The recent events in Las Vegas shook the entire nation, and the rest of the world has watched intently as authorities have struggled with their investigation and independent media outlets have spread uninvestigated and sensationalized narratives.
Yet one should always remember that events that shake the West from time to time regularly occur in countries across the globe — and we barely flinch. To make matters worse, more often than not, it is the U.S. that is exacting that violence on a daily basis, which we detest and protest when we face it ourselves. As one person eloquently put it: “Our 9/11 is their 24/7.”
Hussam al-Sanabani is a Yemeni activist who has strongly protested the U.S.-backed Saudi-led war of aggression against his country. As AlterNet explains:
Hussam al-Sanabani is a Yemeni activist living under incessant U.S.-Saudi coalition airstrikes in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. During more than 900 days of bombing and blockade, al-Sanabani has steadfastly spoken out against the foreign war on his country and called for peace.”
In an interview with AlterNet, al-Sanabani discussed his personal experiences and why he believes the American people should turn their attention to his plight.
I am a Yemeni citizen who was dreaming of a better tomorrow. I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night to watch the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. announce the start of Operation Decisive Storm, from Washington, D.C. Since then, like most Yemenis, my life has been changed by war.”
Considering the horror Saudi Arabia has unleashed on Yemen’s impoverished civilian population, it is no surprise that some members of Congress have co-sponsored legislation that would end U.S. support for the war. In September, California Rep. Ro Khanna introduced H. Con. Res. 81, which would withdraw U.S. military forces involved in Yemen unless Congress approves an official declaration of war – something rarely seen in recent history.
It has been well established that if the U.S. were to withdraw its support for the war in Yemen, the war would be over almost immediately. Still, this is completely unlikely, mainly because it presumes that the U.S. is an innocent bystander that has been dragged into the war by a reckless ally when in reality, Saudi Arabia is fighting its dirty war on America’s behalf. Their interests are primarily the same.
Al-Sanabani used this legislative opportunity to pen an open letter to the U.S. Congress, urging the United States to vote in favor of ending the war.
From Yemen, the country that is still under blockade until today, I write this letter to the U.S. Congress to tell them about some of Yemenis’ tragedies, asking them to vote for H. Con. Res 81,” al-Sanabani explained.
Drawing on emotion from the recent Las Vegas shooting and marking a comparison between the suffering of those involved and the suffering of his country every day, al-Sanabani stated:
We were following the news when the innocent civilians in Las Vegas were subjected to gunfire from an insane criminal. The killer continued to shoot in batches while some victims were bleeding to death, whilst the others were forced not to move because the murderer was still free and still shooting. The police and the ambulance teams could not help those innocent victims, while they were in desperate need of help. Our thoughts were with them as we watched the news coming from Las Vegas.
No one can understand and feel what those innocent people have suffered except the Yemenis. What happened to them that night happens to us every night in Yemen. There is a crazy murderer who shoots at us and we see our relatives and our neighbors dying, and we can not help them because the crazy killer is still shooting and is not satisfied with the thousands of innocent victims already killed in Yemen.” [emphasis added]
Top photo | People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a busy funeral hall in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.