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The War on Yemen and Our Despicable Clients

Ibrahem Qasim/Flickr: air strike in Sana'a, May 2015

Colum Lynch has more details on how the Saudis pressured the U.N. into removing its Yemen war coalition from the blacklist of violators of children’s rights:

Saudi Arabia threatened this week to break relations with the United Nations and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to its humanitarian relief and counterterrorism programs to strong-arm the U.N. into removing Riyadh and its allies from a blacklist of groups that are accused of harming children in armed conflict.

The threat — which has not been previously reported — worked, and the U.N. subsequently dropped the Saudis from a rogues’ gallery of the world’s worst violators of children’s rights in conflict zones.

To appreciate just how despicable the Saudi maneuver is, remember that their government and its allies are responsible for a large part of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Yemen is classified among the worst humanitarian crises in the world, and it is suffering from near-famine conditions largely because of the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade. The Saudis then have the gall to threaten to withhold funding for U.N. humanitarian aid in an attempt to cover up the crimes that the coalition has committed in that country. This should drive home just how far the Saudis and their allies are prepared to go to pursue their reckless war on Yemen, and it should be a reminder to us of how horrible the despotic governments whose war the U.S. is supporting really are.

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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