Monday, June 26, 2017

The World According to Saudi Arabia

Five weeks ago, I included the following photograph in this post:

That NY Times photo ran with the caption: "A woman with cholera was treated at a hospital in Sana, Yemen, on Sunday."

Yes, cholera!

Over the five weeks, the president made a triumphant return to the country after having gained even more confidence from touching the orb.  Saudi Arabia, which is one the main reasons why Yemen is in a completely messed up state, also gained in confidence from the president touching the orb, and decided to let Qatar and Iran know who the big dog is in that part of the world.

Meanwhile, nobody cared about Yemen.

Is it any surprise that things have become worse, as if that is even possible?
Seized by violence and teetering on the edge of famine, Yemen is grappling with another danger that threatens to outpace them both: cholera.
"We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world," international health authorities said in a statement Saturday.
Cholera is one of the easiest to stop, if you think about it.  Right?
The disease should not be so ferocious. Preventing cholera is pretty simple in theory: wash your hands with clean water, drink clean water, and eat food that has been boiled or cooked.
But ...
But clean water in Yemen is a luxury. Municipal workers in Sanaa have not been paid in months. And so we have no electricity, rubbish piling high in the street, and a crippled water system.
The sewer system stopped working on 17 April. Ten days later, cholera hit.
How terrible!
Yemen now suffers three-way tragedy: a population under siege, suffering the violence of war and unable to work or access nutritious food or health care; an economic collapse that has led to a rise in criminality; and now a devastating health crisis.
This all leads to what could be the largest cholera outbreak of our lifetime.
America couldn't care, even though the world knows that we are an accomplice in Yemen's deepening humanitarian crisis:
"There's a U.S. imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen that's caused by the Saudi bombing campaign," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut told NPR's Michele Kelemen last month after the U.S. signed a new arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
"The Saudis simply could not operate this bombing campaign without us," he continued. "Their planes can't fly without U.S. refueling capacity. They are dropping munitions that we've sold them. We are standing side by side with them often when they are reviewing intelligence about targets."
As Fareed Zakaria noted, "Saudi Arabia played Donald Trump":
The United States has now signed up for Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy — a relentless series of battles against Shiites and their allies throughout the Middle East. That will enmesh Washington in a never-ending sectarian struggle, fuel regional instability and complicate its ties with countries such as Iraq that want good relations with both sides. But most important, it will do nothing to address the direct and ongoing threat to Americans — jihadist terrorism. I thought that Trump’s foreign policy was going to put America first, not Saudi Arabia. 
Shame on us, and on the 63 million voters!


Ramesh said...

Yes, the US is a part of the reason why there is so much misery in Yemen. But its a minor reason.

Saudi Arabia (or more accurately Salman's political ambitions) is the main reason. The Iranians are another major reason. And above all the absolutely criminal Ali Abdullah Saleh.

These are more important causes for the tragedy in Yemen and must absolutely be taken to task. But then, who will do it. Meanwhile the ordinary Yemeni suffers.

Sriram Khé said...

Terrible is the fate of the average Yemeni.
I read the other day that drought and food shortages are also the case in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, ...
Apparently the US and KSA, and Iran, and Syria, and Russia, and ... all are willing to spend all the money that we have on killing people, but we shall boldly proclaim that we have no money to help people! :(

Most read this past month