How the Media Ignores Yemen

by | Feb 9, 2023

How the Media Ignores Yemen

by | Feb 9, 2023

devestation in yemen

Since 2014, the tiny country of Yemen has been devastated by the ongoing civil war following the Houthi takeover of the government. It only got worse in March 2015; President Barack Obama began to aid the Saudi Arabian military intervention in the war. As of February 2022, over 370,000 people have lost their lives thanks to lack of food, medical necessities, and bombings.

Despite the severity of the war, the press has covered extraordinarily little of it. Between 2015 and 2019, the media only covered about ninety-two minutes of the conflict. Based on the atrocities, this is shockingly low. It becomes lower when you remember that the media preferred to hype up the false story Russian election-meddling. MSNBC even went an entire year without mentioning the war.

You might be asking yourself, why isn’t the media covering this? The reason is because the United States would be seen as the bad guy.

Ever since our involvement in the war, the United States has done nothing but harm to the region. Not even a year into American’s participation, and it was already being accused of war crimes by Human Rights Watch. They reported ten unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition which led to over 300 civilians dying and 400 more wounded in 2015.

In October 2016, a Saudi Arabian bomb was dropped on a funeral ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. Over 100 people died and 500 were wounded, many of whom were children. Footage shows charred and mutilated bodies strewn in and outside of the funeral hall in an apparent war crime.

Another horrible incident occurred in September 2018, when a bomb was dropped on a school bus on a field trip. Many of the children on board were under the age of 15; all forty of the children would die in another war crime.

To make things worse for the United States (who remember is on the side of Saudi Arabia), these bombs were manufactured by an American company, Lockheed Martin.

The Saudi-led coalition continued to do harm towards the people of Yemen. They would begin to target grain silos, livestock, horses, irrigation systems, trucks, and other aspects of food distribution.

The United States has continued to make the humanitarian crisis even worse by installing a naval blockade on the country that had become 90% dependent on food imports thanks to the government destroying domestic food distribution.

If this news became more mainstream, then people would be irate at the United States. If any other country were doing the same thing to another country, we would be outraged at their criminality. Yet, we turn a blind eye to the crisis that we helped start.

The media can spin some events to make it seem like the United States is the good guy, like in Syria. There, the main antagonist for the American people was ISIS, a terrorist group who had performed multiple attacks on American civilians and has performed public beheadings. And added claim that dictator Bashar al-Assad was gassing his own citizens, it makes it easy for the people to get behind the United States trying to oust both sides.

In contrast, Yemen is not so black and white. Between the Houthis wanting to seize power for themselves and their conflict with the Saudis, it requires a lot of information for the viewer to process.

Neither side of the war can be considered wholly moral. When it comes to the Houthis, they have killed zero American citizens. However, they have committed numerous human rights abuses, like taking people unlawfully and have engaged in torture.

The Saudi record, on the other hand, is significantly worse compared to the Houthis. Their monarchy has a vast military power, have committed mass executions that did not conform to international human rights and humanitarian laws, and have taken part in numerous war crimes. The American-made bombs they are using to commit such crimes also complicate the issue.

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis tried to justify the war by saying Iran was materially aiding the Houthis. News sites like Business Insider also claimed that the Houthis are being backed by Iran.

While it is true that Iran and the Houthis are friendly with each other, that does not mean the Houthi takeover of the government was backed by Iran. In fact, Iran had warned the Houthis about storming the capital city because it would provoke the Saudis.

The media also lied about Iran sending weapons to the Houthis. While there was a case where the Saudi-led coalition found arms, they were on a ship leaving Yemen and entering Somalia. Former United Nations Ambassador (and prospecitive presidential candidate) Nikki Haley tried to prove Iran guilty of sending rockets to the Houthis that subsequently fired at Riyadh. However, the bomb she showed was a Burkan-2, which was locally fabricated. Iran has displayed Sud derivatives with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, but they do not match the Yemeni version, according to Libertarian Institute Director Scott Horton.

The situation in Ukraine has left the media even more unwilling to cover the war. The situation has drawn much interest, with the United States sending over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine. Having become a full belligerent in a war against Russia, many have begun worrying about a nuclear exchange between the two sides.

With the media’s continued silence about the ongoing war, it must make us wonder what other atrocities the United States is hiding from the public regarding its foreign affairs. How many more war crimes is our government involved in that most of the public is unaware of? And when is the media going to do something about it?

About Trenton Hale

Trenton Hale is a libertarian commentator who posts content on his Instagram @casual_libertarian and Substack, Casual Libertarian. He is the author of two books, "The Failed Idea: How Socialism Fails in Theory and Practice," and "Freedom for All: How a Libertarian Society Would Function."

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