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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/11/18

US Calls for Ceasefire, Keeps Attacking Yemen

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In case you missed it, US efforts to prolong the world's most serious humanitarian crisis in Yemen continue to succeed spectacularly. US military support enables the Saudi coalition to continue to bomb markets, docks, mosques, hospitals, school buses, weddings and funerals, and other civilian targets with impunity. The Saudis' Yemeni enemy, the Houthi rebels, have no effective air defenses. On March 26, 2015, with the blessing and tactical support of the Obama administration, Saudi Arabia and its allies launched an illegal, genocidal, aggressive war on Houthi-controlled Yemen. Yemen was -- and is -- in the midst of a civil war in which the long-oppressed Houthis overthrew the "legitimate" government that the US and others had imposed on Yemen.

Since March 2015, the US and the Saudi coalition have subjected Yemen to daily war crimes, not only killing civilians but destroying non-military targets of all sorts, causing a form of biological warfare with a cholera plague, as well as massive famine for more than half the country's 25 million people. The UN's World Food Program (WFP) head said on September 27: "Yemen is a disaster and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel right now." Yemen was not a significant issue in the American election, even as the Trump administration sanctioned and supported military escalation that heightened the suffering of millions (and that has already killed tens of thousands).

At the US State Department, on November 7, the press briefing focused on the ideological basis for punishing Iran for continuing to abide by the nuclear agreement that the US pulled out of (still joined by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China). The US blames Iran for Yemen, too, with little persuasive or significant evidence to support the propaganda bias. Eventually in the briefing there was a question about Yemen, and the exchange with State Department spokesman Robert Palladino went like this (edited, with emphasis added):

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QUESTION: Yemen?

MR PALLADINO: Yemen? Let's go to Yemen in the back, please.

QUESTION: The fighting around Hodedah [the Yemeni port critical to supplying food to the region's poorest country that was a food importer before being attacked] seems to be picking up with -- and UNICEF and MSF and all these aid groups who are saying children are at risk at these hospitals. And I wonder what's happened to the U.S. call for a ceasefire.

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MR PALLADINO: The -- well, I would start by saying we closely are following the developments that are taking place in Hodedah. As the Secretary said, we've been urging all parties to come to the table, and to recognize that there's no military victory that can be achieved in Yemen. And we continue to call for a cessation of hostilities and for all parties to support United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

QUESTION: So have there been any phone calls?...

MR PALLADINO: We are in daily contact with the special envoy...

QUESTION: Would you call on the Saudi coalition to halt this offensive that they seem to now be bearing down on in Hodedah?

MR PALLADINO: We've called for a cessation of hostilities... Please, next question...

QUESTION: Have you had a miscommunication then, with the Saudi-led coalition, that they're now beginning this offensive?

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MR PALLADINO: -- our assessment remains the same...

QUESTION: -- to put a finer point on that, I mean, did the coalition -- the Saudi coalition that the U.S. supports coordinate with or tell you in advance that they were going to increase fighting around Hudaydah or did they just ignore the Secretary's call?

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 
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