US Major Funder of Saudi War on Yemen: American Activist
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A prominent anti-war activist based in California highlighted the US support for the war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and said Washington is “the major funder” of Riyadh’s bombardment of civilians in the Arabian Peninsula country.
“The United States is playing a very important role in supporting Saudi Arabia in these war crimes,” Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in the region in making sure the oil keeps flowing to the United States, so in response, the US is allowing the Saudi murderous regime to perpetrate these crimes against the Yemeni people,” she added.
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch—a stand that drew both passionate support and criticism. Sheehan ran for Congress in 2008. Her memoir, Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism, was published in 2006. Sheehan was the 2012 vice-presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party.
The full text of the interview is as follows:
Tasnim: For two years, the Yemeni civilians have been targets of cruel attacks and airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, has recently put the civilian death toll at 12,041, including 2,568 children and 1,870 women. According to the United Nations, nearly 3.3 million people in Yemen, including 2.1 million children, are acutely malnourished because of the war and total siege imposed on them. They include 460,000 children under age of five with the worst form of malnutrition, who risk dying of pneumonia or diarrhea. Why is the international community so indifferent to the heinous crimes committed by the Al Saud regime in the Arabian Peninsula country?
Sheehan: Don’t forget, though, that even though the Saudis are leading the bombardment, the United States is a major funder of the effort and has used bombs to target civilians in the country. I am not sure why there is so much indifference to the disaster in Yemen by the international community. I just know that most people in the United States, for example, either don’t know about it or are conditioned to believe that the US only slaughters people for very good reasons.
Tasnim: Certain Western countries are continuously claiming that they are champions of human rights. However, it seems that they are pursuing double standard policies on Saudi Arabia's atrocities. On March 10, 2017, the administration of US President Donald Trump approved the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia which critics have linked to Riyadh’s killing of civilians in Yemen. The $1.15 billion deal was previously blocked by former President Barack Obama after Saudi warplanes targeted a funeral hall in Yemen killing scores of civilians, provoking an international outcry. How do you see the role of the US in the regime’s aggression against the impoverished Arab country?
Sheehan: Like I said in the previous comment, the United States is playing a very important role in supporting Saudi Arabia in these war crimes. Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role in the region in making sure the oil keeps flowing to the United States, so in response, the US is allowing the Saudi murderous regime to perpetrate these crimes against the Yemeni people.
Tasnim: Since the start of its war on Yemen, the Saudi regime has failed to reach its objectives. In 2015, the kingdom had a record budget deficit of almost $100 billion, prompting it to rein in public spending in a bid to save money. Why is the regime continuing its heinous attacks on the Arab country despite its failures and cash-strapped economy?
Sheehan: I have heard that Afghanistan is the “graveyard of Empires,” but I also know that Yemen has been extremely hard to conquer in the past. The attacks are heinous like you say, and the international community should demand that the war criminal Saudi regime immediately ceases its bombing campaign. There is absolutely NO excuse for allowing the people of Yemen to starve for the power mad Saudi royals.
Everybody knows that the Saudis are also brutal to their own people, especially women, and the USA should cease to support and ally with the Saudi monsters.
Tasnim: If possible, would you please make some comments on the recent US missile attack on Syria, which was launched under the pretext of an earlier suspected chemical attack in the Arab country?
Sheehan: Our analysis is that this is obviously not a new Imperial aggression, but only an escalation of a brutal policy against the Middle East that the US has been operating under for several decades.
Under Barack Obama’s mismanagement, US/Israel and Saudi Arabia have trained and given material support to terrorist groups, which have been operating in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime in Damascus for over four years. This is mostly because the Assad regime is the biggest ally of Iran in the region and because of the capitalist’s need to control resources and open new markets for its goods and services. This dangerous escalation by US imperialist forces must be strongly opposed due to the danger of regional and global escalation because the Syrian government has the support of Russia.
We would also like to note that Hillary Clinton the nominee of the DNC against Trump in 2016 came out of her self-imposed political-exile just hours before the US attack on the Shayrat Air Field in Homs saying (disgustingly, to huge applause) at a “Women in the World” summit in NYC:
“Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days. And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.”
This latest attack had come after a US strike killed over 200 civilians in Mosul, Iraq and an escalation of the US-led war against the people of Yemen. The “justification” given for the cruise missile attack in Homs is the government of Assad used chemical weapons against Syrians in Idlib and the alleged attack was launched from Shayrat Air Field. So far, the only “proof” we have seen of this attack is from inherent liars in US politics and their rubber-stampers in the propagandist global media. Additionally, this is also the only “proof” we have that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is a “bad-guy.”
These false “humanitarian” justifications smack of Iraqi WMD, babies being thrown out of incubators by Iraqi troops in Kuwait and the old adage that came from an officer during the US-led war against the people of Vietnam: “We have to destroy the village to save the village.”
Parenthetically, we would like to take this opportunity to point out that many neo-conservative and neo-liberal pundits are now praising Donald Trump and calling him, “presidential” because of his unethical and illegal attack in Syria. What does that say about the US that a president has to join the long line of vicious murderers to gain legitimacy and respect?
In conclusion, we feel that the only way to end US imperial aggression, murder, and crimes against humanity, is to have international working-class solidarity and refuse to be used as pawns for US imperial hegemony.