yemen town, killing 16 people, including seven children. One house was blown up.
Mike Pompeo didn’t announce that the Saudis shouldn’t think they could absolve themselves from responsibility for these childrens’ deaths. Donald Trump didn’t threaten the Saudis with economic sanctions. There was no condemnation from leaders in Europe. There was hardly a news report.
But a strike against an oil field in Saudi Arabia that killed no one? That dominated the airwaves for days. Our government and the rest of the international establishment condemned it in the ‘strongest terms.’ Our government is (was? will be?) ready to attack Iran because the Iranians supplied weapons that Yemenis used to destroy oil fields in Saudi Arabia.
Does no one remember that we are supplying weapons that the Saudis are using to destroy hospitals, schools, water and electrical facilities—and many thousands of innocent people in Yemen? Will we continue to be absolved for supplying the weapons that wreak havoc on people who we don’t even know where the country is?
United States has put its military might behind the Saudi-led coalition, waging a war without congressional authorization.
Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries, has been bombing Yemen, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, since 2015. That was the year that a Shia-led resistance movement looked like it would succeed in taking over the country and ending years of authoritarian rule. Many ordinary Yemenis supported them against an unpopular transitional government. The Saudis weren’t about to let a Shia movement govern Yemen so with some other Sunni Arab states, they initiated a bombing campaign aimed at restoring the transitional government.
The Saudi coalition immediately received logistical and intelligence support from the US, the UK and France. The US and Britain have deployed military personnel in the command center that targets Saudi strikes in Yemen. Despite this help, the Saudis have not defeated the Houthi movement.
Under President Barack Obama’s administration and, now, President Donald Trump’s, the United States has put its military might behind the Saudi-led coalition, waging a war without congressional authorization. That war has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, destroyed or damaged more than half of Yemen’s health facilities, killed more than 8,350 civilians, injured another 9,500 civilians, displaced 3.3 million people, and created a humanitarian disaster that threatens the lives of millions as cholera and famine spread through the country.
Will we continue to absolve ourselves from responsibility for supplying weapons and support for killing people in Yemen? Or worse still, will we just go about our business of trying hard not to be depressed about all the bad things the US seems to be implicated in? Last April, Congress voted to end military assistance to the Saudis for their war on Yemen. Why isn’t this along with our wars in Afghanistan and Syria a campaign issue?
Material in this article came from Common Dreams and other sources, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-share alike 3.0 license.