Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen

Andrew Cockburn writes: Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. Thousands of civilians — no one knows how many — have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation.

This rain of destruction was made possible by the material and moral support of the United States, which supplied most of the bombers, bombs, and missiles required for the aerial onslaught. (Admittedly, the United Kingdom, France, and other NATO arms exporters eagerly did their bit.) U.S. Navy ships aided the blockade. But no one that I talked to in Washington suggested that the war was in any way necessary to our national security. The best answer I got came from Ted Lieu, a Democratic congressman from California who has been one of the few public officials to speak out about the devastation we were enabling far away. “Honestly,” he told me, “I think it’s because Saudi Arabia asked.” [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen

  1. Óscar Palacios

    These are the Western-democracies-backed atrocities that provide a hefty supply of facts easily converted into ideological ammunition for tyrants everywhere. How could Assad not smile when he knows about these things? “See?”, he can tell everyone around him, “how the West always uses the humanitarian card to attack us, but look at how they *in fact* care not about civilians elsewhere. They’re politically cherry-picking for their own ends”. And that might even be true. It’s up to us, the normal and relatively powerless folks in the world to stand in solidarity with everyone who needs our help. I donate small amounts (I have a modest salary) to UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR and Worldvision. As soon as I can, I’ll also start to make donations to MSF. I can’t think of much else to do when facing these terrible situations.

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