Yemen

Saudi Arabia has been accused of committing war crimes in its offensive in Yemen. Yet the United States continues to support the Saudi regime’s efforts.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been waging an intense bombing campaign in Yemen, fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi — who was backed by the United States government — and occupied the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia has also instituted a cruel blockade of Yemen since it began the offensive, preventing life-sustaining goods like food, medicine, and vaccines from entering the country. The United Nations has called the blockade of Yemen “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.” Even though the Saudi government announced it would be providing $1.5 billion in aid to Yemen earlier this year, it has still not stopped its bombing campaign. A UN report from August of 2017 estimates that almost 700 children have been killed by the bombings.

While the United States is not directly bombing Sana’a or blockading Yemen, the Trump administration continues to supply Saudi Arabia with weapons. On Tuesday, President Trump welcomed Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to the White House and talked up the business arrangement between the U.S. and the Saudi government.

“Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth, hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world,” Trump said.

However, Saudi Arabia’s use of American-made weapons has already contributed to war crimes in Yemen. As the New Yorker reported in January, more than a 140 Yemeni civilians were killed at a funeral in October of 2016, with over 500 more wounded. The bomb that killed the mourners was made in the United States:

The serial number indicates that the bomb, a Mark-82—a sleek steel case eighty-seven inches long, twelve inches in diameter, and filled with five hundred pounds of explosive—was produced by Raytheon, the third-largest defense company in the United States. The bomb had been modified with a laser guidance system, made in factories in Arizona and Texas, called a Paveway-II.

Despite the ongoing atrocities in Yemen, the U.S. Senate voted 55-44 on Tuesday to block a resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the Saudi campaign. The resolution, which was brought by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), argued that the United States’ contributions to the Saudi-led offensive should require Congressional authorization. However, 45 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted down a procedural motion that would have advanced the resolution.

Here are the names of all 55 senators who voted yes (senators who are up for re-election in 2018 have their names in bold):

Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee)

John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)

Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)

John Boozman (R-Arkansas)

Richard Burr (R-North Carolina)

Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia)

Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana)

Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)

Chris Coons (D-Delaware)

Bob Corker (R-Tennessee)

John Cornyn (R-Texas)

Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nevada)

Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas)

Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana)

Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming)

Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska)

Jeff Flake (R-Arizona)

Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)

Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota)

Dean Heller (R-Nevada)

John Hoeven (R-North Dakota)

James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma)

Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia)

Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin)

Doug Jones (D-Alabama)

John Kennedy (R-Louisiana)

James Lankford (R-Oklahoma)

Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia)

Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)

Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey)

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Bill Nelson (D-Florida)

David Perdue (R-Georgia)

Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)

Jim Risch (R-Idaho)

Pat Roberts (R-Kansas)

Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota)

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska)

Tim Scott (R-South Carolina)

Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)

Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)

John Thune (R-South Dakota)

Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina)

Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)

Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi)

Todd Young (R-Indiana)

 

Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.

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