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BY BILL MEFFORD

February 2, 2019
Houthi rebels in Sana'a after a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition
Senator Bernie Sanders and other members of Congress called this week for legislation to block continued US support for the Saudi-backed fighters in the War in Yemen. Though the legislation would like face a veto, they see public opinion in the United States is beginning to turn against further US involvement. 
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
With so much news swirling day in and day out concerning the latest trump administration or campaign executive being arrested or indicted, it is not surprising that so many of us know little of what is happening in the rest of the world. One of those events happening in the rest of the world that is having devastating results in the civil war in Yemen. 

As part of the Arab Spring, Houthi (Shiite) forces, linked with Iran, sprang up in 2014 back by Iran to overthrow the government in Yemen. They took over the capital city of Yemen and in response, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies backed both economic and military reprisals against the Houthi insurgents. The conflict in Yemen has therefore brought out into the open the violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in the area and there is a constant danger that might result in warfare between Saudi Arabia and Iran. 

The United States has chosen the side of Saudi Arabia in this conflict and much of the military equipment being used by Saudi-backed forces, particularly the equipment used in air-bombing, comes straight from the United States, as reported by the New York Times in December. This means that if you are a citizen of the United States, as I am, our money is backing the bombs that have killed hundreds, if not thousands of civilians in Yemen. 

As with all wars, the only innocents are not the forces of either side, but the civilians. In the last three years over 17,000 civilian casualties in Yemen and the country has now been taken over by famine. Over two million people have been displaced and over 22 million people need some kind of assistance. US-made bombs and military equipment have been used to terrorize civilians and yet, so few of us know anything that is happening in this country. 

The lawlessness and ridiculousness of this current administration have distracted us from doing good for others. And our distraction has allowed for suffering to be perpetuated and people to die. 

No more. As much as we pay attention to the Mueller investigation and the latest trump crony to be indicted, even more must our eyes be on the real suffering that is engulfing over twenty million Yemenis. We must demand that Congress no longer ship weapons to the Saudi-backed coalition in Yemen to kill in our name. It is not that we stand with Iranian-backed Houthis; unfortunately, human rights atrocities have been committed by both sides. It must be that we stand with the civilians who simply want to live in a safe and secure Yemen without the threat of violence and mayhem. We can do our part to aid in their hopes. 
  • Call the office of Senator Jim Risch of Idaho (202-224-2752), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations, and urge him to pass legislation in his committee stopping all US support for the War in Yemen. Also, call Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY, 202-225-2464), who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and urge him to pass legislation in his committee stopping all US support for the War in Yemen. 
  • Give to the World Food Program to help feed the people of Yemen. 
Gracious God, we pray for all persons suffering from war. 

May you hold them in your loving care and protection. 

May you transform the hearts and minds of all those who perpetuate violence and oppression. 

May you awaken us from slumber to the suffering of our sisters and brothers in Yemen and to redemptively use our power to ease their suffering. 

May you bring peace to Yemen. Amen.
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