US/Saudi Illegal Blockade Compounds Naked Aggression Against Yemen
by Stephen Lendman
No nation may attack another except in self-defense - only if authorized by Security Council members.
Obama's war on Yemen is naked aggression by any standard. No Security Council authorization exists.
Nor will any be forthcoming post-facto - or any other justification for waging war on a country threatening no others using Saudi-led proxies to do Washington's dirty work.
So it can regain control of a former client state - no matter how many millions of lives potentially are at risk.
Blockading Yemen's borders and airspace compounds America's lawless aggression. Riyadh would never attack Yemen on its own, or any other Arab country without US involvement or permission.
Under international law, blockades are considered acts of war. They're defined as:
- surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;
- measures to isolate an enemy;
- encirclement and besieging;
- preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces or aid in time of or as an act of war; and
- an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy's coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.
Law Professor Francis Boyle defines blockades as:
"belligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country."
"Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade."
"Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare."
America approved these declarations. They're binding US law. Past presidents recognized blockades as acts of war.
So did the US Supreme Court. It ruled blockades legal only if constitutionally authorized (the 1863 Prize Cases).
No constitutional, Security Council, or other authorization permits blockading Yemen. Doing so is blatantly illegal.
Millions of Yemenis have little or no access to essentials to life. Countless numbers may perish for lack of food, clean water and medical supplies.
Western leaders do nothing to condemn naked US/Saudi aggression. Nor have UN authorities acted responsibly.
On Monday, UN relief coordinator for Yemen Johannes van der Klaauw called for "safe and reliable" access to Sanaa's International Airport.
He asked Riyadh to stop bombing the facility, saying:
"Without access to the airports, aid agencies are unable to bring in staff, vital supplies of medicines and other critical life-saving assistance, or undertake medical evacuations of their personnel."
"I strongly urge the coalition to stop targeting Sanaa International Airport and to preserve this important lifeline - and all other airports and seaports - so that humanitarians can reach all those affected by the armed conflict in Yemen."
Why is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon largely silent? Why have Western leaders able to make a difference done nothing?
It bears repeating. Yemen is Obama's war - naked aggression by any standard, compounded by blockading essentials to life from entering Yemen in amounts needed.
Most important is acting now to stop what otherwise will be genocide - by terror-bombing, ground fighting, war related violence, diseases, starvation and overall deprivation.
On Monday unindicted war criminal Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir lied saying Riyadh may "create specific areas inside Yemen to deliver humanitarian supplies, where all aerial operations will stop at specific times to allow these supplies in, as stipulated by UN Security Council resolution 2216."
Saudi terror-bombing targets food storage areas, hospitals, refugee camps and other civilian sites to intensify human suffering and deaths.
Washington and Riyadh want Yemenis starved to death or perishing from untreated wounds. They demand Houthis disarm and surrender unconditionally. Expect protracted war.
Expect greater human suffering than already. Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin correctly said Western and rogue Arab states pay lip service alone to vital humanitarian needs for Yemenis.
They don't give a damn how many die or suffer horrifically. Their interests alone matter.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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