America’s role in Yemen’s suffering

The Trump administration is complicit in a battle that’s killed tens of thousands of children

The author, a Chico resident, is a Chico State alum and former small-business owner.

A victim of the three-year war in Yemen is Abrar Ibrahim, a 28-pound, 12-year-old Yemeni girl who is slowly starving to death. You can meet Abrar by Googling her name.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been wracked by a bloody war between the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen’s internationally recognized government. A conservative estimate is that 85,000 Yemeni children under age 5 have subsequently died, most by starvation, as food prices have doubled; another 12 million people are on the brink of starving to death. Saudi Arabia is carrying out the most horrific human rights atrocity in the world. United Nations officials and aid experts warn that this could become the worst famine the world has seen in a generation.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Middle Eastern and North African states has been waging war in Yemen since 2015 against the Houthi rebels, whom the Saudis see as a terrorist threat sanctioned by Iran, Saudi Arabia’s sworn enemy. It does not excuse or justify the horrific carnage they have unleashed on the people of Yemen. They are doing so with fulsome support from the Pentagon and the American weapons industry.

In 2017 alone, the U.S. sold Saudi Arabia $491 million worth of laser-guided missiles, various ammunition, and programmable bomb systems. The 2017 deal was partially created with the help of Jared Kushner, son-in-law of and senior adviser to President Trump; Kushner had cultivated relationships with Saudi royalty during the presidential transition and personally contacted Lockheed Martin during the deal-making process.

House Republicans and Democrats alike last week voted to pull aid from Yemen. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, however, voted nay on that bipartisan effort to end suffering in the region. Now it’s in the Senate’s hands to see if the Trump administration will remain complicit with Saudi Arabia’s genocidal assault on a small, poor country on the Arabian Peninsula.

Say a prayer for Abrar and the countless other people starving to death. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words—the picture of Abrar will spill a thousand tears.