Political action is needed in one of the worst humanitarian crises.
While religion fuels armed conflict across the globe, one of the worst situations is what is occurring in Yemen. Some human rights groups are calling it a religious genocide and the U.S. is taking an active role in supporting it.
Yemen has had a history of conflict for most of the 20th century. The current conflict is between the Houthis and a coalition that is primarily led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been launching airstrikes that have left more than 8,000 dead and 49,000 injured. There have been reports that the airstrikes have been targeting civilians, constituting war crimes.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has created a blockade stopping supplies to aid those affected by the conflict. This has led what is being called one of the worse cholera outbreaks ever, with over half a million affected this year and an estimated 1 million affected within 6 months. Seven million Yemenis are facing famine-like conditions, and millions more face dire shortages of vaccines and food.
The conflict, while having geopolitical reasons, can be directly linked to the division between the Shia Houthis and the Wahabist Saudia Arabian Government. Wahabist is an orthodox version of the Sunni sect of Islam that has been linked to religious fundamentalism. Some experts have argued that Wahabism creates a religious edict to eliminate the Houthis and their version of Islam.
How is the U.S. involved? The United States has given tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudi government that is being used in the Yemen War. There have also contributed 480,000 of aviation fuel that directly supports the air strikes that is done. The question is, does this mean that the United States is vicariously supported war crimes?
Jeremy Scahill, a well-known journalist with extensive background in war-torn regions has argued that there is shocking lack of coverage in the American media about the conflict and the United States involvement. It is unclear when it will end. One consequence is the lack of stability has created a strategic foothold for Al-Qaeda.
We urge readers to contact their politicians to ask for more accountability and for the United States to use its political clout to help end the war, stop supplying supportive materials, and give more humanitarian assistance to those that desperately need it.