The rule of law or CIA coup, it’s pretty obvious (1)
The process underway to impeach Donald Trump was long overdue against an incompetent, lawless and crises-creating president, who has been a disgrace to the U.S. and a terrorist disturbing the peace and stability of world countries.
The following is part one of a two-part article by Scott Horton, the Editorial Director of Antiwar.com, and Director of the Libertarian Institute, titled: “The rule of law or CIA coup, it’s pretty obvious”.
He’s the author of the book “Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan”.
Americans should support the impeachment and removal of President Donald Trump, but not merely for Ukrainegate.
Trump’s real offense is waging an un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and for-real genocidal war against the human beings of Yemen. His war crimes in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iraq have at least taken place in conflicts supposedly authorized by Congress, making the legal cases against actions there somewhat more complicated.
But in Yemen, no law, only presidential orders, have authorized American military, spies, arms merchants and mercenaries to “lead from behind” in this disastrous war of the so-called “Saudi-led coalition” against the civilian population there.
The previous Yemen war, the CIA and air force drone war against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which began in 2009, the lawyers argued, was legal under the Authorization to Use Military Force against the group that attacked the United States on September 11th 2001. They were, after all, involved in the attack, and had previously bombed the USS Cole in 2000. Of course that drone war only backfired, empowering the al-Qaeda enemy by radicalizing the local population. It turns out a 500-pound bomb isn’t a “scalpel” in real life, like they say in Washington.
But this is not that war. This is the war that President Barack Obama and the then Saudi Deputy Heir Apparent and Defense Minister Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) started back in March 2015. It’s not a war against AQAP at all. In fact, from the very beginning it’s been a war for AQAP and their allies against the Ansarallah Movement of Zaidi Shi’ite Muslim tribes from the north of the country who took possession of the capital city of Sana’a at the end of 2014.
Strikes against AQAP have continued as well, mostly to bad effect. But even the blowback from that failed policy amounts to nothing compared to the gains al- Qaeda has made from fighting on what is now America’s side in the war, mostly due to their association with the mercenary forces of the United Arab Emirates, a major partner in the U.S.-led coalition.
By the time Obama switched to their side in the war, AQAP had also inspired the Ft. Hood massacre, attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit, launched an attempted bomb attack on a U.S. cargo plane and massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France in January 2015.
That same January, Obama’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Gen. Michael Vickers, announced that the U.S. was working with the new rulers against al-Qaeda. Just two months later, Barack Obama betrayed the Ansarallah and sided with al Qaeda against them.
And let’s get it straight. America is the “Superpower”; Saudi Arabia is our client state. Obama didn’t have to do anything. In fact, to hear his war cabinet tell it, they can barely remember starting the war at all.
Robert Malley, Obama’s coordinator for West Asia, North Africa and the Persian Gulf Region, recently wrote (get this):
“Why the U.S. got entangled in this war — and why a president so determined to keep the country out of another military mess nonetheless got caught in this one — makes for a painful a story. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia came to the U.S. with a request for support in a campaign it vowed to conduct regardless. After that, and although events took place a mere four years ago, memories blur. In conversations, many former U.S. officials found it hard to recall what precisely the Saudis asked for, what specific commitments the administration made in response, and when certain types of assistance started to flow. Some, including one of us who attended the deliberations, recall a deeply ambivalent president who greenlighted U.S. support but insisted it be confined to the defense of Saudi territory and not extend to the war against the Ansarallah. Others don’t recall hearing about that instruction, and struggle to reconcile it with what the U.S. actually did during the war — including refueling coalition sorties and replenishing weapons stocks.”
This is indeed laughable. Robert Malley further said: “Yet all agree the decision ultimately came without much debate. The reason, at bottom, was straightforward: Here was a partner (Saudi Arabia) seeking help in restoring a government (that of ousted President Hadi Mansour). That government had been toppled by Ansarallah; although the extent of its ties to Iran was debatable and debated, their existence was indisputable. Plus, all this came at a time when relations between Washington and Riyadh already were deeply damaged by disagreements over the Obama administration’s response to the Arab uprisings and, even more so, its negotiations over a nuclear deal with Tehran.”
Poor helpless President of the United States of America. The Ansarallah “existence was indisputable.” What could Obama possibly do at that point than stab them, his actual anti-al Qaeda allies, in the back and take MBS and Ayman az-Zawahiri’s side against them? It is high treason MBS wants, it is high treason he gets.
So this treasonous war is unauthorized and therefore un-Constitutional. It’s also a war that is in violation of the War Powers Resolution, and not only technically speaking. Lo and behold the unbelievable fact that both houses of the U.S. Congress have voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution, demanding an end to the war. They even passed the same version at the same time and sent it to the president’s desk earlier this year. He ‘vetoed’ it. So the unauthorized, unconstitutional, treasonous war is also in the narrow sense, illegal.
But what’s this about genocide? That could fall under the War Crimes Act. That’s exactly what it is.
The strategy of the U.S.-Saudi campaign has been to target Yemen’s water, electric and sewage systems, hospitals, markets and farms – where they bomb the grain silos, flocks of sheep in the field, irrigation systems and whatever else they can target to destroy the basic infrastructure supporting the lives of the civilian population, especially in the north of the country. During the last world’s worst cholera outbreak in history before the current one, the U.S.A. and their Saudi friends bombed the cholera hospitals just to be sure to kill as many babies as possible.
All the while the U.S. Navy helps the Saudis and UAE keep the place under blockade, preventing virtually all international trade, and limiting the availability of humanitarian aid.
The most powerful nation in world history, barely hiding behind its proxy, is decimating the poorest, weakest country in West Asia.
Yemen is not a country that ever attacked us or threatened the U.S. Even the Ansarallah’s anti-American slogans were only adopted to embarrass their then-enemy and later-ally, dictator Abdullah Saleh, for being so close to the George W. Bush administration in the 2000s.
As referenced above, the Ansarallah were helping the Obama government fight al- Qaeda at the time he started bombing them. And he only did it to “placate the Saudis” over their unease about the possibility of a new (absolutely out of the question) American slant back toward Iran while negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal.
The latest numbers from the group ACLED Data have it that over 100,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war, while the UN recently said that more than 133,000 additional people had died in the war due to deprivation (starvation, otherwise easily treatable diseases, etc.). This includes 85,000 children under 5 years old, many thousands of whom died of cholera. That is, they vomited and defecated themselves to death.
[Insert mental image of a young child you know and love dying that way and you being absolutely unable to do anything about it here.]
From the very beginning it was known that this very poor country was heavily dependent on foreign food imports for their survival and that the state of war would immediately propel masses to famine. And so it has.