18:35 GMT +317 October 2019
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    A jet takes off to participate in the Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, at an airbase in an undisclosed location in Saudi Arabia in this April 2, 2015 picture provided by Saudi Press Agency. Picture taken April 2, 2015

    ‘They Don’t Matter’: US Judges Yemeni Lives as Cheap, Saudi Arms Deals as Valuable

    © REUTERS / Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters
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    After the US Congress tried to ban weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump vetoed the measure. However, the Senate couldn’t muster the votes to override it because those sales are essential to the US economy and foreign policy, a Middle East expert told Sputnik.

    Last month, Congress passed several resolutions attempting to block US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and its partners in its war on Yemen, which has been raging since March 2015. However, Trump shot down the attempt, saying that it would be “undermining bilateral relationships of the United States and impeding our ability to support key partners at a critical time.” He further argued that selling the Saudi-led coalition precision-guided munitions would make civilians less likely to be killed.

    Congress tried to override Trump’s veto, a motion that requires a two-thirds majority of lawmakers. However, the attempt failed in the Senate when only 45 of the required 67 senators voted for an override on Monday.

    Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Tuesday that the Western mainstream media is indifferent to their governments’ support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen because the victims are not judged to be very valuable, whereas the weapons sales to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are.

    “The American regime or system does not want this war to end, and it’s very clear even with the respectable efforts by some in the House and the Senate, the majority of the system still viewed this as an American interest, to continue this war, because at the end of the day, as many American politicians and British politicians, they all talk about jobs. And even media would say this is about jobs, because the more we sell weapons, the more we keep American or British jobs.”

    “This current arrangement was engineered by [US President Barack] Obama. People think, ‘Oh, Obama did nothing about the war in Yemen.’ This is hogwash. They knew before it started, just like the invasion of Bahrain. So this was designed and set so America will take less criticism, because it’s not directly involved, it’s only covertly involved. But the United States and the UK, these two countries were involved before the war was launched. They provided data, and they continue to do so.”

    “When it comes to the Other, the Arab, the brown, the Muslim, it does not lead the news in this country,” he said, explaining why a story about an airstrike on a northern Yemeni market that killed 14 people on Monday didn’t garner headlines in the US. “If this was in another country, maybe it would have mattered. But, it’s the cultural perception of those people that kind of makes the news here. Does it makes the news? Does it make the cut? It depends on how we feel toward these people. Are they important to us? Do they matter, these children? No, they don’t, because they are not American. They are not the same religion, the same language, the same race, so they don’t matter.”

    “Yemen is where the largest number of children have been killed by the Saudis and the Emiratis,” Ahmed told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. “That has not been discussed, this specific issue. This is the largest killer of children in the world today, in modern history, and there is not a single story about that issue in mainstream media. And that tells you - this really reflects how you feel. Imagine if this was in Russia or in Poland or in Israel, for example: you would not stop hearing about it every day.”

    “The United States has never really stood up for human rights, and if they did, they will do it to gain advantage politically or economically. But on matters of principle and morality, they have not. But, they are very good at pretending to be, and a lot of people believe them. In fact … the issue of human rights has been used to commit further human rights violations around the world, because the people who carry the banner, they get to hide under it and commit atrocities while screaming ‘human rights today, human rights every day,” he said.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    military-industrial complex, veto, United Kingdom, United States, arms sales, Loud and Clear, Saudi-led Coalition, Yemen
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