Letters to the Editor

Sanders, Welch should team up on Yemen resolution

Mar 21 2022, 9:47 AM

On the day that the invasion of Ukraine began, there were 37 separate airstrikes on Yemen. Airstrikes are frequent there, day and night. The U.S. has backed this destruction for seven years. Our country supplies and supports the weapons, ammunition and military intelligence that batters people on the other side of the world, out of our sight. We fund and facilitate those devastating airstrikes. 

The United Nations currently lists 17 countries in crisis, millions of fellow humans around the world in need of humanitarian aid. Yes, Ukraine is one of these, its tragedy garnering much news coverage. The other 16 countries get little notice, maybe because they’re far away, have different cultures from ours, or we feel helpless to change their situations. One of those 16 is Yemen. 

Yemen has roughly 10% of our population. To compare our circumstances to theirs, take the statistics on violence and death in Yemen and multiply by 10. If the U.S. was in the same straits as Yemen, under siege and blockade of basic necessities, 160 million Americans would be on the brink of starvation with 23 million children under 5 suffering acute malnutrition. No less than 2,300,000 Americans would have died. Our residents, our children.

Adapt the UN’s numbers and you’ll see that 240 million people in the U.S. would need humanitarian assistance. Right now. It’s fair to say that 37 airstrikes on this country would move citizens and the government to action. 

We have the power and the ability to stop our collusion and participation in the catastrophe in Yemen. 

During a national day of action for Yemen on March 1, Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., declared that he will be an original co-sponsor of the House’s upcoming Yemen War Powers Resolution, soon to be introduced by Rep. Jayapal, D-Wash., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. This is an important step. Many thanks to Rep. Welch. But the job is not complete. We need a companion resolution in the Senate.  

We need Sen. Bernie Sanders to collaborate with Welch. Bernie: side-by-side with your Vermont colleague, introduce another War Powers Resolution for Yemen. You did it beautifully in 2018 and 2019; it passed in both houses, on both sides of the aisle. 

Of all of the human-made horrors on the planet, none should be forgotten. And none should be made worse by U.S. complicity. 

MaryDiane Baker

Brattleboro

An organizer with Action Corps VT