I wrote this essay for The Guardian.
This is not a column about Donald Trump. It’s also not about Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen or Robert Mueller, and it’s certainly not about Rudolph Giuliani and his way with words. On the contrary, this is a column about the things we are not paying attention to, and why we should.
On 9 August, the US-backed Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen against a Houthi-led rebellion dropped a bomb on a school bus packed with children. According to reports, the excited kids had been on a school trip marking the end of their summer classes, and as they passed a busy marketplace, the bomb directly hit their vehicle.
The results were horrific. Of the 54 people killed, 44 were children, with most between the ages of six ando 11. The pictures of the dead and injured children, some of whom can be seen wearing their blue Unicef backpacks, are beyond heartbreaking.
And the tragedy in Yemen is unrelenting. Just this past Thursday, a mere two weeks after the school bus attack, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed yet another 26 children and four women fleeing the fighting in the western province of Hudaydah.
If this sounds to you like I’m relating a story about how terrible the civil war in Yemen is, then you’d be correct, although – and let’s be honest here – the war in Yemen occupies almost none of our collective political attention today. Could it be that we don’t care all that much about this war because Yemenis are Muslim, brown, and poor, and we’ve already been droning them for years on end?
The reality is that the war has created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe today. Three-quarters of the population, some 22 million Yemenis, require humanitarian assistance and protection. About 8.4 million people hang on the brink of starvation and another 7 million lie malnourished. Since 2015, more than 28,000 thousand people have been killed or injured, and many thousands more have died from causes exacerbated by war, such as a cholera epidemic that has afflicted more than a million people and claimed over 2,300 lives. At least one child dies every 10 minutes from causes linked to the war, according to the United Nations.
But this is also a story about the responsibility of the United States. A report by CNN indicates that the bomb used in the school bus airstrike was a 500-pound laser-guided MK 82 bomb, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, one of the largest US defense contractors. Having facilitated the sale to the Saudi-led coalition of the weapon used to kill these children, does the United States bear any responsibility for their deaths?
Read the rest here.