It has seen the obliteration of entire areas, destroying schools, hospitals, factories, food warehouses, farms and thousands of homes. They have targeted weddings, funerals, market places, refugee camps, an Oxfam storage facility, and one night an airstrike even hit a center for the blind.
"I saw people scattered on the floor. They were dead. I saw only half bodies…my clothes were burnt, my hands, my legs, and my face. I was completely burnt." 13 year old boy explains to Save The Children
The bombardment has resulted in thousands of people killed, a large percentage of whom are women and children, many of whom were buried in their own beds. Even paramedics have been targeted as they have tried to save the injured. Thousands more have sustained horrific injuries. I know this because I followed this tragedy from the day the bombardment started. I attempted to document some of the crimes on a blog but soon there were too many to keep up.
These children were from a poor family who were hit by an airstrike. Their parents and siblings were killed outright, however they sustained terrible burn injuries, and suffered on their own for hours before help could reach them. Later they sadly died in hospital. This is not an isolated incident, there have been many similar such tales of horror.
I don’t often tweet these graphic images and I avoid tweeting the never ending stream of the dead, out of respect for the families, but also to not provoke too much anger. Some people cannot tolerate seeing such images, they feel angry and helpless. Some of our vulnerable youth feel outrage at our society for supporting such war crimes and may be pushed towards an extreme reaction that could result in further acts of violence, and I don’t want to see any more lives lost. I want the killing to end.
UK weapons are being used by the Saudis to attack the people of Yemen. More than 80 companies across the UK have applied to export military equipment to Saudi Arabia. BAE has been supporting the Saudi regime not only through the sale of weapons and jets, but also they also have 5,300 employees working in Saudi Arabia supporting the Saudi air force and navy. Approximately 100 British military personnel are based in Saudi Arabia assisting Saudi Arabia's armed forces, our own military train the Saudis in targeting and are said to be sat in the targeting control rooms with the Saudi coalition as airstrikes have been launched. Theresa May has stood shoulder to shoulder with the Saudi regime, defending their actions, despite repeated calls from Oxfam, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many other organisations, calling for the arms sales to stop and for an independent investigation into war crimes– our own government’s response has been to ask the Saudi regime to investigate themselves. Not only is Theresa May not planning on stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia any time soon, she is actually planning on deeper military ties.
Not only have thousands been killed through British made bombs being dropped on Yemeni homes, our government has supported a resolution at the UN which has seen the implementation of a land and sea blockade over Yemen, which means the only planes or ships getting into Yemen are the ones that the Saudis authorise. For a country that imported 90% of its food and 80% of its medicines, this was inevitably going to drive the country towards starvation and disease. To speed up the process, the Saudi led coalition them bombed a key port, which was essential to import aid, destroying several cranes that were crucial for lifting cargo ashore.
Now more than 2 years into this tragedy we see the results of these actions, as the country falls into famine and the health service collapses. Millions are in need of aid. Hundreds of thousands are suffering from acute malnutrition and people are now literally dying from starvation. To make matters even worse, Yemen has recently been hit by a cholera epidemic that has so far affected hundreds of thousands of people and is resulting in people dying every day. The level of mass destruction, forced famine and disease that could have been avoided is now bordering on a genocide.
|This is one little girl that we helped to save from starvation in Yemen. Many others don't get help.|
This is currently the world’s biggest tragedy that the UK public is largely unaware of. When questioned regarding our support for the Saudi regime, the British government frequently argue that we are helping fight terrorism. But what they fail to tell you is that the Houthis in Yemen, who the Saudis are fighting, are actually the enemies of AlQaeda and the so called Islamic State. The coalition bombardment of Yemen has even seen Al Qaeda fighting alongside the Saudi led coalition, enabling them to grow in strength.
So British support for Saudi actions in Yemen is not fighting terrorism at all, but we are actually supporting and helping breed terrorism. In addition, we are strengthening the Saudi regime, which is known to export extreme ideologies around the world that most Muslims worldwide disagree with. British support for the Saudi regime and their war on Yemen is not only wrong, it is a clear risk to our national security.
In addition, the bombardment of Yemen is displacing millions more people. We haven’t yet seen huge numbers of refugees from Yemen reaching us here in the UK, largely because it is so difficult to get out of the country, but eventually they will come, and we will have our government to blame for that.
So why does Theresa May and her government continue to support the Saudi regime, and continue to allow the sale of British weapons to the Saudi government? Apparently, it is good for our economy. Since the bombardment of Yemen began, BAE profits have increased. Thousands die in Yemen, but BAE shareholders make profits. Which, apparently, results in creating more jobs for the British public. Is this right? If you are fine with this, then vote for Theresa May, vote Conservative. If you want change, vote for Jeremy Corbyn, because he is frankly the only politician who can and will stand up to the Saudi regime. He is someone who will not sacrifice all ethics for BAE shareholders to get richer.
This complete disregard for all ethical and moral values displayed by Theresa May and her Conservative government is not the kind of British values that my grandfather fought for. I am not a Labour party member. The last time I voted Labour was before the Iraq war and I honestly thought I would never be able to vote for them again after that. But Jeremy Corbyn is a man of great integrity who has stood up against injustice, and for peace, all through his career, despite huge criticism for doing so.
The issue of the UK general election will have implications on the state of world affairs for generations to come. It is not often that we have the opportunity to vote for someone like Corbyn. I really do see this as a lifeline for humanity, for our children, and I desperately hope we don’t waste it. Please don’t be swayed by idol promises to make you richer. This election is about something much bigger than your bank balance. Please vote for humanity.