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Sudan and the War on Yemen

One of the other invitees to the Saudi-sponsored summit that Trump will be attending is none other than Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir:

Saudi officials close to the king say Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been invited to an upcoming summit in the Saudi capital with President Donald Trump and world leaders from across the Muslim world.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands for war crime allegations linked to the conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

This news prompted Glenn Kessler to ask:

I agree that Bashir’s invitation to attend the summit is repugnant, but why would we expect the Trump administration to object to it? Sudan is a member of the Saudi-led coalition that is attacking Yemen and has been for years, so it was predictable that their president would be invited to the Saudis’ summit. Since the U.S. is an enabler and supporter of the coalition, our government is on the same side as the Sudanese government. These are the sorts of governments that have agreed to help the Saudis in their reckless campaign, and our government is deeply complicit in that campaign.

Our government has no problem aiding and abetting coalition war crimes in Yemen, so why would it suddenly be put off by the invitation of another war criminal when he belongs to the same coalition? The summit’s hosts are partly responsible for creating horrific conditions in Yemen that will claim countless innocent lives if things continue as they are, but there is scarcely any criticism of Trump’s decision to make Riyadh his first foreign destination as president. If Trump (and much of Washington) can embrace the war criminals of Riyadh, why wouldn’t he associate with one from Khartoum?
The truly appalling thing in all of this is the continued support the U.S. is providing to the Saudis and their allies (including Sudan) as they cause massive loss of life.

It should go without saying that the U.S. shouldn’t be taking part in the Saudis’ sham of a summit, just as our government shouldn’t be involved in the atrocious war on Yemen. Trump faces little or no opposition for these things, and yet these are easily among the least defensible things he is doing as president.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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