All around the world, private companies who specialize in "defense" sell weapons and military technology to a plethora of countries. The United States covets some of the worlds leading arms dealers such as Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing, and Raytheon. This makes it no surprise that the United Staes is also the largest arms exporter in the world. But what is shocking is the clientele the United States allows these private companies to sell to. One of these countries includes Saudi Arabia.
A brief history of the war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen
In 2011 Yemen's authoritarian leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was forced to give up power after tons of protests and uprisings. Saleh stepped down and gave authority to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. But in 2014, after Hadi proved to be as just ineffective and cruel as Saleh there was a rebel movement led by the Houthi Shia Muslims. Soon after in 2015, there was an all-out civil war in Yemen. After the Houthi's started taking over parts of Yemen, Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on them in hopes of getting Hadi more power. The Suadi's interjected because they believed their long rival Iran was helping the Houthis.
The Houthis prevailed though and in 2017, they killed Hadi. The Saudi's and Houthi's war had only continued to get worse and more fatal. The Saudi's have been widely criticized for the military tactics and the amount of Yemen civilians they have killed. The Saudi's have been documented bombing civilian towns, mosques, hospitals, schools, and buses filled with children killing around 12,000 innocent people and displacing thousands. The remnants of some of these attacks, including the school bus, have been from arms of US origin.
The deal between the US and Saudi Arabia
Under the Obama administration, US Arms Dealers got approval to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia to use in Yemen. But after seeing that Saudi Arabia used the weapons to kill large amounts of civilians, these companies were blocked by the US government from selling them any more weaponry. But once Trump came into office he not only reversed the suspension, he issued an emergency authorization for Raytheon to quickly sell arms to Saudi Arabia again.
Why did Donald Trump allow this authorization?
There are a lot of reasons as to why Trump has continued to allow the selling of these weapons, some known and others unknown. What we do know is that Mark Esper, the current United States Secretary of Defense, was Raytheon's chief lobbyist before taking that position at the White House.
The company also created a strong relationship with the White House's trade advisor, Peter Navaro. When Senator Bob Corker said that he was putting a hold on the selling of arms to Persian Gulf nations, Raytheon acted swiftly. Peter Navaro created a memo on the company's behalf to top White House officials including Jared Kushner. The title of the memo was, "Trump Mid-East Arm Sales Deal In Extreme Jeopardy, Job Loses Imminent" The memo, in so many words, said that unless White House officials blocked Bob Corker Raytheon would lay off thousands upon thousands of people. And those job losses will look terrible on the White House.
After this memo was sent, the hold created by Corker was lifted. This happened three times so far and each time the Trump administration intervenes and reallows the selling of deadly arms.
So what does all of this mean?
Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons, and Babies are all still being killed by bombs made by the United States. Not only does the Trump administration know, but they are feeding this evil. And there is blood on their hands.