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Saudis Spinning the Optics of Dead Schoolchildren


It has been a trying couple of weeks for Saudi Arabia. First, a tweet from an account associated with the Saudi government appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack if they continued to "stick their nose where it doesn't belong." The infographic within the tweet featured an Air Canada jet flying towards the Toronto skyline. 

The tweet was part of Saudi Arabia's escalating fight with Canada over Ottowa's mild criticism of the Saudi government's treatment of women's rights activists. It was later edited—the jetliner removed from the graphic—and then deleted. And then, not long afterwards, the Saudi government beheaded and crucified on a public pole a Burmese man found guilty of murder.

Then, on August 9, a Saudi jet targeted and destroyed a school bus full of childrenin Yemen. At least 27 of the students, many under the age of 10, were killed. The children were on their way back from a summer camp. The Riyadh "operations center" responded to the attack by saying that the strike was "a legitimate military operation carried out in accordance with humanitarian law." Criticism from the U.S. and the UK, both of which are supporting Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen and have supplied it with arms, has been muted.

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