saudi arabia donald trump

Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia and “friends”: Arms, Money and Rock & Roll.

For two years, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its allies have been involved in a conflict in the neighboring state of Yemen. Dubbed the forgotten war by Amnesty International, the violence has been largely eclipsed by the much deadlier conflict in Syria. The Saudis have spent much of this time trying to solicit US help, something the Trump administration has been quietly increasing since January, according to Quartz.

Much like Syria, the fate of Yemen is important for regional and global security. It is now a frontline in a proxy war between Iran, the Gulf Arabs, and the US, as well as a bastion for Al-Qaeda operatives planning attacks on the West.

Regardless of their human rights abuses and their spread of Wahhabi terrorism, the Trump administration will seek closer ties with Saudi Arabia. The Trump Administration is expected to approve the new arms deal to Saudi Arabia to continue its bombardment of Yemen.

Yemen’s slow dissent into civil war began in 2011, as the Middle East was engulfed by revolution. After Yemen’s longstanding authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step down in 2012, the internationally mediated political transition faltered and eventually collapsed. But it wasn’t until a rebel group known as the Houthis, in alliance with the disgruntled Saleh and his supporters, made sweeping military gains in 2014 that Saudi Arabia itself felt threatened.

 

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

While in Riyadh this weekend, Trump reportedly plans to announce more than $100 billion in arms deals to Saudi Arabia — nearly as much as President 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.

Trump is doing what every administration has done in the past whether Democrat or Republican and that is to support Iran’s long-time adversaries, Saudi Arabia and Israel and isolate Iran that will allow the U.S. to dominate the resource-rich region. The U.S. and its allies have been preparing for a possible war against Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution that overthrew the U.S. puppet government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi also known as the Shah of Iran. However, a war scenario is unlikely to play out any time soon since it would lead to a wider war in the Middle East with the Axis of Resistance including Russia and China, a costly war one might add.

Trump will build a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia despite the fact that is committing war crimes against Yemen and has supported terrorist organizations committed to overthrowing the Syrian government. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he wants to defeat the Islamic State, but Saudi Arabia is not a good partner to take on the terrorists because historically speaking, they have armed and supported terrorist organizations for a long time.

Washington and Saudi Arabia is a strategic alliance. Besides, Washington does like a good dictatorship that follows its marching orders, after all, the Saudis do have an abundance of oil that feeds the Military-Industrial Complex and provides enormous profits for U.S. oil companies. The Saudis long-time support of terrorism also advances Washington’s agenda to create wars and regime change in the Middle East. Washington has a vested interest in Saudi Arabia and that is why Trump will keep the alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia intact, a move that advances Washington’s agenda and that is something that the establishment (or the swamp) would not disagree with.

*Sources: The Hill, Independent, The Guardian, Time.com, Youtube, Silent Crow News, Reuters, Hrw.org, Reuters, NYTimes, BBC.com, Vox.com, Amnesty International

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