Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 32 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/31/16

Whether Seen Through Human Eyes or Eyes of the Law, The U.S. is Guilty of War Crimes in Yemen

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   9 comments
Message Michael Galli

(Image by Author)   Details   DMCA
President Obama had an excellent reason to veto HR 3815 just twelve days after the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks; his own neck.1 The bill titled "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," which became law on September 28 after Congress overrode an Obama veto for the first time, allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for its complicity leading to that fateful day.2,3 The new law is an ironic extension of President George W. Bush's message to the world just hours after the Twin Towers collapsed, "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them," as well as his State of the Union address delivered ten days later: "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." 4,5 Of course Bush allowed 140 Saudi nationals, twenty-four of whom were related to Osama bin Laden, to flee the US just days after the attack.6

The Obama administration is fully aware that allowing civilians to sue nation states for sponsoring terrorism is - in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief prosecutor of the Nazis during the Nuremberg Trials - "a poisoned chalice" that must be put "to our own lips as well." 7,8 For example, in an effort to convict Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the so called "mastermind of 9/11," the U.S. Military Commission cited the conviction of Liberian president Charles Taylor of war crimes by an international court for providing "practical assistance, encouragement, or moral support to the perpetration of a war crime." 9,10 This legal argument did not escape the notice of Obama's State Department regarding its support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Last January it held a meeting on limiting "U.S. exposure" to the Geneva Convention's "Law of Armed Conflict" regarding the continued supply of U.S. weapons to the Saudis despite the Kingdom's deplorable record of bombing civilians.11,12 For example, on October 8 two American-made GBU-12 Paveway II missiles were dropped on a Yemeni funeral hall.13,14

The Paveway II missile is tipped with a 500-pound MK-82 warhead that is a mixture of 80% TNT and 20% aluminum power.15,16 The aluminum increases the heat and kinetic energy of TNT. The MK-82 has an approximate blast force of 435 one-ton trucks traveling at 100 miles per hour.17,18,19,20 The "double-tap" strike, meaning two missiles fired, the second while funeral attendees and emergency personnel were in the process of providing aid to the injured, killed over a hundred mourners and injured more than five-hundred others, including women and children.21 The Associated Press reported that "hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall" and that "rescuers collected them in sacks."22 Human Rights Watch and the UN have dubbed the bombing a war crime.23, 24

In response to the carnage, Yemeni rebels fired shore-based missiles a week later at the U.S.S. Mason, a Navy destroyer prowling off their coast. The missiles fell harmlessly short off their intended target.25 In response, President Obama ordered the U.S.S. Nitze, also operating in the Red Sea, to fire Tomahawk missiles at three Yemeni radar installations believed to be involved in targeting the Mason.26 It is unknown how many Yemenis may have been killed in the retaliatory strikes, but it is known that along with providing weapons, targeting information, and refueling support to the Saudis, the U.S. has now directly engaged the Yemenis in war.

As far as a U.S. president being tried for war crimes? Unlikely. The last time an international court tried the U.S. government for committing war crimes (for mining Nicaraguan harbors) the U.S. delegation simply got up and walked out of the courtroom.27, 28, 29 After all, imperialism has its privileges.


1. Obama vetoes 9/11 bill, likely setting up first congressional override of his presidency: click here

2. H.R.3815 - Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act: 3. Enter the lawyers:

4. George W. Bush 9/11 Address to the Nation:

5. Text of George Bush's speech:

6. After 9/11: the Saudis Who Slipped Away:

7. Exclusive - As Saudis bombed Yemen, U.S. worried about legal blowback: click here

8. Robert H. Jackson: Opening Statement Nuremberg Trails, 1945:



11. D meeting -- Yemen civilian casualties and the LOAC:

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 3   News 3   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Michael Galli Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Michael Galli is the Dean of Students at Rivendell Academy, a small 7-12 interstate public school on the New Hampshire / Vermont border, where he teaches classes on media and U.S. foreign policy.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

I Went to a Parade and Lived to Tell About It

Gershman, NED, and the Ukraine

A True Otto Warmbier Story

Trump Team Bids to Delegitimize the Press

No Gold Star for Abdullah Issa's Family

If Blair is a War Criminal, What Does that Make Bush?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend