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U.S. Support for the Appalling War on Yemen Continues

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazettedenounces U.S. support for the war on Yemen once again:

Of the six wars that the United States is involved in around the world, Yemen is surely the most appalling, for at least three reasons.

The first is the state that Yemen has been reduced to. It was the poorest country of the Middle East even before the war started more than two years ago. Now, its cities demolished by years of U.S.-backed bombing by Saudi Arabia, it has experienced an estimated 16,200 deaths, many of them children and other civilians. It is now in the grip of a cholera epidemic, with an estimated 500,000 victims. And there is widespread malnutrition.

The Post-Gazette editors are absolutely right to single out U.S. involvement in this war as the worst of our current wars, and I applaud them for continuing to call attention to the plight of Yemen’s people. Relatively few papers have published editorials about the war at all, and even fewer have consistently spoken out against it as the Post-Gazette has done. I often mention how little coverage the war receives in Western media compared to the severity and scale of the country’s humanitarian crisis that the war has created, but this is one of the admirable exceptions. If more editorial boards and news outlets followed their example, perhaps more Americans would understand the terrible and indefensible role our government is playing in the wrecking and starvation of Yemen.

All that I would add here is that it is important to emphasize that the Saudi-led coalition war and blockade are the chief causes for famine and cholera crises in Yemen. The blockade is a major reason why both crises are as severe as they are, and it is why it is so difficult to combat both of those crises. The U.S. and Britain have backed the bombing campaign and blockade from the very start, and that support has remained constant despite ample evidence of coalition war crimes and the enormous suffering that the intervention has caused and continues to cause. No discernible American interest has been served by any of this, and our government has made us the enemy of tens of millions of innocent Yemenis who have never done anything to us.

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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