Starving to Death: Why Trump Didn't Mention Yemen in his SOTU

VIEW FROM HERE-According to the Government Accountability Office, President Trump's early trips to Mar-a-Lago cost 13.8 million dollars. The Defense Department and Homeland Security incurred most of those costs, approximately 8.5 and 5.1 million respectfully.  

Meanwhile, the nation of Yemen is embroiled in a ghastly war, one that has claimed the lives of at least 85,000 children. In one New York Times article that I came across, a quote struck me with outrage: "For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death -- and it's entirely preventable," Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's country director in Yemen, said in a statement. "Children who die in this way suffer immensely. As their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop." 

As I see it, unlike the contrived illegal immigration crisis at the southern border, there is a real emergency happening in the world, and it is one that Donald Trump has no will whatsoever to stop. In his SOTU, he addressed everything from manufacturing jobs to tax codes to NASA missions to prison reform to infrastructure to partisan politics to NATO and ISIS. But one topic the president totally ignored was Yemen. On his watch, an entire generation of children are at risk of starving to death. 

Yet Trump does nothing. As he takes his million-dollar getaway trips down to Palm Beach, thousands of children in Yemen are on the verge of death every day. In 2017-18, Doctors Without Borders treated 101, 500 patients for cholera. Those are just the patients treated. The actual deaths from cholera are reaching near impossible levels of human suffering. 

As Mr. Trump drones on and on about his wall, where is the aid for a real emergency such as Yemen? While the president spends millions of dollars to throw house parties and play golf, where is the determination to do something about a clear and present crime against humanity? Why was Yemen omitted from his speech?  

I hate to say it, but it doesn't seem to phase Trump at all that children are dying at such terrible rates and in such horrible ways. To be frank, he appears not only oblivious to their suffering, but oblivious to the fact that he is an actual contributor to their misery. Without massive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, foreign policy aid, and political silence, there would not be a war like this. That is to say, if the United States did not choose to fund and sanction this war, Yemen would not be in this situation. Whether the president cares to acknowledge it or not, this conflict is on his shoulders. No other person has the power to stop the infanticide more quickly than he does.  

If Trump continues to participate in the carnage, someday, this will be seen as far worse than Clinton's inaction over Rwanda. Trump's unassailable relationship with the Kingdom -- and the blank check that he has issued them to do whatever they pay for – represents little hope for those starving children. It really is tragic. Just a few dollars a day can keep a child in Yemen alive. Just a few dollars can get them fresh water and food. But our president spends millions on vacations. Millions of dollars to do what? To have a party? To show off? To relax? To do a little "executive time?" Doesn't he know that children are starving to death? Doesn't he know that his policies are responsible for their deaths?

 

(George Cassidy Payne is an independent writer, social justice activist, and adjunct professor of philosophy at SUNY.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.