Yemen is a proxy war, which means that it is being used as a chess board to advance the economic and political interests of different countries and transnational corporations that have no stake in the well-being of the Yemeni people.
Yemen’s humanitarian crisis was created largely by the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the U.S., U.K., and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi coalition’s air strikes and blockades have been decimating the country for nearly four years in an effort to blunt Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula and have caused the starvation and deaths of tens of thousands of children.
Saudi Arabia needs to secure Yemen for transporting oil without the interference of its rival Iran. In the case of Saudi Arabia, we’re talking about 10 trillion dollars a year selling oil - and lot’s of places want that black gold flowing. They are using the ousted and illegitimate president of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as a pawn to justify their military activities to protect their oil routes and maintain their tyranny of hunger through blockades.
The United States and the UK have what are called a military industrial complex which lobbies the government for the right to sell weapons and enact global policies that favor war. Weapon suppliers in the US have 2.6 billion dollars last year on lobbying for political support of the death trade, gaining access for up to half of the pentagon's 800 billion dollar budget - money well spent for them.
In 2016 alone, when the war was really getting going, the Gulf Coalition spent over 33 billion dollars on weapons provided by the UK and US.
Who are the people that suffer? The citizens of yemen - the women, children, fathers and extended families that are trying to live their lives in peace.
Ashes to Ashes - Dust to Dust
Years of ruthless bombing has traumatized the citizens of Yemen, killing tens of thousands and reduced many cities to rubble. Forced to flee their homes, they become IDP’s - internally displaced people, which basically means a refugee in your own country.
The needs are great - food, shelter, financial assistance and education. Responding to hate with love, this is what gives people hope in humanity and that they can strive to re-create their lives and envision a future for their children.
The War Machine
War is a machine - it has no conscience, existing only to fulfill its purpose of domination, and without accontability, will do so at all costs. We read numbers in headlines, declarations of arms sales and heads of states condemning each other on both sides. What we often fail to see in the War Machine, is the individual lives that are trampled beneath it. As humanitarians and lovers of humanity, we have to see beyond the headlines and remember that there are real people being affected here.
We can remember those forgotten faces, souls whose lives of quiet desperation are nonetheless praying to be heard. Everytime we reach out with a helping hand, we pull someone out of the clutches of the war machine. While we may not be able to stop the machine, we can rescue a life from its blind destruction.
*Art provided by Jon Marro, artist and activist who created these panels specifically to tell the story of this conflict for Mona
War... what is it good for?
The Yemen war is a conflict that benefits the few and crushes the many. While the people wait for it to end, our commitment is to heal the present and prepare for a better future.