Monday, January 23, 2017

The Solitary Crusade of Congressman Ted Lieu

"It's very clear to me that there's not enough discussion about what is happening in Yemen and the United States' participation in direct military operations there, refueling jets that then drop bombs on civilians, and that is morally outrageous. If the US was doing this with our own pilots, they'd be getting court-martialed right now...

"So the US has been refueling the Saudi-led military coalition and those [Saudi/UAE] jets go drop bombs in Yemen, and, according to various reports, about one third of these bombs end up hitting civilians nowhere near military targets. They look like war crimes, and I want that to stop, and I believe the US should not be assisting a military coalition that has engaged in over 70 unlawful airstrikes.

"[My] role is to try and get the [US] administration to change course, so I've written multiple letters to the administration. I have met with administration officials. I have participated in hearings on Yemen. And, as a result of my efforts, as well as those of humanitarian organisations, the administration is now doing an internal review of what the heck we're doing in Yemen, and that's a positive step.

"The second thing I'm trying to do is just raise awareness... If you look at the way our system is set up, there is no superpath out there that is advocating for Yemen, there is no lobby raising money for Yemen, and my view is that if I don't speak out against what's happening there, then who else is? It helps national security too, because every bomb that drops with US assistance on a Yemeni child is going to be a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists." (Fueling Yemen's war: A congressman calls out the US for potential war crimes in Yemen, interview with Joshua Hersh,, 18/1/17)

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