Starving Yemen to Death
Reuters reports on the continuing deterioration of conditions in Yemen:
“Yemen is also dependent on imports for 90 per cent of its food. What food and fuel does make it in is then not being distributed to where it is needed, because it is blocked by fighting on the ground,” Britain’s international development secretary, Justine Greening, said this week.
“Thousands of Yemenis have already lost their lives in this latest wave of violence – but millions more are at risk of starving by the end of the year.” [bold mine-DL]
It bears repeating that Yemen’s current humanitarian disaster would not be happening on such an extraordinary scale were it not for the Saudi-led campaign and blockade, and that campaign is made possible in part by U.S. support for the coalition in the form of refueling, weapons, and intelligence. The U.S. could and should withdraw that support at any time, and that might make the Saudis and their allies think again about whether to continue the war. If the blockade remains in place and conditions continue to deteriorate as they have since March, Yemen will be suffering from famine in just a few months’ time. That is just the most horrifying effect that the war is having on the country’s civilian population, but it is also one that could be prevented in whole or at least in part by the lifting of the blockade. Even if the Saudis didn’t halt their campaign all together, ending the blockade would prevent the starvation of millions of people. Unfortunately, there appears to be no pressure on Riyadh to do this, and based on the administration’s record thus far it doesn’t seem likely that there will be any.
The war on Yemen is beginning to get a little more notice in the Western press, but it continues to be one of the most ignored major stories in the world right now. It is not that surprising that a foreign conflict garners so little attention here in the U.S., but it is nonetheless striking that a war facilitated by the U.S. and waged by its clients continues to receive so little scrutiny or criticism. The total silence of so-called “humanitarian” interventionists and other “values”-driven hawks regarding this war continues, but that is probably the least surprising thing of all. It goes without saying that if another gang of authoritarian states not aligned with the U.S. were doing this to one of their neighbors, we would likely be hearing ringing condemnations from members of Congress on a daily basis. When the same thing is done by U.S. clients with Washington’s support, none of our otherwise meddlesome politicians has anything bad to say about it.