After almost a year of civil war, the conflicting forces in Yemen sat down on December 15 in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the prospect of finding a political solution to the conflict that has been raging since March 2015. While this is a necessary step towards ending the violence that has killed thousands, crippled infrastructure and led to a critical humanitarian crisis, the peace talks should include a mechanism for rebuilding this impoverished nation. Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for most of the destruction with its relentless bombings, should be forced to pay for the terrible damage it has wrought. So should the United States.
The U.S. involvement in the Yemen crisis can be summed up in four words: allegiance to Saudi Arabia. The United States’ problematic relationship with Saudi Arabia goes all the way back to World War II, when U.S. officials started to see Saudi’s oil as a strategic advantage. Since then, the U.S. has blindly supported the Kingdom in almost every political and economic effort, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is an ultraconservative Islamic monarchy rife with human rights abuses.