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Yemen Faces Largest Famine in Decades Because of Saudi Blockade

The U.N. warns [1] that famine in Yemen will be the largest in decades if the Saudi-led coalition doesn’t lift its blockade of the country’s ports:

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock warned on Wednesday that if a Saudi-led military coalition did not allow humanitarian aid access to Yemen then it would cause “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.”

The scale and severity of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis have made it the worst in the world for years, but the crisis has not generated the outrage or a commensurate international response in all that time. Perhaps the huge numbers of potential victims of mass starvation will finally shock the world into paying attention to the effects of a war that has been mostly ignored. If not, there will be no excuse [2] that the outside world didn’t know what was happening. Yemen’s plight has been impossible to miss for anyone willing to pay attention:

In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called for increased aid to Yemen, citing alarm at the latest U.N. report. ”No one will be able to say later, particularly with respect to Yemen, that they didn’t know what was happening.”

The coalition’s closure of all ports in a cruel and illegal act of collective punishment is already making that crisis much worse, and if it is not ended immediately it will kill a huge number of innocent Yemenis. Seven million have been on the brink of starvation up until now, and the coalition’s action threatens to cause the unnecessary, preventable deaths of many of them in the near future. Millions more are malnourished and will be put at greater risk of starvation as well. The deliberate starving of Yemen’s population should be considered a crime against humanity, and any government that has participated in or supported the war up to this point should be considered an accomplice in that crime.

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5 Comments To "Yemen Faces Largest Famine in Decades Because of Saudi Blockade"

#1 Comment By cka2nd On November 9, 2017 @ 1:43 am

Dan, if the blockade is lifted, even partially so, are foreign governments and international NGO’s prepared to rush food, supplies and medical personnel in? And will the Saudis and their partners, among them the US (and UK?) in the background, allow ships and planes from, say, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia to deliver said aid?

#2 Comment By continuing thanks On November 9, 2017 @ 9:37 am

“”No one will be able to say later, particularly with respect to Yemen, that they didn’t know what was happening.””

… and part of the reason that they won’t be able to say that – part of the reason they may feel at long last compelled to act – is because of people like you, Mr. Larison. You have raised holy hell about this from the outset, and you refused to be put off by the silence of the herd.

God bless you.

#3 Comment By Hunter C On November 9, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

I may not consider myself a part of the right, but it is absolutely shameful that the American media has let their obsession with Trump and Russia obscure this ongoing genocide. Unlike Syria, this barbarism is being committed by a *US client state*. And what do we hear about it in the media? Shameful silence and buried bylines.

Forget mere right and wrong; why aren’t the media and the foreign policy establishment worried about judgement in the court of history and world opinion?

I for one will never really be able to take CNN and the Times seriously as international news sources again after their participation in this conspiracy of silence. The closest analogy I can think of is a trained paramedic sitting by sipping coffee and doing a crossword puzzle while a man is dying of a heart attack in plain view. Just doing his job, even at a mediocre level of competency, would make him a hero to the dying man. But it just doesn’t seem profitable enough to bother.

#4 Comment By AnnaB On November 10, 2017 @ 3:04 am

I am horrifed that the world media has not questioned why, if the Saudis and Iranians want to make war against each other, do they not do it in their own countries instead of using Yemen as a “killing field”? Both countries should be extremely ashamed of what they have done to Yemen and should stop their proxy war immediately and save the starving people there.

#5 Comment By AnnaB On November 12, 2017 @ 6:10 am

Just an aside to all of this: under the regime of President Saleh, there was a pseudo-semblance of democracy. There were elections. Women could drive, work in the market-place, (one was even appointed Ambassador to Holland), and the population, though living on the edge of starvation, was subsisting. After our politics of “Arab Spring” under Obama, you can see the results today…millions dying from starvation. Are we responsible in part? I think, “yes”.

The Yemenis of the South have been historically subjugated to the British and later to the Russians. The Northern Yemenis have almost never been conquered!

Do we really want to reap the whirlwind of what we have done? I think not.