Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Developing Just Leadership

Editor

Rabi' al-Awwal 12, 1439 2017-12-01

Editorials

by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 10, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1439)

The list of Saudi crimes is so long that it is difficult to decide where to begin. Perhaps part of their cruelty can be attributed to the crude Bedouin mentality. Creatures of the desert, they sting like scorpions. The only way to deal with these poisoned cretins is to crush them under foot.

Lest someone accuses us of bias, here is proof of Bani Saud’s barbarism. Since March 2015, they have bombed dirt-poor Yemen — killing more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians. Unable to force the intrepid Yemenis to surrender, Bani Saud have now tightened the blockade of the country worsening the already grim humanitarian crisis. The UN aid chief had said Yemen was on the brink of another famine — perhaps the worst for decades before the latest Saudi blockade was imposed in early November.

Now the heads of three other agencies dealing with food and famine relief have warned about the Saudi “closure of much of the country’s air, sea, and land ports [that] is making an already catastrophic situation far worse.” In a joint statement issued on November 16 by World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake, and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, they all sounded the alarm.

“The space and access we need to deliver humanitarian assistance is being choked off, threatening the lives of millions of vulnerable children and families,” the statement added. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) has also said the Saudis are refusing to allow desperately-needed medicines that treat children, women, and the elderly. While millions are on the brink of starvation, UNICEF fears that 150,000 children could die by the end of the year. Lack of medicines has led to a cholera epidemic that has affected 900,000 people, mostly children. This is expected to rise as lack of fuel shuts off water and sewage systems. Twenty million out of Yemen’s 24 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian help.

While all this is widely known because not only the UN and aid agencies have sounded the alarm, Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe has also been reported in the Western media (see for instance, the Guardian newspaper of Britain, November 17, 2017), why is pressure not exerted on Bani Saud to stop their war crimes? Why are there no calls to haul these smug Saudi rulers, in particular Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman who as defence minister is the architect of this war, before the International Criminal Court?

The fact is Western regimes are complicit in these crimes. Their overriding interest is to sell weapons. The US and Britain lead the world in selling weapons to the Najdi Bedouins but others are not far behind. Even Canada is complicit in Saudi crimes and successive governments have refused to cancel the $15 billion contract to supply military hardware to the Saudis.

Last May, when US President Donald Trump was in Riyadh for a three-day visit, he signed arms contracts worth $110 billion that would mushroom to $350 billion over 10 years. Trump called them “beautiful weapons.” There is nothing beautiful about killing innocent people or starving children to death.

While it is necessary to expose the West’s hypocrisy, this on its own will not stop Western regimes from supplying murderous wares to despicable regimes. Their overriding interest is to make profit. If innocent children, in this case Yemenis, die in the process, they are not going to lose any sleep over it.

This brings us to the responsibility of committed Muslims. They cannot sit idle and let this terrible tragedy continue. What is needed is to expose Saudi agents in their countries and to blockade Saudi missions in their capital cities and make life as uncomfortable for these war criminals as possible. This should be done on an ongoing basis until the Saudi regime is forced to stop its genocidal war on Yemen. Saudi goods should also be boycotted.

Merely complaining about the terrible situation without taking concrete steps is not an option.

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