Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “How is it possible that 16 years ago, that al-Qaeda is now an ally of America? I thought we hated all terrorists. I thought all terrorists needed to die. The president himself said he was going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism. We’re going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism. So you’re going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism by making friends with radical Islamic terrorists. How’s that going to work?” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I have a story in today’s Pile of Prep. This is just – sometimes I lose words to talk about things because – it just clubs you over the head and you realize that the fall of man really did unleash, it really brought into the world all of the evils that are imaginable and viewable today, and necessitated God sending the Messiah to provide man a way out. Unfortunately, we said: Hey, Mitter God, we got the memo, but we don’t like it. That doesn’t work for us. Michael Horton has this, and I could have gotten this story from any different source or any different place out there, “Why US Troops May Fight Alongside al-Qaeda in Yemen.”
Wait a minute, I thought – let me back up here. I thought these guys named al-Qaeda were the enemies that I seem to recall may have flown a couple of planes into this thing called the World Trade Center back on the 11th of September 2001. I don’t know. They fly a plane into a building, eyes go crossed, they start war in Yemen, they go back. I don’t know. Isn’t there an actual declaration in Congress – I’m pretty sure I’m correct about this. The AUMF, Authorization to Use Military Force, has al-Qaeda in it. I know it does. I know that the reason that we invaded Afghanistan was why? Well, folks, we had to go into Afghanistan to get who? [mocking] “Mitter Church, we had to go into Afghanistan to get the Taliban.” Why did we have to go into Afghanistan to get the Taliban, for what reason? What were the Taliban doing? They didn’t bomb – they weren’t responsible for 9/11. They didn’t send Sayid Jarra and all the rest of them, the other 21, Mohamed Atta and all the rest of them over. Who did? The Taliban had to be dealt with because they were aiding and abetting and harboring al-Qaeda, I seem to recall.
How is it possible that 16 years ago, that al-Qaeda is now an ally of America? I thought we hated all terrorists. I thought all terrorists needed to die. The president himself said he was going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism. We’re going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism. So you’re going to bring about an end to radical Islamic terrorism by making friends with radical Islamic terrorists. How’s that going to work? This is just despicable.
The Trump administration has indicated that it will increase its support for Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The Saudi-led war, which began two years ago, has achieved little beyond killing thousands, destroying much of Yemen’s infrastructure, empowering al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and pushing millions to the brink of famine. [Mike: They are starving to death. These area war crimes that are being perpetrated by the Saudis and being assisted by us.] The war is being waged with few ethical constraints: Saudi Arabia has targeted funerals, schools, factories, and farms. Most recently, a boat full of refugees fleeing Yemen was attacked by an Apache helicopter. [Mike: Gee, I wonder where they got that from?] That attack killed 42 people. [Mike: The era of nation crushing has begun.]
The war has shown Saudi Arabia’s lavishly funded armed forces to be a paper tiger that is incapable of even defending the country’s southern border with Yemen. Now that the Saudis and their chief ally, the United Arab Emirates, have failed to defeat the Houthis, who are allied with much of the Yemeni Army, they want more support from Washington.
The excuse being given for increased U.S. involvement in an incredibly complex civil war is that the Houthis are controlled and armed by Iran.
Mike: By the way, there is no evidence for this, and if there is any evidence for it, it’s flimsy evidence. Even if there were, so? That justifies war crimes, the killing of civilians in Yemen? [mocking] “Mitter Church, these are Muslims. We don’t care about these people. They’re expendable.” I thought you’d say that. You’re probably pro-life, too, aren’t you?
This is a narrative that has been in play for years despite little proof of consistent Iranian . . .
Most recently, U.S. and international media have cited reports prepared by a UK-registered company called Conflict Armament Research (CAR). Their thin reports offer limited evidence of Iranian arms transfers and rely heavily on sources from within the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates—hardly a disinterested party . . .
While there is little doubt that Iran has—at times—provided limited assistance to the Houthis, there remains scant evidence of a concerted effort by Iran . . . [Mike: Again, even if there was – let’s skip down to the bottom.]
AQAP’s fighters will play a role in the coming battle for the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The port, which is controlled by the Houthis, is the lifeline for northwest Yemen. Yemen imports in excess of 90 percent of its food. Before the war, as much as 70 percent of Yemen’s imports passed through Hodeidah. Recognizing this, Saudi Arabia bombed the port and destroyed its cranes. Despite the bombing of the port and Saudi Arabia’s naval blockade, desperately needed humanitarian supplies and food continue to trickle in through the port.
Seizing the port of Hodeidah would allow Saudi Arabia to tighten its grip on the country by starving [Mike: That means killing, starving to death.] much of the population into submission. However, Saudi and Emirati forces are incapable of seizing the port on their own. They have tried and failed. They need the help of the U.S., and it looks like they will get it, perhaps in the form of limited numbers of American troops.
Mike: Again, Rand Paul and Chris Coons and, I’m trying to think of the other guy. Who’s the senator from Connecticut? Chris something or other. They’ve been the only voices, Mike Lee occasionally, from time to time that will do speeches on this from the floor of the Senate and call it what it is. Rand – Chris Murphy, thank you. Senator Paul actually says: War crimes may be being committed and we are complicit. Listen to this. Let me take you back to November of last year or so. As I said, folks, there is a smorgasbord of – this is October 15, 2016, “U.S. and U.K. Continue to Actively Participate in Saudi War Crimes, Targeting of Yemeni Civilians.” This is written by Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept:
From the start of the hideous Saudi bombing campaign against Yemen 18 months ago, two countries have played active, vital roles in enabling the carnage: the U.S. and U.K. The atrocities committed by the Saudis would have been impossible without their steadfast, aggressive support . . .
Most important, according to the Saudi foreign minister, although it is the Saudis who have ultimate authority to choose targets, “British and American military officials are in the command and control center for Saudi airstrikes on Yemen” and “have access to lists of targets.” In sum, while this bombing campaign is invariably described in Western media outlets as “Saudi-led,” the U.S. and U.K. are both central, indispensable participants. As the New York Times editorial page put it in August: “The United States is complicit in this carnage,” while The Guardian editorialized that “Britain bears much responsibility for this suffering.”
From the start, the U.S.- and U.K.-backed Saudis have indiscriminately and at times deliberately bombed civilians, killing thousands of innocent people. From Yemen, Iona Craig and Alex Potter have reported extensively for The Intercept on the widespread civilian deaths caused by this bombing campaign . . .
Mike: [mocking] “Mitter Church, why do you care about this?” I have a better question. Why don’t you? Why don’t you? Our government – I can’t escape it currently. There is no escaping. Our government is perpetrating these crimes. You and I are being taxed to raise the moneys to construct the armaments and pay the salaries of the mercenaries, soldiers, intelligence officials, and the rest of the political hacks that are involved in this. In other words, we have complicity. No one is going to come knocking on my door and say: I’m here from the committee to continue war crimes against Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Can we count on your support again this year, sir? Nobody is going to come knock on my door and ask me, but then again, they don’t ask me about any of the other atrocities that they commit. Do they ask me whether or not I want any of my confiscated from my insignificant wealth tax dollars to go to fund the murder of soon-to-be-born children? No, they don’t. Back to Greenwald:
The Obama White House, through its spokesperson Ned Price, condemned what it called “the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians” — attacks, it did not note, it has repeatedly supported — and lamely warned that “U.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check.” . . .
But what was not known, until an excellent Reuters report by Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay this morning, is that Obama was explicitly warned not only that the Saudis were committing war crimes, but that the U.S. itself could be legally regarded as complicit in them:
The Obama administration went ahead with a $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year despite warnings from some officials that the United States could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, according to government documents and the accounts of current and former officials.
State Department officials also were privately skeptical of the Saudi military’s ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying “critical infrastructure” needed for Yemen to recover, according to the emails and other records obtained by Reuters and interviews with nearly a dozen officials with knowledge of those discussions.
[end quoted material]
Mike: As a matter of fact, folks, it can be said that the United States knew full well that war crimes were the purpose of the arms sale, and the purpose of some of the Saudi attacks. Why? To try to compel and force the Yemenis to surrender. That’s why. Greenwald:
In other words, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner was explicitly advised that he might be a collaborator in war crimes by arming a campaign that deliberately targets civilians, and continued to provide record-breaking amounts of arms to aid their prosecution.
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Mike: This is in October of 2016. What is that, five months ago? Five months ago, $1.3 billion in arms were sold by the Obama administration to the Saudis to continue this. Nothing has happened that has altered that. Now it appears that the Trump administration fully knowledgeable now, fully involved, with full knowledge of this, not only did it continue the arms sales, it’s allowing for an increase in arms sales. Now we’re going to provide troop support? Put the final nail in the coffin of thousands upon thousands of civilians in Yemen. This is the change, this is the aggressiveness that makes America great again? You can count me out.
End Mike Church Show Transcript