Shielding Saudis on Yemen Atrocities

The Saudi-led war on Yemen is inflicting a slaughter by bombs, famine and disease, yet both Presidents Obama and Trump have insisted on supporting the Saudi “allies” in their war crimes, warns Shireen Al-Adeimi.

By Shireen Al-Adeimi

Yemen continues to suffer in silence as the world turns away from its ongoing misery. Despite 2½ years of brutal war, the average American remains oblivious to the inconvenient truth that the United States has been helping Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates destroy a sovereign country that posed a threat to no one.

A neighborhood in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa after an airstrike, October 9, 2015. (Wikipedia)

While rich Arab states bombard the Middle East’s poorest country, creating the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and an unprecedented cholera outbreak, the U.S. government (starting with the Obama administration and continuing with Trump’s) has continued to support them not only through the sale of weapons, but also through mid-air refueling, targeting intelligence, and other logistical support.

The international community has betrayed Yemenis over and over again – examples include the United Nation’s capitulation to Saudi pressure by removing it from the list of child killers and allowing the Saudi-led Coalition to investigate (and clear) itself from any wrongdoing. Even as an inquiry into Yemen war crimes was finally agreed recently, the word “investigation” was dropped, and it remains to be seen which “regional experts” will comprise the committee.

But have we, the American people, turned our backs to our government’s involvement in Yemen’s destruction? Yemenis are not seeking refuge in Europe or America because of a land, air, and sea blockade that has kept food and medicines out, while trapping people in. Unlike those fleeing the war in Syria, Yemenis may be “out of sight, of mind.” But those of us who do know about the plight of Yemenis may feel helpless or unclear about what can be done to help. The truth is, we have to act, and we have to act fast.

We can no longer stand by and watch as Yemeni children die of curable diseases like cholera (with 750,000 cases and counting) because they can’t access clean water. Nor can we stand by and watch them die of hunger in a time of immense global wealth because their parents can’t afford what little food is available.

We can no longer watch as Yemeni children, women, and men are killed by U.S.-supported, Saudi and Emirati airstrikes that target homes, schools, funeral gatherings, and hospitals alike. We must face the U.S. government’s role in creating this “man-made catastrophe” that has pushed this already-impoverished nation to its utmost limit.

Now, 30 months into this aimless war, there’s an opportunity for the United States to finally withdraw from Yemen. Congress will soon debate and vote on House Concurrent Resolution 81 — a bipartisan bill introduced by Representatives Ro Khanna, D-California; Thomas Massie, R-Kentucky; Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin; and Walter Jones, R-North Carolina — that aims to end the United States’ support for the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen.

The legislation could spare Americans from looking back and wondering what could have been done to save millions of people from certain death. It offers an opportunity to end this destructive war by urging U.S. political leaders to stop supporting the Saudi-led Coalition, an ally that has worked with terrorists to achieve its goals, and has continued to commit what may amount to several and ongoing war crimes in Yemen.

Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni-Canadian-American, is a doctoral candidate and instructor at Harvard University.

11 comments for “Shielding Saudis on Yemen Atrocities

  1. unyabanda ingwe
    October 7, 2017 at 12:37

    The Saudis will pay for all this one day, and that is is not far of.

  2. October 6, 2017 at 11:11

    Thank you for writing this and informing me of the bill. I am sharing this info on social media & contacting my congressman. My deepest sorrow for the war crimes on your people.

  3. Ian Perkins
    October 6, 2017 at 10:24

    Why do you call this a Saudi-led war? The pilots are indeed Saudi, thereby allowing the gangsters of the US and UK to claim it’s none of their fault. Meanwhile, the weapons, planes, training, maintenance, intelligence, surveillance, targetting and mid-air refuelling are provided by the US and UK. Not content with merely bombing yet another poor country back to the stone age, they are using famine and cholera to achieve their nefarious ends.

    That said, I sincerely hope this bill passes. A small and long overdue step towards civilisation in the USA.

  4. Zachary Smith
    October 6, 2017 at 00:58

    Just saw a heartbreaking story from Yemen.

    “A Doctor’s Report from Yemen”

    The quote refers to a child who found some of his parent’s body parts after an air raid.

    I know for a fact, that that child will have none of that, as his parents were his only family, and in a war-torn country where every western country builds its small luxuries on his back and his parents’ body parts and blood , no one will be giving him the opportunity of going to therapy; much less the chance at a new life. The most likely scenario for him, and hundreds of thousands of others right now, is either death by starvation, cholera, or another airstrike.

    No one will ever know his name. No one will know he even exists. He’s just another casualty of a “civil war” Westerners scroll right past.

    This. Is. Yemen.

    And this is what Saudi Arabia and its allies, both regional and international, are doing to it.

    I blame Obama. He was a cold-blooded killer and monster. What about Trump? He may be the same kind of killer, but so far he has shown only vulgar and loud-mouthed arrogance and ignorance. He’s a foolish puppet for sure, and we may or may not soon learn whether he is also a monster like Obama.

    They’re both criminals, but Obama has – at this instant in time – earned a much lower level in Hell than has Trump.

  5. Zachary Smith
    October 6, 2017 at 00:44

    For a second time I’m doing a minor hijack of the thread. If the link (and my personal intuition) is correct, we could soon need an essay titled:

    “Shielding Israel on Lebanon Atrocities”

    The clouds of war are now visible: approaching and gathering apace over Israel, and the trigger could be something as simple as Hezbollah discovering yet another spy-camera, wired to explode and concealed inside a rock by a Lebanese roadside. Though no casualties have been reported when several of these exploding spy-cameras have been discovered in Lebanon recently, Nasrallah warned in his speech that if this dangerous Israeli provocation continues and causes actual human casualties, Hezbollah will take matters “into their own hands”; meaning: they will respond in like to Israel, inside of Israel. And responding in like inside of Israel will indeed lead to war.

    Israel is trying to provoke a war. The US keeps pushing and prodding Russia in Syria, ignoring the repeated Russian warnings to lay off. One more quote from the piece:

    And this war could happen sooner than we think; much sooner. You could go to bed after Monday night football and wake up on Tuesday morning to a full-throttle war in Israel proper and the wider region. Just like that: with the snap of the finger war could start.

    And either side could easily start it – Hezbollah has several times now declared that if it suits its interests, it will use a preemptive strike in the next war; just as Israel is no stranger to preemptive-striking.

    I’m convinced Hezbollah would prefer to have some breathing time after the exertions in Syria. But if that organization becomes convinced that Israel is going to attack, it will surely look for scenarios where striking first is to its advantage.

    Very ugly, and very dangerous situation all around. I’d wager that both the NYT and WP are creating skeleton articles defending Israel and praising its “restraint”. No matter what the thieving and murdering little shithole of an apartheid state does.

  6. October 5, 2017 at 20:29

    I believe Yemen is a War Crime of massive proportions. The perpetrators need to be arrested. We need present day Nuremberg Trials. Genocide is being committed in Yemen.
    September 9, 2017
    The Genocide in Yemen by a Coalition of War Criminals

  7. Zachary Smith
    October 5, 2017 at 17:45

    It isn’t just Yemen. President Donald “dipstick” Trump is reported to have decided to decertify the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

    “President Trump plans to ‘decertify’ Iran nuclear deal next week”

    By decertifying the deal, Trump would kick the matter to Congress, which would then have 60 days to determine a path forward.
    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday the President had made a decision on the agreement and would announce it “soon.”

    Give it to Israel’s trained seals for a decision!

    The man is demonstrating that he is stubborn to the point of being irrational. It’s all about ME, ME, and ME.

  8. mike k
    October 5, 2017 at 14:38

    Our US government in action – or is it rather criminal inaction. This country is morally bankrupt, and has become the most evil on the planet. We are indeed exceptional – exceptionally evil.

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