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March 2018

What's really going on in Yemen and Syria? - A Reporter's Perspective

When: Sunday, March 18 2018 @ 07:00 PM - - 09:00PM
Where: Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo
300 E. Santa Inez Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402
Description: With U.S. military spending possibly topping $700 billion next year, some in "defense" department circles might point to justification for that outsized amount in our participation in ongoing civil wars in both Yemen and Syria. We might ask why it is necessary for us to participate in these conflicts.

We would do well to question, as in other recent times, the need for U.S. military might to help one side fight another, or to wage war ourselves. Such questions become ever more relevant with the news of civilian casualties, ruined cities, devastating health issues, and hundreds of thousands of refugees - many of whom the U.S. has no intention of taking in.

There is also the news we don't hear; notwithstanding the massive profits of our country's weapons industry when we intervene militarily, we might also wonder why we choose which side, and the implications. Why do we support Saudi Arabia in its fight against the Houthi rebels in Yemen? Just who are we supporting in they have connections to Al Qaeda? And perhaps most significant, are we helping to settle these conflicts, or helping to prolong them?

As Donald Trump moves to step up U.S. aggression in Yemen and Syria, he spreads misinformation about the U.S. role. Whether overstating the need for military action, or just glorifying the military, truth is again becoming a casualty of war. Reese Erlich's first responsibility is always to set the record straight, and that will be the premise of his talk on March 18.

Reese Erlich's career in journalism spans over 40 years; he has traveled to almost every country in the Middle East on assignment for NPR, CBC, Foreign Policy and The Progressive. Reese has authored five books on foreign affairs, the most recent being Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect, with a foreword by Noam Chomsky. His books will be on sale following what should certainly be a very informative and relevant talk.

The UUSM is wheelchair accessible.

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