Monday, September 24, 2018 2:05:01 PM
Media Campaign Targets World Leaders Over War on Yemen

A media group based in Washington, DC, launched an ad campaign this week in New York City that targets an exclusive audience, world leaders in town for the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. Aiming at an end to the war in Yemen, PRI reported.

The media campaign, sponsored by Inside Arabia, is seeking to raise awareness of the war on Yemen’s human toll and to demand action from the world’s governments to put an end to the war.

"This is a body that has the power, the resources, the influence to work to stop this war," says Elisabeth Myers, whose publication, Inside Arabia, is behind the campaign. Provocative images and messages are being shown on billboards, kiosks and on some of Manhattan's bright red double-decker tour buses.

"Looking out from the back of a bus is the eye of a Yemeni child," Myers says. Inside the eye, if you look closely, she says, is the reflection of two flags: the Saudi flag and the Emirati flag.

On the side of the bus, along with the picture of the child, is this message: "The war in Yemen — the world's worst man-made crisis." The bottom of the ad implores the UN to act.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which receive support from the US for their military operations in Yemen, imposed war against Yemen, since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the US-Saudi-UAE aggression. The US-Saudi-UAE aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been trying to restart negotiations between the warring parties, most recently at a meeting in Geneva but the countries of aggression prevented Ansarullah from attending. For the past month, Myers’ publication has been posting articles outlining issues in the Yemen war. Myers, who is editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia, says there will be six different ads while the UN is in session.

"Each particular graphic has a different caption, so one will show that there are 11 million children on the brink of starvation right now," she says. "Another will show that there were 68 civilians killed in one airstrike. In another airstrike, there was a school bus targeted with 40 children on it. So the image is stark and beautiful and tragic all at the same time, and the words are devastating."

The war on Yemen and the resulting humanitarian crisis have been severely neglected by the rest of the world, and the U.N. response has been hamstrung because of the unstinting support for the Saudis and Emiratis provided by the U.S., Britain, and other Western governments. Western media coverage has also been sporadic and lacking since the Saudi-led intervention began three and a half years ago, and that has made it easier for the war’s supporters to escape scrutiny and accountability for the catastrophe they have created.

An ad campaign timed to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly should embarrass some of the governments responsible for the disaster in Yemen and it may cause others to pay more attention to the war. Confronting the American public with the horrific costs of a war fueled by their government is an important step in bringing political pressure to bear on members of Congress and the administration. U.S. support for this war still isn’t well-known, but as Americans learn more about what our government is helping the Saudis and Emiratis do to the people of Yemen opposition to the war has steadily increased.

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