As a man is known by the company he keeps (Aesop?) so is a country. We quietly go about our lives as our special friends in the American and Saudi governments order the slaughter of people in Yemen.
Washington directed drone strikes continue but far more damage is being inflicted by Saudi-Arabia – US-UK’s special friend (ie arms customer) – which has formed and led a coalition, using warplanes and ground fighting to kill more than 2,600 people across the country since March, according to UN figures.
Due to this and to their ‘de facto’ import blockades – aka economic sanctions – even more of the population — 20 million people — are now reported to be in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Supplies of basic necessities such as fuel, cooking gas and food like wheat and rice are low and obstruction of commercial routes by coalition activity prevents access to this food and fuel.
Saudi Arabia’s Operation Restoring Hope – to whom?
The kingdom and its coalition partners said they are launching political and peace efforts, which they called Operation Restoring Hope but airstrikes, shelling and sanctions continue as Business Insider reports.
No media condemnation for Saudi-led destruction of historic sites – or civilians
There has been general silence about the coalition aerial attacks destroying the main runway at Sana’a International Airport and several buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sana’a Old City – in sharp contrast with the headlines when ISIS destroyed statues in Iraq.
Reuters – on most counts a relatively unbiased agency – reports Oxfam’s statement that since the start of conflict between the coalition and Houthi rebels in March, an average of 25,000 additional Yemenis have gone hungry every day. The worst hit area is Saada governorate, a Houthi stronghold which has been bombarded relentlessly by coalition jets. 50% of the people in Saada face “critical” levels of hunger, the group reported.
Business Insider reports that the United Nations has been asked to investigate coalition air strikes that hit residential areas, condemning them as an “apparent war crime”
Last week, coalition aircraft repeatedly struck a target with no military connection – two compounds housing the families of workers at the Mokha Steam Power Plant – killing 65 civilians.
The verdict of a US ’hawk’ on armed drone use
US Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, who was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until 2014, said in a recorded interview – to be shown on Al Jazeera English, July 31st – that the drone war is creating more terrorists than it is killing. He also says that the invasion of Iraq was a strategic mistake that directly contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. “We definitely put fuel on a fire.” He concludes: “History is not going to look kindly on those actions … and we will be held, we should be held accountable for many, many years to come.”