From A Concert In Las Vegas To A Funeral In Yemen

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By Medea Benjamin. While Americans are mourning the mass shooting in Las Vegas that so tragically took the lives of over 50 concert-goers, people in Yemen will be marking the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that took the lives of over 140 people who were not at a concert, but a funeral. The Las Vegas carnage was a crime against humanity carried out by what seems to be a crazed lone wolf. The bombing of the funeral home in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, was a war crime carried out by a close US ally, Saudi Arabia, with the indispensable help of the United States.

Left-Right Alliance Against U.S.-Saudi War On Yemen

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By Staff of IPA – Katrina vanden Heuvel just wrote the piece “Congress’s War Powers Must Be Made a Reality” in the Washington Post. She writes: “What does it take to get Congress to act on vital questions of war and peace? The catastrophe in Yemen may test whether Congress is finally prepared to exercise its constitutional responsibility. Four legislators — two House Democrats and two Republicans — have introduced a resolutionunder the War Powers Act demanding a vote in 15 days to end U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia’s devastation of Yemen. “The resolution, co-sponsored by Democrats Ro Khanna and Mark Pocan (the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) and by Republicans Thomas Massie and Walter Jones, requires the ‘removal’ of U.S. forces from the war in Yemen unless Congress votes to authorize American involvement. Beginning under President Barack Obama, the U.S. military has assisted the Saudi campaign in Yemen…“As lead co-sponsor Khanna (D-Calif.) argues, the war powers resolution is long overdue: ‘Congress and the American people know too little about the role we are playing in a war that is causing suffering for millions of people and is a genuine threat to our national security.’“The resolution will force Congress to debate this truly deplorable policy that has implicated the United States in Saudi war crimes while fueling the spread of terrorism.”

Lawmakers Demand U.S. Withdrawal From Saudi-Led War In Yemen

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By Dan De Luce for Foreign Policy – Four lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill that would halt U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen on grounds that Congress has never approved the American role in the war. Two House Republicans and two Democrats submitted the bill on Wednesday evening, but other lawmakers have already conveyed their support for the measure, congressional aides told Foreign Policy. The bill requires “the removal” of U.S. forces from the war in Yemen unless and until Congress votes to authorize the American assistance. For more than two years, the United States military has provided aerial refueling tankers and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition waging war against Houthi rebels backed by Iran. “We aim to restore Congress as the constitutionally mandated branch of government that may declare war and retain oversight over it,” two sponsors, Democrats Rep. Ro Khanna of California and Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to colleagues that was obtained by FP. Although the bipartisan bill is unlikely to secure a majority in the House, it underscores growing concerns over Saudi Arabia’s handling of the war that is now at a stalemate on the battlefield. And it reflects growing unease at Congress over the U.S. role there, following previous attempts by lawmakers this year to rein in arms sales or other military assistance to Saudi Arabia…

Yemenis Mark 3rd Anniversary Of Ansarullah Uprising

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By Staff of Tele Sur – Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have converged in Sana’a to mark the third anniversary of the Sept. 21 Ansarullah uprising against foreign attacks. Demonstrators condemned the ongoing Saudi-led war against their nation and expressed support for Ansarullah fighters and other groups defending their nation, according to PressTV. A convoy of United Arab Emirates, UAE, troops detained by Yemeni forces were paraded before the crowd during the mass rally. Their military equipment had been utilized by soldiers and militias fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Ansarullah movement, sharply criticized Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression against his country during a televised speech on al-Masirah TV. He also warned his compatriots that Yemen’s enemies, including Saudi Arabia’s war sponsors — the United States, Britain and Israel — intend to foster rifts and divisions within the nation in order to win the war. In early June, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed a US$750 million military sale to Saudi Arabia. It included U.S. made missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, warships, munitions and a “blanket order training program” for Saudi security forces receiving the military equipment both inside and outside of the kingdom, according to Reuters.

Half A Million People Infected As Yemen Cholera Epidemic Continues To Spread

A Yemeni child stands outside the family house which was destroyed several months ago in an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition at a slum in the capital Sanaa MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

By Staff of Oxfam – “Yemen’s catastrophic cholera crisis is rewriting the miserable history of this disease. Our common humanity tells us that this massive crisis demands a massive response. “This is no accidental disaster – it is a manmade disaster driven by national and international politics. All those fighting and backing this war need to stop fueling the madness and instead come to the peace table for the sake of civilian families in Yemen. Too many people have died, too many have lost everything they owned, too many have seen their futures put on hold. “In backing this war with billions of dollars of arms sales and military support the U.S. and the U.K. are complicit in the suffering of millions of people in Yemen.”

At Every Door

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By Kathy Kelly for Dissident Voice. On July 18, 2017, at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing focused on “The Four Famines: Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan,” Republican Senator Todd Young, a former Marine, asked officials present if ongoing war in Yemen could fail to exacerbate the catastrophe developing there – one of four countries, along with Southern Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia, set to collectively lose 20 million people this year, one third the death toll of WWII, from conflict-driven famine. Yemen is being bombarded and blockaded, using US-supplied weapons and vehicles, by a local coalition marshaled by U.S. client state Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s near-famine conditions, with attendant cholera outbreak, are so dire that in Yemen it is estimated a child dies every 10 minutes of preventable disease.

Rivers of Blood Action: We All Must Come Together to Stop War

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By Joy First for National Center for Nonviolent Resistance. The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) keeps its focus on the US wars of aggression. NCNR has been acting in resistance to the crimes of our government with its illegal wars since 2003. We are at war in seven different countries today and members of NCNR think it is critical to make the connection between war and all the other problems affecting our world today. With that in mind NCNR planned the Rivers of Blood action – noting that Rivers of Blood flow through the US Capitol as our Congress continues to vote for funding for war. We did a Rivers of Blood action 10 years ago in the crypt of the Capitol and decided to do this second Rivers of Blood action outside on the steps of the Capitol where we hoped we would be seen by more people. Members of our group spoke so eloquently about why we were there. Alice began by saying, “Senator Schumer as our Senate leader must take a stand to stop the escalating horrific warfare that the current administration is waging on some of the poorest, most vulnerable people on the planet. We are devastating entire nations, causing cholera and starvation in Yemen, slaughter of the people of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, threatening war with North Korea. The Congress must not sit by. Senator Schumer has stood up to this administration on other important issues, but we need him to raise his voice to stop these wars, these bombings these drone attacks.”

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even As It’s Happening

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By Luciana Bohne for Counter Punch – Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and Britain, began bombing Yemen, the poorest country in the region, on 23 March 2015—without a Security Council resolution, as has been the tradition for launching western wars since Bill Clinton’s 1999 Kosovo War (the bombing of Serbia). The stated objective of the Anglo-American backing of the Saudi attack was the restoration of Yemen’s US-supported government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s, which fled to Saudi Arabia under the mounting pressure of the Houthi Shia rebels, accused by the United States of being pawns of Iran, or, dismissively, plain Iran-supported. Boggles the mind to think of the blithe moral logic that justifies the support of the United States for a (largely faked) uprising in Syria when Iran is not allowed to assist Houthis in Yemen, fighting an authentic civil war, unlike the so-called Free Syrian Army and their hordes of 80% foreign al-Qaeda and Isis allied invaders of Syria’s sovereign state in 2011. The hypocrisy of empire, one supposes: supporting rebels in one case and the legitimate government in another. For this reason—Iran’s backing—the Saudis blockade the air and the ports of Yemen to check the flow of Iranian arms shipments to the rebels, adding to the infamy of the war the infamy of an economic siege—infamy because the largest number of victims in this tactic to encircle Iran are civilians, which is another tradition respected by the sorry, deceptive War on Terror.

Yemen To Probe Alleged Interrogation Abuses By United Arab Emirates, U.S.

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is among senators calling for investigations into the reports. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)

By Ahmed Al-Haj for Associated Press – SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. A copy of the order issued by Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghr was obtained by The Associated Press. It said the investigation would focus on areas liberated by government forces from Shiite rebels known as the Houthis and their allies. The six-member committee will be chaired by Justice Minister Jamal Mohamed Omar and include representatives from the Human Rights Ministry, security agencies and the prosecution. It will immediately start work and have 15 days to conclude its investigation and report back to bin Daghr. The reports of the abuses were revealed in an AP investigation published Thursday. The investigation detailed a network of secret prisons across southern Yemen where hundreds are detained in the hunt for al-Qaida militants. American defense officials said U.S. forces have interrogated some detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in, or knowledge of, human rights abuses.

The Never Ending US Wars

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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.