Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Obama's War on Yemen Harms Children Most

Obama’s War on Yemen Harms Children Most

by Stephen Lendman

Obama’s war on Yemen began long before partnering with Riyadh, orchestrating its terror-bombing, choosing targets to strike, supporting its ground forces and terrorist fighters. 

US planned and implemented genocide affects millions of Yemenis, Obama’s latest atrocity, another country being raped and destroyed. War in its second year harms civilians most, young children most vulnerable.

Thousands are dying from violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation. Official numbers way undercount reality on the ground.

What’s ongoing is largely unreported - 24 million people at risk ignored. US drone war has been ongoing for years, rules of engagement authorizing indiscriminate murder, noncombatants comprising the vast majority of casualties.

Claims otherwise are false. Obama escalated drone war on the phony pretext of combating Al Qaeda.

He lied, saying “(b)efore any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” an utter perversion of hard truth.

Violence begets more of it. An endless destructive cycle persists. A new UNICEF report, titled “Children on the Brink” highlights how gravely they’re affected.

According to the organization’s Julien Harneis, “(c)hildren are paying the highest price for a conflict not of their making.” 

“They have been killed or maimed across the country and are no longer safe anywhere in Yemen.  Even playing or sleeping has become dangerous.”

Since conflict began in March 2015, one in six children were killed or maimed for life. UNICEF calls the toll “the tip of the iceberg.”

Numbers only represent verified cases. The true casualty count is multiples higher. UNICEF documented dozens of Saudi terror-bombings of schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and other nonmilitary related sites - including use of banned cluster munitions.

Food, clean water, medical treatment, fuel, electricity and other essentials to life are in perilously short supply. Epidemic levels of malnutrition exist.

Countless thousands of children under age five died from preventable diseases alone, thousands more from lack of essentials to life.

Hundreds of health facilities closed, dozens more terror-bombed. The vast majority of Yemenis of all ages need humanitarian aid to survive.

Too little gets in to help. Riyadh’s blockade supported by Washington restricts imports and deliveries.

Conflict continues raging. Millions of children “face fear, pain and deprivation,” UNICEF explained. They don’t start wars. They’re “most vulnerable to their deadly effects.”

“The scale of suffering in the country is staggering.” Yemen is the region’s poorest country. War made things far much worse.

UNICEF estimated 2.4 million people displaced, half of them children. Lucky ones find refuge with relatives. Most others shelter in “public buildings, makeshift tents or in the open air.”

Saudi terror-bombing killed Elham Ghalib’s three-year-old daughter. She fled Taiz for hoped for safety, saying she “had no time to take anything.”

“All I had were the clothes on me and a ring. I just ran on the street holding my children. I saw people getting in a car so I jumped on with my children. I didn’t even know where it was going.”

Humanitarian needs in Yemen are overwhelming, imports severely restricted, delivering aid where most needed greatly impeded by Saudi terror-bombing, roadblocks and checkpoints.

The fate of an entire nation and its children hang in the balance. Yemen is another horrendous war crime on Obama’s rap sheet - complicit with Riyadh doing his dirty work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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