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 as in March 2015; President Barack Obama began to aid the Saudi Arabians in the war effort. As of February 2022, over 370,000 people have lost their lives thanks to the war thanks to lack of food, medical necessities, and bombings.
Despite the severity of the war, the press has covered extraordinarily little of the war. Between 2015 and 2019, the media only covered about ninety-two minutes of the ongoing war. Based on the atrocities, this is shockingly low. It is especially low when the media chose to cover the false Russian election meddling. MSNBC even went an entire year without mentioning the conflict.
With this in hand, you might be asking yourself, why isn’t the media covering this? The reasoning for this is because the United States would be seen as bad guys.
Ever since our involvement in the war, the United States has done nothing but harm to the region. Not even a year into United States involvement, and the United States was already being accused of war crimes by the Human Rights Watch. They reported 10 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition led to over 300 civilians dying and 400 more wounded in 2015.
In October 2016, a Saudi Arabian bomb was dropped on funeral ceremony in Sanaa, Yemen’s capitol. Over 100 people died and 500 wounded; many of whom were children in an apparent war crime. Footage shows charred and mutilated bodies strewn in and outside of the funeral hall.
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 40 of the children would die in another war crime.
To make things worse for the United States (who is on the side of Saudi Arabia), these bombs were manufactured by an American company called 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 thanks to the government destroying domestic food distribution.
If these pieces of 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 livid at that country for their war crimes. 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 guys, like in Syria. In Syria, the main antagonist for the American people to get against them was ISIS, a terrorist group who had performed multiple attacks on American civilians and has performed public beheading. And with the claims of Assad gassing his own citizens, it makes it easy for the people to get behind the United States trying to oust them out of the region.
In contrast, Yemen is not so black and white. Between the Houthis wanting to seize power from the government and the conflict between the Houthis and Saudis, it requires a lot of information for the viewer to process.
Both sides of the war are not exactly great groups. 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 Saudis, on the other hand, are much larger compared to the Houthis. They have a vast military power, 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 that 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 backing the Houthis in the war. 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 aid the Houthis. While there was a case where they found arms, it was leaving Yemen and entering Somalia. Former United Nations Ambassador tried to prove Iran guilty of sending weapons to the Houthis that were fired at Riyadh. However, the bomb she showed was a Burkan-2, which was locally fabricated. Iran has displayed Scud derivatives with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, but they do not match the Yemeni version, according to Scott Horton.
The situation is Ukraine has left the media even more unwilling to cover the war. The situation has drawn much interest, with the United States send over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine. With the war including the United States and Russia in some capacity, many have begun worrying about a nuclear war between the two sides.
With the media being silent about the ongoing conflict, it truly makes us wonder what other atrocities the United States are hiding from the public regarding its foreign affairs. How many more war crimes are the United States involved in that most of the public are unaware of?
Trenton Hale is a young libertarian researcher and author. He regularly posts on his Instagram account, @casual_libertarian, and writes articles on his Substack page. He is the author of two books, The Failed Idea: Why Socialism Fails in Theory and Practice, and Freedom for All: How a Libertarian Society Would Function.