BreakPoint: Saudi Arabia and the politics of famine

An activist holds up a placard that reads "No to repression of freedom of expression #MBS assassin" on the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's official visit to Tunisia, during a protest to denounce the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in downtown Tunis on Monday. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

A humanitarian crisis unlike any we've seen in decades is unfolding in Yemen. And it's being caused by an "ally" of the U.S.

The assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has shone a spotlight on the brutality of the Saudi regime. In particular, it has caused people to revisit their high opinion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as "MbS."

But as bad as the assassination of Khashoggi was, there's a much greater reason for the world, and especially the United States, to rethink its relationship with the House of Saud: I'm talking specifically about 8 million Yemenis who are waiting to perish from starvation or some less-humane fate.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia intervened in what, until then, had been your standard-issue civil war.

What drove the Saudis was the role of the Houthis, a group MbS and others viewed as an Iranian proxy.