Money: A More Influential Factor Than Human Lives | Teen Ink

Money: A More Influential Factor Than Human Lives

November 11, 2019
By KevinLai BRONZE, Irvine, California
KevinLai BRONZE, Irvine, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The deadliest famine in our lifetime. Something so horrible that even a forgetful teen can’t stop thinking about. What is it you ask? The civil war in Yemen. This is a big task: the war in Yemen is extremely complicated with many factions, so I will just focus on the main ones. In 2015, a movement of armed rebels named the Houthis began clashing with President Hadi of Yemen. Iran has been accused of supporting the Houthi rebels. Soon, another actor would join the fight. The Kingdom Saudi Arabia answered to Hadi’s request for help. Saudi Arabia, along with many of the other nations in the Gulf, began airstrikes at Houthi positions in Yemen. Now the conflict has been going on for four years and it has yet to end, though now, the Saudi coalition is finally realizing that they can’t win and are seeking negotiations (2).

Unfortunately, it’s not just the Saudi coalition and the rebels. There’s another factor: the international community. The United States, along with many allies including the United Kingdom and Germany, have been funding the Saudi coalition with arms sales. These countries have a moral obligation to end the war and shouldn’t be supporting the continued abuse and killing of civilians. Saudi Arabia bombs hospitals, schools, marketplaces, and other civilian locations. In fact, two thirds of air raids have hit civilians instead of the targets. Yemen’s civil war has made 17 million people food insecure. A child dies every ten minutes. There’s a cholera outbreak, a lack of potable water, and sanitation issues too (1).

The problems in Yemen don’t just stop there. It also affects the world on a more global scale. The Saudi coalition is literally handing weapons to the very terrorists that the United States is trying to fight. American weapons that we have sold to Saudi Arabia are given to Al Qaeda factions in the Arabian Peninsula (3). It’s also going to the very enemies we are supposed to be fighting. Both Iran and Houthis have also gotten their hands on US weapons. They study these weapons and learn how to defeat us (4). 

So what can we do? Well, we might not have to do anything. The Saudi coalition is negotiating with the Houthi rebels right now. But we shouldn’t just be complicit. The United States should end the sale of arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We sell them billions of dollars of weapons and it’s directly funding the war. By ending arm sales, Saudi wouldn’t be able to maintain their weapons. Also, our arms sales only allow Saudi Arabia to ignore international criticism and derail negotiations. The United States shouldn’t be stagnant in a genocide that we are literally funding. As the world’s leader, America has a moral obligation to end the nonsense. 


Works Cited


(1) Bachman, Jeff. “A ‘synchronised attack’ on life: the Saudi-led coalition’s ‘hidden and holistic’ genocide in Yemen and the shared responsibility of the US and UK”. January 17, 2019

(2) BBC. “Yemen crisis: Why is there a war?”. March 21, 2019

(3) Mckay, Holly. Fears US weapons are falling into the 'wrong hands' during chaotic Yemeni war. June 14, 2019.

(4) Thrall, Trevor. “American Weapons in Yemen: A Cautionary Tale”. February 5, 2019

The author's comments:

I learned about the Yemen conflict through my experience in debate. Our current topic is that the United States should end arm sales to foreign countries. 

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