Saturday, May 20, 2017

The US-Saudi Alliance

Donald Trump will shortly arrive in Saudi Arabia bearing gifts for the sheikdom, a major arms deal which will swiftly then be used against the people of Yemen, who are currently facing a deadly cholera outbreak, devastating famine, and two years of war that shows no sign of abating.

In exchange for the $110 billion package, said to be the largest arms deal in history, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has offered to invest at least $200 billion in American infrastructure and open up new business opportunities for U.S. companies inside the kingdom," according to observers, a move that is expected to win the U.S. president points in the rust belt states of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. During his time in office, former President Barack Obama oversaw $115 billion in arms sold to the Gulf state. 

Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and Kuwait researcher with Human Rights Watch, is among many who have warned that the U.S. risks being complicit in war crimes in Yemen, as the latest sale is being brokered amid mounting evidence of unlawful attacks.
"More than two years into the war, we've documented 81 apparently unlawful coalition attacks and almost two dozen in which U.S. weapons were used," Beckerle wrote earlier this month. "For weapons produced later and shipped now, pleading ignorance is no longer plausible."
"There is no mystery here," she continued. "The Saudi-led coalition has committed scores of unlawful attacks, many amounting to war crimes. Continued arms sales not only send a clear message to the coalition that it can kill civilians with impunity, but they increasingly put U.S. officials at legal risk for aiding those crimes."

The visit will take place as Yemen "is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis," the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday, as "two million people have been displaced, malnutrition is rife, and, the United Nations estimates, a Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from preventable illnesses. Now a cholera outbreak has become the latest, deadly threat."

Yemen could see as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months and an "extremely high" number of deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday, as aid groups have struggled to contain the epidemic partially because of the nation's devastated health facilities and infrastructure. To date, over 23,400 suspected cholera cases and 242 deaths have been reported in 18 governorates, WHO noted.
"The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented (for Yemen)," WHO Yemen representative Nevio Zagaria told reporters. 
Reuters continued: "Caused by the ingestion of the Vibrio cholerae bacterium from fecally contaminated water or food, cholera's sudden onset of acute watery diarrhea and can kill within hours, although three-quarters of infected people show no symptoms. The short incubation period means outbreaks can spread with explosive speed, especially in places without safe water and proper sanitation, according to the WHO. Yemen has been ruined by two years of civil war, with 18.8 million people needing humanitarian aid, many of them on the brink of famine, and less than 45 percent of health facilities fully functional."

According to UN Dispatch. "Unless there is a de-escalation of the conflict, these numbers will only get worse."

Meanwhile, war profiteers are salivating over this potential multi-billion $$$$$$$$ sale of death and destruction!

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