Parents are forced to decide between saving their sick children and preventing healthier ones from following the same perilous route.
Cemeteries in this desperately poor and rugged stretch of villages in the northwest contain the bodies of children who have recently died of hunger and preventable diseases.
Most are buried in unmarked graves, their deaths unreported to authorities.
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen continues to be largely ignored.
One reason for this is that the near-famine conditions that exist throughout much of the country and the deaths that result from them are invisible in official accounts of how many have been killed by the war.
Many of the war’s victims are killed by hunger or preventable disease, and yet the warring parties have caused their deaths all the same.
The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is every bit as terrible as any in the world, and it is probably the worst of all in some respects, but because the victims are largely cut off from the outside world their plight remains mostly unknown.
Even when it is made known, it tends to be greeted by indifference because the people suffering are perceived to be on the “wrong” side or because it is an embarrassment to the U.S., Britain, and their client governments.
The starvation of Yemen’s civilian population is one of the greatest man-made disasters of this century, and it has been brought about in large part by U.S.-backed clients as they pursue a senseless and atrocious war against one of the world’s poorest countries.
When the starvation of Yemen occasionally receives some decent coverage, there is barely any mention of the responsibility of the Saudi-led coalition and its Western patrons for helping to create these horrible conditions.
The coalition and its Western backers, including the U.S., are not the only ones responsible, but they bear the largest responsibility because they are the ones that have been blockading the country and devastating its infrastructure and ports with bombs, and they were the ones that escalated and prolonged the war for all this time.
Except for a brief surge of attention a few months ago, the war and the U.S. role in enabling it have received very little scrutiny or criticism.
The U.S. continues to sustain the Saudi-led war with weapons and fuel despite ample evidence of repeated and sometimes deliberate coalition targeting of civilian sites, and our government could withdraw that support at any time if it wished to do so.
Our government does not wish this, but has chosen to continue its indefensible policy of support.
Obama has helped to cause a humanitarian crisis that threatens the lives of tens of millions of people, and he has created countless new enemies for the United States for the sake of “reassuring” a group of despots.
As we begin to consider his “legacy,” support for the war on Yemen should be ranked as one of his worst and most inexcusable errors.