Obama Hones His War Criminal Credentials

I believe the worst about the U.S. role in bombing Yemen and creating its humanitarian catastrophe. I believe that the U.S. military is doing everything but fly the Saudi airplanes and hitting the bombs-away and missiles-away buttons. I believe that the U.S. supplies the bombs, including cluster bombs and identifies targets. I believe that the U.S. provides wall-to-wall logistical support. This means it participates in every step of the way from supplying fuel and bombs to arming the planes to repairing them to directing them to targets. The U.S. officially has said

“In support of [Gulf Cooperation Council] actions to defend against Houthi violence, President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations. While U.S. forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.”

That’s a major ground for my belief in a major U.S. role in Yemen. There are other no less important grounds. The main one is that the U.S. has for years built up the Saudi military and air force and built up a military force integrated and cooperative with U.S. personnel and forces. Statements made 5 years ago by the Washington think tank CSIS confirm this. I quote

“The United States has long been a major supplier to the GCC states and has already sold Saudi Arabia the E-2A AWACS surveillance aircraft, Sikorsky’s UH-60 Black Hawks, Raytheon-built Patriot and Hawk missile defense systems, and General Dynamics’s M1A2 tanks. It has worked with the GCC states in joint exercises…”

“The U.S. Department of Defense has not yet notified Congress of all the details of a major new arms sale to Saudi Arabia, but it is clear what this sale could have a direct value well in excess of $50 billion to $60 billion and mean maintaining a de facto military partnership with Saudi Arabia for at least the next decade. In fact, it means the Saudi Air Force will remain critically dependent on U.S. military and contractor support.”

That last sentence is especially important: “…the Saudi Air Force will remain critically dependent on U.S. military and contractor support.” The same article lists some of the equipment provided to the Saudis as part of the deal:

“84 new Boeing F-15 combat aircraft…”
“New air munitions, probably including air-to-surface missiles with the same precision and ability to fire from outside the range of Iranian air defenses as those used by the U.S. Air Force.”
“Up to 60 AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopters and upgrades to 12 existing AH-64As that can be used to deal with threats in areas like the Yemeni border…”
“72 UH-60 helicopters, in addition to the 22 UH-60s now in Saudi forces…”
“36 “Little Bird” MH-6/AH-6 helicopters…”

The report states

“…major deliveries will occur over at least a five-year period. They meet key Saudi concerns in force expansion and modernization, provide the basis for full interoperability with U.S. forces in a crisis or conflict,…”

Again, arms sales of this advanced technical height mean that the U.S. military is integrated with the Saudi military and that the Saudis need the U.S. support for it to be operable. U.S. support is a necessary condition for the Saudis to conduct a bombing campaign of the duration and depth that it has been conducting. When Obama announces that the U.S. is providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudis as they bomb Yemen, he is admitting U.S. complicity in the Yemen war.

This war is very much another Obama war. Obama has responsibility for today’s statement by the U.N. that Yemen is at the highest level humanitarian catastrophe point.

I consider Obama another war criminal like Bush who preceded him and Clinton who preceded Bush. U.S. presidents are officially-designated murderers. The ground for saying that is that they conduct killing campaigns that have no connection with the defense of this country. To underscore that contention, consider the fact sheet put out by the White House on U.S.-Saudi relations. It states

“Counterterrorism: Saudi Arabia has been a strong U.S. counterterrorism (CT) partner, particularly on disrupting Al Qaeda (AQ) elements. We work closely with Saudi authorities on a range of CT issues, including countering terrorist financing (CTF), and the United States and Saudi Arabia work together to help various nations in the region counter shared terrorist threats.”

This is bullshit. A day doesn’t go by without a report of the growth of terrorist forces in Yemen as a consequence of the Saudi bombing campaign. The Washington Post on June 4 wrote “Al-Qaeda affiliates are significantly expanding their footholds in Syria and Yemen, using the chaos of civil wars to acquire territory and increase their influence, according to analysts, residents and intelligence officials.” Today there is news of a prison escape of 1,200 suspects, including al Qaeda militants. There is also news of an ISIS bombing in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has not been concerned with the terrorist ramifications of its bombing campaign or even welcomes them in order to destabilize Yemen. The Saudis have supported anti-Assad forces with the blessings and cooperation of the U.S., knowing full well that they included fighters who have joined with ISIS or who could join in the future.

The whole idea of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East is ludicrous propaganda. It has all been based on wild-eyed neocon and Washington ideas of Iran being a terrorist state, and before that of Iraq being such a state. The actual result of U.S. strategy has been to provide a mammoth recruiting tool for ISIS and to open the way for its expansion elsewhere.

If there has been any connection between the military efforts of the U.S. in the Middle East, counter-terrorism and the defense of this country and Americans on this continent, it has been an INVERSE CONNECTION. For at least 25 years and counting, the U.S. has been creating more terrorism and creating greater threats to the continental U.S. We have to remember that the first bombing of the Trade Towers occurred in 1993, which was already many years after U.S. interventions in the Middle East had begun. The more that the U.S. has taken its mistaken and misguided steps by wading deeply into the politics of Middle Eastern countries and engaging in outright combat in one country after another, the worse that the terrorist threats and actions have become, to the point now where a body of men proclaim a new state founded upon extreme religious doctrines.

This is why I say that the government has acted criminally, not in self defense. It has been criminally negligent in conceiving and directing its killing strategies. Criminal negligence stands in place of a “guilty mind” or intent. It means “recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death…” This is precisely what our top elected officials have done again and again and worse because they have actually killed millions of people.


6:30 pm on July 1, 2015