The UN estimates that nearly 20 million Yemenis could die of starvation by the end of this year. That's about 70 percent of the entire population. That horrific number includes more than 2 million children who are already going hungry, including 500,000 who are suffering from severe malnutrition. The people of Yemen have found themselves struggling not only for survival, but for a space in the Western media's war coverage. In the shadow of the conflict in Syria, the men, women and children of Yemen are being deliberately starved and targeted by strategic airstrikes and an illegal blockade in a war initiated by Saudi Arabia and aided, massively if not entirely, by the United States.
American prisoners have concluded labor strikes and, in some facilities hunger strikes in at least 17 states. They struck from August 21 to September 9. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS) and national organizers have endorsed local strikers to set their own end dates, or strike indefinitely. Incarcerated organizers never believed that their demands would be met a negotiating table during the past three weeks; it has been a huge success of the 2018 prison strike that the 10 points have been pushed into the national and international consciousness. The work of spreading and fighting for these demands will continue on all fronts until they are actualized, and then beyond that onto what JLS aptly calls "the dismantling process," as we build a movement toward abolition.
Today is the 17th commemoration of the Twin Towers, Shanksville and Pentagon catastrophes. We morn the lose of life but we must also ask ourselves some critical questions. Life in a post-9/11 America increasingly feels like an endless free fall down a rabbit hole into a terrifying, dystopian alternative reality in which the citizenry has no rights, the government is no friend to freedom, and everything we ever knew and loved about the values and principles that once made this country great has been turned on its head. We've walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. Are we safer with the erosion of our Bill of Rights than we are being protected against all of those evil boogie men who want to do us harm? We were told that the War on Terror was to protect us against al Qaeda. But today as Iran, Russia, Turkey and Syria get ready to go into Idlib to serve the final blow to al Qaeda in Idlib the US is backing the terrorists, supporting the terrorists.
Dr. Aisha O. Jumaan — public-health specialist working as a consultant on heath-related projects in Yemen.
Elizabeth Myers — Editor-In-Chief Inside Arabia.
Dr. Johanna Fernandez — Baruch College Professor of American History and documentarian with Big Noise Films
John Whitehead — president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.
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