That is today’s cover of The Times of London.
That is a picture of an 18-year-old girl.
She is starving to death because she lives in Yemen, which is wracked by civil war made worse by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition intervention on behalf of one side. That intervention is supported and materially assisted by Britain—thus the Times’ interest—and the United States.
Part of the Saudi campaign is a blockade keeping food shipments away from Yemen, producing a famine that is devastating the civilian population. Yemen imports 85 percent of its food, so if food can’t get in, people will starve and indeed are starving now.
The blockade-induced famine plus bombing which has killed thousands of civilians and displaced, injured, or otherwise affected millions more is why the Saudi-led coalition has been credibly accused of war crimes—and again, this is all happening with American assistance. The Saudis are reportedly even using cluster bombs, which children sometimes mistake for toys.
While it is true that the U.S. and U.K. governments have attempted to convince the Saudis to moderate their tactics, at this point it is clear that is more a suggestion than a demand with any real teeth. Even after Saudi bombs dropped on a funeral service killed more than 140 and injured about 525 people a couple weeks ago, Washington criticized the attack but soon after escalated our direct involvement in the conflict.
Unfortunately, few Americans know about the war in Yemen at all, let alone the horrifying affect our assistance to the Saudi coalition is having on the civilian population. Our involvement there is growing despite the war crimes, despite how the conflict has allowed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to flourish, and despite the fact that the White House has never asked for or received constitutionally-required authority from Congress to engage in this war.
If nothing changes, there will be many more Yemeni girls just like this one, starving to death as their cities burn.
If you’d like to contact your representative and senators about this, click here.