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.
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.
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.”
By Alex Emmons for The Intercept. THE PENTAGON’S TOP Middle East commander told Congress on Thursday that he found no signs of “poor decision-making or bad judgment” in a January raid in Yemen that killed 10 children and at least six women, as well as Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. “I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation,” said Gen. Joseph Votel. Earlier on Thursday, The Intercept published its own investigation of the raid based on eyewitnesses, including a 5-year-old who described how his mother was gunned down while trying to flee what other family members said was indiscriminate gunfire from a helicopter. The White House has tried to shame the raid’s critics into silence.
By Jonathan Marshall for Consortium News – Only a few months ago, interventionists were demanding a militant response by Washington to what George Soros branded “a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions” — the killing of “hundreds of people” by Russian and Syrian government bombing of rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo. Leon Wieseltier, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former New Republic editor, was denouncing the Obama administration as “a bystander to the greatest atrocity of our time,” asserting that its failure to “act against evil in Aleppo” was like tolerating “the evil in Auschwitz.” How strange, then, that so many of the same “humanitarian” voices have been so quiet of late about the continued killing of many more innocent people in Yemen, where tens of thousands of civilians have died and 12 million people face famine.
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.
By William Boardman for Reader Supported News – On December 13, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power offered up yet another stark exercise in imperial deceit, shedding crocodile tears for those suffering in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, while continuing her strategically amoral silence about much greater suffering in the country of Yemen. The basis for this unconscionable choice is simple. Russia, Syria, and Iran are attacking Aleppo. The carnage in Yemen is led by Saudi Arabia, allied with eight other Sunni Muslim states (supported by another seven countries including Canada, UK, France, and Turkey) – but this 16-state war of aggression would be impossible without the exceptional 17th enemy of Yemen, the US…
By William Maclean for Reuters – An air strike on a funeral gathering, widely blamed on Saudi-led warplanes, poses more trouble for a Western-backed Arab campaign against Yemen’s Houthis that has long been criticized for civilian losses. The White House announced an immediate review of Washington’s support for the 18-month-old military push after planes hit mourners at a community hall in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, killing 140 people, according to one U.N. estimate and 82 according to the Houthis.
By Staff of RT – The conflict in Yara’s homeland has been raging for over a year and a half and has been worsened by often indiscriminate airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebel forces. The Saudis and their allies are trying to restore the Riyadh-backed government of the exiled Yemen president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
By Staff of Press TV – Millions of people have rallied in Yemen to voice their strong support for a political body recently formed to run the country in the face of a Saudi military campaign to reinstate a former president. People took to the streets in the capital in their millions before converging on a main square to support the Supreme Political Council, formed after peace talks with the Saudi side broke down recently. They waved national Yemeni flags and chanted slogans like “We will sacrifice our souls and blood for the sake of Yemen,” as patriotic songs played.
By Lizzie Dearden for The Independent – The United Nations has blacklisted the Saudi-Arabia led coalition for killing and maiming thousands of children in Yemen. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General, said intensive bombardment had taken a “devastating toll” on the civilian population as a civil war continues to rage between the Yemeni government, Houthi rebels, al-Qaeda and Isis.
By Jason Ditz for Anti War – Hot on the heels of yesterday‘s admission that the US has become militarily involved in a second war inside Yemen, this time between the pro-Saudi faction and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Pentagon officials are also admitting that US ground troops have been deployed inside Yemen, and have been operating there for the past two weeks. The US had previously withdrawn all of its ground troops from Yemen after the ouster of President Hadi by the Shi’ite Houthis in early 2015…
By Alex Emmons and Zaid Jilani for The Intercept – SAUDI ARABIA AND the other Arab states that form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been brutally bombing Yemen for more than a year, hoping to drive Houthi rebels out of the capital they overran in 2014 and restore Saudi-backed President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The United States has forcefully backed the Saudi-led war. In addition to sharing intelligence, the U.S. has sold tens of billions of dollars in munitions to the Saudis since the war began.