The Aftermath of a Saudi Coalition Wedding Massacre in Yemen

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

The Washington Post reports on the aftermath of the April 23 wedding massacre Alex Potter reported on last month:

The 22 fatalities included 12 of the dancers, four musicians and six villagers, including one who played the lute. Most of the children killed were in the dance troupe.

The dancers all belonged to the Muhamasheen, Yemen’s most marginalized ethnic group. Performing at weddings was among the few jobs they could find.

For 10 of them, only pieces of their bodies were found, so they are buried in two mass graves. “It’s all my family,” said Ahmed Rifaei, 37, a dancer who survived.

The living, too, are in bad shape.

Some of Raqah’s residents have lost their hearing. Children have lost limbs, while others carry shrapnel from the missile inside their bodies. The nearest hospital is in the provincial capital, and most villagers cannot afford the three-hour journey.

The attack on this wedding party is just one of the thousands of strikes that have hit civilian targets over the last three years. There is no possible justification for what the Saudi coalition did to this village. It was a wanton slaughter of innocent people that showed the coalition’s complete disregard for civilian lives. There have been many similar attacks on other weddings, funerals, schools, markets, and homes, and they have all been similarly outrageous and indefensible. The Saudis and their allies have been able to carry out all these attacks with impunity because none of their Western patrons will ever hold them accountable for what they have done.

Providing the coalition with weapons and refueling gives their forces the means to carry out more of these massacres. The U.S. continues to provide weapons and refueling despite the coalition’s many documented war crimes, and our officials then have the gall to claim that US support for the war is reducing the number of civilian casualties. There are simply too many examples of deliberate attacks on civilians like this one that prove that claim wrong. As long as US support for the war on Yemen continues, there will be more of these senseless killings of innocent civilians, and the US will be complicit in causing their deaths.

The Yemenis on the receiving end of these attacks know very well that the US is responsible for enabling the war being waged against them:

Many are also filled with anger, not just at the Saudi-led coalition, but at the United States. “If it wasn’t for the American aircraft, Saudi Arabia would never strike Yemen,” said Mohammed Yahya, the groom’s uncle. “America gives them weapons, and the Saudis hit us.”

The official position that the US is not a party to a war that our government helps make possible is an absurd lie, and the people that have survived U.S.-backed coalition attacks can see right through it. The US should have never been involved in this war, and it is imperative that Congress halt our involvement in this despicable war at once.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter. This article is reprinted from The American Conservative with permission.

6 thoughts on “The Aftermath of a Saudi Coalition Wedding Massacre in Yemen”

  1. I can’t take any more of this sh*t. It’s disgusting, the juxtaposition between this tragedy and Justin Raimondo’s glowing review of the man who made it possible is just nauseating. I love that son of a bitch so much and he slaps me in the face with his moral hypocrisy. I shouldn’t get emotional on here like this. Dead kids do that to me. I can’t be objective when it comes to dead children, especially when some one I respect can’t smell their corpses beneath his feet. I just hope Justin reads this.

    1. I think Justin will explain that it’s part of some grand strategy for achieving a lasting peace. Or that it doesn’t matter, because the alternative (Hillary) would have us at war with Russia. Or (take your pick of many other excuses)…

      1. They all fall paper flat on the fresh graves of dead children. I became antiwar after feeling outraged by stories like this in Iraq and El Salvador (after the bombing of Baghdad I bought a copy of What Uncle Sam Really Wants by Noam Chomsky in search of the truth. The documented stories of Reagan’s death squads scarred me). When it comes to this level of brutality, politics go out the f**king window. The only morally exceptable response is abject revulsion. Everyone who let this happen needs to go to jail.

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