Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I can't believe I'm about to do this . . .

That is link to National Review.

Mohammed bin Salman has gone too far, evidently, because he murdered one person. It's perfectly okay, however, that the Saudis have been indiscriminately bombing Yemen, killing children and adult nocombatants by the thousands, since 2015. Oh yeah, using weapons the U.S. sold them. The Saudi naval blockade of the country has left 70% of the population -- 20 million people -- short of food, water and medical care. Lloyd Russell-Moyle has more to say about this in The Guardian.

Now it seems likely that if George W. Bush had ordered the murder of a critic in a U.S. consulate somewhere he'd be in big trouble. As far as I know he didn't do that but he did tell a bunch of lies in order to launch an illegal war of aggression against a country that was not threat to the U.S. which resulted in the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. troops, maybe around a million Iraqis, and plunged the country into a decade and  half of violence and chaos. But he's perfectly respectable, goes to all the big funerals and gives cough drops to Michele Obama, and spends his time painting cute animals.

Does that seem kind of strange to anybody?

Update: For more on the Yemen war, see Joe Sommerlad in The Independent:

While the Saudi-led coalition began by targeting Houthi military strongholds, its bombing campaign quickly shifted to civilian targets, according to Professor Martha Mundy of the World Peace Foundation (WPF).
These included “water and transport infrastructure, food production and distribution, roads and transport, schools, cultural monuments, clinics and hospitals, and houses, fields and flocks,” the academic states in her recent report on the crisis, The Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War: Aerial Bombardment and Food War.
The Houthis have laid a lot of land mines, as has al Qaeda which has taken advantage of the chaos to establish a substantial presence in the east.

Strict Saudi blockades and travel restrictions have prevented food and aid reaching Yemen, causing the price of food within the country to skyrocket and leaving desperate families unable to afford basic supplies from markets.
The WPF report, accusing the Saudi coalition of using starvation as a weapon of war to create untenable conditions for the Houthis, states that no fewer than 220 fishing boats have been destroyed by bombs along the country’s Red Sea coast. This has meant the local fish catch is down by 50 per cent. . . .
Air strikes on the Port of Hodeida in June likewise appear a deliberate attempt to disable a facility from which 70 per cent of imports enter Yemen. Coalition forces cut a crucial supply route between Sanaa and Hodeida in September.
The prevailing hardships as a result of bomb-damage have hit supplies of electricity and fuel, making basic arable farming difficult, while ranchers have been forced to sell their cattle to make ends meet.
As a result of all this, almost three-quarters of Yemen’s 27.58 million population are currently reliant on aid. Of that total of approximately 22.2 million, 8.4 million are starving, 1.8 million of those being children, according to Unicef.
These are war crimes.


Anonymous said...

The legitimate Yemeni government led by Hadi asked for help to beat back Houthi militia rebels and a coalition of nine African and Middle Eastern nations led by Saudi Arabia intervened on their behalf. And there's widespread belief (and some evidence)that Iran is supporting the militia rebels.

I understand that the Saudi's are not blameless and it's a war. As the article states (but you didn't), the Houthi have been launching missiles into Riyadh. I'm not sure what you expected. Just take sit there and take it like the French?

So, I'm not getting why all of the criticism of only the US given that the Saudis are (so far) considered allies and at this time provide a balance against the growing influence of Iran. You didn't mention the Brits or other supporters...just the US.

Blame the US's all our fault.

Cervantes said...

The Saudis are committing war crimes continuously. Whether the intervention has some overall legitimacy is arguable, but the humanitarian catastrophe is unjustifiable. The Houthis only asked for, and got, help from Iran after the Saudi-led coalition attacked them. And they didn't launch any missiles at Saudi Arabia until after they were attacked. So both of those facts are irrelevant and misleading.

Anonymous said...

I think this will help.


It's important to understand that this is a proxy war. Iran vs Saudis...Shi'ite vs Sunni...and it's not the first war. I think there's been several in the last fifty years.

Look, I'm no fan nor apologist for the Saudis. They fucked us out of our investments when they nationalized the oil business, they fucked us in the seventies with an embargo and they fund terrorism and Wahhabi culture.

And most ALL Arab countries treat women like cattle and don't afford homosexuals and certain races the basic civil rights we take for granted so I don't like any of 'em.

That being said, I think the Kingdom is far easier deal with and to predict. They want to stay rich, while Iran wants the 12th Imam.

I appreciate your post on this.