by Richard Martin Oxman
“What’s the difference between our enabling the Saudis to blockade Yemen and making it possible for Stalin, Mao and Hitler to commit their atrocities?” — Question asked by one of the authors home schooled teenage charges
The Saudi-led coalition has not allowed Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) flights into Yemen for the past few days, directly hindering the organization’s ability to provide life-saving medical and humanitarian assistance to a population already in dire need.
MSF is calling on the Saudi-led coalition to immediately allow unhindered access so that humanitarian assistance can reach those most in need in Yemen.
On November 6, the Saudi-led coalition stated that all Yemeni border crossings, sea ports and airports would be closed immediately, but that they would consider “the entry and exit of humanitarian supplies and crews.” So far, however, this promise has not been kept.
“For the past three days, the Saudi-led coalition has not allowed MSF to fly from Djibouti to Sana’a or Aden, despite continued requests for authorization for our flights,” said Justin Armstrong, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “Access for humanitarian personnel and cargo into Yemen is essential to deliver desperately needed assistance to a population already severely affected by more than two and a half years of conflict.”
Access to health care across Yemen is already severely limited. Hundreds of health facilities have been closed, damaged or destroyed during the conflict. The conflict has displaced millions of people in Yemen and has decreased access to basic goods, including food and water.
“The broader impact of this blockade on the men, women and children of Yemen is already evident and it puts hundreds of thousands of lives at risk,” Armstrong said*. “Fuel prices have skyrocketed in major centers, supplies of diesel and cooking gas are becoming scarce, and shipments of essential medicines are stuck at border crossings. The already devastated Yemeni economy will undoubtedly decline further, making it more and more difficult for Yemenis to meet their basic needs, which is why humanitarian assistance is so vital.”
*Fact is, we’re now actually witnessing millions slated to wither and die… with the complicity among Western powers being very clear, according to Afrah Nasser and many others.
The U.S. is not at war with any country at this moment. The U.S. has not been attacked in any meaningful sense of the word in the last 16 years. But last year the U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs on seven countries, 34 on Yemen. Do you know why?
And why — when I ask U.S. teachers to list seven countries where we’ve dropped bombs recently — not a single one out of a hundred named Yemen this week; I touched base in every state with my random survey. Details, upon request.
We’re doing worse than dropping bombs, of course. As a matter of course, these days.
I intend to send this article to a thousand educators in the U.S., and urge them to at least talk about what’s happening in Yemen. Maybe you can do the same with others.
Richard Oxman can be reached at email@example.com.