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The US-Saudi starvation blockade

Patrick Buchanan on

Whatever the facts of the attack, what the Saudis, with U.S. support, are doing today with this total blockade of that impoverished country appears to be both inhumane and indefensible.

Almost 90 percent of Yemen's food, fuel and medicine is imported, and these imports are being cut off. The largest cities under Houthi control, the port of Hodaida and Sanaa, the capital, have lost access to drinking water because the fuel needed to purify the water is not there.

Thousands have died of cholera. Hundreds of thousands are at risk. Children are in danger from a diphtheria epidemic. Critical drugs and medicines have stopped coming in, a death sentence for diabetics and cancer patients.

If airfields and ports under Houthi control are not allowed to open and the necessities of life and humanitarian aid are not allowed to flow in, the Yemenis face famine and starvation.

What did these people do to deserve this? What did they do to us that we would assist the Saudis in doing this to them?

The Houthis are not al-Qaida or ISIS. Those are Sunni terrorist groups, and the Houthis detest them.

Is this now the American way of war? Are we Americans, this Thanksgiving and Christmas, prepared to collude in a human rights catastrophe that will engender a hatred of us among generations of Yemeni and stain the name of our country?

Saudis argue that the specter of starvation will turn the Yemeni people against the rebels and force the Houthi to submit. But what if the policy fails. What if the Houthis, who have held the northern half of the country for more than two years, do not yield? What then?

Are we willing to play passive observer as thousands and then tens of thousands of innocent civilians -- the old, sick, weak, and infants and toddlers first -- die from a starvation blockade supported by the mighty United States of America?

 

Without U.S. targeting and refueling, Saudi planes could not attack the Houthis effectively and Riyadh could not win this war. But when did Congress authorize this war on a nation that never attacked us?

President Obama first approved U.S. support for the Saudi war effort. President Trump has continued the Obama policy, and the war in Yemen has now become his war, and his human rights catastrophe.

Yemen today is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis on earth, and America's role in it is undeniable and indispensable.

If the United States were to tell Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that we were no longer going to support his war in Yemen, the Saudis would have to accept the reality that they have lost this war.

Indeed, given Riyadh's failure in the Syria civil war, its failure to discipline rebellious Qatar, its stalemated war and human rights disaster in Yemen, Trump might take a hard second look at the Sunni monarchy that is the pillar of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf.

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Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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