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The War on Yemen and Trump Administration Cant

Rex Tillerson has just told the most transparent lie:

On the eve of a critical visit to Moscow at a time of high US-Russian tensions over Syria, the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, appeared to go even further, saying his country would come to the defence of innocent civilians “anywhere in the world” [bold mine-DL].

Coming from Trump’s Secretary of State, that is an especially risible statement. The U.S. continues to support the atrocious Saudi-led war on Yemen. That war has not only claimed the lives of thousands of civilians from indiscriminate bombing, but it also threatens the lives of millions of people with impending famine brought on in large part by the coalition blockade and their attacks on the country’s infrastructure. The Trump administration has been only too happy to increase support for the coalition’s campaign beyond the extensive support they were already receiving under Obama, and the horrific effect the Saudi-led intervention is having on the civilian population doesn’t matter to them at all. The administration is not just indifferent to the killing of innocent civilians in Yemen, but like its predecessor actively enables it. Many Yemeni civilians have also been killed in U.S. strikes on supposed AQAP targets and many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have been killed as a result of the anti-ISIS bombing campaign.

No one seriously believes that the Trump administration is concerned with protecting the lives of civilians in war zones. If anything, they are even less careful about sparing civilian lives than previous administrations. So what we have here is the Secretary of State offering up the most dishonest cant imaginable. When Trump administration officials say such preposterous things, they should face demands to explain why they continue to enable the cruel Saudi-led war and the famine that has followed from it.

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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