Human Rights First

Democratic and Republican Leaders Don't Want to Punish MBS

NDAA amendment fails

 

Dec. 2019.  The amendment by Ro Khanna to deny the Saudis U.S. military expertise on airplane repair (which would have stopped their bombing of Yemen) was NOT included in the National Defense Authorization Act.   Tens of thousands of Yemeni child deaths, the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, the rampage by the Saudi soldier in Florida, none of it mattered.


Congress will vote on a $738 billion "defense" package and give MBS a "green light" to do whatever he wants.  After all he buys U.S. weapons.  Think of all the profit.  

The dead Yemenis and dead U.S. soldiers are just a "noble sacrifice". [bitter sarcasm]

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Over 85,00 Starved

Children Starved

 

Nov. 20, 2018   The renowned charity Save the Children issued a report estimating that the 85,000 children have died from hunger and disease since the fighting in Yemen escalated after Saudi-UAE bombardment began in March 2015.   This is in addition to "collateral damage" deaths from bombs and bullets.  In their press release they note that 400,000 children are expected to have suffered from periods of "severe acute malnutrition" at some point of 2018.  


Back in 2016 UNICEF estimated 10,000 children had died from these causes.  Their estimate was pretty much ignored.  This year the Washington Post had an article wondering why the reported number of civilian deaths actually seem to stand still in journalistic accounts.


A new effort in Congress right now would get lots of public support (especially after the Saudi state murder of Khashoggi).  


Rep. Mark Pocan has said that he and current Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi will bring legislation to the House to end all U.S. involvement in the carnage.  Right now H Con Res 138 has 89 cosponsors.  It "Directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen," unless Congress issues a Declaration of War.


In the Senate the bill on this subject to support is SJ 54.  

Where does your member of Congress stand on these bills?  Why not call him/her right now?  They all have answering machines that take messages.

Sample message to CT's member of Congress Rosa DeLauro (202) 225-3661:   "Hello, here it is Thanksgiving and I open my newspaper to read that 85,000 Yemenis have died from starvation since the escalation of the war.  Our government support for this Saudi war is repulsive.  Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and Congressmen Himes and Courtney  all co-sponsor legislation to stop our support for the war.  Will you become a cosponsor of H Con Res 138?  Please let me know.  I'm at ….."

A bill to stop "offensive" arms sales to Bahrain received 21 votes in the Senate.  It was publicized as a way to send a message to the Saudis.  If failed, but that the effort was made shows the changing mood in Congress.  Actually cutting off weapons to Bahrain should be done for reasons that have nothing to do with Saudi.  The country is ruled by a brutal dictator  (OK, king) that smashed the Bahraini democracy movement.

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A Saudi-U.S. Atrocity

2018

photo at right  Yemeni journalist  holding piece of U.S. bomb in front of remains of bus. 


August 9, 2018.  A Saudi-U.S.-atrocity.  A school bus of Yemeni children and teachers in Saada was blown up by a Saudi jet.  Scores were killed, mostly children and many others mutilated.  Images sent to Al-Jazeera show fragments of a Raytheon Mark-82 bomb.  The site said thousands attended the funerals of those killed.


The United States is a full partner in the Saudi attacks.  It sells the Saudis the bombs and the planes, provides in-flight air refueling and target guidance.


Col. Turki al-Maliki, spokesperson, for the Saudi coalition defended the gruesome attack saying it was "carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law".  He claimed the target was "Houthi" militia members inside the bus.  Witnesses said there were only boys and their teachers in the bus.  Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted "And we just bombed a SCHOOL BUS".  Even if it were true that there were fighters on the bus it is a war crime to make an  attack knowing that the result in civilian casualties would be "clearly excessive", a violation of the Rome Statues Article 8, section 2 b iv.


At a press conference the State Department's Heather Nauert was not willing to condemn the Saudis for their airstrike.  Watch her here supposedly answering a question from an AP reporter Matt Lee.  She smiles, she smirks, she reads some lame pre-written statement about not having "all the details" and even laughs in the end.   She obviously doesn't give a damn about the matter.  Here's another view of her giving the same answer.  Trump officials only call for the Saudis to investigate the incident themselves.


On August 12 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch wrote a scathing piece on the killing "I don't remember voting for U.S. bombs to murder little kids in Yemen, do you?"


​Excellent Real News report includes interview with Yemeni journalist


Democracy Now!   8/14/18 has a major report on this massacre.


​This will continue until Americans come out in the streets and protest these atrocities and demand an end to the foreign war against Yemenis.​



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No, the UN did not authorize this terrible war

Look at the U.N. Resolution

  

Jan. 2018.  In an article in the New Yorker called "How the U.S. Is Making the War in Yemen Worse" the writer Nichos Niarchos at one point writes, "In Washington and Riyadh, Saudi diplomats and soldiers assured their U.S. counterparts that the war would be over within six weeks. A U.N. Security Council resolution legitimatized their intervention."


​Stanley Heller, host of "The Struggle" Video News challenged that and tweeted to Niarchos that the U.N. Security Council never authorized the Saudi military intervention.

​Niarchos tweeted this in reply: U.N. Resolution 2216 is the Res. that legitimised the GCC intervention after Hadi called for all necessary means, including military intervention.  And it was broad interpreted as such


 ​Now click here for a link to Security Council resolution 2216.   Nowhere does it authorize military intervention.  At best it requires countries to inspect ships for weapons that might be going to the Houthis, but that's not the same as giving an OK for a war to destroy the Houthis.  Niarchos argues that president Hadi called for military help and then the U.N. passed 2216 which is "broadly interpreted" as granting his wish. He cites this link.

Yes, we know about "broad interpretations", how leaders take a few words to justify all kinds of violent acts.  ​The Saudi (U.S.) intervention in the fighting in Yemen is not authorized by the U.N. Security Council.  It's an act of aggression, the highest war crime.

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The Attack on the Funeral Home that Killed Hundreds

2016

Huge Number of Civilians Killed or Wounded

720 at a Funeral

 

Oct. 2016.  Saudi (U.S.) airplanes made four bombing runs on a funeral home in the capital Sanaa that was filled with people at a funeral service.  The New York Times says there was more than 100 dead in the Oct. 8 attack.  The twitter feed of the Yemen Post News which is published by Yemeni-American Hakim Almasmari  wrote on Oct 8 that 720 were killed or wounded. (@YemenPostNews)

The Obama Administration which successfully fought off attempts to stop the latest arms sales to the Saudis issued a statement to try to mollify public opinion saying that U.S. support for the monarchy was not a "blank check".

The New York Times (the voices of the more liberal part of the 1%) dismissed these "stern", but useless message. It wrote in an editorial "If the Saudis refuse to halt the carnage and resume negotiations on a political settlement, Mr. Obama should end military support."

What it didn't do was call on the candidates to speak out against the carnage in Yemen.  What it didn't do was call on international bodies to start war criminal proceedings against the Saudi warmakers and the Americans, including Barack Obama, who have enabled them.

​The New York Times on the 9th recognized that this massacre could be a game changer.  Let's not lose the opportunity to end this vile war.

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