Thursday, June 03, 2010

Yemen does a blockade. People die. World yawns.

When Arabs blockade, they really do it right. No food, water, medicine, or press - so no criticism, either. And it only takes them three weeks to start starving people!

From The Examiner, May 30:

As Yemen’s blockade on southern Yemen enters its third week, stocks of food, medicine and oil have dwindled to dangerous levels. Prices have skyrocketed and already malnourished children bear the brunt of the military action.

The blockade began 17 days ago when the Western Armored Division established new checkpoints on roads and at city entrances preventing the flow of persons and commerce including food, medicine, oil and water. The blockade has cut off Radfan, Yafea, al Dhala, al Melah, al Habeelan, al Shaib, Gahaf, Lazarik, and parts of Shabwah.

The main road between Aden and al Dahlie is closed. Al Habaleen, Lahj was indiscriminately shelled three days ago after two soldiers were killed in an ambush. Another ambush in al Melah killed one soldier, and authorities have accused renegade elements of the southern independence movement with the attacks.

Nearly one thousand have fled Radfan, al Habaleen and al Bilah seeking safety. Like the 250,000 internally displaced by the Sa’ada War, these are mostly women and children. On May 24, a pregnant woman en route to a hospital in Aden was stopped at a military checkpoint and later died in childbirth.

Reports indicate a heavy military mobilization including tanks and armored personnel carriers. As during the Saada war, a total media blackout is in place, often accomplished by the arrest of southern journalists. An American journalist was expelled from Yemen last week after visiting Yafee, a center of southern resistance.

Yemen’s conduct of the Saada war generated 250,000 internal refugees with arbitrary aerial bombing of civilian areas and a strict blockade of food, medicine and international aid.
Assuming this is true, then the world is ignoring a real, illegal blockade (actually, two of them - one was last year) - blockades that do not let anything through and are designed to literally starve out the population.

But Arabs killed and starved by other Arabs is no big deal. No protests or flotillas against Yemen - because the protesters know that they would be killed on the spot, without any media attention.

If the world doesn't know about it, then how bad could it be?

Of course, the Yemenis vociferously protested Israel's blockade. While people in southern Yemen would gladly trade places with any Gazan.