The 27 million people of Yemen are bound by a geographical dilemma. They are bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea. Iran and Saudi Arabia have chosen to duel out their differences over the people of Yemen, producing a bloody civil war for the past three years. The United States, Great Britain and France have all supported Saudi Arabia with weaponry, intelligence and fuel. The Houthi rebels have been backed by Iran.
That is the scenario of our foreign policy. Somehow in the word game of war we are supposed to understand and accept the slaughter of thousands of civilians caught in the middle as collateral damage.
We are supposed to ignore the human beings trapped by minefields, mortars and airstrikes. We are supposed to understand that 10, 000 killed and millions displaced have some purpose in the great scheme of things.
We are to accept the famine caused by the collapse of Yemen’s currency and skyrocketing food prices. We are to pray for the victims as we learn that nearly 14 million are expected to die over the next few months.
Our government and the governments of the world would like us to continue to believe there is nothing we can do. But the violent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has started to wake us again to the realization that we must fight for human rights and human dignity.
Squeezing Iran with sanctions and continuing arms sales to the Saudis are not the ways to peace. It only ensures war will continue.
One year ago it was projected that 50, 000 Yemenis’ children would die by year’s end – today the projections are that 5 million may die. What will it take for our nation’s people to rise up for peace? To rise against our government’s insistence on war over diplomacy?
It is time we stand for peace at all costs.
This piece aired Nov 15 on WDRT. You can listen to it here on Soundcloud.
This is the most current update on our government’s refusal to get out of Yemen.