Millions Face Starvation In Yemen Due To US-Ally Saudi Arabia's Blockade

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Two years ago, German intelligence warned the world of the unique risks Saudi Arabia posed to the region.

I covered it at the time in the post, German Intelligence Warns – Saudi Arabia to Play “Destabilizing Role” in the Middle East. Here’s an excerpt:

Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a major destabilizing influence in the Arab world, German intelligence has warned.

 

Internal power struggles and the desire to emerge as the leading Arab power threaten to make the key Western ally a source of instability, according to the BND intelligence service.

 

“The current cautious diplomatic stance of senior members of the Saudi royal family will be replaced by an impulsive intervention policy,” a BND memo widely distributed to the German press reads.

 

Saudi Arabia has previously been accused of supplying arms and funding to jihadist groups fighting in Syria, including Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

At the core of this intelligence warning was none other than crown prince Mohamed bin Salman, or MBS.

I’ve been warning about the specific dangers presented by his brazen and sociopathic personality for years, and the recent purge finally threw it all into the spotlight for everyone to see.

MBS has already wreaked havoc on portions of the region with his reckless and failed polices with respect to both Yemen and Qatar. Today’s post will focus on the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen, courtesy of the Saudi crown prince.

The New York Times reported last week:

Saudi Arabia’s three-day-old blockade of entry points to Yemen threatens to plunge that war-ravaged country into a famine that could starve millions of people, the top relief official of the United Nations said Wednesday.

 

The Yemen crisis has worsened since the Saudis imposed the blockade on Monday after a missile was fired deep into their territory by the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, which has been warring with a Saudi-led military coalition for nearly three years.

 

Despite Saudi Arabia’s assurances that the measure was temporary while it reviews inspection procedures, virtually all humanitarian deliveries to Yemen have been halted, including at least three United Nations airplanes full of emergency supplies.

 

Mr. Lowcock said the Saudis must immediately allow the entry of food and medicine at all seaports, permit the immediate resumption of air services to the cities of Sana and Aden, and provide an “assurance of no further disruption to these services.”

 

Without such steps, he said, Yemen will suffer “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims.”

 

The World Food Program, the anti-hunger agency of the United Nations, which has been feeding seven million people a month in Yemen, is now unable to do so, Mr. Lowcock said. “What we need is a winding down of the blockade to save the lives of those people.”

 

The country is struggling with an acute hunger crisis that has affected at least 17 million people, more than a third of them considered close to famine. Yemen also suffering a cholera scourge that has sickened nearly one million.

 

“Humanitarian supply lines to Yemen must remain open,” said Robert Mardini, the Red Cross’s regional director for the Near and Middle East. “Food, medicine and other essential supplies are critical for the survival of 27 million Yemenis already weakened by a conflict now in its third year.”

Since then, the Saudis have opened the port of Aden and a crossing at Wadea, but this is woefully inadequate.

As Al Jazeera notes:

On Friday, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian aid, OCHA, said the coalition was still blocking desperately needed UN aid deliveries to Yemen, despite the reopening of Aden and Wadea.

 

“Humanitarian movements into Yemen remain blocked,” said OCHA spokesman Russell Geekie.

 

“The reopening of the port in Aden is not enough. We need to see the blockade of all the ports lifted, especially Hodeida, for both humanitarian and for commercial imports.”

 

UN aid chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council this week that unless the blockade is lifted, Yemen will face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.

 

Stylianides echoed Lowcock’s concerns.

 

Yemen “is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than two-thirds of its population in need of humanitarian assistance”, he said in a statement.

 

“The EU shares the concerns expressed by… Lowcock and calls for full and unrestrained access to be restored immediately, to avoid Yemen suffering the largest famine in decades,” Stylianides said.

What we’re looking at here is potentially the worst famine in decades, and it’s important for decent U.S. citizens from across the political spectrum to admit our government’s hands are soaked in blood.

As The Intercept reported:

Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the U.S. military for intelligence sharing, refueling flights for coalition warplanes, and the transfer of American-made cluster bombs, rockets, and other munitions used against targets in Yemen.

 

Congress, however, has never authorized U.S. support for the war, which has caused 10,000 civilian deaths and has spiraled in recent months into one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century. For two years, Saudi Arabia and its allies have imposed a sea and air blockade around Yemen. Now, more than 7 million Yemenis face starvation and thousands, mostly children, are dying from cholera. Coalition warplanes have repeatedly struck crowded markets, hospitals, power plants, and other civilian targets.

 

Several members of Congress indicated an interest in the issue, noting that the Obama and Trump administrations’ reliance on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to justify U.S. involvement in the conflict is absurd. That authorization, after all, was designed to fight the terrorist groups responsible for the September 11 attacks, not to intervene in Yemen’s civil war.

 

For 16 years, the executive branch has pointed to the AUMF as legal justification for its involvement in conflicts across the Middle East and Africa, a strategy that is legally questionable. But the use of the AUMF in the Yemeni context is especially bizarre given that the AUMF’s target is Al Qaeda, and the group AQAP — Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula –is fighting alongside the U.S.-Saudi coalition against the Houthi rebels.

 

One bipartisan legislative attempt to force a vote on authorization for the war, H.Con.Res.81, faced a major setback last week after appearing to gain political momentum. On November 1, lawmakers stripped the bill of its privileged status, meaning the bill no longer maintains a fast-track to a floor vote. The legislation was designed to invoke the War Powers Act of 1973 to terminate U.S. involvement in the Yemen War.

 

Because the bill is no longer privileged, it will head back to the the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is led by Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., a lawmaker who has expressed deep support for the Saudi-led military campaign. Few expect the legislation to move forward now that it is back in Royce’s domain. In April, the representative read a statement of support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen and entered into the congressional record an opinion column written by a Saudi general.

 

The move to crush H.Con.Res.81 was apparently negotiated by Democratic and Republican leadership. As part of a compromise, there will be some congressional debate over the war, though no on-the-record vote for authorization. As The Intercept previously reported, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the Democratic whip, was among the Democratic leaders opposed to invoking the War Powers Act to bring U.S. involvement in the war to an end.

 

Still, sponsors of the legislation are hoping to force a debate and an on-the-record vote over the war.

 

“Our national security interests in Yemen are unclear, yet we are giving money and military assistance to Saudi Arabia so they can continue to wage war in Yemen,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., one of 43 co-sponsors. “This military action was never authorized by Congress and the American people deserve an open debate by their elected officials.”

 

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., also a co-sponsor of the resolution, expressed frustration that House Speaker Paul Ryan has refused to allow a vote on the war and disappointment that the compromise solution negotiated by congressional leadership will not include a binding vote.

 

This is part of my frustration about the fact Congress does not meet its constitutional responsibility when sending young men and women to die for this country, and we have a constitutional duty that we must debate war,” Jones said. “The vote to go to war in Yemen, we can’t even get a vote on this resolution. To me this is the way Congress does not work. We don’t work because we do not uphold the constitution.”

Meanwhile, many of the cretins in Congress can’t be bothered to answer questions about Yemen.

Unconstitutional war that could create the worst famine in decades? Meh, I’m too busy trying to figure out how to provide tax breaks to oligarchs.

After all, who cares, there’s just too much money to be made from war.

From The Washington Post:

BERLIN — As U.N. and international humanitarian agencies raise the alarm over the Saudi blockade of aid deliveries to Yemen, European and American officials have remained mostly silent. The few remarks coming out of Western capitals in recent weeks have hardly been messages of support for the Yemenis in the midst of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis — in fact, quite the opposite.

 

Two weeks ago, Britain’s then-Defense Minister Michael Fallon offered a blunt assessment of the government’s view on the controversy. “I have to repeat, sadly, to this committee that obviously other criticism of Saudi Arabia in this Parliament is not helpful,” Fallon told the parliamentary defense committee, to which he defended the planned sale of several fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. (Fallon has since resigned over sexual harassment allegations.)

 

In response to a missile attack from Yemeni territory targeting Saudi Arabia — which triggered the most recent escalation of the crisis — President Trump similarly ignored the plight of civilians in the war-torn country and instead went on to praise U.S. weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.

 

Both the United States and Britain have been making more money with arms sales to Saudi Arabia in recent years than ever before. Human rights critics fear that Saudi Arabia has not only bought their weapons but their acceptance for its policies.

 

 

Of course Saudi Arabia’s attractiveness to Western countries is not just about arms sales. On Thursday, Downing Street said it would provide Saudi energy giant Aramco with credit guarantees of $2 billion to facilitate trade between the two countries. Britain and the United States are both trying to persuade Aramco to hold its much anticipated IPO (valued at hundreds of billions of dollars) on the London and New York stock exchanges, with President Trump tweeting that such move would be “Important to the United States!”

 

In the United States, the Obama administration similarly suspended the sale of precision guided munitions to Riyadh last year. However, the Trump administration is believed to be working on the resumption of such sales. A separate major U.S. arms export deal to the kingdom was struck in May, and Trump has voiced increasingly strong support for the Saudi leadership ever since. Similarly, Germany is still exporting military equipment to the kingdom, although it now appears to be refraining from direct arms deliveries.

If that’s not MAGA, then I don’t know what is.

If E.U. politicians were determined to implement an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, parliamentarians would have to persuade the governments of all member states to agree to such a ban. With more than a dozen nations profiting from arms and military equipment exports to the kingdom, the chances of such an embargo being implemented anytime soon are virtually nonexistent.

 

Attempts by nongovernmental organizations to force governments into committing to an embargo enforced by courts have so far also been blocked. Campaigners suffered a major defeat this summer, when London’s high court ruled that Britain was not complicit in alleged war crimes in Yemen by allowing the Saudi military to use its arms.

 

The court refused to say how it came to its conclusion, however, and barred the public from accessing the key evidence.

It always makes sense when you follow the money.

*  *  *

If you liked this article and enjoy my work, consider becoming a monthly Patron, or visit our Support Page to show your appreciation for independent content creators.

 

Comments

. . . _ _ _ . . . bobcatz Mon, 11/13/2017 - 19:54 Permalink

"Saudi Arabia’s three-day-old blockade of entry points to Yemen..."Three-day-old ??? The UN has been unable to deliver cholera vaccines and food & water for months !!! There has been starvation there for many months, and disease, as well as white phosphorous munitions falling from Saudi planes flown by Israeli pilots on unarmed Yemeni civilians.Also, all journalists are banned from Yemen in order to hide the west's complicity.

In reply to by bobcatz

zorba THE GREEK . . . _ _ _ . . . Mon, 11/13/2017 - 21:22 Permalink

Look at the skinny guy in the photo. His cloths fit him perfectly. So even though he was starving, he went out and bought a new colorful wardrobe. It doesn't add up. Anyone have an explanation? I can't think of one other than they found the skinniest dude in Yemen and had him pose for a pity photo. Not denying the horror the situation in Yemen, only the questionable photo example.

In reply to by . . . _ _ _ . . .

JSBach1 Shemp 4 Victory Mon, 11/13/2017 - 22:41 Permalink

It seems hypocrisy knows no bounds. I posted this last week, but it is worth a repost:

What about the US supplying KSA with white phosphorous munitions in its war in Yemen? Where is the indignation?!?!

"The United States has used white phosphorous against fighters, including in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, and sporadically in Afghanistan over the course of the war there. In 2009, Israel used the weapon in populated areas in the Gaza Strip."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/saudi-arabia-appears-to...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/09/19/saudi-arabi...

https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/03/25/israel-white-phosphorus-use-evidence...

"The hypocrisy of U.S. leaders when it comes to chemical weapons is staggering. While saying Syria needs attacked because there is a possibility President Assad used gas on his people, the U.S. also supplies Saudi Arabia with white phosphorus(a vicious chemical weapon that can maim and kill by burning to the bone) to use on the civilians of Yemen."
https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/14/iraq/syria-danger-us-white-phosphor…

"The Belgian International Human Rights Organization confirmed that it has detected the use of phosphorus in a number of areas experiencing an armed conflict such as Yemen, asserting in a report that the coalition led by Saudi Arabia used in its war on Yemen white phosphorus munitions."

http://www.yemenextra.net/2017/07/02/belgian-organization-confirms-white...

****graphic:
https://twitter.com/libbyliberalnyc/status/867582890191794176
https://twitter.com/Federal_Reverse/status/643776311865901056

https://twitter.com/LibertyBlitz/status/777937138096615424

In reply to by Shemp 4 Victory

peddling-fiction sister tika Mon, 11/13/2017 - 19:48 Permalink

Yes, the Elders are behind this, but do not minimize (((Eisenhower's))) high rank, guilt and willingness.He was maybe the highest ranking military officer on the scene.What they did, deserves a Nuremberg 2.0And then there is the issue of Albert Pike and Mazzini planning these wars.Yeah sister, there is plenty more to write about.http://www.threeworldwars.comhttps://www.google.com/search?q=eisenhower…

In reply to by sister tika

peddling-fiction sister tika Mon, 11/13/2017 - 20:28 Permalink

"You and I have the same enemy and we both know who it is."Yes we do. My grandfathers also fought in WW2 and I served during the Cold War in Finland.We are not only fighting flesh.If you follow the money, you will find that the "head" of this pyramid is the father-of-all-lies himself.No fear and follow the seven virtues.We are not alone in this fight.

In reply to by sister tika

east of eden evoila Mon, 11/13/2017 - 20:46 Permalink

Well, that is something you are going to have to decide for yourself. But I can tell you this much. Honouring life and creation is the way to go. Destroying life and creation is an abomination. That is not from some religious text, but from over 70 years of direct personal experience and observation.We have more than enough capacity to feed the world. In fact, even in Canada, we have enough gold and silver in the ground to pay off the entire debt of the world, 50 times over.So, you say, why doesn't his happen? Well, it doesn't happen because there are more than a few psychopaths who love killing, love war, love destruction and consider it to be their 'moral duty' to create more misery.Don't be on the losing side. Consider your options and look to the future. 

In reply to by evoila

One And Only Mon, 11/13/2017 - 18:30 Permalink

Why can't they grow/make their own food?Guessing people in Yemen were living for thousands of years before the blockade? Or were they always reliant on donations of food?

One And Only bruno_the Mon, 11/13/2017 - 19:49 Permalink

First of all Yemen isn't in Africa yet you linked to a youtube video about Africa.Second, has nothing to do with learning to fish or farming what is arable land in Yemen. People are making it like millions of people are stuck on 1 acre of land in the middle of the Sahara Desert with not a drop of water in sight. It's fucking bullshit.

In reply to by bruno_the

bruno_the One And Only Mon, 11/13/2017 - 20:03 Permalink

geography and history is are complicatedhttps://www.google.com/maps/@13.1817259,48.3530021,5zSorry to point to zikipedia, but if interested it is a starting point.The Sultanate of Mogadishu's first dynasty was established by Sultan Fakr ad-Din. This ruling house was succeeded by the Muzaffar dynasty, and the kingdom subsequently became closely linked with the powerful Somali Ajuran Sultanate.[34] For many years, Mogadishu stood as the pre-eminent city in the ???? ??????, Bilad-al-Barbar ("Land of the Berbers"), which was the medieval Arab term for the Somali coast.[35][36][37][38] Following his visit to the city, the 12th century Syrianhistorian Yaqut al-Hamawi wrote that it was inhabited by "Berbers", the ancestors of the modern Somalis.[39][40] After the war, the reigning king had his minstrels compose a song praising his victory, which contains the first written record of the word "Somali". Sa'ad ad-Din II's family was subsequently given safe haven at the court of the King of Yemen, where his sons regrouped and planned their revenge on the Solomonids.

In reply to by One And Only

skbull44 One And Only Tue, 11/14/2017 - 07:54 Permalink

Your statement shows a profound ignorance on so many levels. Two simple questions. First, how is one supposed to establish sustainable food production during several years of intense bombing and war? (to say little about the limits to such because of the geography/environment of Yemen) Second, have you ever attempted to grow enough of your own food to sustain your family? (it's not easy nor something one can accomplish overnight--it takes years)https://olduvai.ca

In reply to by One And Only

NiggaPleeze One And Only Mon, 11/13/2017 - 18:45 Permalink

 It's not that hard to find answers on the internet:

Yemen's greatest environmental challenge is water scarcity. Yemen already has one of the lowest rates of per capita water availability in the world, estimated at about two per cent of the world average. Due to the rapid depletion of groundwater resources, the water table is falling by about two metres per year, constraining agricultural production and causing chronic water shortages. Periodic droughts and desertification, coupled with a shift from food production to cultivation of cash crops, are also impacting agriculture.

Most countries of the world are not self-sufficient and trade to get what they need.  You would notice that too if someone imposed an air and sea blockade on the US.  Like the Medieval siege of the city - Saudi barbarism on display.

In reply to by One And Only