Apparently, we do. The US is part of this Saudi-led coalition killing civilians in Yemen, and an American-made 500lb bomb was dropped on a bus with 40 kids on their way to a field trip, killing most of them.
This is just the latest string, unfortunately, of really brutal attacks on civilians in Yemen. It is not the worst of its kind in terms of the numbers of people killed, but certainly because all of the—40 out of the 51 people who were killed were children, it really is just an extreme form of this Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen. Here were these kids on a school trip. They were excited. There’s footage—we see them laughing and really being excited. Some of the parents said that they couldn’t really sleep the night before because they were so looking forward to—and here’s the sad part—they’re going to a cemetery just to be able to enjoy some time outside. And as the bus entered a busy market, it was targeted by the Saudi-led coalition and most of these children were killed. Of course, we know that the U.S. is part of the Saudi-led coalition, so we are in fact responsible, just as much as the Saudis and Emiratis are, in the bombing of those children.
You might be wondering how we can justify our participation in these crimes. Have no fear! The excuses are flowing faster than the blood of shattered children. Here’s an AP reporter explaining the logic of the attack.
What is very hard to determine in Yemen is what the children were doing. We worked on covering Yemen since 2015. We know that the Saudi-led coalition has bombed civilian targets all the time—markets, hospitals, schools. This is not a surprise. But we also know that the Houthis are actively recruiting the children and then they send them to the front lines. And the question marks here that are not answered yet—what were the children doing at the time?
There are no schools right now at Yemen. There are no buses carrying children from one school to the house. This is a luxury. The children were visiting a cemetery, and that is where they promote the whole notion of jihad and martyrism. So I mean, on one hand, the Saudi-led coalition is blamed for killing the civilians and this has been ongoing without any—no question about it. But at the same time, we have a look at the other side of the picture and see what the Houthis were doing with the children.
Dude. I’m having flashbacks, man. I grew up during the Vietnam War (I was too young to go, fortunately, but this stuff was in the news all the time), and I remember all the rationalizations for dropping napalm on villages. This is the same old story: we don’t know exactly what these kids were doing, but we can imagine all kinds of nefarious schemes, so let’s pretend after the fact that they were all evil terrorists in training. It is all too familiar.
Let’s ask a Yemeni scholar to reply to that.
To just quickly respond to what your guest just said, it doesn’t really matter what the children were doing. They were children, they were in summer school and for the Saudi-led coalition to bomb a bus full of children is a war crime, regardless of what the children were doing.
Exactly. We’re done. It’s inexcusable.
But he does go on, about all the other children killed in this war.
And to talk about really what the U.S. intervention in Yemen looks like, we know what it looks like. We know the devastation that it has caused. Yemen is falling and all of the services have been failing. 113,000 children died in 2016 and 2017 alone of starvation and preventable diseases such as cholera. What we need from the Senate, what we need from Congress right now is to continue to push toward ending the U.S. involvement in Yemen, given how much the Saudis and the Emiratis rely on U.S. support, on U.S. weapons, on U.S. maintaining and repairing of their aircraft, on U.S. midair refueling and on U.S. targeting assistance.
We know that they cannot continue to wage war on Yemen without extensive U.S. assistance, and Congress needs to act quickly to continue to introduce resolutions in the Senate and in the House to push the U.S. out of Yemen.
The United States has been awfully good at minimizing blood shed on our side, and awfully good at maximizing blood shed and terror in other places. Can we stop, please?