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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/21/16

Western Value... Making a Killing in Yemen

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Reprinted from Sputnik

Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen and many of the arms used were sold to them from the UK
Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen and many of the arms used were sold to them from the UK
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The slaughter in Yemen just keeps getting worse, with civilians at the bloody forefront. Yet, shamefully -- moreover tellingly -- there is no uproar in the Western media.

The silence is in spite of the fact that Western governments are profiting massively from supporting the Saudi military actions in its southern neighbor. Where is the presumed high-minded Western journalism to investigate this horror?

In the latest atrocity, on Monday, more than 10 civilian patients and one staff at a hospital were killed when Saudi warplanes bombed the facility in the northern province of Hajjah. The hit was confirmed by French-based medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, which runs the hospital. It was the fourth time over the past year that a DWB facility in Yemen was targeted in air raids.

Only days before the latest hospital strike, 10 children were killed when their school was hit -- again reportedly by Saudi warplanes -- in the adjacent province of Saada.

Elsewhere this week there were reports of two women and two children killed in airstrikes on residential homes near the capital Sanaa. Also, five civilians died after the vehicle they were traveling in was hit from the air.

The US government issued a condemnation of the hospital attack and the Saudi military coalition stated that it was "investigating" the incident. Meanwhile, the Saudis denied the deadly strike on the school, claiming that it was a training center used by Houthi rebels. Local sources negated the Saudi claim, confirming that the victims were all young children.

Condemnation from Washington about the hospital strike may not amount to much beyond empty rhetoric aimed at deflecting from the atrocity. Last October, the US Air Force carried out an airstrike on a DWB hospital in northern Afghanistan, killing more than 30 people.

If Washington had any compunction about wiping out hospitals, and a will to stop inflicting further civilian "collateral damage," then why does it continue to give full military and political support to Saudi Arabia in the latter's year-and-a-half war on Yemen, where hospitals, schools and homes are bombed from the air on a weekly basis?

Last week, the Obama administration signed off a $1.5 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. According to the Washington Post, the US has sold the Saudis a total of $20 billion in weapons over the past year.

Britain, France and Germany have also made a financial killing from selling weapons to the Saudi regime over the same period. Britain alone reportedly sold nearly $4 billion-worth of weaponry to the oil-rich kingdom in 2015.

Western arms exports include fighter jets, helicopter gunships, air-to-ground missiles, tanks and anti-missile defense systems.

Apart from the occasional verbal "concern" about civilian deaths in Yemen, Western governments have largely been mute on the slaughter occurring in that country.

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies -- other Western-backed oil-rich dictatorships in the Persian Gulf -- began attacking Yemen in March 2015. The so-called coalition waging war on the Arab region's poorest country received, from the outset, diplomatic and military support from Western governments, even though the legal grounds were highly dubious. Arguably, what is happening to Yemen is out-and-out foreign aggression -- a Nuremberg standard supreme crime -- which Western countries are fully complicit in.

The official reasoning is that the Houthi rebels ousted President Mansour Hadi. The Saudis and the Western media typically refer to deposed Hadi regime as the "internationally recognized" government of Yemen. The implication is that the Houthi-led uprising is illegitimate. However, the ousted president is seen by many Yemenis as a corrupt puppet of Saudi Arabia and Washington.

The Western media also repeat the Saudi claim that the Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, which again serves to justify the Saudi military assault. There is no evidence for that claim, and Iran denies it. It is rather a propaganda device giving cover to Saudi Arabia for what is patently international aggression, a propaganda device that the Western media fully facilitate.

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Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)

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