Last night Israeli F-16s attacked the area near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia. It appears in the course of the attack, Syrian air defense missiles may have hit a Russian surveillance aircraft, killing 15 Russian service members. The Israelis blame the Syrians for using old air defense systems, while in fact they have been the loudest voices arguing against any upgrade of Syrian defenses (it would make it harder to bomb the country). Meanwhile the Russo-Turk agreement on Idlib has defused the threat of an imminent Russian attack on the province and has thwarted US and western government plans to retaliate against the Syrian government. What’s going on? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
UNICEF reported that one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen with 462,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition which is a dramatic increase of about 200 percent since Saudi Arabia’s invasion started in 2015.
In 2016, UNHCR stated there has been 2.4 million displaced and that number has risen to 3.1 million due to heavy fighting in civilian populations. Yemenis civilians are fleeing across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait from Yemen to neighboring countries like Djibouti to seek refuge. Refugees are also fleeing to Somalia and Oman these countries report thousands seeking asylum. Oman reported nearly 3,000 refugees of 48 different nationalities have fled the conflict for Oman.
This conflict, legacy media like to call a “civil war” has killed more than 10,000 civilians and wounded over 40,000 others. It is a “war” that has left 22.2 million Yemenis requiring humanitarian assistance resulting in more than 80% of the population being in dire need.
The Associated Press reports on the appalling starvation that is slowly killing millions of people in Yemen:
In a remote pocket of northern Yemen, many families with starving children have nothing to eat but the leaves of a local vine, boiled into a sour, acidic green paste. International aid agencies have been caught off guard by the extent of the suffering there as parents and children waste away.
The main health center in Aslam district was flooded with dozens of emaciated children during a recent visit by the Associated Press. Excruciatingly thin toddlers, eyes bulging, sat in a plastic washtub used in a make-shift scale as nurses weighed each one. Their papery skin was stretched tight over pencil-like limbs and knobby knees. Nurses measured their forearms, just a few centimeters in diameter, marking the worst stages of malnutrition.
At least 20 children are known to have died of starvation already this year in the province that includes the district, more than three years into the country’s ruinous civil war. The real number is likely far higher, since few families report it when their children die at home, officials say [bold mine-DL].
I was watching the Bill Maher Show this past weekend on HBO. Generally considered a liberal and a free-thinker, Maher argued that U.S. military forces had to stay in Afghanistan to prevent a resurgence of terrorism. He and his guests seem to have forgotten US military testimony that roughly 20 terrorist groups are currently present in Afghanistan; indeed, that the presence of American troops has attracted more terrorist activity, even as the Taliban has increased its control and the drug trade has vastly expanded. How is long-term failure over 17 years an argument for an even longer “enduring presence” by US troops? How long should those troops stay – forever?
General Smedley Butler knew the score. Five years ago, I wrote this post citing his confession about how war is a racket, driven by the profit motive, exploited by the powerful, even as the grunts and the native people of foreign lands pay the price.
Interviewed Tuesday by host Sharmini Peries at The Real News, Lawrence Wilkerson, a College of William & Mary professor and former chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned that “the neoconservative agenda” for an escalated United States war on Syria followed by war on Iran has had a “resurrection” in President Donald Trump’s administration.
Regarding talk about the US taking military action in Syria in response to potential allegations of the use of chemical weapons – false flag or otherwise – in the country, Wilkerson comments that the war advocates are “looking for every excuse, any excuse, all excuses, to reopen US operations, major U.S. operations, against [President Bashar al-Assad] in Syria, always realizing that the ultimate target is Tehran.” Tehran is the capital of Iran.
Do we have any reason at all to hope for a less militaristic foreign policy under President Trump? Col. Macgregor has seen war up close – he led the charge against the Iraqi Republican Guard in the 1991 Iraq war – and he’s had enough of the US empire. In his Media & War Conference speech he offers a way out of the neocon militarism that dominates Washington: