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Listen to Yemenis on the War on Yemen

Yemeni child eats ready-to-use therapeutic food bag in 2017. Credit: UNICEF/USAID/Flickr

The Yemeni human rights organization Mwatana has responded to Pompeo’s obnoxious statement on the antiwar Yemen resolution from last week:

Mwatana is a well-respected, independent human rights organization in Yemen. Their work has been critically important in documenting the human rights abuses and war crimes of all parties to the conflict, and they have documented the use of U.S. and U.K.-made weapons in dozens of attacks on civilian targets. They also provide a much-neglected Yemeni perspective on the war and the U.S. role in it. The debate over U.S. involvement in the war includes Yemeni and Yemeni-American voices far too rarely when they are the ones most affected and harmed by our policy of uncritical support for the Saudi coalition. Our foreign policy debates frequently ignore the experiences of the people who suffer as a result of our interventionist policies, and because of that we add insult to the terrible injuries our government does to them and their compatriots.

When credible Yemeni human rights activists say that continued U.S. involvement in the war is detrimental to the cause of peace in Yemen, Americans and our representatives should be listening to them. We should also be rejecting the profoundly dishonest claims made by the Trump administration and its allies. Note that they say that the only way Pompeo can make the claims that he did on Friday was if he was “completely ignoring what’s actually happened the last four years.” No one can honestly acknowledge what our Yemen policy has done to the people of Yemen and conclude that we should keep that policy going. Yemenis have understood for four years that our support for this war is an obstacle to peace, and it is long past time that our government listened to what they have been saying all along.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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