Another Day Another Hospital Blown Up By US Weapons and Support

Monday night the Saudi-led American backed coalition bombed a hospital in Yemen. While it appears nobody was killed in the direct attack the hospital serves around 200,000 people, and in a poor war-torn country like Yemen those people do not really have an alternative.

While at first it was unclear who did the bombing(because Saudi Arabia denied it) it is now clear because the coalition has admitted that the bombing was indeed theirs.

Even though it was Saudi Arabia carrying out this bombing their coalition’s war can only occur with explicit support from the United States. Ever since the war really took off in March of this year the United States has been whole hardily consistent in providing weapons and logistical support for Saudi Arabia, while the media in America has been virtually silent on this issue. All in all this makes two civilian hospitals in less than a month for the Obama administration.

Here are just a few of the ways the American government along with our European friends have been supporting a brutal monarchy bomb the ever loving shit out of a small country so that we can appease an “ally” that would turn their backs on us in a second(in addition to probably helping the 911 hijackers) and so defense contractors can make a few extra bucks.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-widens-role-in-saudi-led-campaign-against-yemen-rebels-1428882967

The above Wall Street Journal describes the United State’s support quite clearly. Plus you gotta love how that headline is followed by the tag line “Washington has concerns about Riyadh’s goals in the conflict”

In the article we get some proof that the United States is actively providing targets and information for most of the bombings that are occurring nowadays.

Once the war was well under way the United States updated the Saudi’s military quite extensively.

So while it is somebody from Saudi Arabia or UAE dropping the bomb it is done with US or European equipment and the targets are provided by the United States military.

Perhaps the most messed up thing about this is how Western countries actively colluded to make Saudi Arabia the head of the UN Human Rights Council thus making it extremely difficult for the UN to do anything about the situation.

It is even asserted by the Associated Press that the United States Military(Green Berets in particular) knew that the target was a functioning hospital.  This makes two hospital bombings, and two outrageous war crimes,  in just one month for the Obama administration.

Crushing The 1991 Iraq Uprisings

“But there’s another way for the bloodshed to stop, and that is for the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands, to force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside, and to comply with the United Nations resolutions, and then rejoin the family of peace-loving nations. We have no argument with the people of Iraq. Our differences are with Iraq’s brutal dictator. “

President George H.W. Bush spoke these words at Raytheon on February 15 1991. In the the months before the end of the Gulf War and weeks afterwards that message and messages like it were broadcast by the American operated Voice of Free Iraq along with leaflets aimed to delegitimize Saddam Hussein. At the end of the war Saddam Hussein’s power was deteriorating as seen by the desertion of soldiers.  The people of Iraq listened, and in March 1991 just after the war ended there was a mass uprising against Saddam Hussein in both the Kurdish north and Shia south. The time seemed to be right. The two groups had been brutally tormented by Saddam Hussein for decades and made up most of the population. With the Allied forces still occupying part of southern Iraq and possessing arms that belonged to the Iraqi military that could also be given to the Shia and Kurdish forces it seemed like Saddam Hussein’s downfall was imminent.

But things worked out another way. This apex moment was destined to fail since it would turn out that the allied forces would not quite ‘help out’ the way that the Iraqis thought. Instead America and Allied forces allowed the use of helicopters by Saddam, withheld weapons and allegedly even aided Saddam Hussein in crushing of the rebellion. The motives are not quite clear, but the brutality of Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the uprising showed his true nature.

From The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

It appears a popular uprising was not quite what the United States was wanting. They much more preferred a coup from within the Baathist party that would help assure they could still do business in Iraq much they way they had with Saddam Hussein until his invasion of Kuwait.

The uprisings of 1991 are said to have started after somebody fired an artillery shell at a poster of Saddam. This caused an infitada in the south of Iraq where Shia rebels were able to capture entire towns with their limited weaponry. Likewise in the North of the country the rebels were able to virtually secure an area separate from the regime. This simultaneous rebellion was one of the biggest and perhaps only chance for the Iraqi people to topple Saddam Hussein.

Things seemed to be going quite smoothly until it was decided that Saddam Hussein could use helicopters that he could use to indiscriminately attack rebel areas.

One day after their ouster, security forces began shelling the city and attacking suspected rebel concentrations from helicopter gunships.  The shrine of Hussein, which served as a rebel base, and the nearby shrine of Abbas, were heavily damaged by artillery fire and by rockets fired from helicopters between March 7 and 11, as were adjacent buildings.  Further damage was sustained when Iraqi troops burst into the shrines and fired at the rebels and civilian sympathizers who were inside.”

From Human Rights Watch

The rebels did not stand a chance against the helicopters due to not having many large arms. The proximity of this aerial attack in relation to the Allied controlled area meant that American troops literally witnessed the destruction of the rebellion.

The US certainly did have plenty of arms taken during the war, yet it did not even want to give these to the anti-Saddam forces. There even rumors that some of these weapons were taken and delivered to the Mujahideen Afghanistan.

It is unclear why the United States did not help the Iraqis topple Saddam. Sure Iran may have been able to assert some influence on the southern rebels, but even Saudi Arabia did not have a problem with this because they believed the Arab Shias of Iraq would still distance themselves from the Persians, according to Chas Freeman ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the time.

Saddam was a friend to the United States and the West dating back to the coup that put the Baathist Party in power. The United States found him a useful wedge against Iran and everybody found him a great customer for Weapons. Support for Saddam was so great in America that he was made an honorary citizen of Detroit and given a key to the city. This support continued during the 1980s, America even helped Saddam acquire chemical and biological weapons and observed him use him during some of his greatest crimes against humanity.

When examining the United State’s past with Saddam Hussein it makes it seem as if the threats of

  1. Iranian influence
  2. Potential instability

were worse than Saddam Hussein being in power at the time. It personally makes me wonder if Saddam wasn’t SO brutal in his reprisal on the uprisings would he have become the United State’s friend again?

But just how far did the United States go in tilting this quasi-civil war in Saddam’s favor?

There are some allegations that the United States actively aided Saddam Hussein in his crushing of the uprisings. In Barry Lando’s book Web of Deceit he documents accounts that the United States destroyed weapon caches that the rebels were trying to get a hold of and that American helicopters stopped the rebels from marching to Baghdad. Additionally there are testimonies that the United States helped supply the Republican Guard and allowed Saddam to pass through the Allied checkpoints.

The quashing of the uprisings led to mass reprisals afterwards. The scope of which were only realized after Saddam’s removal by the US invasion. Saddam even resorted to using chemical weapons to set an example.

The aiding of Saddam in this incident did not stop the United States from wanting him removed from power. I guess they didn’t want that coup to be successful so the CIA could get in on the action. But perhaps the saddest thing of all is the brutal sanctioning of the Iraqi people throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. The isolation put upon Iraq led to the death of hundreds of thousands of children that could not get adequate nutrition and medicine. Funny since the explanation for imposing the sanctions basically amounted to “well Saddam’s a bad guy.” Questioned about if the lives 500,000 children under the age of five being dead due to the sanctions, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright replied that they the price was worth it.

These sanctions were mostly in vain since the golden opportunity for the Iraqi people ouster Saddam had already occurred. The decision to not just back this uprising after the war has likely cost both Iraq and the United States dearly.

100,000s Of Children On Brink Of Starvation/Malnutrition In Yemen

Recently UNICEF released a news report detailing the desperate situation for children in Yemen. The Yemen conflict exploded this year with a Saudi-led and Western backed campaign in Yemen to remove the Houthi Movement, which is a social and political movement in Yemen popular with the young Shia population. They have taken over the government on several occasions and forced the former president to flee. As the Saudi-coalition wages war with the Houthis in the northern part of Yemen al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have made rapid advances in the southern part of the country.

Saudi Yemen

Map from Business Insider

Over the course of the last six month the small poor country has been torn to pieces as the humanitarian situation deteriorates rapidly.  Western media outlets have largely turned a blind eye to the civil war, probably because Western countries are selling weapons to the Saudi-coalition and providing support in general for the operation.

Now as it stands the most vulnerable part of Yemen, children, are on the verge of a mass famine from the lack of food, medical supplies and water. From the UNICEF report:

  • The number of children under 5 at risk of severe acute malnutrition has tripled in 2015, with 537,000 children now at risk, compared to 160,000 children before the conflict.
  • Almost twice as many children under 5, a total of 1.2 million children, are projected to suffer from moderate acute malnutrition this year, compared to 690,000 before the crisis.

These harrowing statistics should put the entire world on edge. During the next few years we could actually see the mass death of hundreds of thousands of children due to America and the West’s support for the war Gulf countries are waging in Yemen. This may seem outrageous but similar events have taken place before.

During the 1990s the United States and its allies imposed a brutal sanctions campaign on Iraq which included periodic bombing campaigns. The strict economic isolation of Iraq especially on what it could import and the ban on selling oil led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children throughout the 1990s.

childdeaths

Graph from Global Policy Forum

This dire humanitarian situation needs to be brought to mass attention so Americans and Westerners can evaluate their roles in contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children. There are also refugee implications on a world that is already at its limit. But hey maybe Gulf countries will take one or two.

BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse did a good job of trying to bring this subject into the public sphere a weeks ago with this documentary from BBC’s Newsnight program