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Yemen: A Showcase for Human Ugliness and Greed

What has become of America that was once cherished, respected, and admired by many around the world? Apparently, greed has become the guiding principle of America’s foreign policy. Let me explain!

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s recent approval of continued U.S. support (intelligence and weapons/ammunition sales) for the Saudi-Emirati campaign of destruction against Yemeni civilians defies logic and puts forth questions about America’s moral standing in the world. Interestingly, Secretary Pompeo’s approval of this assistance to the Saudis, despite opposition from higher echelon within the State Department, is a response to a threat of possible loss of $2 billion dollars in arms sales. Is this what America amount to? Greed!

Even our beloved Congress, with a dismal ratings, reflects hypocrisy given how politicians (not all, but a majority) nowadays are more concerned about their political career and what’s in it for them rather than serving their constituents and uphold our country’s principles and moral standing in the world. While we may hear, from time to time, that members of Congress are angry, it’s nothing but political theatrics. The fact remains, which most Americans have no clue about, that the legislative branch of our government (Congress) is controlled by a strong Saudi lobbyist group. Mr. Pompeo’s decision is a reflection of that control, in my opinion.

And if that is not enough reason for you to comprehend the depth and seriousness of this control, let alone be concerned, consider the following: What happens to the lawsuit family members of the 9/11 victims were supposed to file against the Saudi government for its involvement in and support of 9/11? Sadly, Congress swept it under the rug and Americans don’t hear about it anymore. Go figure!!!

It’s not enough for Congress to act like it cares when in reality it doesn’t! It’s not enough to express words without acting in deeds! It’s not enough for the U.S. to claim being the beacon of democracy and champion human rights while contributing to the destruction of defenseless Yemeni civilians. Turning a blind eye on the horrific atrocities committed in Yemen in return for few billions of dollars demonstrates how corrupted our system is.

As one who spent time in Yemen few years ago (in support of the USG), I can attest to poverty on massive scale I witnessed in that country. Of note: Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world.

The amount of destruction and humanitarian catastrophe Saudi Arabia and its coalition is causing in Yemen using American and British weapons used against defenseless Yemeni civilians raises moral questions that demand answers. Yet, Washington’s silence over the atrocities committed there reflects a failed moral obligation as Washington bows to greed while held hostage to the Saudis. What’s a shame!

As I argue in my forthcoming book, Beneath the Veil: Fall of the House of Saud, “The ongoing conflict is turning out to be a humanitarian disaster: famine at unprecedented levels, deaths of civilians, destruction of hospitals, and a blockade that demonstrates the worst that human beings can do to one another, let alone a Muslim to a fellow Muslim. Saudi Arabia’s decisions epitomize hypocrisy and the ugliness of human nature. History has come full circle: Yemen has become to Saudi Arabia what Vietnam was to the United States.”

Mr. Pompeo’s rejection of concerns US Foreign Service officers in the region as well as military experts expressed vis-à-vis the rise of civilian deaths in the ongoing conflict, highlights moral cowardice, foreign policy failure, and lack of strategic vision: That Yemeni kids and those in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others will never forget America’s involvement.

Sadly, today, we are barely a shadow of that powerful nation. Indeed, while Washington under either party speaks as if it is the world’s voice of power and all-knowing authority, we failed to preserve basic human decency and dignity.

When Mr. Pompeo, or an American president – for that matter – speaks on foreign policy, the world and American people hear meaningless bravado, absurd prating about human rights, dignity, freedom, and other universal values. Obviously the only universal value is power — and an endless, self-righteous hectoring that orders all peoples around the world to abandon their heathen ways and improve themselves according to Washington’s dictates.

Stand up for what’s right and enough with this hypocrisy, Mr. Secretary…

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