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Bloodbath in Yemen: No UN Action for the Peace Laureate’s Pal

Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Friday, March 18, 2011

This just in: spurred on by the United States and Saudi Arabia, the UN Security Council has just authorized immediate military intervention in Yemen to stop the government’s wanton slaughter of innocent civilians engaging in peaceful protest.

The vote came just hours after government security forces in Yemen opened fire on unarmed, peaceful protestors in the capital city of Sana. Tens of thousands of ordinary citizens had turned out for the demonstration, which was part of  an ongoing campaign of non-violent dissent against repression, injustice, inequality and deprivation in the nation, ruled by strongman President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “we cannot stand by and watch authoritarian governments gun down their own unarmed citizens in the street.”  The Security Council authorized a wide range of military actions against Yemen, although an outright military occupation was not authorized. “These creatures who do terrible things to their own people must know they will be held accountable by the world community,” said Clinton, after arriving in Bahrain for what she called “friendly talks” with King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa on “securing stability in the region.”

Oh wait, that didn’t happen. The regime in Yemen will not face military intervention by the UN to stop its slaughter of unarmed civilians. There will be, at most, a few stern words from the Obama Administration urging “restraint on both sides” — even as the Peace Laureate carries on his secret bombing campaigns and covert military operations in Yemen, with the eager cooperation of Saleh. “Restraint,” in the degraded imperial parlance of our day, means that unarmed people should allow themselves to be mowed down by American-backed governments without making a big fuss about it. In exchange, Washington will then publicly urge its local client tyrant to “move” on “the reform process” — even as it sells him more weapons and kills more of his people in its covert ops.

But as the world’s attention was drawn to Libya, here’s what the Peace Laureate’s good buddy in Yemen has been up to today. From the NYT:

Security forces and government supporters opened fire on demonstrators on Friday as the largest protest so far in Yemen came under violent and sustained attack in the center of the capital, Sana. At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 injured, according to a doctor at a makeshift hospital near the protest. …

Government supporters in plain clothes fired down on the demonstration from rooftops and windows almost immediately after the protesters rose from their noon prayers, conducted en masse in the street on Friday. …

A man walked through the crowd with a microphone yelling, “Peaceful, peaceful! Don’t be afraid of the bullets!”

At the same time, a large number of riot police officers massed at the south end of the protest, opening fire with guns and a water cannons in an effort to keep demonstrators from moving further into the center of the capital. …

As the violence escalated, many in central Sana took cover. “Today is the worst day; this is a new Qaddafi,” said Khalil al-Zekry, who hunkered down in his video shop along the protest route.

But you will wait in vain to see a UN Security Council intervention directed at this new Gadafy. Instead, we will no doubt soon hear from the Peace Laureate’s staunch ally in secret Terror War that the slaughter on Friday was “unauthorized,” carried out by “rogue elements,” and that — wait for it — “an investigation will immediately be launched.”

That’s how it’s done when you’re in good standing with the imperial bosses back on the Potomac — and when there is no other potential client strongman waiting in the wings, as in Libya.

UPDATE: The death count in Yemen is now 30, and will almost certainly rise higher.

UPDATE 2: Well, just as we said, Yemen’s “president” — if that’s what you call someone who has ruled a country for 32 years — has denied that government forces were involved in the mass slaughter of unarmed protestors in the capital today. [The death toll has now risen to 40.] The NY Times reports:

At a news conference in Sana, Mr. Saleh claimed that the clashes on Friday were between “citizens and demonstrators” and that “the police were not present and did not open fire.”

The Peace Laureate finally managed to comment on the killings, sternly wagging his finger at his Terror War ally, telling him that he must live up the “set of universal rights” that “the United States stands for.”

It is not known if the President then went down to the war room to watch video of the latest killing of young children and other unarmed civilians by his Predators and Reapers and helicopter gunships in Afghanistan, Pakistan — and Yemen.

Meanwhile, here’s a taste of what his pal was up to in Sana today. From the Guardian:

“They shot people in the back of the head as they were running away,” said Mohammed al-Jamil, an Indian doctor treating the wounded. “Whoever did this wanted these people to die.”

Children were also caught up in the violence.

“My brother is twelve years old, they shot him twice, once in the arm and once in the leg,” shouted a young man through a crackling microphone to a roaring crowd of thousands outside the mosque. “Saleh would rather shoot us all before stepping down.”

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