A Thousand Days of Hell in Yemen Produce a Million Cases of Cholera

War crimes are being committed on a daily basis in Yemen and the world barely takes notice. Consider this outdated report from the World Food Programme in August:

Back in August, fully 76% of the population, over 20 million people, were in need of humanitarian assistance. And that was before the first of two missiles were fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, prompting an even tighter blockade of aid by the Saudis. The outrageously sadistic, immoral and illegal bombardment of Yemen has now been going on for 1000 days. A large group of international figures has come together to note this sad milestone and to call for an end to the violence, but the world is not listening. A small note in The Hill has this description of the pitifully small number of US politicians who joined in the effort:

More than 350 international politicians, celebrities, Nobel laureates and other prominent figures signed a statement Tuesday demanding U.S., U.K. and French action to end the Yemeni civil war.

“The U.S., U.K. and France, as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and major weapons suppliers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, bear a special responsibility to use the full extent of their leverage to press their partners in the region to end the crisis,” read the statement, dubbed “A global call to President Trump, Prime Minister May and President Macron.”


U.S. signatories include Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche, and actresses Alyssa Milano and Piper Perabo.

The usually war-loving Washington Post editorial staff also noted the atrocities a month ago, but to very little effect. A new effort, led by Ted Lieu, is aimed at getting the blockade lifted.

Although it is the Saudis who are doing the bulk of the bombing, the US and several EU countries are primary enablers of the atrocities. Here is Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia in May, signing a $100 billion military aid agreement with the Saudis:

Those are American-made fighters dropping American-made bombs on defenseless Yemeni citizens every day. Reuters reported earlier this week that 136 Yemeni civilians died in air strikes in less than a two week period this month.

But deaths from bombs or starvation are not the only problems. Because the Saudis intentionally targeted infrastructure, including the water supply, cholera cases in Yemen have been reaching unprecedented levels. The disgusting milestone of one million cholera cases has now been reached.

Rather than helping the Yemenis, Trump is actively working to make the situation worse, with the US itself carrying out over 120 air strikes this year and even admitting to ground operations by US troops. Recall that our first ground operation there under Trump was a miserable failure:

In the first offensive operation personally approved by Trump, a Jan. 28 raid in Yemen resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL, the wounding of several other service members and the destruction of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

And, of course, Trump and Nikki Haley see no irony in their massive over-response to the two missiles that have been fired into Saudi Arabia during this 1000 day Saudi and US blitzkrieg:

The U.S. has been providing intelligence and aerial refueling to the Saudis. Last week, United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley used the charred remnants of a ballistic missile with Iranian markings as a backdrop to call on Iran to stop supporting the Houthis.

If you have any spare cash left over from your holiday shopping, please consider a donation to try to ease the widespread starvation in Yemen. Somehow, while there are still tens of billions of dollars in US weapons sales in play, I just don’t see any reason to think the Trump administration will take any action to back up their gentle calls for the Saudis to lift the blockade.

37 replies
  1. bell says:

    thanks for making this post.. more people need to pull there head out of the western msm and get a grip on just how ugly their countries actions are on the world stage with regard to yemen.. the usa/uk in particular typically lead the charge, supporting saudi arabia and uae here.. the western msm can paint over, or avoid reality all it wants – many people are paying attention and it ain’t to all the lies and b.s. the msm is offering either..

  2. Rapier says:

    Typically today’s news is actually old news and so it is with Yemen. Far be it from me to pretend I had some answer to Yemen’s plight.  A population that exploded in a culture that was stuck in some limbo that befell many Arabic speaking countries that were infected with a fundamentalist sect of Islam courtesy of Saudi money and influence. In lieu of any other kind of actual development, economic or otherwise.

    When their meager oil ran out so did pretty much everything that was holding the place together as a  country.  This is very similar to the story of Syria. Where pray tell were the diplomats of the Obama administration or Obama or Hillary themselves in 09,10,11, 12, etc. etc. when anyone with a chart of oil production and the slightest bit of imagination could see doom ahead?  Now I wouldn’t actually condemn them for throwing up their hands in despair but whatever it is they did it had nothing to do with avoiding war. The one thing that should have been done.

    Iran played it’s part there giving support to Shia groups which was the final nail in Yemen’s coffin once Trump arrived because Trump has absorbed Saudi hatred of Persians and Shia Islam down to his bone because God know he love to hate who the richest guys in the room hate. Especially it seems if they are freaking kings or princes.  Don’t get me wrong. The hundreds of thousands or more who will suffer starve or die wouldn’t probably be any less under Hillary.





  3. matt says:

    Another proxy war of the US. I can’t imagine the suffering these people endure. Might I bring up again…. on a website that is hell bent on exposing Russian collusion… that maybe some in the Deep State are tired of playing Muslim vs. Muslim with no bigger vision in the Middle East than a few wealthy cities dotting the ends of protected oil/gas pipeline corridors with death and destruction for everybody else in the heartlands. Putin, Flynn and the IP3 gang at least had a development plan for the US to stop provoking jihad and build a future for this part of the world. While no saint, Putin’s actions in the world theater doesn’t hold a candle to the crimes against humanity committed by H.W. through Obama. Is there any reason, Americans should not take 100% responsibility for this tragedy?

    • Jim White says:

      Hmm. You seem to have missed most of the points discussed in my series of posts on Flynn and the Middle East nuclear plans. Especially go back and re-read the last one, and click through to the Cummings letter with quotes from Alex Copson. I think Copson’s comments match the true aims of the whole group, where it is quite clear that the nuclear ruse is just a chance to put US troops in the region and that the region will be better once the US re-colonizes it. Despite their lip service, they aren’t looking for peace–they just want to exploit people they completely disrespect.

      • matt says:

        Jim, I respect your posts, especially your fact finding and analysis.  I re-read the Flynn/IP3/ACU post…  My comment above and on that thread reflect my deepest concern in US Foreign policy, and the future of the free world.

        Yes, Flynn was working with the Russians, KSA, and US/Israeli interests who were opposed to their own nation’s status quo foreign policy.  This represents a new “New World Order”  to topple Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine of past half century.

        There is a Civil War in the US/EU/KSA/Israeli Deep State and we have to piece together the truth from the headlines.  I believe that this new “Marshall Plan” and willingness to distribute some world governance and natural resources between other Nation States is a better foreign policy.

        Flynn is not criminal for leading this alternative movement, and there is no reason Russia is a better/worse partner in world governance than other Nations States, that by the way, hold much more influenced and sway in our elections, congress, and other state institutions.

        Here is a Reuters link to the actual Alex Copson email- the “key points” on the third page outline a new foreign policy.  Reuters, like EW and other progressive voices see this as a smoking gun for “collusion,” and totally miss the point of the whole document.

        The point, that Flynn knows well, is that America LOST its recent cold war episodes with Russia in Syria and Ukraine.  As a path to international cooperation, Russia is taking a seat at the table with other world powers- and Flynn is negotiating an advantageous/cooperative position for the US… which allows us a “share” moving forward.  And, it looks like Nation’s of the Middle East will get a “share” too in the form of energy and economic development.

        The fractions in our military and State Dept. today that cling to the  geopolitical paranoia of the Anglo-American establishment don’t have an alternative plan.  To not follow what Flynn represents, would lead on the same path of inflaming world jihad, involvement in more wars, and even more suffering of the peoples that America subjugates.

        Honestly, can you see that Flynn’s roll in the future of America, the Middle East, and the World in general, is so much bigger than the issue of whether Trump knew the Russians lobbied/interfered in the 2016 election?

        • Jim White says:

          I agree that a more peaceful approach to the Middle East that creates economic opportunities for the residents would be a huge improvement to our foreign policy. My problem is that I see this group giving hypocritical lip service to that approach. That may well  be even worse than continuing our current overt belligerence.

          And if you go back to my posts on chemical weapon removal from Syria and the Iran nuclear deal, you will see where I praised Russia for their positive moves on both those fronts. I see Flynn in this case  as claiming to want neither Russia nor China to build the nuclear plants while working behind the scenes to cut a deal where either one would take the lead.

          I’ve long distrusted Flynn as a destructive force in the world. He was instrumental in early torture in Iraq and Afghanistan and was a key player in a night raid policy that made many more terrorists than it detained. And that’s the problem with everything he and Copson (the really revealing stuff on Copson is in Cummings’ letter linked in the post) are doing here. It will assure a continuous flow of new terrorists deprived and repressed by the policies they want to put in place.

  4. bell says:

    update today on yemen from the usa press briefing dept…  it is the typical blather of iran being responsible for everything with not a peep on the fact it is saudi arabia and uae doing the bombing of yemen, hoping to get them to go with wahabbism, if not to steal there ports and whatever else they can pillage..  got to love the usa state dept folks for staying on script 24/7… if it ain’t iran, it is russia… ksa and uae are beacons of humanity and civilization in an otherwise barren part of the world according to the script writers at the usa state dept.. jesus.. and i thought hollywood was bad at making up shit..


    from the link below – “And so what we’ve seen is this kind of Iranian support for Houthi ballistic missile capability, which is extremely worrisome when a missile lands four kilometers from Riyadh International Airport, King Khalid International Airport. Our diplomats use that airport; the UN uses that airport; foreign embassies use that airport; the Saudi leadership uses that airport. It’s an unconscionable display of aggression, I think, when we are faced with that kind of a threat.”

    yeah, unconscionable, lol… meanwhile yemeni people are starving, suffering from cholera and being murdered on a regular basis from made in the usa bombs, and it is clearly that big bad iran that is responsible for all the mayhem… wow… impressive to think how thick the propaganda is thanks the usa state dept news briefs..


    • matt says:

      I think if Americans cared enough to see the rest of the world, and see their own complicity in this genocide… their might be some protest.  But, when you believe that the sole problem is a band of Houthi rebels in cahoots with the Axis of Evil… you have no need to think twice.

  5. matt says:

    Jim, thanks for your response (reply in thread not working for me).

    Your right, we have two bad choices, crony development capitalism with Russia, or stay the path in the grand chess game (humanity be damned) as world Hegemon. Ironically, I did a search for “alternatives to Brzezinski grand chessboard” and found this article:


    How disappointing, the architect of American Primacy sees the cracks in the foundation. and gets to give the world an “alternative” framework- even though “he’s” responsible for cracks.

    Give me some hope, as I prepare to celebrate with my family the birthday of the “Prince of Peace.” Who else out there has an alternative foreign policy for international cooperation and development… and, for the love of everything good, an end to perpetual war?

  6. wayoutwest says:

    This report reads like it could have come from Farsnews, a skewed one sided bit of agitprop that would make the Supreme Leader smile. Only naming the KSA and the Great Shaitan as players and everyone else as victims is too clever by half.

    This conflict is complicated but we know who began the war, Ansar Allah. When they captured the capitol Sana’a the legal government offered to treat with them but they quickly moved to conquer the rest of the western part of the country, all before the Saudi coallition intervened. The illegal Houthi government has refused all offers to negotiate an end to the conflict, so they get bombed.

    Sick children are always tragic and cholera is endemic in Yemen but it was controlled before the war by the government vaccine program. That health care system was disrupted by the war that was started and is continued by Ansar Allah. The Saudis recently allowed three airliners full of vaccine to land in Sana’a to innoculate almost a million children.

    Yemen seems to always be on the verge of starvation and needing food aid. The children in the cholera hospital pictures looked sick and lean but not starved. A country that sets aside 25% of its prime farmland to grow dope is bound to have food problems.

    • matt says:

      Right, the KSA puppet government in Yemen was ousted by Houthi Nationals.  Do you believe that people of Yemen should be a subjugated vassal state to KSA and by proxy to the US?  Do you think that, instead of reigning the Wrath of God (US/Saudi advanced weaponry) down on the country, the powers that be could have supported Yemen independence, and avoided the whole humanitarian crisis in the first place?

    • bell says:

      you too could write for the usa state dept… this is exactly the kind of writing style they seek out…

      hadi – the elected leader/president in an election involving only one candidate for the presidency is the kind of democracy a lot of americans seem to like, lol…   either that, or they are brain dead..  meanwhile hadi is holed up in ridayh, waiting for the all clear signal from ksa/usa..  should only take a few more deaths to bring it to pass.. oh, but please do blame it on iran… it must be some other country meddling and it certainly couldn’t be the good ole usa meddling as they never do, LOLOL!

      meanwhile update on yemen – Breaking: Saudi warplanes destroy food depot after allowing aid into Yemen ….. and the beat goes on… – hey but that is iran farsnews propaganda right? jesus…

    • Jim White says:

      I normally ignore the Fox News talking points you routinely spout. Most of the other folks do a good job of the easy swatting down of the bullshit. But this:

      The children in the cholera hospital pictures looked sick and lean but not starved.

      That’s just downright obscene. Yeah, maybe the ones in the cholera hospital are lean because they’re dehydrated from the disease. But the post has data from the World Food Programme (they are in no way affiliated with Farsnews the last time I checked) says that 2.2 million children in Yemen are “acutely malnourished”. In case you need a translation, that means they are fucking starving to death.

      Turn off the TV and go to a quiet room to think a bit about the life choices that could lead you to denying starving children that independent groups have documented.

      The next time you show up in one of my threads with this kind of obscenity, you will cease to exist on this blog.

  7. bell says:

    won’t read this in the western msm.. too much truth to it that runs contrary to usa interests which include keeping their public as uneducated and ill informed as possible..

  8. wayoutwest says:


    Yemeni politics was screwed up long before Hadi was appointed to take over after president for life Saleh was removed. The vote , not an election, was to normalize the transition while prepairing for an actual election in a couple years. Ansar Allah’s war destroyed any opportunity for an election so they get credit for that also.

    Whatever you or I may think of the House of Saud we can’t expect them to sit on their hands while an Iran backed Hezbollah modeled minority group conquers Yemen. The Yemeni majority also don’t have to accept an illegal minority regime. If Ansar Allah is allowed to prevail the one or two Iranian missiles fired into the KSA will grow to hundreds or thousands just as we see in southern Lebanon.

    I support the Zaidis sect demand for equal representation in the Yemini government that they were promised but denied. Ansar Allah is making that demand meaningless because just like Hezbollah they rule with the gun not the vote.

    Food was probably not the Saudi target but the Houthi militias picking it up would be. The Saudis do seem to have an active intelligence network in Sana’a and target any gathering of Ansar Allah forces.

    • matt says:

      “Iran backed Hezbollah modeled minority group”

      I don’t think so.  That would apply to any opposition group to Israel/USA/KSA.  I hope you don’t think we’re the “good guys.”


      • wayoutwest says:

        I read an interiew with a Houthi leader a few years ago and he stated proudy that they modeled their orginization on Hezbollah and were close adherents of the teachings of Hassan Nasrallah. This may be why some Zaidis view some Houthi leadership as closet Twelvers not good Zaidi Fivers.

        Ansar Allah flies a battle flag much like the Iranian battle flag and no one has identified anyone else who could be arming them. Ansar Allah marched out of their region and conquered the capitol and much of the Sunni region of Yemen drawing the Saudi coalition and the US into the conflict. We may not be the ‘good guys’ but we are aiding the UN recognized legal government in Yemen.and so are the Saudis. Because of US and Saudi involvement some people want to portray the Houthis and their Iranian backers as some kind of ‘good guys’ which is insane.

        Did you read the TSTV link above? They did put it in the opinion section, apparently they don’t have a fantasy section. The young activist who works for the Ansar Allah Information Center tried to create the fantasy that Ansar Allah AKA ‘Partisans of God’ are actually a national liberation army. I suppose this is to make them seem more attractive to young European commies who can view them as progressive godless Stalinists liberators.

        • bmaz says:

          Other than Jim White’s brief incursion, this sub-comment thread is an amalgamation of the asinine trollery afflicting Emptywheel lately.

          You are adding nothing, when not adding bullshit, and corrupt our community. In the new year, let’s hope garbage like this will not be here.

          • matt says:

            “Other than Jim White’s brief incursion, this sub-comment thread is an amalgamation of the asinine trollery”

            You’re an attorney (from what I gather)… argue the facts.  You can’t walk into a courtroom and call your adversary names to win your argument.  I know you are super smart and knowledgeable, and maybe you really have some facts that could enlighten the rest of us about Yemen- but you didn’t add to the dialog about Yemen.  I’m sorry this thread includes posters that you do not agree with and think are garbage- but none of us verbally insulted each other.

            I’ve learned a lot from many posters on this site, including you- that’s why I read the posts and try, when I think I have something to add, to join the discussion.

            I may not agree with wayoutwest, but he (or she) shares an opinion that is pretty mainstream- the fact that he has taken the time to challenge me indicates that he is receptive to a counterargument.  I am not offended in the least by his post, and I hope he is not offended by mine.  We were doing just fine in our discussion before you insulted us.

        • matt says:

          wayoutwest, I hear what you are saying.  War is ugly on both sides.  I agree that “bad” things have been done by the Houthi.

          I would challenge you on the statement:

          “no one has identified anyone else who could be arming them”

          The hinterlands of the Middle East are awash in black market arms, with Yemen being a particularly hot distribution point for decades. Although I have not found a direct report of CIA backing Houthi… the CIA has poured an inconceivable amount of small arms into jihad groups, as has KSA and Israel.

          Has Iran too? Sure.  But even supposing that Houthi are aligned with Iran- why does that make their cause illegitimate?  If you can only tell me “they provoked the UN,” by protesting their corrupt political regime for the last 50 years… I will point out that the UN has been on the wrong side of countless conflicts.

          I get the feeling you are a proud conservative, nothing wrong with that, but would any conservatives in the USA allow the UN to legitimize our foreign, much less domestic policies?  The Republicans have been saying, Fu*k you to the UN since the unilateral invasion of Iraq in ’03.

          So give me a good reason why  Yemen should be any different?


  9. wayoutwest says:

    I don’t need to be a conservative to recognise propaganda or agenda driven storylines. I don’t depend on western media for information even if they are correct in some of their reporting.

    You are correct about the black market arms trade but since the war began with the blockade and bombing arms and ammunition get used up and demand increases. There is also the question of how they are paid for or are they gifted from their supporters in Iran.

    The UN however compromised is the only body we have to grant governments recognition and legality and the Houthis have neither. I stated above that I supported the Zaidi cause for equal representation in the Yemeni government but Ansar Allah rejected that for conquest.

    You seem to be saying, in a roundabout way, that you support the Ansar Allah cause. I hope you realize that means supporting a theocratic minority goverment installed by force.

    To make this even more confusing the Houthis were allied with, until a short time ago, the deposed ruler of the corrupt regime you mention who was also a Zaidi and had fought against the Houthis while president.

    About six months ago Ansar Allah annunced publicly that they would fight alongside Hezbollah in the Israel/Hezbollah war which would make them an Islamist Jihadist group. This wasn’t spin from the western media or the UN just reality about who they are.

    • Tom in AZ says:

      “About six months ago Ansar Allah annunced publicly that they would fight alongside Hezbollah in the Israel/Hezbollah war which would make them an Islamist Jihadist group. This wasn’t spin from the western media or the UN just reality about who they are.”

      That, as you well know, is crap.

    • matt says:

      Fair enough.  I concede that you know more about the fractions in Yemen than I do.  My bias is my distrust of the motives of Mohammed bin Salmin.  KSA’s “interests” are cheap labor, possible control of Yemen’s oil, and strategically blocking a entry point for an allied Iran.  To achieve their National prerogative they have swatted the fly with a sledge hammer.  This is the point of Jim’s post:

      “But deaths from bombs or starvation are not the only problems. Because the Saudis intentionally targeted infrastructure, including the water supply, cholera cases in Yemen have been reaching unprecedented levels. The disgusting milestone of one million cholera cases has now been reached.
      Rather than helping the Yemenis, Trump is actively working to make the situation worse, with the US itself carrying out over 120 air strikes this year.”

      The West may not like Ansar Allah because he is independent and theocratic.  But from what I understand, he has not terrorized his people.  It seems that the people of Yemen did not accept his governmental bid for power, because he would not rule by coalition.  But, they unequivocally reject Al-Qaeda (which Ansar Allah fought against) and the imperial motives of the US/UN/KSA who are much, much more culpable in the humanitarian crisis and unnecessary suffering then he and his Houthi supporters are.

  10. wayoutwest says:

    I appreciat your willingness to discuss this conflict and try to explain your position even if we can’t agree. Houthi was the man who started the group Ansar Allah and we don’t know how many people, soldier or civilian, they have killed in their conquest and now defense of their gains.

    AQAP and the IS are Sunni groups with foreign roots and when Ansar Allah marched they went south away from the AQAP stronghold towards their fellow Yemeni citizens.

    The excerpt you printed uses phony virtue signaling to excuse the Houthis who are the insurgents occupying the disputed city. They may have support from the civilian population but they also shelter among them supporters or not.

    War is a cruel business especially in these urban conflicts. where civilans are trapped or choose to remain. So long as the insurgents resist, all support for the city must be cut off. Allowing power, water, food or medicines to continue just extends the battle. To win the insurgents must have their resistance broken along with the people supporting them. All of these siege tactics are old and proven and many of the civilians can leave and avoid the danger and suffering.

    What bothers me is that some people use the civilian’s suffering as a prop to sell their propaganda that infers that any group opposing the Saudis or the US must be supported and that who or what Ansar Allah are is a PR problem that can be handled with more propaganda and denial.

    It’s not for me to decide what’s best for the people of Yemen. But I still believe they would be better off with a multi-sect somewhat representative governmet even with outsized Saudi influence rather than a minority military/religous regime ruling from the barrel of a gun.

    • Jim White says:

      Thanks for getting a little closer back to reality. But it is still extremely evil and a straight up war crime to carry out collective punishment. When “insurgents” are hiding among a population, they more often than not are abusing most of the locals and carrying out unspeakable crimes to achieve any kind of cooperation. Punishing the whole area with a blockade is not an option for anyone who actually cares about humanity. It also creates new insurgents in response to the punishment. The collective punishment is the real problem here, and you are still unspeakably evil to support the blockade as a legitimate response. You can call it propaganda all you want, but the bottom line is that children starving to death is the intended consequence of your approach.

Comments are closed.