Increase in Infant deformities in Yemen suggests USA/UK has supplied Saudi with depleted uranium weapons

Infant deformities in Yemen linked to Saudi-led bombardment

Doctors in Yemen have been warning about the rise in stillbirths and deformities as a result of the war for some time.

“Fetal malformations could occur due to several reasons, including mothers’ diseases and subsequent viral infection of the faction and/or poor nutrition,” Wafa al-Mamari, an obstetrician at al-Rahma Hospital in northern Sana’a, told Press TV in July.

“The strange thing is that the rate of fetal abnormalities is growing and doctors cannot explain the causes, meaning that the phenomenon could be attributed to war and ordinances, given the fact that a great proportion of women with deformed fetuses hailed from bombarded areas in the provinces of Sa’adah, Sana’a, Ta’izz and Hudaydah,” she said.

Yemen is suffering a humanitarian crisis as the two-year conflict continues between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels. The people of Yemen are at the brink of famine, with food and aid supplies cut off and almost seven million being pushed towards starvation, Oxfam warned in its latest release.

The UN estimates at least 10,000 civilian casualties have occurred since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia began bombing the country in support of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who fled Yemen in 2015. The bombardment began to remove the Houthi rebels from the capital, which they had captured in 2014.

On Thursday, Amnesty International again condemned both the US and the UK for supplying arms to Saudi Arabia which have been used to kill civilians. Both countries provide intelligence and logistic support to Saudi Arabia and have, according to Amnesty, sold more than $5 billion in weapons to the kingdom in the last two years

Yemen: 17 Million People Threatened With Starvation By Saudi War

Yemen: 17 Million People Threatened With Starvation By Saudi War

PRESS RELEASE


Yemen: 17 Million People Threatened with Starvation by Saudi War

March 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.N. aid agencies are warning that Yemen is “at the point of no return” as some 17 million people (out of a total population of 28 million) are facing severe food shortages. A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure—with a further 10.2 million in crisis, reports the Guardian. Taiz and Hodeidah governorates, home to almost 25% of Yemen’s population and the scene of intense conflict since the outbreak of civil war in 2015, are at particularly heightened risk of famine. “We keep on talking about a country that’s on the brink of famine, but for me these numbers highlight that we’re at the point of no return,” said Mark Kaye, Save the Children’s Yemen spokesperson.

“If things are not done now we are going to be looking back on this and millions of children will have starved to death, and we’ll all have been aware of this for some time.”

According to the Guardian, the Saudi excuse for not opening the ports, particularly the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, where 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports entered the country prior to the war, is to keep Iranian arms out. “They are using the port as a military base to import guns, and rockets,” one Saudi source said, though no evidence of this has been presented. In any case, the complaint about Iranian arms becomes an excuse to allow millions of Yemenis to starve to death, deaths that could otherwise easily be prevented.

A U.S. News/Al-Monitor article from two years ago, when the Saudis began their aggression with Obama’s support, shows that the same legislators who are now leading the chorus of fake-news attacks against the President, were then in the lead for this genocidal war. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued a joint statement which said,

“Saudi Arabia and our Arab partners deserve our support as they seek to restore order in Yemen, which has collapsed into civil war…. We understand why our Saudi and other Arab partners felt compelled to take action. The prospect of radical groups like Al-Qaeda, as well as Iranian-backed militants, finding safe haven on the border of Saudi Arabia was more than our Arab partners could withstand.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the Obama Administration had “made the right decision” in supporting the Saudi war.

The UK has made 10 times more in arms sales to Saudi Arabia than it’s given in aid to Yemen

Source

Similarly, the US sold a record amount of arms to Saudi Arabia under Obama’s administration, with sales set to continue under Trump. Earlier this month the State Department approved a resumption in the $300m sale of US-made precision-guided missiles, a deal blocked late in Obama’s administration due to concerns over civilian casualties

yemen-children.jpgUN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O’Brien looks at a child during a visit to the Mother and Child hospital in the Yemeni capital Sanaa Getty

Bustling, buzzing and bartering. That is how I would once have described a typical market (or souk) in Yemen.

Not any longer. These days they’re often barren and lifeless. During my many visits, I’ve seen the devastation of once busy souks destroyed by Saudi coalition airstrikes. Skeletal structures of buildings and stalls lie empty where once vibrant businesses sold coffee, spices, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, clothes and children’s toys.

By contrast, on the other side of the world a lucrative market in high-tech weaponry is positively thriving. Over the past two years, the UK and the US have sold billions of pounds’ worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, arms used to obliterate Yemeni markets and much else.

In Yemen, I’ve met countless victims of airstrikes who’ve lost loved ones or had livelihoods destroyed, leaving them impoverished and destitute. After two years of this, the country is facing a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions, with more than 18 million Yemenis requiring humanitarian assistance.

On the one hand, the UK and US have supported Yemen with around £371.5m in aid during the past two conflict-ridden years. On the other, British and American arms companies, with the authorisation of the UK and US governments, have busily supplied much of the weaponry that Saudi Arabia has used for its devastating attacks in its southern neighbour.

Reality and the US-Made Famine in Yemen

Reality and the US-Made Famine in Yemen

 by Kathy Kelly

This week at the Voices for Creative Nonviolence office in Chicago, my colleague Sabia Rigby prepared a presentation for a local high school. She’ll team up with a young friend of ours, himself a refugee from Iraq, to talk about refugee crises driven by war. Sabia recently returned from Kabul where she helped document the young Afghan Peace Volunteers’ efforts to help bring warmth, food and education to internally displaced families living in makeshift camps, having fled the Afghan War when it raged near their former homes.

Last year Sabia had been visiting with refugees in “the Calais Jungle,” who were fleeing the Middle East and several African countries for Britain. Thwarted from crossing the English Channel, a large mass of people were stopped in this refugee camp in Calais, France, from which French authorities eventually evacuated them, defying their careful solidarity and burning their camp to the ground.

As part of her high school talk, Sabia prepared a handout to show where refugees are the most welcomed. One detail astonished her.

In FY 2016, the U.S. admitted 84,995 refugees, but Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world took in 117,000 new refugees and migrants in 2016, and hosts more than 255,000 refugees from Somalia. Yemen is now beginning to host the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. What’s more, the country is regularly targeted by Saudi and US airstrikes.

Since we are also planning a week of fast and action related to the tragic circumstances Yemen faces, we were astounded when we realized Yemen is a path of escape for Somalis fleeing the Horn of Africa, refugees of one conflict, stranded in their flight, and trapped in a country where deadly conflict is precipitating into deadlier famine.

After years of US support for dictator Ali Adullah Saleh, civil war has wracked Yemen since 2014. Its neighbor Saudi Arabia, itself among the region’s cruelest dictatorships and a staunch US ally, became nervous in 2015 about the outcome and, with support from nine regional allies, began subjecting the country to a punishing barrage of airstrikes, and also imposed a blockade that ended the inflow of food and supplies to Yemen through a major port. This was accomplished with massive, ongoing weapons shipments from the US, which has also waged independent airstrikes that have killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

Pummeled by airstrikes and fighting, facing economic collapse and on the brink of famine, how could this tiny, impoverished country absorb thousands upon thousands of desperate migrants?

Yemen imports 90% of its food. Because of the blockade, food and fuel prices are rising and scarcity is at crisis levels.

UNICEF estimates that more than 460,000 children in Yemen face severe malnutrition, and 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women suffer acute malnutrition. More than 10,000 people have been killed, including 1,564 children, and millions have been displaced from their homes, but worse is the groundwork laid for the far greater devastation of famine. Iona Craig, in the IRIN publication, recently wrote:

In the middle of a vast expanse of gray scrubland, a rapidly growing population of more than 120 families huddle under parched trees. Escaping the latest wave of conflict on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, they walked two days to get to this camp southwest of Taiz city.

But on arrival, the scores of women and children found nothing. No support from aid agencies. No food. No water. No shelter. The elderly talk of eating the trees to survive, while children beg for water from local farmers. A mother cradles her clearly malnourished baby in her arms.

Now comes word that on March 16th, forty-two Somali people were killed in sustained gunfire from the air as they set forth in a boat attempting to flee Yemen.

“I took cover in the belly of the ship,” said Ibrahim Ali Zeyad, a Somali who survived the attack. “People were falling left and right. Everyone kept screaming, ‘We are Somali! We are Somali!’”

But the shooting continued for what felt like half an hour.

The attack on Yemen traps both Yemenis and fleeing Somalis in the worst of four developing crises which collectively amount, one U.N. official warns, to the worst humanitarian crisis in the history of the UN As of this writing, no one has taken responsibility for the strike, but survivors say they were attacked by a helicopter gunship. The boat was carrying 140 people as it headed north off the coast of Yemen.

Meanwhile, US weapons makers, including General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, profit massively from weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. In December, 2017, Medea Benjamin wrote: “Despite the repressive nature of the Saudi regime, U.S. governments have not only supported the Saudis on the diplomatic front, but militarily. Under the Obama administration, this has translated into massive weapons sales of $115 billion.”

At this critical juncture, all member states of the UN must call for an end to the blockade and airstrikes, a silencing of all guns, and a negotiated settlement to the war in Yemen. The worst malefactors, the US and Saudi Arabia, must abandon cynical maneuvering against rivals like Iran, in the face of such an unspeakable human cost as Yemen is being made to pay.

US people bear responsibility to demand a radical departure from US policy which exacerbates the deadly tragedy faced by people living in Yemen.

Choosing a path of clear opposition to US policies toward Yemen, US citizens should demand elected representatives stop all drone attacks and military “special operations” within Yemen, end all US weapon sales and military aid to Saudi Arabia, and provide compensation to those who suffered losses caused by US attacks.

Our group of activists long functioned under the name “Voices in the Wilderness,” a campaign to defy US economic warfare against Iraq, a form of war through imposition of economic sanctions which directly contributed to the deaths of over 500,000 children. Lost in a culture of hostile unreality and unbearable silence concerning economic warfare, we were evoking, perhaps unconsciously, the plight of refugees seeking survival. We didn’t succeed in lifting the brutal economic sanctions against Iraq, but we surely learned harsh realities about how callous and reckless US policy makers could be.

We must ground ourselves in reality and in solidarity with the greater part of the world’s people. As our neighbors around the world flee in desperation across borders or within the confines of their own countries, we must continually educate ourselves about the reality of what our nation’s actions mean to the world’s poor. Building toward a time when our voices may unite and be heard, we must raise them now in crying out for the people of Yemen.

Kathy Kelly (kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

The Rothschild and Saudi Families Fund Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton

The Rothschild and Saud Families Fund Both John McCain and Hillary Clinton

Eric Zuesse

On 21 October 2016, I headlined “An Email From Lynn Forester de Rothschild to Hillary Clinton, Against Elizabeth Warren” and reported extensive back-door funding of Hillary Clinton by the Rothschild family. 

On 15 December 2016, I headlined “U.S. Gov’t. Is Secretly Allied with America’s Enemies“ and noted that:

Prior to Hillary’s becoming the U.S. Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation had collected a total of $10 million to $25 million from the Saud family and their vassals (the Sauds’ subordinate aristocrats, such as the bin Ladens — but all from official government accounts). As the U.S. Secretary of State, she and her State Department celebrated in 2011 the Saud family’s purchase of $29.4 billion worth of U.S. Boeing F15-SA bombers (which now were destroying Saudi Arabia’s neighboring country of Yemen, with American bombs); and, as Lee Fang of The Intercept noted about that, “As weapons transfers were being approved, both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Boeing made donations to the Clinton Foundation. The Washington Post revealed that a Boeing lobbyist helped with fundraising in the early stages of Hillary Clinton’s current presidential campaign.”

Then, on March 10th, Jack Burns of The Free Thought Project (a left-libertarian organization, which receives no funding from the Kochs or other billionaires) bannered “EXPOSED: Senator John McCain And His Ties To Saudis, Rothschilds” and he documented similar backdoor funding of John McCain.

John McCain’s father, Admiral John McCain II, headed the official “court of inquiry” into Israel’s 8 June 1967 military assault against the U.S.S. Liberty and he ruled that Israel had merely erred in having slaughtered its 34 U.S. sailors. (It was an entirely unprovoked attack.) However, that ‘finding’ was a cover-up. Ample evidence (such as presented here and here and here) proves that it was intentional and authorized at the top of Israel’s government and why they did it. So, after reviewing that and other evidence, I headlined on 30 September 2016, “Why Does U.S. Gov’t. Donate $38B to an Enemy Nation?” (referring to Obama’s commitment for U.S. taxpayers to donate $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years).

As I explained on 25 December 2015, under the headline “The Saudi Wahhabi Origins of Jihadism”, the Sauds are allied not only with the other fundamentalist-Sunni royal Arab families who own respectively Qatar (Thani), Kuwait (Sabah), and UAE (six royal families in that country), but also with Jewish billionaires, many of whom are American and are major funders of both political parties, just as Christian billionaires are. Israeli politics is largely dominated by Jewish American billionaires, and so the Western Alliance is an alliance of billionaires, who are Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Sunnis, but they are all united together in supporting neoconservatism — the ultimate goal of conquering Russia — and this means wars to overthrow Russia-friendly leaders, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad. But the billionaires also control the armaments-firms, which need lots of wars — it’s just good business for them to invade and otherwise (such as in coups) overthrow governments that refuse to particpate.

This also is the reason why, as I headlined on 28 January 2017, “Al Qaeda Funded by Royal Sauds, U.S. Gov’t. Documents”, and explained why the U.S. government often protects and even arms Al Qaeda, such as in Syria.

Geostrategy is an international game that is played by billionaires who collectively join together to conquer whatever territory they’ve not yet conquered. The non-billionaire publics are merely the customers and agents for those aristocratic families, or else their cannon-fodder — their taxpayer-funded gangsters hired to kill or else be killed. And, of course, the armaments-firms are controlled by the billionaires, and the profits of those firms also are being paid by the nation’s taxpayers; so, the aristocracies extract from the publics everywhere. There is nothing personal in this: it’s just a bloody game.

And that’s also why, as I headlined on 27 March 2017, “Trump Boosts Most Wasteful Department, Reduces All Others”, and reported that the only U.S. Cabinet Department that’s so corrupt it’s unauditable, the ‘Defense’ Department, is boosted an additional 9% in the new President’s budget, and all of the auditable Departments get their budgets cut. Siphoning from the public can be very profitable business. Unfortunately, it has lots of “collateral damages” (such as bloody corpses, and failed states). But, that’s just business, and even hauling off such wastes can be profitable.

To make America “great again” Trump should fully fund food shipments, not arms shipments

Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

The world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is responding by slamming the door on refugees and cutting aid funding while proposing a massive expansion of the U.S. military.

“Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced to kill their animals for food and eat the grain they saved for next year’s seeds,” Antonio Guterres, the new United Nations secretary-general, said recently. “These four crises are very different, but they have one thing in common. They are all preventable. They all stem from conflict, which we must do much more to prevent and resolve.”

While the United Nations scrambles to raise the $5.6 billion needed to avert the worst impacts of these crises, the Trump administration is slashing funding to the U.S. State Department, and, according to a draft executive order obtained by The New York Times, to the United Nations as well. The order as drafted (but not yet officially signed or released) calls for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” of U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. programs like the World Food Program, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF. “This is, frankly, a juvenile attitude unbecoming of the world’s only superpower,” wrote former George W. Bush State Department official Stewart M. Patrick, now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

While the attitude may be juvenile, its impact on actual juveniles is deadly. Seven million people in Yemen are in danger of starvation, and 2.2 million of those are children. Close to half a million of those children are “severely and acutely malnourished,” which means they have already suffered potentially lifelong, developmental damage due to starvation.

Joel Charny, director of the Norwegian Refugee Council USA, said on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, “If the war continues, people will die from famine. I don’t think there’s any question about that. We just have to find a way for the war to end.” That would start with stopping the arming of Saudi Arabia, which is mercilessly bombing Yemen. Instead, on Tuesday, President Trump met at the White House with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman, where they reportedly discussed resuming sales of precision-guided munitions to the Saudi dictatorship.

Amnesty International urged Trump to block new arms sales, writing, “Arming the Saudi Arabia and Bahrain governments risks complicity with war crimes, and doing so while simultaneously banning travel to the U.S. from Yemen would be even more unconscionable.”

The war in Yemen is largely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the United States, under Obama and now intensified under Trump, arming the Saudis and logistically supporting their bombardment of Yemen. “It needs to be stressed that this is not something that started on January 20th,” Charny said, referring to Trump’s inauguration. “This is something that the U.S. has been driving for some time.” In his two terms, President Obama sold a record-breaking $115 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, suspending sales only after a Saudi jet attacked a Yemeni funeral with back-to-back bombings, killing 140 people and wounding 500.

Millions more face famine and a painful death by starvation in Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. In South Sudan, despite oil revenue and fertile cropland, Charny says, “unresolved political conflicts within the South Sudanese ruling class that date all the way back to the ’90s, that were covered up during the independence struggle but have since emerged,” leading to famine. In northeastern Nigeria, armed conflict between the group Boko Haram and the government make delivering humanitarian aid extremely dangerous. Somalia, where famine threatens populations that are actually reachable by the weak central government and aid agencies, Charny struck a more optimistic note: “If we’re able to mobilize food and cash quickly, we can overcome the situation in Somalia … if we get moving.”

Famine in these four countries is avoidable. President Trump should fully fund food shipments — not arms shipments — and spearhead much-needed diplomacy to avoid the immense catastrophe of 20 million horrific deaths by starvation.

This is what would make America great.

Saudis Attack Boat, Kill 42 Refugees Off Yemen

Saudis Attack Boat, Kill 42 Refugees Off Yemen

UN: Dead Included Refugees With UNHCR Documents

Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen has not only produced a humanitarian calamity in that country, but appears to be extending to people who are even adjacent to Yemen, as a Saudi military helicopter attacked a boat full of Somali refugees aiming to reach the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, killing at least 42 of them.

Hodeidah is a Red Sea port that has been the primary point of entry for humanitarian aid into Shi’ite northern Yemen, and subsequently has been regularly attacked by Saudi Arabia itself, with regular airstrikes badly damaging port infrastructure.

Somali refugees have long flocked to Yemen, just a relatively short boat ride away, though the Saudi invasion has obviously made that trip both riskier, and lower-reward, since Yemen itself is facing major humanitarian shortages because of the Saudi blockade.

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the slain refugees, whose bodies arrived in Hodeidah along with some survivors, included people who had official identifying documents from the UNHCR confirming their refugee status.

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