By Roqayah Chamseddine
In These Times (10/16/18)
March 2015 marked a decisive phase in what is now a more than three-year war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, in coordination with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, initiated a military operation against Yemen’s capital of Sana’a in an effort to dislodge any fragment of Houthi presence while also fomenting a tide of psychological warfare that would signal the ruthless course of action to come. Yemen’s infrastructure was so thoroughly upended by coalition attacks that within a year and a half of the initial salvo, the local population was struck by the worst cholera outbreak ever recorded in modern history. Today, with an aerial and naval blockade choking off aid supplies, the number of Yemenis who are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance is over 22 million. The catastrophic impact on mental health in Yemen has resulted in psychological trauma, including a surge in suicide rates. Despite worldwide condemnation, U.S.-backed coalition airstrikes have continued—targeting hospitals, medical facilities, religious sites, and even gatherings of mourners.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a deliberate and orchestrated blaze fueled by petrodollars and the U.S. military.
While the media landscape is saturated with concern for the whereabouts and likely demise of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose reported disappearance has thrown the Kingdom’s advocacy campaign into overdrive, concern for Saudi Arabia’s military offensive in Yemen has taken a backseat. Still, the bloodshed in Yemen has not abated for a moment, with American weapons lighting the way.
In August, after striking a school bus in Yemen’s Saada province—resulting in the deaths of 44 Yemeni children—the Saudi-led coalition apologized and admitted—to some extent—that “there were mistakes made in abiding by the rules of engagement.” This admission, while rare, was made in an effort to thwart international pressure against Saudi Arabia’s military operations—a feeble exercise of propaganda that is inconsequential as its war machine rages on.
Proudly made in the USA
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is a deliberate and orchestrated blaze fueled by petrodollars and the U.S. military. Without the profitable relationship that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have had with the United States, with exchanges of military packages crossing all partisan lines, what is unfolding in Yemen would not have been possible. The laser-guided bomb used in the school bus attack that drew, arguably, some of the most striking opprobrium against Saudi Arabia, was made by none other than U.S. weapons-manufacturer Lockheed Martin. In 2016, after the intentional bombing of a community hall in Sana’a filled with mourners, fragments of a 500-pound bomb produced by Raytheon were found amongst the debri. At the time, Human Rights Watch reported that “at least two air-dropped munitions penetrated the roof of the hall and detonated a few minutes apart.” At least 140 were killed, and 525 were injured. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Who Is MBS? The Prince At The Center Of Saudi Arabia’s Controversy
Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, is one of the most powerful men in the Middle East. Some say he’s a progressive reformer, others see him as a brutal hardliner who silences his opponents. His rapid rise to power has opened doors for him to meet with some of the world’s most prominent leaders. But now, the world’s attention is directed squarely MBS and his inner circle for their potential involvement in the alleged murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Documentary: History Of The Saudi Royal Family & US Involvement — The House of Saud has gone through three phases: the First Saudi State, the Second Saudi State, and the modern nation of Saudi Arabia. The First Saudi State marked the expansion of Wahhabism. The Second Saudi State was marked with continuous infighting. Modern Saudi Arabia wields considerable influence in the Middle East. The family is estimated to be composed of 15,000 members, but the majority of the power and wealth is possessed by a group of only about 2,000. Link to 46-Minute Video
Really? Now We’re Supposed To Believe Khashoggi Died Boxing In The Saudi Consulate??
By Michael Moore
Michael Moore’s Facebook Page (10/20/18)
Of course that’s it!! KHASHOGGI DIED BOXING! Trump and the Saudis are now on the same page: “An argument broke out between Mr. Khashoggi and men who met him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, leading to ‘a fistfight that led to his death.’” (NY Times) So, if I’m to understand it, Khashoggi’s face ran into a Saudi man’s fist, a fist so sharp it beheaded him and then accidentally dismembered him.
Saudi Mole At Twitter Tracked Dissidents For Troll Farm
The Saudi government apparently groomed a mole inside Twitter to keep tabs on dissidents as part of a wide-ranging operation that also unleashed vicious social media attacks on them, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The mole was part of a sophisticated online effort “dictated” by controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and carried out by his advisers to quash domestic and international criticism of Saudi Arabia, according to the Times.
One of the dissidents viciously attacked as part of the ongoing operation was the late Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Each morning he awoke to a vile onslaught of Twitter attacks, said the Times.
“The mornings were the worst for him because he would wake up to the equivalent of sustained gunfire online,” Khashoggi’s longtime friend Maggie Mitchell Salem told the Times. …
Bernie Sanders Has Heard Enough: ‘We Cannot Have An Ally Who Tortures & Murders A Dissident In Cold Blood’
ByCommon Dreams (10/19/18)
While the fact remains that the United States has long had and maintained such allies—staunchly defending them from international rebuke and shielding them from prosecution—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says the alleged murder and brutal dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by his own Saudi government and ongoing war crimes in Yemen should be the final straws in allowing the powerful Gulf monarchy to claim the U.S. as a friend and partner.
“We cannot have an ally who murders a dissident in cold blood, in their own consulate,” Sanders declared on Thursday. “That is unacceptable by any government, but especially by one so closely aligned with the United States.”
Meanwhile, Trump finally admitted on Thursday that it seems like Khashoggi is dead, but instead of condemning the Saudis, the president has continued to carry water for denials by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and later Thursday evening—instead of using a speech in Montana to condemn such behavior—he celebrated attacks on journalist by praising the assault by a fellow Republican who body-slammed a U.S. journalist last year.
The critique by Sanders is not an isolated occurrence as other lawmakers and outside critics have also said the Khashoggi murder should force a break in the decades-long relationship.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has been leading the charge among House Democrats by saying the U.S. should end its political alliance with Saudi Arabia, cease multi-billion dollar arms deals to the country; and also shut off military support for the country’s ongoing assault on Yemen – a war which the United Nations warned earlier this week has put as many as 13 million people on the brink of famine.
In a video statement of his own on Thursday, Sanders explained why he believes it is time “thoroughly reevaluate” the U.S.-Saudi relationship and again called for the U.S. to immediately end its complicity in the Saudi-led massacre against the people of Yemen. [Follow link below. — Ed.]
Demanding a full and independent investigation by the United Nations into Khashoggi’s likely assassination on Thursday, Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said that “Khashoggi’s family and the rest of the world deserve the full truth about what happened to him. Partial explanations and one-sided investigations by Saudi Arabia, which is suspected of involvement, aren’t good enough.”