When it comes to American intervention in Yemen, even the United Nations is appalled at how American policy has contributed to wide-spread genocide and mass starvation in the small African nation.
“We are witnessing the starving and crippling of an entire generation,” noted United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this past week. “We must act now to save lives.”
While the United Nations has successfully raised nearly half of the $2.1 billion sought for relief efforts, statements from UNICEF and the World Food Program note the growing program in Yemen, where nearly 7 million people live in abject poverty, “not knowing where their next meal will come from and in desperate need of food assistance.”
“If we act now, many lives could be saved in Yemen. We call on the international community to urgently provide us with sufficient funding and to help us avert famine across Yemen,” said WFP’s Muhannad Hadi, according to the statement.
What’s mostly left unsaid, however, is the United States’ role in the ongoing Yemeni tragedy.
In particular, Saudi interference in the region has been, in large part, aided by American efforts. Notes investigative journalist Gareth Porter, the “war strategy of maximizing pressure on the Houthi resistance by destroying agricultural, health and transportation infrastructure and by choking off access to food and fuel for most of Yemen’s population” has resulted in terrible genocide via starvation. At the same time, he says, the United States has “played a crucial role in enabling the Saudi strategy responsible” for the crisis faced in Yemen today.
American policy has been one of, if not outright support for Saudi efforts bombing Yemen, then at the very least implicit in providing diplomatic cover. While the Obama administration at least gave lip service to the idea of defending Yemen, noting that Saudi efforts to control Hodeidah and the Red Sea coast would likely worsen the humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration has openly supported the Saudi offensive that is resulting in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of Yemeni civilians.
While in 2015 the UN Security Council called for “humanitarian pauses” in the Yemeni conflict, objections from the Saudi contingent were supported by the United States, and as such, the mandate failed. As a result, Porter notes, the Saudi strategy “included not only bombing raids that targeted Yemen’s fragile infrastructure for transportation, food production and medical care, but a naval blockade, ostensibly to prevent any arms from reaching Yemen, but also clearly intended to limit severely the population’s access to foodstuffs and fuel.”
Again in February 2016, humanitarian measures were proposed by the Security Council, and again, those initiatives failed.
Now the Trump administration has made it clear, as has new Defense Secretary James Mattis, American policy will be to support Saudi bombing in Yemen, notes The Hill, effectively guaranteeing the deaths of thousands more Yemeni civilians.
Apparently retaining access to Saudi oil is more important to American policy than civilian lives.
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