America’s policy of selling weapons to autocratic regimes like Saudi Arabia is causing the slaughter and the genocide in Yemen, according to Stanley L. Cohen, a US-based attorney and human rights activist who has done extensive work in the Middle East and Africa.
Cohen, who has served as a consultant to Middle East governments and resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and other regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
The Saudi-led military aggression, however, has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. The Saudi war has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.
In April 2019, the US Congress had for the first time voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try and stop US involvement in a foreign conflict. The Congress resolution directed then-President Donald Trump to end support for the Saudi-led war against Yemen. But Trump vetoed the measure, with Congress lacking the votes to override him.
In July 2019, Trump vetoed three congressional resolutions barring billions of dollars in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
UN position on Yemen not different from America’s
Cohen said that “the UN position on Yemen is not terribly different from the United States position on Yemen today or you know anyone's position on Yemen for the longest. As long as the Security Council can exercise veto power over any issue of concern countries that are up against cabals of power for proxy battles are doomed to fail, well not to fail, they're doomed to pain and suffering.”
“So, you have the United Nations, which is talking and investigating and if anything gets in the Security Council gets vetoed. Yet with the United States, which was the last president, there was actually a bill that was passed to prevent the United States from selling any weapons or providing any weapons to Saudi Arabia, that would end up or be used in any way shape, or form for the slaughter and the genocide in Yemen. And that bill was vetoed by the President, they didn't have to vote so to override it,” he added.
“The current president has recently been asked by a number of senators for clarification on whether each complying with their desire that no weapons of aggression are being used or being provided for use in Yemen, and he is contemplating it, reviewing it, discussing it, thinking about it being while it continues to the tune of 230,000 civilians that mostly have been killed. A country with 20 million people, of which 70% are people in need by virtue of the sanctions including 11 million children because as with Palestine, you've got this enormous blockade. That's what another blockade claims and United Nations should be able to see the risk but they're ignoring it,” he explained it.
“They claim that the blockade is limited to weapons. Nevertheless, like with Israel, they are applying it to what's considered dual-use. Somehow, this dual-use means medication and food because if you are medically fit, and if you're eating enough to part then you're able to fight. So, they’re not going to allow for medicine to go in either,” he observed.
“So, once again we have this cabal where whether it's the United Nations indifference because of the refusal for the General Assembly to take any particular actions which they can't take without the power of the Security Council and yet the Security Council with the veto will bring the United States, whether it's the last administration or the current administration, refusing to embargo the sanction to stop the sale and supply of weapons to KSA and UAE and increasingly we're seeing militias and mercenaries from Sudan there, which in effect we're now I guess in year seven and as the world turns Yemen has been one of the poorest countries in the world, being one of the brownest countries in the world. We have this surrogate battle but this is the way the Persian Gulf states and this is the way Israel, this is the way the United States and this is the way much of the Security Council can battle back against they believe Iran because they just can't understand that people have a right, not just the right but a legitimate expectation and self-determination, and this is the notion that people do not see justice and liberation for themselves unless they're working as proxies for others,” he pointed out.
“I find it interesting that Israel could be a proxy for the United States, Saudi Arabia and UAE and Sudan now, could be a proxy for Israel. Not a word was spoken about it. But here we have this cabal which is now directed at Iran and trying to impose maximum pain and suffering and anguish against the people of Yemen who have been involved in a struggle for self-determination against UAE and against KSA, and we've got proxies, fighting, and we've got massive death and destruction. We've got outbreaks of cholera unseen in generations. You've got 230,000 mostly civilians that have been slaughtered. We have 11 million kids that are done,” he stated.
‘Civilians end up paying the maximum price to US wars’
Cohen said, “We're now in year seven because the theory being that the longer this continues on the longer the people suffer. The longer the people suffer the theory is, the less likely the resistance can continue, the less likely that movements that are involved against Saudi Arabia, and against UAE and against Israel and against the United States will be able to continue. But when you have as in the case of Afghanistan, we've got people that are determined to fight Western colonial powers or the surrogates of Western colonial powers. It can go on for decades.”
“As in the case in Afghanistan and Gaza and Palestine, the civilians end up paying the maximum price to the wars and proxies that are designed to exercise maximum damage,” he said.
“I mean there was a period of six months to a year ago when the world was paying attention to half a million dead Yemeni children from cholera to millions that were dying of starvation, to this mass embargo which is directed, particularly in food and medication and rebuilding infrastructure under pretext - under dual-use, but it's passed the law, it's going on, and you don't hear and see much. That's why, United Nations has been able to achieve to avoid the issue that couldn't six, seven months ago. That's why this President is now sort of receded into the clouds again and has refused to answer to Congress what weapons are being provided that are being used aggressively. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia continues using F-35 bombers that are made in the United States as part of a trillion-dollar development project, which plays a role with the funding of Israel, and millions of people in Yemen are suffering,” he concluded.