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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
nmewn's picture

Gawd, that must be a swell party...lol.

Giant Meteor's picture

Apparently wearing vagina hats .. marching and shit ..

serotonindumptruck's picture

Or for that matter...

Occupy Wall Street.

bluez's picture

I thought there was some chance that Trump would be decent. It's hard to understand why he would do this. He pretty much does what they tell him, just like all the rest.

This really sucks. He has to know what these Arab scumbags really are.

Singelguy's picture

Of the $350 billion, 20% will be for fighter jets and tanks, and 80% will be for parts since it is all so poorly built and over priced.

MrSteve's picture

not true, the stuff is built to mil spec. can you produce docs to back up your claim?

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

This was some very depressing news out of the Trump administration, tamping down the hopefulness I felt after he fired Comey. One step forward, one step back.

Observingmen's picture

Emlyn Hughes once said "it's the hope that kills you". Forget Trump, he's a Long Island Jew.

navy62802's picture

Better question ... why is Seth Rich's Reddit account being stealth edited by Reddit moderators?

Observingmen's picture

As a member of UKIP, I despise Obama for his intervention in the EU referendum, but he's worth a dozen of this bumbling old Zionist cretin.

nmewn's picture

Pretty sure Obama sold weapons to SA too, in fact I know he did. As a matter of fact, it was his "foreign policy" (such as it was...lol) that led to hordes of middle easterners flooding into Europe.

If THAT wasn't bumbling then it was on purpose, so good luck with all THAT. 

Robinhood's picture

Trump is selling them the weapons to relieve the USA of the debt obligation. You pay with your treasury reserves and fight your own battles. It's time to get off the USA tit. 

Trump wants the USA to get paid for what we have to offer. Good for him! The time has ended where we give shit away to support the Clinton foundation.

azusgm's picture

Bingo, Robinhood!

Ghawar is pretty much watered out. Saudi Arabia is hitting what is peak oil for them. It looks like it is downhill from here for them.


However, KSA holds a fistful of Treasury paper. It would be very unhealthy for the USD if much of the Saudis' Treasury holdings made it out into the market in exchange for gold or other currencies or for products or services from non-US companies sold to the Saudis in exchange for Treasury paper. The safest thing for the USD is for that paper to come home in exchange for American goods or services. That would smooth the transition while the petrodollar becomes irrelevant instead of imploding. The Saudis will continue to sell a good deal of their crude into a dollar-denominated stream through their three Motiva refineries in the US. In the meantime, the US will move closer to the goal of energy independence.

Saudi Arabia is going down but the US through the USD does not need to go along for the ride.

heresy101's picture

Saw this at Moon of Alabama:   http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces...


In all likelihood, what frances describes below will be the result of Jared Kushner's putting Trump in bed with the 12th century barbarians at the House of Saud and Wahabbists together with the Zionists by providing then with $300B (with a B) in arms. The 1% and the MIC wil be ecstatic, but as he describes - This will end very, very badly!!

reply to Curtis 83:
""CNN's article included this:
"... its Arab proxies under assault from pro-Syrian militias... Iranian proxies in Syria.""
"Arab proxies? Not Syrian? Not "opposition" fighters?"

You found it; the moment in time when the US announced they have changed the rules of the game. The new labeling, the huge arms sale to SA, Trump's trip to SA,Israel and the Gulf Monarchies (GM), it all fits. I believe they are creating a Middle Eastern NATO using SA money to buy the arms, Israel to provide the tech, the GM to provide additional cash and more troops from the usual sources.
IMO a war, a really big war is about to be fought by "ME NATO" troops against Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Russia simultaneously and they will attack Iran directly. The war will be given media cover by use of the new "proxies" labels.
This will end very, very badly.

Posted by: frances | May 19, 2017 11:24:48 PM | 103

azusgm's picture

Part of the petrodollar agreement is that the US will fight the Saudis' battles. Instead, we will sell them the weapons to fight those battles over ten years.

I'm not betting on the Saudis to use those weapons as effectively as if the US military forces were in control.

The USD will be protected, the money will circulate back into the US economy, and the Saudis will waste the weaponry.


uhland62's picture

Must have perpetual war, for the money, and the jobs, and the feeling of power, big powerm superpower. Also, Iran is viewed as the bigger enemy by I5rael so it's natural to side with the Saudis. What war will they conduct to keep the weapons industries going when all Yemenis have died? Wouldn't be much fun to send the bombers then, wouldn't it.  

azusgm's picture

Didn't say I liked it. Just tried to explain how it best makes sense to me.

The petrodollar will end.

HowdyDoody's picture

The Russians have sent paratroopers and SF into the area. If the Zionists try this again, the SF will be in position to act as FAC for Russian airstrikes against USUK assets inside Syria close to the Syria-Jordan border.


Collectivism Killz's picture

Because the US is bankrupt, both morally and financially, so a few hundred billion from head chopping pedophiles is totally worth it.

uhland62's picture

Upvote - because it hadn't let me. 

R2U2's picture

Severance pay. 

vietnamvet's picture

Well, having served a year way back in the "real" NATO in Europe, there's nothing to worry about a ME NATO if ever one got established.  The war-fighting capability of NATO was zip point zero back then, and it was a commonly held view among the troops that we were cannon fodder, hopefully to slow down a crushing Russian deep battlefield attack by massive tank armies they had back then.  CC3 was a joke, no cohesion among the troops from the various nations.  And a quick peek at SA's "warfighting" capabilties should lay to rest any concern, they can't even whip a destitute country like Yemen.

Duc888's picture


MAGA it's a jobs program you moron.  If you don't like it go gut the heart of the beast, the debt / fiat system.  Until then shut the fuck up asshole.

Bobportlandor's picture

Obama and the DNC is on the side of Iran

Trump is on the side of SA

That's just the way is, 6 of one 1 2 a dozen of the other


allahu the  akbar doesn't care why should we.


Reaper's picture

Whose God approves of the US enabling the Saudis?

1.21 jigawatts's picture

The Jews' god.  His name is Money.

uhland62's picture

Nobody's because this is just another proof that there is no god; it's a thought construct to make you obedient. 


Answer to haedline: The Saudis are not rewarded - the weapons manufacturers, their shareholders, and workers are. 

serotonindumptruck's picture

Does anyone know if DynCorp is still sending private contractors into Yemen, or have the Houthis killed them all?

Trump is just supporting a proxy war between the House of Saud and Iran.

HowdyDoody's picture

Whoever they are, the Houthis have taken out another batch of them. The Houthis are active within three southern Saudia governates. Stupid to die for SA.


Yen Cross's picture

  Trump is using the Saudies to fund the private part of his infrastructure program.  [Pay to Play] because he knows there's no fucking way he get's past the 'Ways And Means Comittee' with his current budget farce.

edwardoplunkett's picture

Must be junior editors in charge for the weekend

Secret Weapon's picture

I fear that Mr. Trump has lost his soul. God help us if this is so.

TheLastTrump's picture



Where did you get your soul expert degree?

Ink Pusher's picture

What gave the author the impression that any POTUS had a "say" in the matter?

What the MIC wants , the MIC gets. Regardless of what the CIC might think ,say or do.

luna_man's picture


I WAS WRONG!...trump, is no better than hillary.


Impeach this CRIMINAL!

hsun85's picture

No worries. All the equipments will have malware in them. 

Goldilocks's picture

Trump, Ross and Tillerson dance along at Saudi welcome ceremony
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Wo8IbFCAE (0:57)

Kool & The Gang - Celebration
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M (4:18)

Wild E Coyote's picture

Trump has 2 choices. Follow the International laws. fight for justice, while people at home suffer continuing lower standard of living due to mistakes of previous administrations in allowing outsourcing, illegal immigration and Banks to give out loans all over the world based on Foreign Government Guarantees with bogus valuations. 

Or Trump can do what he can to safe America, sell what we have, weapons, bombs and missiles to a willing buyer probably with an evil agenda. But who else will buy what we have? And we do not have much else to sell anyway that is in demand.  

This is not about good or bad. This is just survival. Trump is doing what he can against such odds. He is fighting for the Americans.

There are those who voted for Trump to drain the swamp. But there are Americans who elected Maxine waters, Mccain and the whole lot of swamp creatures who are working against the President of United States. 

Stop crying like stupid snowflakes. Wake up and look around you. Take a walk outside your protected high prices homes. Then you will see that America is dying and only being held up with large and increasing debt. What Trump does will reduce the debt. 


Catahoula's picture

Ughh, so the Saudis can do their part in the fight against terrorism which reduces the need for American intervention in Muslim countries. Yemen is a terrorist country backed by Iran. It's a good deal for AMERICA!!! War crimes my ass. Stupid Question

zzzz88's picture

in the name of peace and anti-terror to create more killings, more murders, more weapon deals.

who is going to pay for it?

average americans!

more kidnap, more 911 to average americans


LN's picture

Because we like to blow stuff up?  Bush, Obummer, Trump, is there a difference I have missed?


zimboe's picture

I like blowing stuff up.

Every boy likes firecrackers. It's why we invented nuclear bombs,.

Lost in translation's picture


It's what the US is great at doing. And it will go on, and on, and on, and on...

Until God does something about America, b.k.a. Murder, Inc.

francis scott falseflag's picture


In a few years the US will have 100,000 troops stationed in SA to use all

the weapons we just sold them.  The deal is the instructions are in English.

Gen. Ripper's picture

The saudis are killing yeminis en masse - why in the name of mo wouldn't we want to up their game?

uhland62's picture

Jobs in the US, that's what matters: 300 plus billion $$$ over 10 years that'll be a bonanza in your street. That's for a long time to come, too, because supporting the war between Sunnis and Shiites in Yemen and elsewhere means perpetual war which makes money in perpetuity. Surely you didn't think the factories in the US would close down after the Cold War? 

Why Bother's picture

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


Because he fooled 27% of the eligible voters into hallucinating him into being a master. He was always a deep state lap dog.