Nick Kristof has written another important column on the need to end the war on Yemen, and the most important part is not anything he writes:
I’m giving up most of my column space today to introduce you to Abrar Ibrahim, a 12-year-old girl in Yemen who weighs just 28 pounds. Nothing I write can be as searing or persuasive or true as Abrar is in this photo.
Abrar is starving in part as a consequence of the American-backed Saudi Arabian war in Yemen. Members of the United States Congress are considering measures that would end our country’s support for the war. They should look at Abrar. Her emaciation reflects the reality that United States policies are contributing to the deaths of children in Yemen by the tens of thousands.
The many tens of thousands of innocent Yemenis who have already died from preventable causes over the last three and a half years remain almost completely anonymous and invisible to the outside world. Until recently, their deaths have gone uncounted and unremarked by almost everyone outside the country. That is beginning to change, but the change has come too late for many of the war’s victims. The question before us is whether we will act in time to prevent catastrophic famine that threatens to take 14 million lives.
Despite the great number of unnecessary, preventable deaths caused by the war on Yemen, our government’s policy of enabling this catastrophe has remained the same. Many members of Congress in both houses have been working tirelessly to put an end to that policy, but it has been an uphill struggle the entire time. There has been and continues to be concerted opposition from the White House and the Pentagon, and the Republican leadership in both houses has been unremittingly hostile to every effort to cut off support to the Saudi coalition. It is a credit to the perseverance and determination of war opponents that the war is finally being debated and voted on. There should be a vote on amendments and final passage starting tomorrow afternoon. Things have reached this point only because of continued pressure from members of Congress, activists, and voters, and no matter what happens this week that pressure has to continue into the new year. The Democratic majority in the House will be much more amenable to antiwar resolutions on Yemen, and there should still be enough votes in the Senate to pass a resolution against the war a second time.
When senators vote on S.J.Res. 54 this week, they should all ask themselves the most important questions: 1) why is the U.S. involved in an unwinnable war in Yemen on the side of the aggressors?; 2) why has our government made itself party to war crimes and crimes against humanity?; 3) how can the current policy of backing the Saudi coalition war be justified when it is causing the worst famine in decades? They should look at the picture of the starving Abrar Ibhrahim, they should look at the portraits of the dozens of massacred schoolboys in Dahyan, they should read the account of the massacre of the villagers from Arhab district, and they should look at the picture of the starving Amal Hussain, now deceased, and ask why all of these people were blown up or starved to death as a result of our despicable Yemen policy. There are no good answers to any of these questions. The only sane and decent response to these horrors is to vote to put an end to U.S. support for the war.