We, the United States, Are Massacring the Innocent People of Yemen

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We, the United States, Are Massacring the Innocent People of Yemen

This is your regular seasonal reminder that the United States of America is helping kill people in Yemen.

It’s a brief message, since shorter is easier to read.

Yemen is being bombed by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. Millions of civilians are involved in this war. When I say “are involved,” I mean “bombed” and “trapped in a humanitarian crisis.”

When I say “Saudi Arabia,” I mean “the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia.”

When I say “coalition,” I mean “the coalition that the United States allows to exist,” since the Saudis would not exhale without our say-so.

On August 9, the coalition hit a school bus with bystanders inside. When I say “hit,” I am using a polite verb. What I mean is that they bombed it from on high.

When I say bystanders, I mean children, and when I use the plural “children,” I mean forty children. They killed forty children.

How did the coalition do it? With our support. What does “support” mean? It means Saudi Arabia acted with our blessing, using bombs we made. With intelligence we provided. And with us fueling them in mid-air. We did that, too.

Words mean things, but what they mean change, depending on who is speaking. Strange, isn’t it? How language can bend. Like holding a long piece of hanging rope in your hand. In the blink of an eye, a phrase like “I murdered that man with my gun” can become “A man was shot and killed today with a firearm with ties back to me.”

We hide behind distance. We hide behind words.

The Aug. 9 bus bombing also killed eleven adults. Also, seventy-nine people were wounded. Of those seventy-nine, fifty-six were children.

I mean, it makes sense. The bomb was a direct strike in the middle of a busy market, and when you bomb in a public place, bodies get thrown around, “scattered everywhere,” as CNN tells us. The network also tells us there was a “severed head” in a bomb crater. Of course, “identification became impossible” with all of the mutilation from our weapons. They found a backpack and a couple of schoolbooks afterward.

The weapon was a 500-pound MK 82 bomb, called a Paveway. When I say “the weapon,” I mean our weapon. We sold the Saudis thousands and thousands of these bombs.

This particular child-killing device was made by Lockheed Martin. They’re a top-level American defense contractor. You might have heard of their earlier work. In October 2016, their weapon killed 155 people in a Yemeni funeral hall. Or perhaps you read about the spring attack seven months earlier. In March, an MK 84 bomb hit a Yemeni market, casually removing 97 people from the Earth.

So you see, it’s not just the Saudis bombing Yemen.

We are bombing Yemen. We helped bombed that school bus. There is—there was—a kid named Osama Zeid Al Homran, who took cell phone footage from inside of the bus. He did it before the Saudis dropped the American bomb on the bus. Then the Saudis and the Americans killed him.

The Trump Administration doesn’t care about civilian casualties. Neither do the Saudis or the coalition. The Coalition would start caring, if America asked them to. We won’t. Last May, the President of the United States signed a defense deal worth $110 billion with the House of Saud.

Washington could cut off the funding for the Yemen War. They won’t. Trump could order the Secretary of Defense to insure that the Coalition meets standards of international law. He won’t. We could ask our good friends the British and the Australians and the Canadians and the Brazilians and the Finns to stop selling weapons. We haven’t. Why get in the way of business?

Did you know the coalition is cutting deals with Al-Qaeda in Yemen? Well, it’s not the first time we’ve worked with them. Did you know the world’s worst humanitarian crisis is happening right now, in Yemen? There are twenty-two million people who need our help. They deserve our help because we did this to them.

This is your regular seasonal reminder that the United States of America is helping kill people in Yemen. We’ve been doing so since 2015.

I’d like you to think about something. Think of what America looks like to a child on a Yemeni school bus. Well, what does the field mouse feel when it sees the pitchfork coming down?

We call ourselves a great Republic. We convince ourselves we are the envy of the world … but we know nothing, absolutely nothing. We haven’t changed a bit since Iraq. The youngest child on that bus knows more about justice than the greatest general in the Pentagon.

This is not an ethical country. Had this been an ethical country, we would care about children dying in a foreign land. We would nail this picture to the door of every government office until they stopped the bombs.

This is your regular seasonal reminder that the United States of America is helping kill people in Yemen.

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