Saudi Atrocities in Yemen Can Stop If Western Media Stop Ignoring Carnage: US Journalist

TEHRAN– Janice Kortkamp, a US peace activist and journalist based in Virginia, deplored the “heinous, numerous, and continuous” crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and said the crisis will continue until the Western media outlets “stop ignoring the carnage”.

“Sadly I believe the war will be long and continue to be very costly in humanitarian terms,” Kortkamp told Tasnim News Agency.

“Unless Western media outlets will stop ignoring the carnage and the real motives behind the conflict, the foreseeable future looks bleak,” she added.

“Accurate and consistent reporting is what is needed in my opinion to sway popular opinion which would apply pressure on Western governments to end their support,” the senior journalist noted.

 On her assessment of the heinous crimes committed by the Riyadh regime and its backers, mainly the US against Yemen, Kortkamp said the crimes are indeed heinous, numerous, and continuous. I would argue that any war in the region at this point of time will rarely qualify as a truly civil war. Certainly, the conflict in Syria is not and never has been. The Saudi (with the US and UK) war against Yemen is a clear act of aggression in my opinion.

The fact that the Western governments and media are completely silent on the atrocities being perpetrated by the Saudis while continuing to promote their leader as a reformer and selling them tens of billions of dollars in weapons is not a good sign I fear for the future. There have been some notable exceptions among elected officials like Senator Rand Paul but none of his efforts to end weapons sales and support for the war have gained any momentum. A recent report regarding MSNBC (a popular mainstream media outlet in the US) showing how that cable channel never ran a single segment on Yemen in all the second half of 2017 is a sad commentary on how much coverage the tragedy there is receiving from American media.

Concerning the role the international community  can play in protecting the lives of the oppressed people of Yemen, Kortkamp made it clear that the UN has proven itself weak-willed and ineffective at bringing about conflict resolution – they are good at talking. After UN Secretary-General Guterres on April 23 called for a “prompt, transparent investigation” to the mass murder of over 50 Yemeni civilians by the Saudis (an investigation I haven’t seen any reports from as yet), the next week the UNSC condemned the Houthi missile attacks against Riyadh gaining far more publicity regarding that action than the several dozen victims killed by KSA. And so it goes: condemnations, calling for investigations, and a perpetual stalemate while the people of Yemen suffer and die.

Regarding the deterrent power of Yemen's Houthis and the future of the protracted war, Kortkamp said that a key piece of evidence emerged recently when Netanyahu announced that “any attempt by Iran to block the Straits of Bab al-Mandab at the mouth of the Red Sea would be met by an international coalition that would include Israel.” (Haaretz)

Netanyahu’s unbridled ambition for Israel to become not only energy independent but a major oil/gas exporter is at the root of these conflicts including Iraq, Syria, and now Yemen. Total control over the Straits of Bab al-Mandab is of paramount concern, as any blocking of that would nullify their port of Eilat. Also according to sources, the Saudis are taking approximately 65% of Yemen’s crude oil production.

These recent regional wars always come down to three major factions: the US/UK – Saudi Arabia – and Israel and their alliance that is determined to take total control of the region and its resources. This alliance has proven itself to be unhindered by any level of violence and suffering their policies and actions result in.

As for the Houthis deterrent power, that is hard to speak to. So far they’ve proven themselves to be steadfast and surprisingly (surprising to their enemies at least) strong. The isolation that has been imposed however makes their fight, including resupplying and other support, all the more difficult.

Sadly I believe the war will be long and continue to be very costly in humanitarian terms. Unless Western media outlets will stop ignoring the carnage and the real motives behind the conflict, the foreseeable future looks bleak. Accurate and consistent reporting is what is needed in my opinion to sway popular opinion which would apply pressure on Western governments to end their support.

H.M

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