40 Children Killed in American-Backed Massacre by Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Saudis Call Bus Full of Kids “Legitimate Target”—U.S. Lies That It’s Not Responsible

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Update, August 19: It Was an American Bomb!
It was an American-made bomb that slaughtered 40 children and 11 other Yemenis on August 9! Pieces of the bomb—an MK82, a laser-guided, 500-pound bomb made by Lockheed Martin—were found last week by munitions experts and Yemeni journalists. The bomb had been sold to Saudi Arabia through the U.S. State Department.

Yemeni journalist Ahmad Algohbary holds up a piece of the U.S.-made bomb which killed 40 children last week. (Photo: @AhmadAlgohbary/Twitter)

On Thursday morning, August 9, a bus full of children was returning from a recreational outing in Sa’ada in northern Yemen. Suddenly, without warning, it was hit by a missile fired by a Saudi Arabian warplane. The bus was obliterated. Body parts were strewn all over the crowded street: 40 children on the bus had been massacred and another 56 wounded! Another 11 were dead and 23 wounded from the bombing.

America’s and Saudi Arabia’s hands are dripping with the blood of these—and literally tens of thousands more—Yemeni children killed by bombs, starvation and disease from this war!

This massacre isn’t some rare exception, some error: this is what Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed war looks like! They deliberately target civilians—bombing wedding parties, factories, mosques, schools—killing over 10,000, perhaps double or quadruple that. And they deliberately use starvation and disease as weapons of war—bombing hospitals, clinics, markets—even farms and fishermen—and hindering or blockading shipments of food, fuel and medicine.

Saudi Arabia is fighting this war with U.S. planes, U.S. bombs, U.S. intelligence, U.S. logistics, and U.S. political support. American troops have also been directly involved in Yemen. This is a high-tech slaughter from the air that would be TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Saudi Arabia to carry out without U.S. backing and direct involvement!

“The missiles that kill us, American-made,” one Yemeni told PBS. “The plane that kills us, American-made. The tanks, Abrams, American-made. You’re saying to me, ‘Where is America [in this war]?’ America is the whole thing.”

The result: 8.4 million Yemenis have been pushed to the brink of starvation, 20 of its 28 million people need humanitarian assistance, and Yemen suffered the worst cholera epidemic in history last year. Now Saudi Arabia—backed by the U.S.—has escalated the war, including an offensive on the port through which much of the aid comes into Yemen, and is threatening the people of this country with even greater horrors: 10 million more could face famine and death; millions more could be at risk of getting cholera.

This is a war that hits children the hardest—130 die of starvation or preventable disease every single day because of the war. In two years (2016-2017), 113,000 children in Yemen died of hunger or preventable disease. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) calls it a “cruel war on children.”1

Saudi Arabia immediately began spewing out lies—that their strike was aimed at a missile launcher and was a legitimate target. The strike took place in the middle of a crowded market with no military installations in sight. The Saudis claim children are being used as “human shields” in the war. So now, any of Yemen’s roughly 12 million children under 15 are targets?

U.S. military officials say they have no idea if they refueled the Saudi planes or provided the bombs for this particular savage war crime. The Pentagon claims it doesn’t keep track of these things. That’s like Nazi officials saying, “We just put Jews in the cattle cars, we have no idea where they end up.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is pointedly refusing to condemn, or even criticize, the Saudi massacre—a clear signal of official U.S. support.

Think again about these 96 children in a country halfway around the world—96 children dead, maimed, bloody, wounded. What kind of a system deliberately massacres, starves and sickens children? U.S. capitalism-imperialism, that’s what kind.  

For the last three plus years, beginning under Obama and now escalated under Trump/Pence, the U.S. has been backing the war by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to crush the Houthi movement (which represents reactionary, outmoded forces in Yemen). They’ve done this to buttress Saudi Arabia, reassert its hold on Yemen (located at the strategic tip of the Arabian Peninsula), prevent the spread of Iranian influence, and maintain America’s stranglehold on the entire Middle East.

Controlling this region, which connects Asia, Africa and Europe and possesses vast oil reserves, is crucial to America’s global domination. War criminal and former Nixon official Henry Kissinger wrote that post-World War 2 Western prosperity was based on cheap Middle Eastern oil. Saudi Arabia, the world’s main oil spigot and one of the world’s most oppressive, medieval tyrannies, is a key cog in this setup.

Without dominating the world, and the Mideast in particular, the U.S. would not be the empire it is today. The wealth and resources piled up by capitalist-imperialist America have come first from slavery and theft of land domestically, and then from the relentless economic, political, and military domination of the masses of people all over the world. This is what enables the rulers to deliver the spoils—the standard of living—to people in this country that it does. This whole set up compels America’s imperialist rulers—Democrats and Republicans—to back or carry out massive, barbaric crimes like the slaughter of innocent children in Yemen. They NEED to commit these atrocities to keep their whole system going. 

No one with a shred of humanity can remain silent in the face of these intolerable crimes, much less excuse or root for this. Instead, people of conscience should hope for the U.S. rulers to fail in all this barbarity—and many, many more must be working actively now to push forward the movement for an actual revolution, toward the day when it becomes possible to overthrow this empire that has been and continues to be responsible for so many untold millions of deaths and so much suffering.

STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

1. See “America’s Jaws Drip with the Blood of Yemen’s Children -- The War You Haven’t Heard About” at revcom.us [back]

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:8

The remains of the bus that had been filled with children when hit by a Saudi missile. Photo: AP



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