Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Saudis, Hillary, and the Destruction of Yemen

The Saudi bombing of a funeral in Saana, Yemen, killed about 200 – we don’t yet know the exact number – and wounded over 500.

No one believes the denials of the Saudis: clearly this event was targeted for special treatment. They didn’t just bomb it once: they came back again to rain death and destruction on the mourners. And these weren’t just any mourners: it was the funeral of the father of the Houthi Interior Minister, Jalal al-Rowaishan, with many government officials present. The dead included the Mayor of Sanaa: we don’t yet know if the Interior Minister survived.

No one wants to talk about this war. Up until now, the US has kept an embarrassed silence, for the most part: in response to this latest atrocity, the National Security Council issued a terse statement with all the requisite buzzwords – “deeply concerned,” “troubling,” “not a blank check,” even while reiterating the indefensible US rationale for funding, assisting, and enabling what is quite simply mass murder of civilians: “Even as we assist Saudi Arabia regarding the defense of their territorial integrity …”

The very idea that Yemen – what is arguably the poorest country on the face of the earth – is a threat to the Kingdom’s “territorial integrity” is a grotesque joke. I’ve covered the historical roots of the ongoing rebellion in Yemen – see here, here and here – but in brief: the Saudi invasion of Yemen is quite simply a proxy war on behalf of the US that has devolved into Saudi expansionism. Indeed, one could make the case that it is much more so than the Russian re-annexation of Crimea – which, after all, has been a Russian domain since the days of Catherine the Great. Yemen has never been a part of the Saudi kingdom: it is an ancient land, whose roots as an independent entity precede the birth of Christ.

While the Syrian civil war has been the subject of much debate, the war in Yemen has received almost no attention. Donald Trump has mentioned it only in passing, and Hillary Clinton hasn’t said a single word about it – with good reason.

The reason is because, during her reign at the State Department, she and her staff collaborated with the Saudis to create a military machine that is now mowing down Yemeni civilians by the thousands.
It was Christmas eve, 2011, and the employees at Hillary’s Foggy Bottom were celebrating. Were they celebrating the Christian holiday? Hell no! They were overjoyedby the “good news” – as Jake Sullivan, Hillary’s deputy chief of staff put it in the heading of an email – that the Saudis’ Prince Salman (now the Saudi king, then the chief negotiator for the Saudi side) had signed on to a $29.4 billion arms deal with Boeing. Included in the sale: more than 80 F-15 fighter jets, which are now slaughtering ambulance drivers, children, and any others in war-torn Yemen who happen to be within range. “Not a bad Christmas present” remarked one top official in an email chain made public by a Freedom of Information Act request. Hillary was on the receiving end of all of this.

The gift-giving was hardly one-sided, however. The Saudis had already given an estimated minimum of $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. And, as David Sirota and Andrew Perez pointed out in the International Business Times,
“Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing – the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 –  contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.”

As the Saudis prepared their campaign of aggression, the Clinton State Department made arming the regime a “top priority.” And as Hillary prepared her presidential run, a Boeing lobbyist, Tim Keating – a former aide to husband Bill –hosted a “Ready for Hillary” fundraising gala.

Wheels within wheels within wheels, all turning and churning to produce death and destruction for those on the bottom, and enormous wealth and power for those on the top.

Related Info:

DISTURBING: Over 150 killed after Saudi coalition jet strikes rock funeral ceremony in Yemen

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, October 12th, 2016.]

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