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Wrecking and Starving Yemen with Washington’s Blessing

The Secretary of Defense is considering [1] more support for the atrocious, indefensible war on Yemen:

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is considering a range of additional military support for Saudi Arabia’s fight against Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen in the hope of forcing the group into peace negotiations.

Mr. Mattis on Wednesday finished up two days of meetings here with the Saudi king and other top officials. In public comments made before meeting with his Saudi counterpart, Mohammed bin Salman, Mr. Mattis said it’s important for the U.S. to help “reinforce Saudi Arabia’s resistance to Iran’s mischief.” The U.S. believes Iran is backing the rebels.

Mattis is gravely mistaken if he thinks that helping the Saudis pulverize Yemen is in America’s interest, and he is simply deluded if he believes that the war on Yemen is happening because of “Saudi Arabia’s resistance to Iran’s mischief.” The truth is that the Saudis and their allies are devastating Yemen mostly because of their gross exaggeration of Iran’s role in the country, and the U.S. is wrong to buy into their framing of the conflict. Providing more support to the coalition won’t hasten peace talks, but it will hasten the onset of famine and widespread loss of life.

In addition to his willingness to support an indefensible war, Mattis is making a serious error by allowing a preoccupation with Iran to distort his understanding of the conflict and the wider region. He is quoted as saying, “Everywhere you look, if there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” but one might just as easily say the same about the role of the Saudis in the region. Yemen is one place in the region where Iran’s involvement remains limited and they have very little responsibility for what is happening there. In Yemen, it is the Saudis and their allies that bear most of the responsibility for killing civilians with indiscriminate bombing, and they are the ones most responsible for the humanitarian crisis that threatens to consume countless lives.

Perhaps U.S. officials don’t want to admit that our government has been enabling war crimes and famine, or perhaps they haven’t fully grasped the effects of the war that our government has supported for over two years. More likely, they know perfectly well what the coalition has been doing and don’t care. Regardless, there is no excuse for lending more support to the coalition’s war effort, and the Trump administration will further mar our country’s reputation if it provides increased support for the Saudis and their allies. Helping the Saudis to kill innocent civilians in a poor neighboring country is monstrous. Continuing to back this war is shameful and reprehensible. Both Trump and Obama have earned lasting scorn for their willingness to facilitate the wrecking and starvation of Yemen. The people of Yemen are made to starve and suffer so that our leaders can please a few awful despots.

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10 Comments To "Wrecking and Starving Yemen with Washington’s Blessing"

#1 Comment By Sorrier Than Thou On April 20, 2017 @ 1:34 am

Mattis came in as the favorite of the GOP Establishment, even grudgingly approved by Trump enemies like the New York Times and Washington Post. A guy who would serve as the “adult”. Then he swings into action, from the stupid and pointless missile attack on Assad to the stupid and childish “disinformation” about the Carl Vinson to this stupid and monstrous support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, one pointless botch after another.

Really disgusting. As if we needed more proof of Establishment stupidity, incompetence, ignorance and pointless cruelty, here it is.

#2 Comment By Chris Chuba On April 20, 2017 @ 7:45 am

Were it not for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon would have been overrun by ISIS and/or Al Qaeda and the Saudis would still be fighting in Yemen.

#3 Comment By SteveM On April 20, 2017 @ 9:57 am

Daniel, I hope this kind of documented stupidity by Mad Dog Mattis helps put to bed the generally accepted illusion of a U.S. General or Admiral as some kind of wizened polymath.

E.g., Petraeus with his Princeton Ph.D. and Mattis with his supposed voluminous library distill down to arrogant nitwits in their actual decision making.

Given their narrow minded ignorance of history, the Constitution and reality, their intellectual credentials and 2 bucks would buy them a cup of coffee in a real world separated from the comfy confines of the National Security State where everyone with Stars on their shoulders is “brilliant” simply because the hardware.

P.S. Too bad Trump doesn’t get that.

#4 Comment By Mark Thomason On April 20, 2017 @ 11:13 am

The real reason for Saudi war on Yemen has nothing to do with Iran.

Yemen is 60% of the population of the Arabian Peninsula, with none of the oil and horrible problems. They are also not at all like the Saudi Sunnis who dominate Saudi Arabia’s monarchy and religious structure.

Meanwhile, the Saudis must import workers. They do not want them coming from Yemen. They fear Yemen as the Israelis fear Palestinians, for their birthrate and population pressure.

The Saudis are fighting in Yemen because they fear those people, not because they fear Iran. That is just an excuse they can sell to the US with Israeli help.

#5 Comment By Sam On April 20, 2017 @ 12:41 pm

Saudi Arabia simply wants to control Yemen. They made up this false allegation and false evidence of Iranian proxy to gain US and Israeli support. The fact is, Yemen never attacked anyone. They should be left alone. We should as Americans be ashamed our government stands with terror-supporting Saudi Arabia in its war crimes.

#6 Comment By Skeptic On April 20, 2017 @ 2:05 pm

This illustrates as well as anything else (not that there is a shortage of evidence) the vapidity and cravenness of American politics, and that part of the journalistic world (i.e. the vast majority of it) that follows the party line unquestioningly. Because the bombs they use are clean, American bombs — not barbarous barrel bombs! — no one is the least concerned that the bombs are destroying an entire nation, with our unquestioning support.

When I first read The Hunger Games, I thought it was a bit exaggerated to use it as a metaphor for the US in its relation to the world. No more. Things are comfy here in District One, aren’t they? The rest can be bombed, who cares? Pass the brie.

#7 Comment By What Is Truth? On April 20, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

So we launch missiles at Assad for killing kids in Syria, and yet we help the Saudis massacre and starve kids in Yemen.

All very confusing for those of us who lack the highly sophisticated moral equipment that Satan developed for our foreign policy establishment.

#8 Comment By Tiktaalik On April 20, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

Is it true that Mr. Mattis doesn’t like his sobriquet ‘Mad Dog’? I wonder why…

#9 Comment By Dieter Heymann On April 21, 2017 @ 8:27 am

The truth may hurt some. President Trump is either too weak to stand up against ‘Mad Dog’ or he agrees with ‘Mad Dog’. The President is ‘Mad Dog’s’ commander. ‘Mad Dog’ must sit when the President orders “sit”.

#10 Comment By Hank On April 21, 2017 @ 9:50 am