As I write, United States forces are striking Yemen. And only a few are talking about it. We should.
Yemen is a country bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, and Oman to the northeast. It is the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, but is also the poorest in the Middle East. It is presently in the middle of a civil war, where its capital has been controlled by the Houthi rebels.
But if we look at the situation more closely, it is not just a civil war. Parties from outside Yemen have clearly been invested in the fighting, with Saudi Arabian, American, and Iranian forces being cited as stakeholders. Saudi Arabians and the Americans have forged an alliance against the rebels apparently backed by Iran.
Why is it important to talk about this war?
First, it is a humanitarian crisis that deserves our attention. Almost 7,000 people have died, according to figures from the United Nations, and over 3 million have been displaced. According to a BBC report, 80 percent of the population need aid, as the international coalition led by those supporting the President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi imposed a blockade.
Secondly, Yemen is a sovereign state and intervention in their affairs is morally indefensible. But here comes the American military, dropping bombs via drones on innocent people, and selling arms to the Saudis.
In a report published in The Guardian, US sold $110 billion worth of arms in the past eight years, and also provides them with intelligence. A few days ago, a US destroyer fired missiles at three sites in the country, supposedly in retaliation to an attack on USS Mason that the rebels denied. In a tragedy of tragedies, Saudi Arabia even launched a strike at a funeral ceremony, where 140 people were killed.
Finally, some analysts have likened the situation to Syria, and the parallelisms are notable. The US places bets on a party, provides weapons and intelligence and even sends troops, and as it tries to topple its enemy from power, it creates a vacuum that gets filled by terrorist forces. We should not let this happen.
At some point, we need to ask ourselves if we are being complicit in a crime against humanity with our silence. Just as we did during the war in Vietnam, we need to speak up against the use of our taxes in wars that kill the innocent, in wars that undermine the freedoms of other nations.
Author’s Note: Thanks to Rick Kimball for this story lead. Rick Kimball is a firm believer of freedom and the importance of fighting for it. That is why he enjoys writing about history on his blog, Rick Kimball’s War, Peace and Freedom Blog.