Nicholas Kristof calls attention to U.S. support for the war on Yemen and reviews its devastating effects:
“The country is on the brink of famine, with over 60 percent of the population not knowing where their next meal will come from,” the leaders of the U.N. World Food Program, Unicef and the World Health Organization said in an unusual joint statement.
Yemen, always an impoverished country, has been upended for two years by fighting between the Saudi-backed military coalition and Houthi rebels and their allies (with limited support from Iran). The Saudis regularly bomb civilians and, worse, they have closed the airspace and imposed a blockade to starve the rebel-held areas into submission.
I recommend reading the entire column. Kristof does a good job explaining U.S. and coalition responsibility for the famine and cholera crises in Yemen and for the coalition’s indiscriminate bombing campaign. He includes photos of some of the victims of that campaign to force his readers to see what our government has been helping the Saudis and their allies do to the people of Yemen. Kristof mentions that he has been trying to go to Yemen for the last year, but like many other journalists he has been blocked from traveling there by the Saudis. He notes this is one reason why the stories of Yemen’s victims are so rarely heard or seen in the West:
Yet victims like Buthaina aren’t on our television screens and rarely make the news pages, in part because Saudi Arabia is successfully blocking foreign journalists from the rebel-held areas.
This is part of the coalition’s effort to conceal its crimes and hide the disastrous effects of their war from the rest of the world. We need more columns and reports like Kristof’s to defeat that effort, and then perhaps there will start to be some significant pressure on the administration to put a stop to the disgraceful policy of enabling the Saudis and their allies in their crimes. The war on Yemen is indefensible, and I’d like to think if most Americans understood the role our government has in making it possible they would be disgusted by it. Before that can happen, people have to know what is happening to the people of Yemen. Kristof’s column is one step in that direction.