Home/Daniel Larison/The U.S. Continues Enabling Crimes Against Humanity in Yemen

The U.S. Continues Enabling Crimes Against Humanity in Yemen

The Trump administration’s indulgence of Saudi Arabia continues:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Saturday that the United States would continue supporting Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, despite rising outrage over the kingdom.

Speaking from a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Pompeo acknowledged that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen — where millions are at risk of starvation — had reached “epic proportions” but said Washington and Riyadh were offering aid.

The Saudi coalition backed by the U.S. is responsible for creating this humanitarian crisis of “epic proportions,” and the U.S. shares responsibility in that. Offering relatively paltry sums of aid while simultaneously strangling the economy, wrecking the infrastructure, and starving the population amounts to putting some ointment on the multiple stab wounds you have just inflicted on the victim. It does the people of Yemen no good to throw them a few crumbs when the Saudi coalition and our government are responsible for destroying their country. Pompeo keeps boasting about the aid that Yemen’s tormentors are providing, as if that erases the catastrophic harm they have done over three and a half years. The administration acknowledges the severity of the humanitarian crisis, but it refuses to pressure the Saudis and Emiratis to do the things that everyone knows need to be done to avert famine and massive loss of life. When Pompeo isn’t desperately trying to shift the blame away from the real perpetrators of these crimes against humanity, he is using aid donations as a cloak to conceal those same crimes and make it seem as if the tormentors are Yemen’s benefactors instead.

As the heads of five major humanitarian organizations said earlier this week, Yemen needs much more than aid. The governments responsible for the crisis have it within their power to prevent the worst from happening, but they are choosing not to do any of the necessary things. Our Secretary of State spends most of his time engaged in doing damage control for the architects of massive man-made famine, and the Trump administration has willingly become a partner in destroying and starving an entire country. There needs to be intense pressure on the administration from the public and Congress if there is to be a chance of forcing the changes needed to stave off mass starvation.

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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