Yemen: Should the U.S. fight terrorism or fight starvation?

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are working to restore order in Yemen, a country with a weak government that was overturned by rebel forces backed by Iran, and a place in which terrorism has thrived. But, the Saudi-led effort includes bombing that has made medical help, clean water, food and other basic necessities of life inaccessible to most civilians.

The U.S. should support Saudi Arabia and fight terrorism in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has a well-founded interest in Yemen

Because Saudi Arabia hopes to prevent Yemen poverty from crossing the border they gave one billion dollars and one million barrels of oil to support the struggling country.

And, a small passageway between Africa and Yemen, 18 miles wide with only 2 miles that’s actually useable, allows shipping of oil, natural gas and petroleum products, which is important to Saudi Arabia (and the rest of the world).

Let’s not forget, Saudi Arabia is in a cold war with Iran.

Remember: Saudi Arabia is Sunni-majority and Iran is Shiite-majority, and an enemy of Saudi Arabia. Houthi rebels (in Yemen) are Shiite, and Saudi Arabia views the Houthi movement as part of a wider agenda supported by Iran. Of course, Iran denies being tied to the Houthis but the U.S. military intercepted weapons being smuggled into Yemen by Iranians.

Let’s not forget, Saudi Arabia is backing the Syrian rebels, who are trying to overthrow Assad, while Iran backs Syrian President al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia is an important U.S. ally

Saudi Arabia remains an important exporter of oil to the U.S., despite the U.S. movement toward energy independence and the increase in production from Canada.

Saudi Arabia has provided valuable intelligence in fighting al-Qaeda.

One example: In 2010, according to the New York Times, Saudi intelligence told American and European intelligence that concealed bombs were en route to the United States. Two shipments of explosives, addressed to synagogues in Chicago, were intercepted.

Read more here: Saudis Warned U.S. of Attack Before Parcel Bomb Plot (NY Times)

Al-Qaeda rise to power

Al-Qaeda thrives in chaos.  They help people who are desperate for basic provisions.

For example, the terrorist group restores electricity and other forms of stability to Yemen villages.

The U.S. sees the growth of Al-Qaeda as a threat to national security.

The U.S. should send aside its interests and help the Yemenis.

no access to goods

Yemen imports 90% of its goods. And, Yemen’s main port has been blocked by the Saudi coalition.

medical care lacking

Less than half of the country’s medical facilities are currently functional. 160 health structures were attacked since 2015.

spread of disease and death

More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year.

7 million people are about to starve to death.


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