Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Kristine Beckerle op-ed via The Hill,

Last October the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a funeral hall in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing and wounding hundreds of people.

“The scene was catastrophic,” one survivor told me.  “Beyond what I can explain to you or describe ... There were burned bodies and dead bodies all over the hall.”

Soon after that unlawful bombing, the Obama administration suspended the sale of nearly $400 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia.

It was a recognition, a long time in coming, that the coalition’s military campaign in Yemen had devastated the country, killed thousands of civilians, and brought it to the brink of famine.

After the funeral bombing, unlawful airstrikes continued, but the decision to suspend arms sales sent an important message to the Saudis. President Donald Trump, in his first trip abroad as president, is going to send an alternative, deeply troublesome message.

While in Riyadh this weekend, Trump reportedly plans to announce more than $100 billion in arms deals to Saudi Arabia – nearly as much as Barack Obama authorized during his eight years in office.

The deals  include Raytheon bombs, Lockheed Martin missile defense systems and BAE combat vehicles, and some  of the weapons whose sales had been suspended.

The scars of unlawful airstrikes can be found across Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition has carried out scores of attacks that hit homes, schools, markets, and hospitals since March 2015, when it began its military campaign against the Houthi armed group and forces loyal to the former longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

Human Rights Watch has documented 81 apparently unlawful coalition attacks over the last two years, many possible war crimes. In almost two dozen of these cases, including the attack on the funeral hall, we were able to identify the US weapons that were used. 

According to the United Nations, at least 4,773 civilians have been killed and 8,272 wounded since this conflict began, the majority by coalition airstrikes. The war has driven Yemen, already the poorest nation in the Middle East, toward humanitarian catastrophe. 

Both the coalition and Houthi-Saleh forces have blocked or restricted critical relief supplies from reaching civilians. Seven million people face starvation, and cholera ravages parts of the country.

Trump should be urging the Saudis to shift course by abiding by the laws of war and holding those responsible for past abuses to account. Instead he will effectively be telling them to continue as before and not to worry – the flow of US weapons will not stop.

Trump will also be putting Americans at risk. Continued U.S. arms sales to a country that has repeatedly violated the laws of war exposes US officials to legal liability for aiding and abetting coalition war crimes.

Some lawmakers in the U.S. are pushing back, introducing a bill intended to limit US arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. It would require the White House to certify that Saudi Arabia is taking all feasible precautions to minimize civilian casualties in Yemen, and stipulate that the White House must brief Congress on whether Saudi Arabia has used US weapons in previous unlawful attacks in Yemen. Other lawmakers have pledged to try to prevent future US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “If we condition too heavily that others must adopt [our] value[s]… it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance, our national security interests, our economic interests.” The Trump administration needs to recognize instead that protecting civilians in armed conflict is part and parcel of enhancing US national security.

The U.S. cannot quietly hope that the coalition will take the blame for past and future atrocities like the funeral hall bombing. Yemeni civilians suffering from unlawful airstrikes know the US supports the coalition and that U.S. weapons have been used against them. This is the national security problem the administration should be paying more attention to.

If the Trump administration won’t try to curtail war crimes by Saudi Arabia and the rest of the coalition, Congress should step in and make clear – by using its own power to stop weapons sales – that the lives of Yemeni civilian can no longer be disregarded.

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jm's picture

"Let them fight it out.  We get some coin."

BaBaBouy's picture

"Trump will also be putting Americans at risk."

Exactly... Sooner or later we will be at the wrong end of these firecrackers...

TruxtonSpangler's picture

Because weapons are the real American product

The Blank Stare's picture

This was Obombers deal approved in August of 2016. Trump may have tweaked it and signed it, but still.

J S Bach's picture
"Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?"

Why?  Because he is Agent Orange.  He has totally shown himself for what he is - a subserviant narcissist who craves approval more than honor, principle or any other virtue worthy of a great man.

Supafly's picture

Yes, and we voted for him, which says a lot about our options.

J S Bach's picture

Yes, Supafly... we DID vote for him.  Our gamble was that maybe... just MAYBE... he might be legit.  That MAYBE he'd be true to his word and begin the agonizing process of cleaning the "swamp".  But, as I feared... he is nothing more than an egotistical man with delusions of "approval".  He will fail in his presidency and, if not assassinated, be defeated by some other commie-minded "thing" which (((the powers that be))) choose to contest him in 2020.  Like I said... only an OUTSIDE movement will bring about any substantial change - just as occurred in Germany in 1933.  The system simply will not ALLOW itself to be disintegrated from within.

luky luke's picture

"Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?"

What it should be:

"Why Is The USG Rewarding APARTHEID Israel With More Weapons?"


moimeme's picture

At least the SAUDIS are paying CASH for the weapons.

Israel is a freakin parasite getting free weapons on the back of American taxpayers to OPPRESS and MASSACRE another people, the Palestinians.

That's been ongoing for over 60 years.

When is ZH gonna do a piece about that?

Won't hold my breath.

El Vaquero's picture

"Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?"

Because the petrodollar system makes us Saudi's bitch, plain and simple. Nobody in DC wants to crash the USD.

beemasters's picture

"Investigative journalist Daniel Estulin discussed his latest research into secretive power elite groups such as the Bilderbergers. In America's recent election, he suggested that different elite "supranational" factions lined up behind Trump and Clinton. The Rothschilds and associated groups supported Trump, while the Rockefellers and others were for Clinton, he declared, adding that even wealthier families, above these two factions, were not represented by either group. The "present Central Banking Warfare Model" is dead, he continued, and "Trump represents the latest and most desperate attempt of one part of the word's elite to survive economic Armageddon," as the rules for the global financial system are about to be changed."


jw500's picture

Moimeme, first  you can start paying taxes, which is probably minimal or nil in your case.  Second, if you love the Arabs so much, go move to Gaza.  If we had them here in the USA we would treat a bunch of terrorists the same way or worse.  Hell, we shoot people who disobey police commands all the time.  Zero Hedge may have its share of nutcase Neo-Nazis and Jew haters but don't hold your breath waiting for it to side with the Islamists like you do.

Matteo S.'s picture

Cash ? The Saudis will pay with ... dollars ... "printed" by the Fed.

Now think of It again.

The Ram's picture

Well, I would not exactly say the Saudis pay cash.  Remember that the 'cash' they pay are petrol dollars returning.  That's the game. Use the petrol dollar to keep the US as the reserve currency and keep the West in business, and we will sweeten the deal for you by selling you weapons so that you (the Saudi Royal family) can keep your corrupt position.  Tidy deal, right.  

MK13's picture

Yup, preach on man, about power if pterodollar. The system sucks and will continue to get more and more unstable - but when real value of dollar gets exposed I full anticipate 50% drop in standards of living in US. And while Great Depression was awful, US was a uniform country with laws back then - what will US look like after Great Reset? You can't deny Dems free cell phones now, can you imagine mayhem and 'you own us shit' when pterodollar resets?

There will have to be lots of fake crime statistics and lots of white racial guilt in next phases of wealth confiscation.

Golden Showers's picture

Well, who is the enabler?

Cash on the warhead or pushing a line of quid pro quo, or blackmail... The US feeds the parasite. Don't forget that Israel's money is no good here. Since they print it, they can work the angles. Only reason why other states pay is for plausible deniability. At least when you talk about weapons. And what are weapons for? What is money for? What are friends for? What is a parasite for? What is a host for? What are drugs for? What are governments for?

Truthseeker20's picture

Because they support the petrodollar. They were never included in trumps travel ban against muslim countries. That travel ban was fake just like trump is fake conservative.

philipat's picture

How long before the Libtard MSM blame a "shared misogynism"?

But to answer the question: So that SA can better attack their mutual allies AlQaeda and ISIS in Syria. And to prevent the Russian pipeline from supplying Europe instead of the favored Qatari pipeline and to continue to promote the cause of radical Wahabi Islam so that there will be a constant stream of new tragets for the neocons to attack? Also to delay the decision by SA to accept payment for energy in CNY (convertible to Gold in Shanghai) by its largest customer China. Presumably in thanks for the "Favor", although in truth it is difficult to see who is doing a favor to whom in this transaction?

azusgm's picture

The travel ban was against persons from failed states that could not maintain a system for the kind of documentation necessary for vetting those persons for entry to our country. The Saudis maintain civil records.

butchtrucks's picture

LOL. Which is why almost all the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Thwir Wahhabiist version of Islam makes them ground zero for the export of Islamic terrotism. Everyone knows this but we sell them weapons anyway.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Everyone knew Hillary was the devil incarnate. Time will tell if voting for the "devil you don't know" was such a good idea.

jw500's picture

Oh Luke, you Jew-haters who lurk on the Internet with your gibberish are so funny.  Israel is one of our "besties" because they share the same values we do.  Now if you want to cozy up with the sand folks and the Moon God, go for it. Would you rather live in Israel or any Muslim Arab state of your choice?

J S Bach's picture

Pray tell, JW500..

What exactly are these "values" that we share with our gallant middle-eastern ally?

(I'll have my vomit bag handy before you reply.)

Galahad Threepwood's picture

Wars for Israel



Destruction of western civilization

These Talmudic hate us

It's so fucking obvious

SeuMadruga's picture

It's high about time for americans to re-edit that 1860's fight and make a 90° clockwise turn in the "U" of SA, restoring the "C onfederation" in lieu of W DC...

cheka's picture

saudi = nyc outpost, and part of the nyc.saudi.israel alliance.  it's just another military base

Supafly's picture

Yep, we got fucked again.  Still worth watching the Liberal meltdown.

Great Deceivah's picture

Like 100 comments and nobody has gotten it right...LOL

Why?? a 100 million dollar donation to ((Ivanka))'s Women's (((fund))) from the Inbred sand niggers doesn't come free..

Cheeto is just being a good daddy

Follow the money...

Do you really think Cheeto head is going to turn against the sand niggers after they gave his daughter 100 fucking million dollars???



. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

Still, better than HRC.

Thank you America, for not letting that happen.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

"Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?"

Because the media is absent in Yemen.

Secret Weapon's picture

He is prepping them for a war with Iran.

nmewn's picture

(Insert audible gasp and blank stare here)...lol.

espirit's picture


No worries Mate.


Those Tomahawks ver 2.0, with the in-flight reprogrammable guidance systems can return to sender or target Tel Aviv.

-Uncle Pootie-


DuneCreature's picture


Barkeep! .. Give this man a drink on me.

Live Hard, Listen, Bartender, You Might Have To Put That On My Tab, My MIC Outfit Is Still Waiting On Our New DoD Contract To Be Approved, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

Giant Meteor's picture

Urban renewal for the well connected ....

I vacillate somewhere between, really wanting to give a shit, and all out apathy. There really is no excuse for this ..

No possible good can come of these developments, and yet, they are all to familiar and predictable. although the scale I believe, escalates exponentially, along with the potential for blowback.


Nexus789's picture

There is nothing else the dying empire can offer. 

Eyes Opened's picture

"Because weapons are the ONLY American product"


loves the truth's picture

Why?? Because this entire wicked system is going to be destroyed!

DuneCreature's picture

Oh, sooner than you might want to think.

Probably within a week of delivery for the small stuff.

Live Hard, We Might Want To Get Our Boots OFF Of The Ground Before The First Shipment Leaves, Die Free

~ DC v5.0

tmosley's picture

That is what desert monkeys do, with or without Western arms.

If they have us by the nutsack thanks to the petrodollar, might as well make some money off the situation.

Also, all of the crap we are selling them will be obsolete as soon as the first country starts using microdrones equipped with neurotoxins to kill, or sap drones with gallium and mercury payloads to degrade any and all metal objects, from ICBMs to electrical transmission towers to sidearms. Literally put the other side back into the stone age.

jm's picture

Look, we are arming them because 1) Trump likes money and it means jobs, and 2) so we don't have to get involved in their battles.  We can arm the Saudis up and let them go head to head with Iran.  

I acknowledge that much of Riyadh is a haven of xenophbia and religious bigotry, but not all of Saudi Arabia or the Arab world is that way.  A generation ago few were that way.  They are honestly hospitable to all, their spiritual instinct is admirable but twisted in a horrible way.  Finally, many of the women over there look really good underneath those black knapsacks.

MK13's picture

Garbage. Until SA stops spreading hatred through Wahhabism this is fake shit. And you are either not old enough or not getting paid enough to post misinformation like that.

political_proxy's picture

The only ones the US gov holds to The Law are the US citizenry.

 "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry."
-Thomas Jefferson

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Why Is The Trump Administration Rewarding Saudi War Crimes With More Weapons?

My response: This is a battle between the SUNNIS (Saudi Arabia) and the SHIITES (Iran). America is backing the SUNNIS.

Also, this action fulfills Biblical Prophecy. By the way, the DEMON Nergal is behind a lot of the current action in the Middle East. We have OBAMA and CLINTON to thank for current situation. President TRUMP is picking up the pieces of a shattered American Foreign Policy.

Nergal (also known as Erra and Irra) is the Mesopotamian god of death, war, and destruction.

David Wooten's picture

Trump is buying off the military/foreign policy/security/Congressional complex.

VWAndy's picture

 Cuz he is just like the last guy. And the one before that.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Supporting genocide is perfectly acceptable if a Republican is doing it.

nmewn's picture

Where is Code Pink these days anyways? ;-)

JamesBond's picture

They are at Cindy's house.