When someone stops me on the street and hands me a flyer, it’s like they’re saying, ‘Hey, you throw this away for me.’ Well, I feel the same way about signing petitions. Putting one’s John Hancock on a piece of paper is a way of throwing away one’s responsibility for a cause… if that’s all you’re doing.” — Mitch Hedberg
Senators Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee have just introduced a resolution that should force a vote in the coming days on whether to end participation by the U.S. military in the devastation of Yemen.
Personally, I don’t think swamping every U.S. Senator with an overwhelming grassroots demand to end our highly proactive creation of the worst human nightmare in years will be sufficient to make a difference, but I do urge readers to get with World Beyond War to participate in their present efforts to address this abomination of ours.
U.S. tax dollars are being spent to create the worst humanitarian crisis on the globe — and we now have a chance to stop it. Yemen now has hope. For years, following the destabilization created by a U.S. drone war on Yemen, the U.S. military has been targeting Saudi strikes on Yemen, and refueling mid-air the Saudi planes provided by a U.S. company with U.S. approval. Now, COURTESY OF OUR TAX DOLLARS, beyond the widespread death, destruction, and disease epidemics, 8 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine.
Make no mistake: This is a United States war in Yemen. This is NOT just another conflict being covered by the news; in fact, it’s pretty much being ignored by our mainstream media outlets. This is — truth be told — an abomination of epic proportions, an historic set of atrocities set into motion with U.S. support.
With United States support, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are deliberately using starvation as a weapon of war in Yemen and allowing diphtheria and cholera to ravage the country. A Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from famine or disease.
The war is, like the drone war before it, also making Al-Qaeda and ISIS stronger, even according to the U.S. so-called intelligence community. And yet, this is NOT even being discussed in U.S. educational institutions. NOT at all in any of the hundreds of colleges and universities where I contacted professors and instructors teaching disciplines which could justifiably incorporate this very callous current event into classroom exchanges.
The resolution being put forth by Sanders and Lee might be our best chance to end U.S. support for this unconscionable, human-made crisis — but we only have a few days to make sure senators vote for the bill. As noted, I don’t have much faith in turning things around with the Sanders/Lee gesture. Both of their track records leave much to be desired when it comes to our invasions and support of horror abroad, and I wish they would supplement the submission of the bill with a demonstration of iron will vis-a-vis leading unprecedented direct action. But that’s not in the cards with them, of course. Senators, in general, are all for the ongoing proliferation of war, it seems.
World Without War thanks its members for raising their voices to end the suffering of the people of Yemen, as they circulate their petition via high tech gadgetry. And they should be applauded for being in the well-meaning loop of at least acknowledging what’s disgusting, and trying to do something about it all.
That said, we have to put to bed what’s dead about activism today. Petitions of any kind absolutely must be supplemented with something fresh. Especially if they’re focusing on the most highly controversial and horrifying actions of the U.S. government. In each and every instance, concerned citizens must decide what’s the best supplement to embrace. But, again, something new must be added to the activist mix.
Why is it that all the students and parents and others protesting gun violence in our schools don’t see the correlation between our inhumane actions overseas — our war criminality — and the obscene events on our domestic front?
Stunted education is my answer. It plays a very big part in the Big Picture. And it’s something every single reader can do something about above and beyond signing (or encouraging others to sign) petitions, or making calls… or marching with placards.
[Marcel Duchamp Oxman can be reached at email@example.com. He will be happy to send readers free books which trace counterparts to the current crisis in Yemen which can be attributed, in part, to the unconscionable support of U.S. tax dollars.]
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