The Enduring Shame of U.S. Support for the War on Yemen
Jeremy Konyndyk makes some important observations about the pattern of Saudi coalition attacks on civilians:
This pattern represents either gross incompetence, or willful malice, in Saudi military operations. There's not a third option.
Given this it is utterly indefensible for the US and others to maintain arms sales and military involvement in these operations.
— Jeremy Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) April 23, 2018
The U.S. provides Saudi coalition planes with the arms and refueling they use to carry out these attacks, and it would be much more difficult for them to continue their bombing campaign if that assistance were cut off. Defenders of the indefensible policy of supporting the Saudi-led war insist that coalition attacks would be less accurate and kill more civilians if the U.S. weren’t involved, but there is no reason to believe this is true.
The Saudis and their allies routinely hit civilian targets on purpose. There is no other explanation for the systematic and repeated attacks on farms, water systems, and other civilian infrastructure. There is no other credible explanation for the numerous attacks on funerals, weddings, and schools. Giving them advice on targeting and providing them with more precise weaponry just makes them better at killing innocent Yemenis. Refueling their planes gives their planes more time to carry out additional attacks, and that means that continued U.S. support guarantees more civilian casualties. The despicable practice of “double tapping” the targets that coalition planes strike is further proof that that the Saudis and their allies are hitting civilian targets deliberately.
Even if the Saudis and their allies were simply incompetent and kept hitting so many civilian targets by mistake, they continue to make “mistakes” at such a high rate that U.S. advice obviously has no effect. Making the U.S. complicit in Saudi coalition war crimes is bad for us and far worse for the innocent Yemenis who keep dying. The Senate made a horrible mistake when it refused to cut off military support for this atrocious war, and they need to correct that error as soon as possible. Support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is a mark of enduring shame on our country’s reputation, and every day that the U.S. keeps enabling Saudi coalition war crimes that mark gets bigger.