The Yemen Crisis was the most under reported event of 2017. That is very surprising, given the fact, it is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. The only time I remember Yemen mentioned when Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN held a press conference early in December at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington DC.
In the background, a charred remains of a short range ballistic missile was on display. She stated that it was recovered in Yemen by our allies. The missile was fired by Houthi rebels and it was intended to hit King Khaled Riyadh airport.
The missile was intercepted shortly before impact.
– “I repeat, the missile was used to attack an international civilian airport in a G20 country.”
A component on the missile bears the logo of an Iranian defense contractor, providing “undeniable evidence”, “the smoking gun” that Iran supplied the missile to insurgents in Yemen.
– “When you look at this missile, it is absolutely terrifying, these weapons might as well have had Made in Iran stickers.”
This means that Iran has violated UN resolutions. Ambassador Haley called on the international community to join a “united front in resisting this global threat”.
– “The fight against Iranian threat is the world’s fight.”
There is just one thing…a panel of UN experts that reviewed fragments of the missile, also found a US made component in it. Ultimately, the origin of the missile couldn’t be determined.
This is when the official story falls apart. The press conference was an opportunity to further the Middle East narrative. Iran is demonized, because it stands in the way of United States domination of the Middle East. Accusing them of aggression is intended to garner support for military action against them.
The press conference resembled Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN, before the invasion of Iraq. As is commonly known now, no weapons of mass destruction were found, but millions of Iraqis died since, as a result of the invasion.
Related: R[us]sian Aggression
Had Ambassador Haley presented the facts, she would have said something to the effect of:
In March 2015, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia started a bombing campaign against Yemen. This was done to support the Saudi backed corrupt Yemeni government. The United States has provided arms and logistical support for Saudi Arabia and Saudi airplanes have been routinely refueled in midair by the US air force ever since.
The US backed Saudi bombing has been a widespread and systematic attack on civilian targets, medical facilities, schools, mosques, markets and civilian gatherings, like weddings.
Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia and has little air force, or air defenses.
As of today – December 2017 – an estimated 13 600 civilians have lost their lives.
21.2 Million people, about 80% of the population of Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 8 Million people are on the brink of starvation. As a result of the destruction of water and sanitary infrastructure, along with food storage facilities and farms, many deaths are caused by hunger and disease.
167 000 suffer of malnutrition. Cholera cases, an easily preventable disease with access to basic medical care, have exceeded 1 Million.
More than 5000 children have been killed. This is not collateral damage, again, the bombing specifically target civilians. About 130 children a day die in Yemen due to malnutrition and disease, [Since you began reading this post, a child in Yemen has died] and an estimated 50 000 will perish by the end of 2017.
A blockade has been imposed through land, sea and air, preventing food, medicine and supplies from reaching Yemen. US warships assist the Saudi imposed blockade of the ports.
These war crimes, committed at the hands of Saudi Arabia, the richest country in the Middle-East, enabled by the Western powers of US, UK and France since 2015 against the poorest country in the Middle-East, have consistently broken international laws.
Starvation is used as a weapon on the people of Yemen, that has resulted in the largest humanitarian disaster in modern history.
No, Ambassador Haley did not say any of the above. The “evidence” on display might have even been fabricated to distract from the US own transgressions.
Keeping villainous, malevolent countries in check, that refuse to abide by international law and tyrannize others is indeed a good idea. Except that, the countries that needs to be kept in check are the ones, like our own, that habitually accuses others of wrong doing.
It is disheartening to realize the extent of human suffering in Yemen, I “burned midnight oil” to find any positive news on this. All three reports below are from December 2017.
1. Nearly half the Senate is now against supporting arms to the Saudis:
“Nearly half of the US senate sent an overwhelmingly clear message to Riyadh that if it wants to return to a time of unequivocal US support, it needs to stop killing civilians in Yemen” – Andrea Prasow, the deputy Washington director of Human Rights Watch.
2. President Trump has called on the Saudis to “completely allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach the Yemeni people”.
– “This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately”.
3. Some supplies have made it to Yemen with UNICEF help.
“A UNICEF chartered plane landed today in Sanaa (the capital of Yemen) and delivered 6 Million doses of essential vaccines”.
Read more: Creating Positive Change