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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 28-Aug-2018
28-Aug-18 World View -- Saudis target women and children in Yemen to make them 'shiver' for generations

Web Log - August, 2018

28-Aug-18 World View -- Saudis target women and children in Yemen to make them 'shiver' for generations

US Military under pressure to end support of Saudis in Yemen

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Saudis target women and children in Yemen to make them 'shiver' for generations

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

The war in Yemen between a Saudi Arabia backed coalition and Iran-backed ethnic Houthis has been going on since 2015, with no end in sight. The Saudis and their coalition partner United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been under increasing international pressure to avoid civilian casualties.

Now the United Nations says that airstrikes launched by Saudi Arabia on Friday killed at least 26 children and four women in al-Hodeidah seaport, which is controlled by the Houthis. Two weeks earlier, another airstrike killed dozens of children traveling in a school bus.

UN official Mark Lowcock wrote:

"I echo the recent statement by the Secretary-General on Yemen, condemning such attacks on civilians and calling for an impartial, independent and prompt investigation into these most recent incidents. I am also deeply concerned by the proximity of attacks to humanitarian sites, including health facilities and water and sanitation infrastructure. The UN and partners are doing all they can to reach people with assistance. Access for humanitarian aid workers to reach people in need is critical to respond to the massive humanitarian crisis in Yemen. People need to be able to voluntarily flee the fighting to access humanitarian assistance too."

On Monday, Lise Grande, another UN official, called for an “independent and impartial investigation” into the attacks on civilians. Grande stated that “what is happening in Yemen is unimaginable” and added that “the time has come to wake up to the terrible reality of the war and its human cost and the need to work together to end hostilities.”

According to unnamed "informed sources," Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) ordered his coalition military generals to ignore the international pressure:

"Do not care about international criticism. We want to leave a big impact on the consciousness of Yemeni generations. We want their children, women and even their men to shiver whenever the name of Saudi Arabia is mentioned."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, whether MBS actually uttered this statement or not, it's quite likely that it reflects his attitude. MBS is young, 32 years old, and has been extremely aggressive and belligerent since taking power two years ago. Furthermore, the world was shocked in years past when video emerged of atrocities, such as the beheading of a civilian by a jihadist, or by the abduction of numerous girls to serve as sex slaves. Today, as we've gone deeper and deeper into a generational Crisis era, these kinds of atrocities are the new normal, and do not shock people anymore.

One thing that characterizes a generational Crisis era is that the value of an individual human life goes down continually, while increasingly the only thing that matters is the survival of the entire nation and its way of life. So, for example, in 1944 Americans were willing to send tens of thousands of their soldiers onto the beaches of Normandy, despite knowing that thousands would be immediately killed.

Both the Saudis and the Houthis have been increasingly willing to use civilians, including women and children, s cannon fodder in the cause of fighting the Yemen war. The Houthis use children as human shields to protect military installations, and the Saudis kill the children in order to strike at the military installations. That's what always happens in a generational crisis war. Relief Web and NY Magazine and Bellingcat (9-Aug)

US Military under pressure to end support of Saudis in Yemen

Although the US military is not part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, the US military does provide help in the form of air refueling for Saudi aircraft and intelligence support. In addition, the US sells weapons to the Saudis.

The recent spate of news stories about civilian deaths in Yemen has caused international pressure on the US to reduce or end military support to the Saudis. In addition, there are claims that the weapons that have killed civilians in recent weeks are American made, but this claim has been challenged, as the Saudis also obtain weapons from other sources.

Reports indicate that the Pentagon is warning the Saudis that the US will reduce military and intelligence support if the Saudis don't demonstrate they are attempting to limit civilian deaths in airstrikes. And Democrats in Congress want to amend the defense appropriations bill to make American support contingent on the U.S. defense secretary certifying that the coalition air campaign is not violating international law and U.S. policy related to the protection of civilians.

However, reducing American support to Saudi Arabia would probably just hand a victory over to Iran and the Houthis. In fact, the Saudis have provided evidence to the UN Security Council that Iran is sponsoring Hezbollah militants in the Yemen war, so that a Houthi victory in Yemen would give Iran almost complete effective control of the country -- insofar as it's possible for anyone to control Yemen.

It seems unlikely that President Donald Trump, who views the Saudis as an essential ally, would agree to a reduction of military support. In fact, because of the strategic importance of the al-Hodeidah seaport, whose recapture is the current objective of the Saudi coalition's current military operation, Trump is said to be considering increasing U.S. military support for that operation.

The UN has repeatedly described Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The al-Hodeidah seaport is crucial to whatever humanitarian efforts are possible in Yemen. NGOs use this seaport to import badly need humanitarian aid, including food, water and medicines, for 8 million Yeminis, out of a total population of 22 million. Many Yemenis are already on the verge of starvation, and the closure of the port for even a few days could be disastrous. Defense News and CNN and The National (UAE) and Gulf News

Related Articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 28-Aug-18 World View -- Saudis target women and children in Yemen to make them 'shiver' for generations thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (28-Aug-2018) Permanent Link
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