War and Suffering

The war in Yemen has just entered its fourth year. The war in Syria is 7 years old, the war in Sudan 5, the war in Afghanistan 15. War and suffering go together. For example, in Yemen which has already been called a humanitarian crisis :

  • in March 2017 an outbreak of cholera spread to a million people by the end of the year
  • an estimate of 2 million children are out of school
  • 2 million people, nearly 3 in every 4 people are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive
  • besides cholera there has been dengue fever malaria and diphtheria, while the fear and possibility of those diseases returning is real
  • the destruction of hospitals and infrastructure make rendering aid more difficult

It is not known how long the war will last.  The same can be said of Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Sudan and others not mentioned here. In Yemen’s case it is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In Syria Turkey and Russia also make it a proxy war. Whether the United States has an interest in the stakes of a given war and is able to influence some form of peace is not foreground on the agenda of the current administration. This means that our understanding and commitment that as humans the suffering of war is our responsibility, to at least alleviate, must be that much stronger