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Wednesday, November 15

Caught red-handed!

Bless b's sharp eyes. From his November 13 report at Moon of Alabama, Yemen: Having Lost The War Saudis Try Genocide - Media Complicit. Watch carefully don't blink:
[...]
The above headlines are false. From the last headline, the Saudi government announced the reopening of some Yemeni ports and airports. All of these are in the south and under control of Saudi proxy forces who are fighting the Houthi-Saleh alliance in northwest Yemen. Some 70% of the population lives in the northwestern areas, which will continue to be under an extreme blockade.

The most important port in their area is Hodeida, which will stay closed. Back in March the U.S. Pentagon tried to get control of the port. But fighting for it would have destroyed the piers and thereby the supply route for some 20 million people. 

The most important airport is in Sanaa. The Saudi/U.S./UK alliance blocks even UN flights with medical supplies from using it.
Saudi Arabia reacting to UN famine warnings says ports in Yemen it controls will reopen for aid deliveries. Riyadh shut them down last week after a missile attack blamed on Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The Saudis now "request" the UN to send an expert commission to Riyadh to "discuss" procedures for future control of the ports that are not held by its proxies. Such a process will take weeks if not months. The Saudis will, like the Pentagon earlier, demand total control over the ports which their opponents will of course not give. Any such fighting will only worsen the situation.

Thanks to local smugglers some food and other goods will still be able to pass through the blockade. But these will be way too few and too expensive for the vast majority of Yemenis. When the recent blockade was announced, food and gas prices in Yemen doubled overnight. Public service employees have not been paid for more than 15 months. People simply can no longer afford to keep their children alive:
In Sana’a, Nor Rashid sold her family’s cow to pay for the transport costs to get her four year-old daughter, who weighs 16lbs, to the city’s feeding centre in Al-Sabaeen hospital. She has other children who are also sick but she cannot afford to pay for the medical care if she brings them in for treatment too. “It’s because of the lack of government wages,” she said. “Usually we go to the person in the village with a wage to ask for help and borrow money if someone needs to go to the hospital. But since the wages stopped we have no support.”
The UN warns, rightly, that the blockade is causing a mass famine. This famine is not a side effect of the war - it is a weapon:
To starve Yemeni civilians is an overt act by Riyadh, enraged by a humiliating failure to achieve a Saudi military victory.
The media claim that only 10,000 civilians have been killed in the two and a half years of the war. The number is laughable. Neither the UN nor others have published any detailed account. The 10,000 number seems to be plucked from hot air.  Compare, for example, the dates and content of these two reports:

Al Jazeera - 31 Aug 2016UN: At least 10,000 killed in Yemen conflict
The United Nations has significantly revised the estimated death toll from Yemen's 18-month civil war to up to 10,000 people
...
Speaking from the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator, said the new figure was based on official information from medical facilities in Yemen.
Al Jazeera - 17 Jan 2017Death toll in Yemen conflict passes 10,000
The United Nations' humanitarian aid official in Yemen has said that the civilian death toll in the nearly two-year conflict has reached 10,000, with 40,000 others wounded.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Jamie McGoldrick said that the figure is based on lists of victims gathered by health facilities ...
The same low number is claimed by the same official in August and in January while a devastating war has been ongoing throughout that time frame. That does not make sense. To provide a cynic laugh attack, or out of stupidity, the later Al Jazeera report says:
The announcement marks the first time a UN official has confirmed such a high death toll in Yemen.
[...] 
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There's much more to b's report. Pundita readers have pretty strong stomachs, I think, so I'm hoping they'll read the rest of what he has to say. But even b, who has a very strong stomach, was grossed out by the news media's complicity, which is by no means limited to the 'western' media.   

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