(CNN)Dozens of schoolchildren on a field trip were killed in Yemen last week when a Saudi-led airstrike hit their bus. More than 50 people died; nearly 80 were wounded. Many victims were younger than 10.
Speaking by phone with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a few days after the attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “thanked the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia’s support for northeast Syria’s urgent stabilization needs, its engagement with the Iraqi government, and its offer to help Iraq address its water and electricity shortages,” according to the State Department. He reportedly never mentioned the bombing.
The decision to work with Saudi Arabia and condone its brutality did not begin with the Trump administration. A long string of American presidents has been deferential to this oppressive regime because it is seen as a source of stability in the Middle East, and because it is sometimes willing to do dirty work in America’s broader interests.