Bush/Cheney began terror-bombing Yemen post-9/11, waging drone warfare – on the phony pretext of combating al-Qaeda Washington created and supports.
In cahoots with Riyadh, Obama escalated what they begin, further escalated by Trump allied with Saudi aggression.
Already the region’s poorest country, years of war caused the world’s severest humanitarian crisis, over 80% of Yemenis dependent on way inadequate amounts of aid to survive.
US-backed Saudi air, sea and land blockades prevent enough essentials to life from entering the country.
Countless numbers of Yemenis perished from war, related violence, untreated diseases, malnutrition and starvation.
Official UN figures way understate the toll from years of war, blockade and deprivation – perhaps hundreds of thousands of Yemenis perishing needlessly post-9/11, notably since March 2015.
According to separate UNICEF figures, at least one Yemeni child under age five dies every 10 minutes from starvation alone.
Famine stalks the country, along with endless aggression – genocide against its people neither the Trump administration or Congress is willing to address.
On Tuesday, Senate members rejected a resolution to end US military support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen – voting 55 – 44 against it.
The vote came while Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) was in Washington meeting with Trump.
During a White House photo-op, Trump boasted about billions of dollars in US weapons sales to the kingdom – ignoring their use for aggression, supporting terrorism and domestic repression.
Crown prince/defense minister MBS orchestrated Saudi aggression on Yemen, supported by Washington, Britain and other nations.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Senate vote, Defense Secretary Mattis wrote GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, turning truth on its head saying:
“(R)estrictions (on) US military support (to Riyadh) could increase civilian casualties, jeopardize cooperation with our partners on counterterrorism and reduce our influence with the Saudis – all of which would further exacerbate the situation and humanitarian crisis.”
MBS is a despotic future Saudi king, a rogue actor, a war criminal – disgracefully invited to Washington, other Western capitals, Wall Street, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Big Oil in Houston, other US corporate headquarters, along with events at Harvard and MIT.
It’s part of his three-week US charm offensive, aiming to improve the image of the Arab world’s most ruthless regime, along with seeking US investments to diversify Riyadh’s economy.
It’s MBS’ so-called Vision 2030, seeking economic modernization, including industrial development and tourism.
The kingdom enlisted Western PR firms and other image-makers to present him as a new breed of future Saudi leader – a similar strategy used during a three-day visit to Britain, meetings arranged with political, military and business officials.
MBS’ March 18 appearance on CBS News’ 60 Minutes preceded the start of his US tour, beginning in Washington with Trump and other administration officials.
He’s no reformer. He’s like his father King Salman and others earlier throughout the kingdom’s sordid history.
Trump strongly supports its regime, ignoring its despotic agenda, Riyadh his first foreign trip destination after taking office, lucrative trade agreements signed during his visit, especially US weapons sales.
Arms and security project director at the Center for International Policy William Hartung said MBS’ policy agenda is polar opposite the “public relations version of who he is and what he’s trying to do,” adding:
During his US visit, “the question is how critical will the media be? Will Yemen be an afterthought, or will it be front and center in the conversation?”
So far, it’s very much the former, not the latter.