(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi recently explained that while Americans were enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, the Yemeni province of Badhya “spent much of the day under attack from Saudi jets and American drones, which hovered overhead and intermittently fired missiles from above.”
Americans were none the wiser as they sat down to their Thanksgiving dinners and celebrated the infamous holiday — all while their government was busy killing innocent people all around the world. As the Intercept has noted:
“Congress, however, has never authorized U.S. support for the war, which has caused 10,000 civilian deaths and has spiraled in recent months into one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century. For two years, Saudi Arabia and its allies have imposed a sea and air blockade around Yemen. Now, more than 7 million Yemenis face starvation and thousands, mostly children, are dying from cholera. Coalition warplanes have repeatedly struck crowded markets, hospitals, power plants, and other civilian targets.”
The Intercept’s attempt to bring this issue directly to lawmakers on Capitol Hill was almost completely unsuccessful, further demonstrating how little debate and oversight has been applied to the war in Yemen.
The recent attacks during Thanksgiving killed at least five civilians, yet few Americans even batted their eyelids.
And as Taibbi noted, there is no domestic legal oversight that will save the lives of Yemenis, Iraqis, civilians at large, or even U.S. soldiers in Niger (why are we in Niger again?). Out of the very few cases that have been brought before the American courts, none have been successful because the courts have refused to judicially oversee the actions of the executive branch wherever wartime operations are concerned.
That would only leave Congress as the last remaining check on the powers of the president. However, as Anti-Media has consistently explained, Congress has purposely made itself powerless to stop the president from becoming all-powerful in times of war. As noted by journalist Glenn Greenwald:
“What happened to Obama as a result of involving the U.S in a war that Congress had rejected? Absolutely nothing, because Congress, due to political cowardice, wants to abdicate war-making powers to the President. As a country, we have decided we want an all-powerful president – one who can bomb, and spy, and detain, and invade with virtually no limits. That’s the machinery of the imperial presidency that both parties have jointly built and have now handed to President Trump.”
This has been going on for decades, and as Taibbi astutely brings to light, the fact that Trump has inherited these powers should shake us to the core.
“We spent the better part of two decades making presidents unaccountable warlords in order to more easily pursue ‘terrorism,” Taibbi wrote.
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