The Never Ending US Wars

End the Endless War

By Tom Engelhardt for Tom’s Dispatch. Here’s a footnote to America’s present wars that’s worth pondering for a few moments. The U.S. Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America’s supply of bombs. The usual crew of weapons makers evidently can’t produce such munitions fast enough to keep up, so the U.S. military is, for instance, cutting into its stockpiles of smart bombs in Asia to send some to the Middle East and Africa simply to keep pace with demand — and, according to recent reports, it may nonetheless be failing to do so. Consider this a longer term problem since, in the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further. Everywhere you look, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria to Somalia, the American military is growing more assertive as civilian casualties rise and constraints of any sort, whether on special operations raids, drone strikes, or the use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, fall away.

In Yemen, Shocked To His Bones

A sports hall destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa (Getty)

By Kathy Kelly for Counterpunch. Yemen stands as the worst-threatened of four countries where impending famine conditions have been said to comprise the single-worst humanitarian crisis since the founding of the U.N. On May 2nd, 2017, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published a grim infographic detailing conditions in Yemen where 17 million Yemenis — or around 60 percent of the population — are unable to access food. The U.S. and its allies continue to bomb Yemen. Jan Egeland, who heads the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), says that seven million Yemeni people are on the brink of famine. “I am shocked to my bones,” said Egeland, following a five day visit to Yemen. “The world is letting some 7 million men, women and children slowly but surely be engulfed…” Egeland blames this catastrophe on “men with guns and power in regional and international capitals who undermine every effort to avert an entirely preventable famine, as well as the collapse of health and educational services for millions of children.” Egeland and the NRC call on all parties to the conflict, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, the U.S. and the U.K. to negotiate a cease fire.

Three Major Famines On Earth. Where Are They?

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By Jack Healey for Huffington Post – To be an American in the world today is to be a citizen of a country rapidly losing its place as a global leader in foreign aid, foreign assistance and even what we once might have considered the moral high ground. There are crises, it seems, in every corner of the globe, including refugee camps in the center of Paris and immigrant detention centers on our own borders. Our leaders are telling us these crises are impossible to solve diplomatically, complex in nature and beyond the scope of what we can or should handle. And yet on April 6, Representative Barbara Lee along with ten other representatives, sent a letter to the Committee on Appropriations with a simple request—money for famine relief. Money for food, for people who had none. Specifically, a billion dollars. The countries they were hoping to assist were places that are geopolitically complex—namely, Yemen, along with South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. Famine in these places has its roots in everything from colonialism to climate change to U.S. foreign policy in the region. Specifically in Yemen, the U.S. has supported Saudi Arabia in its brutal campaign to stop ISIS as well as the Houthis, a Shi’ite minority fighting the Saudi-backed Sunni government.

“If You Take East-Syria, I’ll Take That Yemeni Port”

Yemeni boy walking past mural. by Mohammed Huwais for AFP and Getty Images

By Moon Of Alabama for Information Clearing House – Will the U.S. leave Syria if doing so prevents a Russian fleet in Yemen? The question seems weird but if Russia succeeds with its negotiations in Yemen it will soon have to be asked. A U.S. neoconservative outlet recently published an interesting but mostly unsourced bit about Yemen: Russia is mediating negotiations for a political solution to the Yemen conflict outside of UN channels as a means to secure naval bases in Yemen. Russia is pursuing political negotiations with the UAE and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh by beginning to discuss the future consensus Yemeni government. Saleh’s support for the Houthis is critical for the al Houthi-Saleh bloc to retain its influence across northern and central Yemen. The UAE may see this settlement as a way to halt the expansion of Iran’s influence in Yemen and to limit bearing further costs associated with the Yemeni war. Saleh previously expressed willingness to grant Russia military basing rights in Yemen. This basing would allow Russia to project power into one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the Bab al Mandab strait, a global maritime chokepoint.

Trump’s 100 Days: U.S. Air Campaign Hammers Yemen With Almost A Strike A Day

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By Jack Serle for Nation of Change – More U.S. strikes have hit Yemen in President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office than in all of 2015 and 2016 combined, as the U.S. military takes full advantage of the White House designating parts of the country areas of “active hostilities”. In March and April alone the U.S. carried out 80 air attacks with jets and drones – itself more than double the number seen last year. There is limited reporting on the effects of these strikes because the areas hit are also the scene of fighting between the various factions embroiled in the ongoing civil war. This website is funded by readers like you. Click here to keep NationofChange independent and ad-free. Learn more. However a field investigation by the Bureau has shown at least 25 civilians died in a U.S. operation on January 29 – a U.S. ground raid supported with multiple air strikes. The key findings were subsequently confirmed by field research by Human Rights Watch and The Intercept. The assault came just days after a decision in late January by Trump to exempt Yemen from President Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) – a compendium of policies and rules designed to reduce civilian casualties and limit the circumstances that U.S. forces can strike in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

‘March For Bread’ Protesters Reach Key Yemen Port

People take part in a march, denouncing plans by the Arab coalition to attack Hodeidah, from Sanaa to the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen, Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

By AFP for The Indian Express – Yemeni protesters reached the Red Sea city of Hodeida on Tuesday, ending a weeklong march from the capital to demand the rebel-held port be declared a humanitarian zone. Some 25 protesters made the 225-kilometre (140-mile) walk, dubbed the “march for bread”, to call for unrestricted aid deliveries to Yemen, where Iran-backed Huthi rebels have battled government forces allied with a Saudi-led Arab coalition for two years. Protestors waved flags emblazoned with loaves of bread and chanted slogans demanding the port be spared in the war, which the United Nations estimates has killed more than 7,700 people and left millions struggling to find food. “The Hodeida port has nothing to do with war… Let them fight anywhere, but leave the port alone. The port is for our women, children, our old people,” said protester Ali Mohammed Yahya, who walked for six days from Sanaa to Hodeida. Hodeida, the main entry point for aid, is currently controlled by the Huthis but fears are mounting over a potential coalition military offensive to seize control of the port. The United Nations last week urged the Saudi-led coalition not to bomb Hodeida, the fourth most populated city in Yemen.

Pentagon And Aid Workers Clash Over Planned Assault In Yemen

Flickr/ gregwest98

By Jason Ditz for Anti-War – Pentagon officials have been making clear for weeks that they are eager to directly join Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and have excitedly laid out plans for deeper involvement in the conflict to the rest of the administration, centering on joining the invasion of Hodeidah, a Red Sea port which is where most humanitarian aid enters the country. Hodeidah’s vitalness to the already shaky aid supply to northern Yemen isn’t sitting well with aid workers, or even with State Department and USAID officials, who were quick to note that cutting off Hodeidah to the northern Yemenis would lead directly to a full-blown famine. Officially, the Pentagon is just denying the famine risk out of hand, claiming that the invasion would be “clean,” and that they could deliver the port to the Saudis in just a few weeks. The assumption is that the aid would resume immediately, though in practice the reason Hodeidah is the only port for the rebel north is that the Saudis have prevented aid from moving through their ports into the north, and with Hodeidah would be able to do so even more.

US Moves Toward Major Intervention In Yemen

by Gerry & Bonni | CC BY 2.0

By Thomas Mountain for Counter Punch – The USA, according to Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis, he who ordered the use of chemical weapons in Fallujah, Iraq, is about to take a major step towards direct intervention in support of the Saudi Arabia war on the Yemeni people. According to Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of CounterPunch, this war has already seen 90,000 Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, or one every 12 minutes, 123 a day for two years now. With direct US military involvement it will only get worse for the USA has been limiting its involvement to fueling, arming and target selection for the Saudi military. The UN and the international media claim only 12,000 or so deaths in Yemen but this just doesn’t add up. If there have been 90,000 airstrikes that means that only one Yemeni is killed for every 8 strikes? They must take us for idiots, or more likely, just to ignorant and brainwashed to know better. One airstrike is a big deal, for it involves the use of several thousand kilograms of high explosives, enough to incinerate an entire village. And then there are the cluster bombs in their thousands, and the hundreds of markets bombed…so if only 3 Yemenis have been killed per air strike then we are talking upwards of 250,000 dead Yemenis and counting.

Public Pressure On White House Could Help Prevent Mass Starvation In Yemen

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Yemenis gather on September 22, 2016 amidst the rubble of buildings destroyed during Saudi-led air strikes in the rebel-held Yemeni port city of Hodeida the previous day.

By Mark Weisbrot for The Huffington Post – Shame on us,” wrote Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times last month. “The Saudis have managed to block coverage of the crimes against humanity they are perpetrating in Yemen, and the US backs the Saudis.” He was referring to a Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which now puts millions of people at risk of death from famine. As the new administration approaches its first 100 days, Americans who care about the future of their country have understandably been preoccupied with the humanitarian consequences of Trump’s rule at home. These are things that affect us the most – with “us” including immigrants who live here. Health insurance, the environment, education, climate change, taxation and the budget…

38 NGOs To Trump: Don’t Support Hudaydah Offensive In Yemen

Yemeni boy walking past mural. by Mohammed Huwais for AFP and Getty Images

By Will Picard for The Yemen Peace Project – The YPP, along with 37 other advocacy, civil society, peace, and faith groups, sent a letter to President Trump today expressing our grave concern over the proposed Hudaydah offensive in Yemen. The White House is expected to sign off this week on the Pentagon’s request to increase US involvement in a Saudi- and Emirati-led offensive that would cause extreme humanitarian suffering and risks sparking famine in Yemen, while eroding prospects for a political settlement to the conflict. We urge President Trump to withhold US support and act to prevent the coalition from moving forward with the offensive.

Death in Yemen; Made In USA! Stop the Saudi-U.S. Assault On Yemen!

Yemen refugees return to ruined Aden - Voice of Djibouti

By Staff for Voices for Creative Nonviolence and CODE PINK. Media reports indicate that President Donald Trump is planning a US military escalation in Yemen. The time for people in the United States to act to end the war in Yemen is now. KZ Peacemakers are fasting for a week at the Isaiah Wall at the United Nations in New York to raise a cry against the bombing and starving of the children of Yemen. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence says: “As we fast from all solid foods, we urge others to join us in calling for a humane response to the deadly tragedy facing Yemeni civilians whose country, ravaged by civil war and regularly targeted with Saudi and U.S. airstrikes, is now on the brink of famine.”

Reality And The US-Made Famine In Yemen

Pakistan UN Drones

By Kathy Kelly for Antiwar – This week at the Voices for Creative Nonviolence office in Chicago, my colleague Sabia Rigby prepared a presentation for a local high school. She’ll team up with a young friend of ours, himself a refugee from Iraq, to talk about refugee crises driven by war. Sabia recently returned from Kabul where she helped document the young Afghan Peace Volunteers’ efforts to help bring warmth, food and education to internally displaced families living in makeshift camps, having fled the Afghan War when it raged near their former homes. Last year Sabia had been visiting with refugees in “the Calais Jungle,” who were fleeing the Middle East and several African countries for Britain.

Impact Of US-Saudi War On Yemen: 7 Million Close To Famine

A malnourished baby receives treatment at al-Sabaeen hospital in Sana’a. A total of 6.8 million people are in a state of emergency in Yemen, where a food crisis is causing widespread malnutrition. Photograph: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

By Les Roopanarine, Patrick Wintour, Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Ahmad Algohbary in Ibb for The Guardian – Governments warned they face enduring shame should famine take hold in Yemen, where two-thirds of the population face severe food shortages, nation is near ‘point of no return’ Aid agencies have warned that Yemen is “at the point of no return” after new figures released by the UN indicated 17 million people are facing severe food insecurity and will fall prey to famine without urgent humanitarian assistance. A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency – one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure – with a further 10.2 million in crisis.

Week Long Fast For Yemen Announced

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By Kathy Kelly for Voices For Creative Nonviolence – Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water. Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. Thousands of civilians — no one knows how many — have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation. In December, 2017, Medea Benjamin wrote: “Despite the repressive nature of the Saudi regime, U.S. governments have not only supported the Saudis on the diplomatic front, but militarily. Under the Obama administration, this has translated into massive weapons sales of $115 billion. While Yemeni children are starving in large part because of Saudi bombings, US weapons makers, including General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, are making a killing on the sales.”

Newsletter - The Propaganda Of War

No war We say no to war

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of the disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. An earthquake at sea triggered a large tsunami that overwhelmed the plant and destroyed three of the four reactors on the coast. The cores of two of the reactors melted down and their whereabouts remain unknown. Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds shares photos from his trip last year to the area to document the ongoing radioactive contamination. He writes, “these photos cannot adequately convey the scientific and human impact of the worst industrial cataclysm in the history of the world.” On this anniversary, we face another perilous situation that is brewing. Scientists moved the doomsday clock to 2 and a half minutes from midnight.