The ongoing genocide taking place in Yemen has finally provoked significant press attention in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, the media flurry was too late for the thousands who have died of starvation and cholera, thanks in part to U.S. and British support of Saudi Arabia’s blockade and intervention in the country.
The Chicago Tribune reported that over 40,000 children had died of starvation in Yemen during 2017 alone, according to aid groups. Their estimates are likely not exact, and deaths at this magnitude can be difficult to comprehend. To put this figure into perspective, it is only counting deaths in 2017, does not include adult deaths caused by starvation, and does not take into account deaths of children caused by cholera. This single death toll is the equivalent of over 800 Las Vegas shootings.
The Independent wrote: “The death toll as a result of starvation and disease could be even higher, as the calculations were made before Saudi Arabia tightened a blockade on rebel-held parts of the country in response to a missile fired from rebel territory towards Riyadh international airport this month.”
That neither Obama or Trump stopped U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s blockade and military intervention in Yemen is a serious indictment against the American two-party political system . Leaders of both parties have happily signed multi-billion dollar weapons deals with Saudi Arabia. While the bad press surrounding Yemen is deservedly hounding President Trump at present, it is sadly apparent that neither Republicans or Democrats are truly against profiting from death.
Wikileaks’ description of the Yemen Files stated that it covered “both Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (2009-2013) and the first two years of Secretary John Kerry’s tenure… WikiLeaks said the files show evidence of the US “arming, training and funding” Yemeni forces in the years leading up to the war.”
Wikileaks‘ publication of the Yemen files revealed: “…Among other things, procurement of many different weapon types: aircraft, vessels, vehicles, proposals for maritime border security control and Yemeni procurement of US biometric systems.” The files indicated that the US was literally funding/arming both sides of the conflict, profiting very literally from the death of thousands that resulted.
Presidents Trump and Obama both signed $100 billion dollar weapons deals with Saudi Arabia, despite the country’s abysmal human rights record. The conflict in Yemen is usually portrayed as a proxy-war with Iran. The BBC reported that “The stability of Yemen is a priority for the US and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to Saudi Arabia, a top oil exporter, and shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden.”
The carnage began during Obama’s second term, as Glenn Greenwald wrote at The Intercept: “The U.S. assault on Yemeni civilians not only continued but radically escalated… through the end of the Obama presidency, as the U.S. and the U.K. armed, supported, and provide crucial assistance to their close ally Saudi Arabia as it devastated Yemen through a criminally reckless bombing campaign. Yemen now faces mass starvation, seemingly exacerbated, deliberately, by the U.S.-U.K.-supported air attacks.”
Obama didn’t stop at weapons deals, but actually provided “A support package that included intelligence-sharing and logistical support for military operations,” according to The Atlantic.
Slate also recounted Obama’s troubling support for Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen despite the concerns of his own administration. His support has resulted in record deaths from starvation, as well as a cholera epidemic that is so severe that it rapidly eclipsed the cholera outbreak seen in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
This reprehensible policy of carnage was then continued under Trump, clearly demonstrating the lie in media presentation of a vast difference between the foreign policies of former President Obama and President Trump. This author’s collaboration with the Internet Party’s Suzie Dawson has likewise indicated the remarkable extent to which intelligence agencies collectively control policy, sometimes without the knowledge or consent of leaders.
The New Yorker wrote: “The Obama and Trump Administrations supported the campaign by authorizing the sale of more than forty billion dollars of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, and by providing intelligence and logistical assistance, including American airborne tankers refueling Saudi F-16s before they make bombing runs into Yemen.”
The Guardian reported the extent of the cholera outbreak that has crippled Yemen on top of starvation: “The cholera epidemic in Yemen has become the largest and fastest-spreading outbreak of the disease in modern history, with a million cases expected by the end of the year and at least 600,000 children likely to be affected…About 4,000 suspected cases are being reported daily, more than half of which are among children under 18… While there were 815,000 cases of cholera in Haiti between 2010 and 2017, Yemen has exceeded that number in just six months.”
Disobedient Media previously reported that micro-finance and reinsurance groups had descended like vultures onto the suffering populace of Haiti after the outbreak of Cholera. This allowed corporate interests to profit quite literally from death and misery before aid groups had been able to provide basic sanitation.
This instance constitutes one example in a long list of episodes where the very groups who portray themselves as altruistic – in the direst and genuine circumstances – are often just another added exploitation suffered by the most vulnerable populations in crisis.
Disobedient Media has also covered examples of exploitation under the guise of humanitarian aid and NGO groups in the wake of disasters and conflict. Serious scrutiny must be applied to the actions of all entities that claim to facilitate humanitarian aid, especially in context of critically disabled government oversight in the nations where aid is needed most.
The ongoing carnage in Yemen is without question a crime against humanity. This crime wears no political colors and it attaches itself to no ideology. Trump’s continuation of support for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen, begun under Obama, reveals that political division in America is effectively meaningless when it comes to profiting from an economy of death.