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Yemen’s Humanitarian Catastrophe: The Most Important Story in the World

The New York Times calls [1] on the Trump administration to pressure the Saudis and their allies to lift their blockade and support a cease-fire:

For starters, the Saudis could fully lift the blockade and challenge the Houthis and the Iranians to join in an immediate unconditional cease-fire. This is just the sort of opening Mr. Trump could be urging; if he has the kind of relationship with the Saudis that he boasts about, he might get them to listen — and save countless Yemini lives in the bargain.

Western governments have been making more noise [2] about the blockade lately, but there is no hint that any of them intends to reduce support for the war on Yemen in the meantime. That support continues to enable indiscriminate coalition attacks that kill civilians. Just this week, dozens more civilians [3] were killed [4] by coalition bombing. Earlier this month, another ten women and girls in wedding procession were killed [5] when they were hit by a coalition air strike. These attacks are part of a pattern of striking civilian targets, and they are just some of the war crimes that the Saudi-led coalition has committed over the last two and a half years.

The NYT editorial rightly chides the Trump administration for its failure to criticize the Saudis and their allies for their serious crimes in Yemen, but as long as the U.S. continues to enable those crimes any criticism Washington makes will have little effect. The Saudi-led coalition takes for granted that it can act with impunity in Yemen, and thus far Trump has given them every reason to believe that they will be allowed to continue indefinitely. The administration’s fixation on alleged Iranian missiles tells Riyadh that our officials are going to ignore the coalition’s much worse crimes just as Washington has done since the intervention began.

Conditions in Yemen have worsened significantly with every passing year. The country’s humanitarian crisis was already one of the world’s worst by the end of 2015, and by this time last year it had eclipsed every other catastrophe on the planet. Today the multiple, overlapping disasters of mass starvation and a record-setting cholera epidemic easily make the suffering of Yemen’s civilian population the largest crisis and most important story in the world. More than eight million people are on the verge of famine, and at least another nine million don’t have enough to eat. Over one million have contracted cholera, and that number will keep rising if things remain as they are. All of this has come about in large part because of the deliberate choices of the Saudi-led coalition and their Western patrons, including the U.S., and much of it could still be remedied if the same governments changed their policies toward Yemen. The fact that the crisis only keeps getting worse with the active, knowing participation of many of the world’s leading governments is an indelible stain on their records and a mark of lasting shame for the whole world.

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "Yemen’s Humanitarian Catastrophe: The Most Important Story in the World"

#1 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On December 28, 2017 @ 8:25 am

I appreciate your moral clarity on this issue Daniel. If only more people would listen.

#2 Comment By disgusted On December 28, 2017 @ 9:06 am

“The fact that the crisis only keeps getting worse with the active, knowing participation of many of the world’s leading governments is an indelible stain on their records and a mark of lasting shame for the whole world. “

Yes. Obama’s Nobel should be ripped off the wall and melted down. I watched him hobnobbing with one of the Brit royals yesterday. What a guy. Enabler of the biggest war crime of the 21st century, sitting back chuckling and joshing, enjoying what he doubtless regards as well-earned retirement. I thought of Stalin’s creep jocularity. It made me retch.

And now Trump, the great swamp-drainer, the great reverser of Obama’s policies, yet so gutless in the face of the Saudi and Israeli lobbies that he can’t bring himself to reverse the worst Obama policy of all.

#3 Comment By Stephen J. On December 28, 2017 @ 11:58 am

Daniel Larson should be commended for continually exposing what is happening in Yemen.
I believe Yemen is a victim of “The Demons of “Democracy.”
December 28, 2017
The Demons of “Democracy”

The demons of “democracy” speak of “peace”
While their selling of weapons does not cease
Hypocrites from hell who posture on the world stage
When they should be in a gigantic prison cage

Evil reprobates in positions of power
Anything that’s good they devour
Destroying countries and families too
This is the satanic work they do

Fancy titles are given to their names
Such is the state of a system insane
Madness and filth has become “normal”
Nobody speaks or asks: “Is it moral”?

Principals and ethics, they are of them, devoid
Speaking of decency and truth has them annoyed
Pimping for war is their diabolical expertise
Killing and bombing is the forte of this demonic sleaze

Training and supporting terrorists, they do this as well
Will nobody arrest this treacherous crew from hell?
These people are devils and full of hypocrisy
We need to be freed from these, demons of “democracy”…

[much more info at link below]


#4 Comment By Alex Ingrum On December 28, 2017 @ 1:17 pm

Thank you, Daniel Larison, for keeping us informed about this crime against humanity.

I keep writing to and calling my Congressional Rep and my Senators about ending U.S. military and financial support for this war, but no one seems to care.

And then we naively ask over and over again why ‘they’ hate ‘us’.

#5 Comment By Cynthia McLean On December 28, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

I agree entirely. Unfortunately, you seem to be the only writer who regularly addresses the obscenity of the utter destruction of Yemen and it’s people by Saudi Arabia and its enablers, including the US, UK and Canada, which sell billions$$ of weaponry to S.A. without conditions. I follow a great deal of news and sure would like to see the Washington Post,NBC, MSNBC, PBS, CNN, New York Times etcetcetc put Yemen on the front page, without crocodile tears for the “poor victims.”

#6 Comment By David Smith On December 31, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

Although the news media are now starting to speak out on the Yemen disaster–even the Washington Post had an editorial–they are all silent on the U.S. involvement.