Originally appeared on The American Conservative.
PBS NewsHour aired the second of Jane Ferguson’s three reports on the war on Yemen earlier this week. Her first report can be found here. The second report focuses on U.S. support for the Saudi coalition:
Here is the second story in our series from #Yemen that aired last night on the @PBS@NewsHour. A close look at the aerial bombing campaign that the US military aids. https://t.co/IYdKe0MQMf via @YouTube
— Jane Ferguson (@JaneFerguson5) July 4, 2018
One quote from the report stands out and sums up how many Yemenis see US involvement in the war. Ferguson quotes Dr. Ali Al Motaa:
The missiles that kill us, American-made. The planes that kill us, American-made. The tanks, Abrams, American-made. You are saying to me, where is America? America is the whole thing.
The US not only provides weapons, fuel, and intelligence to the coalition, but has also consistently shielded coalition members from international investigations and scrutiny. Our government has made us enemies of tens of millions of Yemenis who have done nothing to us and posed no threat to anyone. While most Americans may still have no idea what the government is doing to Yemen in our name over the last three years, the people of Yemen know only too well that the US is responsible for backing the Saudi and Emirati attack on their country. Ferguson’s reporting is exemplary once again, and it includes the perspective of Yemenis that is usually omitted all together in much of the coverage of the war that we see in America.
Ferguson traveled to the location of the destroyed Doctors Without Borders (MSF) cholera treatment center that I have written aboutpreviously, and she puts the attack in the context of Yemen’s massive cholera epidemic:
I traveled deep into Yemen’s countryside to find out more about how the bombing campaign is affecting peoples’ lives there.
This is what I found, a Doctors Without Borders cholera treatment center completely destroyed by an airstrike the day before. It was just about to open its doors to patients.
The war has made it harder for people to access clean running water, leading to the worst cholera outbreak in modern history. Now, every time the rains come, people fall ill.
Cholera is a seasonal disease here in Yemen, and that’s why the aid organizations are getting ready for the worst of the cholera season coming up. This facility was brand-new.
No one was killed here, but the loss of the precious medical facility filled with lifesaving equipment is devastating.
Most of the Saudi coalition’s victims in Yemen perish from starvation and preventable diseases. The bombing campaign contributes to the worsening of the country’s cholera crisis by destroying the infrastructure and blowing up the medical facilities needed to combat it. The evidence of the coalition’s flagrant disregard for Yemeni civilian lives can be found all throughout Yemen, and Jane Ferguson should be commended for documenting as much of it as she has.
Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter. This article is reprinted from The American Conservative with permission.