The war-for-profit is supported by U.S. and why you should care
ETHAN COSTELLO | email@example.com
The U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia is one built on profit and a mutual goal of undermining the upward movement of working people internationally. The recent breaking news calls attention to the backwardness of U.S. politicians and corporations.
Earlier this month, NPR broke the news that a Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was confirmed murdered by the Saudi government. Khashoggi has been a long time critic of the Saudi government, a monarchy-dictatorship. This sudden revelation has caused many proponents of Saudi Arabia to pull their investments and their support from the country in outrage at this atrocity. If only this reaction came sooner.
Khashoggi’s death is tragic. Let us understand this moment in history within the broader context of U.S.-Saudi relations. Vox reported that the Saudi Arabian government requested U.S. aid in 2015 for war efforts against ‘rebels’ in Yemen. These rebels are of a group known as the Houthis who have been historically oppressed by the Yemeni government.
Yet, it turned out that many of these targets had little to no military weight in the region and were near public buildings and residential areas. The Saudi government began their war in Yemen and—shocker—bombed neighborhoods, hospitals and schools. The United States initially abstained their support of the Saudis after the war began in Yemen, but soon offered aid to Saudi Arabia, allegedly to secure a deal with them against Iran. As a result, the war has killed thousands of civilians and decimated communities.
What does the war against Yemen by the Saudi Arabian government have to do with the death of Khashoggi? Khashoggi has been a long-time outspoken voice against the Saudis, specifically the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, because of their human rights violations and imperialist-like warmongering. Apparently, the Crown Prince did not like this very much, and silenced Khashoggi permanently.
So, we have genocide in Yemen by the Saudis. The United States is known to have supported this war with military aid. And yet, even after the death of Khashoggi, the U.S. government continues to support the monarchy in Saudi Arabia. Why? Pat Robertson, a prominent conservative, answers it quite plainly: money. Robertson claims that there is $100 million on the line. $100 million that none of the majority (the working people) in the States will never see. It is important to understand that war makes money, but not for me and you. The arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia have filled the coffers of the politicians and officials of weapons manufacturers. There is literal genocide happening in the twenty-first century in Yemen, and the response from heads of state is to shrug it off because they are not willing to lose their money and their dominance over the international working class. Let us show solidarity for the Houthi people in Yemen and make it known that we do not support their war of oppression. In solidarity.
Ethan Costello is a senior majoring in communication, VP of No Victims Self Defense and Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society.