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Mattis and the War on Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians killed [1] dozens at the end of 2017:

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 people at a crowded market and 14 members of one family on a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday.

Secretary Mattis stated [2] last week that the U.S. would try to reduce the number of civilians killed by coalition bombing, but this is hard to take seriously when coalition forces frequently appear to bomb civilian areas on purpose. The problem with coalition attacks is not just that they can be imprecise, but that they are also often striking where no legitimate military targets are to be found. Put simply, coalition bombing kills so many civilians in Yemen because the bombs are being deliberately dropped on civilian targets. Coalition planes blow up women in wedding processions and kill poor farmers because their governments have made it abundantly clear that they have blatant disregard for civilian lives in Yemen, and no amount of training provided by the U.S. is going to change that.

Mattis’ emphasis on U.S. training of coalition pilots also distracts from the real problem with ongoing U.S. involvement in the war. If the U.S. is providing refueling, arms, and intelligence to the coalition so that they can conduct this war, and our government continues to do this without reservation, then it is making these attacks on civilians possible. The quickest and best way for our government to reduce the number of Yemeni civilians killed by the coalition is to withhold all U.S. military assistance from the coalition. The fact that this isn’t entertained as a possibility tells us everything we need to know about how serious the administration is when it comes to reducing the number of civilians that the Saudis and their allies kill in Yemen.

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4 Comments To "Mattis and the War on Yemen"

#1 Comment By Christian Chuba On January 2, 2018 @ 7:59 am

Thank you for noticing that the U.S. is covering up for the Saudis diplomatically.
Examples of how we cover up Saudi war crimes:

1. Mattis’ statement implying that this must be collateral damage, FOX’s Gillian Anderson actually tried to sell this as Mattis coming down on the KSA.

2. Haley standing over a single ballistic missile and screaming about terrorism, while ignoring the carnage in Yemen.

3. Sarah Huckabee Sanders accusing the Houthis of ‘waging war on the Yemeni people’ by diverting food aid when this is the reason that the Saudis give for not allowing food aid to flow into rebel areas to begin with.
The ‘coalition’ is simply urged to ‘facilitate’ as if they just aren’t doing enough.

#2 Comment By AnnaB On January 2, 2018 @ 11:05 am

I do not understand! Either the Saudi pilots are completely incompetent or they are deliberately bombing civilians. I think that both premises are probably true.

We need to take a second or third look at our support, for God only knows why, of the Saudis. (Perhaps their purchases of our armaments endears them to us?). In this case, we really need a reset of foreign policy where our military industrial complex stops targeting inferior “enemies” because otherwise, we will continue to be the bully of the entire world.

#3 Comment By Skeeter On January 2, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

The US does not support Saudi Arabia because SA buys American armaments; the US supports Saudi Arabia because SA maintains the petrodollar hegemony that Nixon arranged in 1971 when he took the US out of Bretton-Woods. That is why the US overlooks 15/19 Saudi hijackers on 9/11 and invades Afghanistan and Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia, and why the US turns a blind eye to Saudi aggression in Yemen, and other such anomalies. The US wants Saudi Arabia and Israel to fight yet another proxy war against Iran because evidently we have not screwed up the Middle East enough yet, so more damage can be done, more lives can be exterminated, all in name of the Zionist machinations that drive US foreign policy in the Middle East. The US has totally destabilized the Middle East and the neocons never have to account. And with Trump and all of his neocon minions, all in service to Sheldon Adelson, this reality likely won’t change anytime soon. Make America Great Again! I have a better slogan …. Let’s Make America Good Again, by refusing to follow terrible advice from the Israel-firsters in the US government.

#4 Comment By b. On January 2, 2018 @ 11:13 pm

“If the U.S. is providing refueling, arms, and intelligence to the coalition”

In this context, “intelligence” implies assistance with target selection. If Saudi planes drop bombs on targets chosen by US military personnel, then “aiding and abetting” has become “aiming and abetting”.

Deniability is a pose, it does not make separation.