NLG denounces Saudi-led military attack on Yemen, US complicity


The National Lawyers Guild’s Taskforce for U.S. Accountability in the MENA Region issued the following statement denouncing the Saudi-led war on Yemen and US complicity and involvement:

The National Lawyers Guild condemns the Saudi-led military assault on Yemen and the devastation it has wrought on the Yemeni people. NLG also condemns United States complicity in this act of aggression, and calls for an end to all U.S. aid to the forces responsible.

Since March of 2015, Saudi-led forces have engaged in a campaign of bombardment and invasion that has indiscriminately killed civilians along with fighters, and has destroyed homes, schools, and other civilian infrastructure. [1] Numerous human rights groups have indicated that the invading forces have likely engaged in a pattern of war crimes, including the invading coalition’s use of U.S.-supplied illegal cluster bombs. [2]

Yemenis, faced with impoverishment and devastation, are struggling desperately to escape—some of them fleeing even to unsafe and impoverished neighboring countries such as Somalia, itself devastated by Washington-approved client state terrorism. [3]The estimates of the dead and wounded in Yemen are in the thousands, and the displaced in the hundreds of thousands. [4]

Despite Western media’s superficial focus on the personal relations between Obama and Kerry, on the one hand, and the leaders of sub-imperial powers like Saudi Arabia, on the other, the U.S. government’s role in the terror being visited on the Yemeni people is unambiguous. This material support speaks louder than any personal differences of opinion among heads of state. [5]As the Department of Defense itself has stated, U.S. personnel are present on the ground assisting invasion forces with intelligence and coordination. [6] The U.S. government has been supplying arms to Saudi Arabia estimated at $90 billion from 2010-15 alone, and is currently in the process of escalating these supplies to facilitate the carnage. [7] Continuing these arms sales is a violation not only of international human rights law, but also of U.S. domestic law. [8]

The current posture of the U.S. empire also challenges conventional wisdom about imperial alliances and objectives. U.S. forces have until recently been involved in covert, bloody, and illegal drone war against Ansar Allah’s enemies. Now, however, U.S. policy is assisting a full-on war in alliance with the forces the U.S. was recently bombing, including al-Qa’idah/Ansar ash-Shari’ah, against Ansar Allah. The only constants are the attempted expansion of imperial power and the devastation visited on the Yemeni people.

The NLG also condemns the orientalist and racist representations of the region presented by Western media. By presenting the power grab as an inevitable result of “age-old hatreds” between “Sunni” and “Shi’a” (without any further distinction), this convenient misunderstanding hides the role of empire in perpetrating the conflict, and implicitly denies that the situation could be otherwise. Only five years ago the “sectarian” Saudi government was supporting the “Shi’a” regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, and other reactionary Zaidi-led regimes before that. The country’s modern history shows that the current divisions and religio-political ideologies are products of the present environment and not inherent in Yemeni culture. There is nothing inevitable about the current tragedy.

The mythology of “inevitability” is particularly ironic, as it is only in the rubble of imperial exploitation that atavistic movements like Ansar Allah, Ansar ash-Shari’ah, and others can gain a foothold.

The NLG calls for an immediate cessation of the supply of arms or other military assistance to Saudi Arabia or its allies that may further the objectives of the invasion of Yemen. The NLG also promotes efforts to promote a peaceful resolution of the civil war in Yemen free of foreign interference from any country, and demands accountability for those responsible for the present catastrophe.

8. 22 USC Sec. 2378d(a); 22 USC sec. 2304(a)(2)

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