Political Focus: Yemen and the war nobody knows about

John Bozick, Web Editor

With our dysfunctional Congress and President Donald Trump’s antics dominating the news cycle day in and day out, it’s almost impossible for Americans to focus on any news other than the current mess that occupies the Executive and Legislative branches in Washington. Many in America may not know of our country’s role in the worst humanitarian crisis in years taking place in the Middle East. No, not in Syria, but in the little-known country of Yemen.

Since the Arab Spring rocked the region in 2011, Yemen has been in chaos following the stepping down of authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh, handing power to his deputy Prime Minister Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Immediately following this transition of power was rough; due to terrorist attacks, corruption and unemployment, a separatist movement known as The Houthi Movement emerged as a separatist initiative in the country.

With strong support from the Yemeni population the group moved to seize the capital of the country through a coup d’etat in 2014. With Hadi and his supporters fleeing, this sparked the ongoing conflict that has seen Hadi flee the country and thousands killed in a conflict that bears many similarities to the better known Syrian Civil War.

Fearing the rise of a power believed to be backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of other Middle Eastern countries launched a military campaign against the country bringing famine and destruction to the already ravaged country. This deadly military campaign is being funded and supplied by the United States, which while not directly contributing has played a significant part in the destruction of Yemen.     

Yet while Congress officially passed an official resolution in The House of Representatives last year that should have ended the U.S. role in the conflict, it has not stopped the U.S. from resupplying Saudi bombers and providing logistical help in  the campaign against the rebels.

U.S. involvement goes beyond simply providing fuel and information: the U.S. has provided billions of dollars worth of weapons to the brutal Saudi regime. In October 2016, 145 mourners were killed at a funeral. The missile used by Saudi Arabia was shown to be manufactured by the U.S. Innocent civilians killed by American weapons in a conflict we have no right to partake in.

As was the case in American wars, Congress never declared war in this conflict, instead acting under the war powers resolution that has seen Congress bypass the formal declarations of war and has been used to drag our country into almost a perpetual state of war since it was introduced in 1973.

Recently, there have been efforts in Congress to halt U.S. involvement in the conflict, legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, with help from Republican Mike Lee and Democrat Chris Murphy would have prevented the U.S. from further participating in the war. However; the bill was struck down in a vote on March 20, further showing how the U.S. government is tied down by the Saudi regime and our vast need for oil.

While the U.S. continues to attack regimes such as Syria, Iran and North Korea, we continue to ignore the crimes that Saudi Arabia commits on its own people, and in Yemen. As this brutal war rages on, the silence needs to stop, and the mass media needs to tell the world about what is happening instead of reporting on the latest Trump jargon.