Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics: Complicit in Yemen War Crimes

September 16th, 2018 - by admin

Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Alex Ward / VOX – 2018-09-16 01:10:08

Raytheon’s War Crimes in Yemen

Raytheon’s War Crimes in Yemen
Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com

(September 14, 2018) — For more than three years, Raytheon, a major US defense contractor, has been aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen, manufacturing the world’s worst humanitarian crises and profiting upon the bodies of Yemeni children torn apart by their bombs.

Largely hidden from the public, billions of dollars have been made by American arms manufactures in the US backed war in Yemen. As a result, the Saudis are able to deliberately produce massive civilian causalities, using Raytheon’s weapons with the purpose of starving the people of Yemen and depriving them of life saving medicine.

With one Yemeni child dying every ten minutes, without the help of Raytheon, the Saudis would not be as successful as they are now; at the same time Raytheon also benefits from that success, seeing a sharp rise in their share prices, because when civilian death toll rises, so do Raytheon’s stocks.

This can be quite difficult for many Americans to stomach, but the sad truth is that the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen have correlated with the dramatic rise in Raytheon’s share price; in the three years the war has been active, Raytheon’s stocks rose by 94 percent, from $108.44 per share in 2015 to $210.70 in 2018.

Remnants of missiles from Saudis have been retrieved which trace back to Raytheon, hundreds of civilian deaths have been confirmed from these discoveries alone. Considering the fact that Raytheon’s weapons have been used to target weddings, civilian homes, water drilling rigs, and funeral ceremonies, the high rate of civilian deaths is not as surprising.

In April, the Saudis launched a missile at a wedding in northern Yemen, 23 people were killed with the majority of causalities being women and children. The missiles were later shown to come from Raytheon’s factory in southern Arizona, and four days after the attack, Raytheon’s quarterly earnings rose to $633 million for $2.20 per share.

Bombing civilians in order to make the Houthis surrender appears to be the Saudi’s intent. In 2016, a missile manufactured by Raytheon hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, killing 11, including a staff member. Shortly after, Doctors Without Borders was forced to flee the country, making the humanitarian crises much worse.

Despite all these atrocities, the US government continues to supply the Saudis with arms for their assault on Yemen. In 2017 Saudi Arabia agreed to $7 billion worth of munitions from Raytheon and Boeing.

On top of that, the US military is also providing the Saudis with mid air fueling and giving them the exact coordinates of where to bomb. All the while weapons manufactures idly sit back making a killing profit off of the killing of children.

Marcelo Guadiana writes for the Borgen Project and RouserNews, focusing on war and poverty. He is a senior at UMass Boston a B.A. in economics.

The US May Be Aiding War Crimes in Yemen
Vox (December 12, 2016)

The Pentagon Won’t Check If US Bombs
Killed Kids in Yemen. CNN Did It for Them.

The Defense Department first said it
might “never” find that out. Now it says the US military
doesn’t “vet” strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Alex Ward / VOX

(August 20, 2018) — On August 9, the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen carried out a horrific attack on a school bus, killing dozens of people, including 40 children.

When I asked the Pentagon if the United States — which supports the coalition’s effort by refueling its warplanes, providing intelligence help, and selling them explosives — made the bomb used in that attack, the answer was less than reassuring.

“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for US Central Command, told me. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.”

The military could conduct an investigation to find out if that’s the case, but it’s unclear if that probe would ever happen or how long it would take, he continued.

Thousands of Yemenis take part in a mass funeral in the northern Yemeni city of Sa’ada, for the 40 children who were killed in an airstrike on August 9, 2018. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Well, it turns out CNN launched an investigation of its own and reported last Friday that the bomb used in the attack did, in fact, come from the United States.

Per the report, the 500-pound, laser-guided explosive was made by Lockheed Martin, one of America’s largest defense companies that sells weapons to militaries around the world, including Saudi Arabia’s. The State Department approved the sale.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokesperson, told me on Monday that the Defense Department “cannot independently verify what may have been found on site” and referred me to speak with Saudi officials.

But, she noted, “the US is not investigating strikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition,” adding that the Defense Department takes “all credible reports of civilian casualties seriously.”

That’s somewhat surprising, as the strike in Sa’ada that killed innocent civilians is not an isolated incident. A CNN graphic captured by journalist Tim Shorrock on Twitter shows that the Saudi-led coalition previously used US-made bombs from different contractors to kill hundreds of people.

To summarize: The Saudi-led coalition is using American-made weapons dropped from planes refueled by Americans to kill civilians — including children — and the Pentagon won’t look into it.

As Rebarich explained it to me, the Pentagon doesn’t “provide or vet the Saudi-led coalition targets.”

The US Says It Wants an Investigation,
But America Won’t Lead It

On August 12, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he sent a three-star general, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, to encourage the Saudis to investigate what happened in the Sa’ada attack. According to the Defense Department, Garrett has already pressed Saudi Arabia to conduct a “timely and transparent investigation.”

That’s unlikely, though, as a top spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition defended the August 9 strike by calling it a “legitimate military action.”

In the meantime, the US continues its three-year support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen. The coalition, which includes other US allies like the United Arab Emirates, is fighting an Iran-backed rebel group called the Houthis, who staged a coup in 2014 to take over Yemen’s government.

The war has claimed more than 13,500 lives, with more than 900,000 suffering from cholera. Roughly 20 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs — including food and water — out of a prewar population of 28 million.

These are all just estimates, though, as conditions on the ground are so bad that no one can do an official count. What’s worse, the US is helping make those conditions as bad as they are.

The Sa’ada attack, and the images of dead and bloodied children that came out of it, has led to an upswell in calls for America to end its involvement in the conflict.

On Saturday, the Washington Post’s editorial board said the US is perhaps “complicit in a probable war crime.” And on Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a longtime critic of US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, said he’ll propose an amendment to cut off funding for America’s support for the war.

It’s unclear, as of now, if it will receive the necessary votes in Congress, as similar efforts have failed before. It’s therefore entirely likely that the current pushback will amount to nothing — except continued US backing for one of the most brutal wars in recent memory.

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