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The War on Yemen and the ‘Self-Defense’ Lie

Western officials never seem to get tired of repeating transparent lies [1] on behalf of Saudi Arabia:

Britain’s defence secretary said that Saudi Arabia was “simply defending itself” by bombing Yemen in a military campaign that has killed thousands of civilians and brought millions more to the brink of famine.

The claim that Saudi Arabia is “simply defending itself” by attacking Yemen is utter nonsense, and it is easily exposed as such. The Saudis and their allies were not being threatened from Yemen by the Houthis or anyone else when they initiated their bombing campaign and blockade against the country. There were no attacks on Saudi territory that warranted retaliation, nor were there attacks on any other member of the coalition. The coalition was organized with the express purpose of reimposing a discredited, unpopular leader on the country after he had been forced from power. From the start, the Saudi-led war was an aggressive campaign waged against the bulk of the population of Yemen by a group of outside governments. It was only after the Saudis and their allies began pummeling and starving Yemen that Yemenis began launching attacks into Saudi territory. The only people defending themselves in this war are Yemenis. The Saudi-led coalition has been and continues to be the aggressor, and the U.S. and Britain have enabled them in their aggression.

Fallon’s lie on behalf of the Saudis is much the same as the one then-Secretary Kerry told [2] last year, and in both cases they are able to get away with making such plainly false statements to the press because the conflict is so rarely covered and so poorly understood in the U.S. and Britain. If our governments can get people in the U.S. and Britain to believe that they are helping the Saudis “simply defend” themselves, they can deflect attention from the war crimes the coalition has committed the and humanitarian crisis that the intervention has done so much to cause. It is important to understand that the “self-defense” justification for the war on Yemen is a lie, and the governments that repeat that lie are doing so to cover up for their own shameful enabling of an atrocious war.

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "The War on Yemen and the ‘Self-Defense’ Lie"

#1 Comment By Chris Chuba On May 11, 2017 @ 4:24 pm

It’s self defense in the same way that our invasion of Iraq was self defense. It’s the famous ‘Bush doctrine’ of PREEMPTIVE self-defense. Hitler used that to justify the invasion of Poland.

#2 Comment By we are become death On May 11, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

I agree with Chris Chuba above. Saudi Arabia “defending” itself from Yemen is like Germany “defending” its way across Poland, and with the mass starvation and murder of innocents, it’s taking on a similar moral stench.

#3 Comment By Dennis Tuchler On May 11, 2017 @ 6:42 pm

This is a war against Iran and the spread of Shia Islam. The US will support Saudi Arabia in anything it does in Yemen because we, too, fear Iranian influence in that region. So American officials will have to lie to keep Saudi Arabia in a fairly good light/

#4 Comment By a spencer On May 11, 2017 @ 11:06 pm

I looked up the definition of “craven”. Lo and behold, there was a picture of everyone who made these arguments on behalf of the Saudis in Yemen.

Perhaps these folks – John Kerry, the current administration, lobbyists, pundits, UK officials – can provide names of each of the Saudi princes who has died fighting in Arabia Felix. And then the names of the Iranians. Combine the two lists and its still shorter than US deaths in Southern Arabia.

#5 Comment By Donald On May 12, 2017 @ 12:03 am

Unfortunately Daniel is almost the only one writing about this.

In my real offline life I have never heard anyone bring up Yemen unless I do it. When I do I get the sense of being seen as some eccentric– we are supposed to be obsessing about how Trump might be the servant of Russia, not how he and Obama were the servants of the Saudis. On liberal blogs it is the same. On the liberal side of the fence people will talk all day about Russia and Trump and never even think to say anything about the Saudis. To some degree it really seems to be true that our press functions as a kind of thought control mechanism. I can’t believe people would really support the Saudi war on Yemen if it was presented to them on a daily basis, but it is treated as unimportant by the press and so nobody ever talks about it.

As for conservatives, you have people here who care, but for the most part I suspect the average Republican Islamophobe is rather easily convinced by any argument for bombing alleged Muslim enemies.

#6 Comment By a spencer On May 12, 2017 @ 12:49 am

If we could only get the most powerful countries on earth to beat the living sh*t out of the poorest…