The US Is Aiding and Abetting Saudi Atrocities in Yemen

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

There have been dozens of Saudi coalition airstrikes on civilian vehicles in Yemen this year, and coalition investigations almost never fault coalition forces:

The bombing of a bus full of schoolchildren last week was just one of more than 50 airstrikes against civilian vehicles by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen so far this year, according to new data.

The data also shows that the monitoring body set up in Riyadh purportedly to investigate incidents of civilian casualties has supported the Saudi military version of events in almost every case.

The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) has not issued comprehensive statistics but has instead issued periodic press statements. And according to an analysis by Human Rights Watch (HRW), out of 75 incidents where civilian casualties were reported, JIAT has admitted Saudi rules of engagement may have been broken in only two.

The frequency of coalition attacks on these vehicles confirms their blatant disregard for civilian lives that we have seen repeated again and again over the last three years. As the Yemen Data Project has shown, at least close to a third of coalition strikes hit civilian targets in the last year. That figure has been consistent for the last several years. The number of civilian vehicles attacked by the coalition this year is higher than the year before, so that should put to rest the idea that the U.S. has done anything to “improve” how coalition conducts itself in this war. There can’t be measurable improvement in protection of civilians when all signs keep pointing to the coalition’s frequent, deliberate targeting of civilian vehicles and structures. Perpetrators can’t be trusted to investigate themselves, and the Saudi coalition has proven to be most untrustworthy. When the US and U.N. allow the Saudi coalition to investigate their own crimes, they are aiding the Saudis and their allies in covering up massacres.

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The Trump-Media Logrolling by Sam Husseini

Journalist Sam Husseini, reporting for The Nation magazine, displays a sign before being forcibly removed from a press conference after U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met Monday at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Today, hundreds of newspapers, at the initiative of the Boston Globe, are purporting to stand up for a free press against Trump’s rhetoric.

Today also marks exactly one month since I was dragged out of the July 16 Trump-Putin news conference in Helsinki and locked up until the middle of the night.

As laid in my cell, I chuckled at the notion that the city was full of billboards proclaiming Finland was the “land of free press“.

So, I’ve grown an especially high sensitivity to both goonish behavior toward journalists trying to ask tough questions – and to those professing they are defending a free press when they are actually engaging in a marketing exercise.

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Ron Paul Interviews Sen. Rand Paul on His Recent Trip To Russia

Ron Paul Liberty Report host Ron Paul is joined by his son, Sen. Ron Paul (R-KY), to discuss the Senator’s recent trip to Russia. What was discussed? Where is this new dialogue going? Will Sen. Paul’s efforts pay off and result in better relations? Or will the neocons, Democrats, and deep state continue to collude to invent a new Cold War? Join today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Fool’s Errand Turns 1

My book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan came out a year ago today. It was good timing since I knew that Trump was about to launch his first escalation there and that other than that, the status quo would hold: the Taliban would continue to slowly retake the country-side, they would attack major cities and Afghan National Army outposts, while never staying long enough to get their fixed positions bombed to oblivion by U.S. B-1s, and the national government in Kabul would continue to hang on by a thread and another pallet of U.S. cash.

(I had to revise the text after only one week to change all of my future tense claims about what Trump was going to do with past tense reports of what he had just done. So some of you who bought the book right away may have the rare collectors item version, which is also worth $20.00.)

Everything I wrote about how it’s not too late for Trump to turn around and blame the failure of this war all on Big-Dummy Bush Jr., and Big-Weakling Obama (and go ahead and throw Petraeus and McMaster under the bus while he’s at it) remains true. Trump has a way of unapologetically flip-flopping around on all kinds of things and getting away with it, and we all know from his history that he really does know better than to keep fighting this horrible war in the first place. If the Kabul government cannot stand after 17 years of support by the U.S., then that proves it does not have the support of the Afghan people. The Pashtun tribesmen are not our enemies, just because stupid idiot Bush and wimp loser Obama say they are. War’s lost. Come home. No deal necessary. Just leave. He’d be Trump the Great, for a day. That’s my take, anyway.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped me write the book, have given it so many great reviews and had me out to their events to speak about it and such. (I even got on C-SPAN).

My favorite review of the book is by Adam House, a veteran of the Korengal Valley campaign and now a friend of mine too: Fool’s Errand: Under Review.

Cross-posted at the Libertarian Institute.

Trump Strikes Back at ‘Ringleader’ Brennan

There’s more than meets the eye to President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearances that ex-CIA Director John Brennan enjoyed as a courtesy customarily afforded former directors. The President’s move is the second major sign that Brennan is about to be hoist on his own petard. It is one embroidered with rhetoric charging Trump with treason and, far more important, with documents now in the hands of congressional investigators showing Brennan’s ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump both before and after the 2016 election.

Brennan will fight hard to avoid being put on trial but will need united support from from his Deep State co-conspirators – a dubious proposition. One of Brennan’s major concerns at this point has to be whether the “honor-among-thieves” ethos will prevail, or whether some or all of his former partners in crime will latch onto the opportunity to “confess” to investigators: “Brennan made me do it.”

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Trump Ignores Congress’ Yemen Conditions

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

Trump signed the new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. Among other things, the bill contained provisions that place conditions on U.S. support for the Saudi coalition. The president made clear in his signing statement that he was going to ignore any limitations Congress tried to put on US backing for the coalition’s war effort:

The signing statement singles out several provisions which Trump argues would restrict his control in ways he believes are needed for “military missions,” and inconsistent with his “constitutional authority as Commander in Chief.”

Trump suggested that he’d ignore all the limitations placed on the Yemen War, and objected to providing an assessment on war crimes to Congress, saying it violates executive privilege.

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