Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 01, 2019

World Food Program, Bribed By Saudis, Threatens Yemenis With More Famine

The United Nation's World Food Program is supposed to relief populations in urgent need of food supplies. It is not supposed to be a partisan organization. But in the war on Yemen it has now taken one side of the conflict and is threatening the other side with starvation.

The slow famine in Yemen continues unabated. Not only the people in north Yemen, under control of the Houthi and besieged by the Saudi coalition, are starving. Those living in the government controlled areas in the south have similar problems. There are many conflicting parties which makes aid distribution difficult. There is food in the markets but the people have no money to pay for it.

Many poor local men, even children, get recruited to fight on either side. The coalition of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United States have few of their own soldiers on the ground. The hire others to wage their war.

The U.S. is essentially running the Saudi air war against Yemen:

When a Saudi F-15 warplane takes off from King Khalid air base in southern Saudi Arabia for a bombing run over Yemen, it is not just the plane and the bombs that are American.

American mechanics service the jet and carry out repairs on the ground. American technicians upgrade the targeting software and other classified technology, which Saudis are not allowed to touch. The pilot has likely been trained by the United States Air Force.

And at a flight operations room in the capital, Riyadh, Saudi commanders sit near American military officials who provide intelligence and tactical advice, ...

While the U.S. military claims that it intends to prevent attacks on civilian targets the results show no such influence. The war against the Houthi and their allies in Yemen has been a siege war from its very beginning. It was designed to use famine as a weapon against the population of the Houthi controlled areas.

The Saudis do not only bomb water wells and food production facilities on land but the also kill Yemeni fishermen who dare to take to the sea. The Saudi coalition also hired mercenaries from Sudan and elsewhere to bleed as its foot soldiers. Some of them are as young as 12 years old. The Houthi are likewise recruiting youth.

The UAE, which is profiting most from the war, hired al-Qaeda leaders and fighters to do its bidding. A prominent one is Abu al-Abbas who commands some 3,000 local fighters. Last year the Trump administration put sanction on al-Abbas for financing al-Qaeda. But its ally UAE is paying him millions per month to fight on its side.


On December 9 the warring parties held first direct talks in a U.N.-led peace efforts in Sweden. While the UN claimed that several agreements were found, none was published and both sides seemed to disagree over the outcome. The most important issue is the control over the port of Hodeidah through which most of the food aid to Yemen is shipped. The Saudis and the United Arab Emirates have for month tried to take the port while the Houthis defend it by all means because their lifeline depends on it.

The new agreement allegedly gave the UN control over the port. The Houthi as well as the Saudi/UAE controlled forces would retreat from the port and the city and let an unarmed UN force run the harbor. But the Houthi say that the UN would only monitor the harbor while their forces would stay.

On December 29 Associated Press first reported that the Houthi handed control over the port to the government controlled coast guard. After some laughter from Yemenis, it revised the record:

Yemen’s Shiite rebels on Saturday said they handed over control of the main port in the Red Sea city of Hodeida to the coast guard and local administrators, but the government denied that, calling it a ploy by the Iran-aligned rebels to maintain control of the strategic facility.
“It’s a stage play in which the Houthis handed over the port to their fighters after they put on coast guard uniforms,” said the Hodeida governor, al-Hassan Taher.

Indeed, one published picture showed a "brigade general" in coast guard uniform "taking control of the port". Yemen's coast guard does not have any generals. Up to a day before the "general" was Houthi commander.

The UN very much disliked the ploy and now tries to penalize the Houthi just like the Saudis do, by threatening to starve more of them.

Just yesterday AP and the Pulitzer Center published an investigative report on how food supplies delivered by aid agencies gets pilfered during its distribution in Yemen:

Documents reviewed by The Associated Press and interviews with al-Hakimi and other officials and aid workers show that thousands of families in Taiz are not getting international food aid intended for them — often because it has been seized by armed units that are allied with the Saudi-led, American-backed military coalition fighting in Yemen.

“The army that should protect the aid is looting the aid,” al-Hakimi told the AP.

The investigation founds similar theft and pilfering of aid that is delivered to the Houthi side. Instead of being handed to people in need, much of the food aid is sold in local markets. This is not really astonishing. Any larger aid program in a conflict area has similar problems. Some share of the supplies always falls off the truck.

But the UN ignored the AP report that both sides are looting food aid. Just hours after it was published the UN's World Food Program exclusively accused the Houthi side of diverting aid:

[WFP Executive Director David] Beasley warned the Houthi authorities in Sanaa that unless they took immediate action to end the diversion of aid the WFP would "have no option but to cease working with those who have been conspiring to deprive large numbers of vulnerable people of the food on which they depend".

Just like the Saudis, the UN's WFP threatens to starve the people who live in Houthi controlled area:

"If you don't act within 10 days, WFP will have no choice but to suspend the assistance ... that goes to nearly three million people," the letter said.

The Houthi protest against such a partisan ultimatum:

Yemen's Houthi rebels on Tuesday said they were "surprised" by accusations from the United Nations food agency that they are stealing humanitarian aid and accused it of taking sides in the nearly four-year-old war.

The World Food Program on Monday threatened to suspend some aid shipments to Yemen if the rebels did not investigate and stop theft and fraud in food distribution, warning that the suspension would affect some 3 million people.

The threat from the WFP is outrageous. "We will let 3 million people die unless you do this or that" is not the way the UN should talk to the weaker side of a conflict. (Curiously the @WFP_Yemen twitter account has now been shut down.)

The Saudis and the UAE use their purse string to influence the WFP. Two month ago they pledge another $500 million:

“What Yemen needs most is peace because that would make the greatest amount of difference in every Yemeni life,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “In the meantime, this important donation will help us save children on the brink of death. I thank the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a contribution that will truly save lives.”

I find it inconceivable the that UN or its sub-organizations take large amounts of Saudi money to prevent a famine that the Saudis willingly cause in the first place. The UN should reject such bribery. To then threaten the starving side of the conflict to withhold aid over distribution problems is reckless.

WFP Director David Beasley, a former governor of South Carolina nominated for the WFP job by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, should be suspended from his job. His partisan behavior is exactly the reason why the Houthi can not and will not give the UN or any of its organizations full control over Hodeidah. It is the only port through which they can receive food supplies for the people living in their area. If UN organizations that are obviously influenced by Saudi money and issues partisan threats get control over the port, the siege on the Houthi areas would be complete.

Sooner or later they would have to concede their defeat. By then millions more would have died.

Posted by b on January 1, 2019 at 18:53 UTC | Permalink


Chas Freeman

"There is the famous saying by Napoleon, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making the mistake." So, Why should China correct the US when the US is making the mistake? "

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 1 2019 19:27 utc | 1

Wanting to hsve a contribution here, I have found the following story at

I don't think this is long enough to affect the thread, but to be sure, I am abreviating the link by putting the first part of it below:


Sorry not to be technically adept - I wasn't sure which part of the link counts as 'text' and which 'URL' But the important part of the article is that in such a situation as this, there ought to be a direct avenue by which Trump can overrule his clearly unjust application of his anti-muslim edict.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 1 2019 19:34 utc | 2

Perhaps if the UN hired peacekeepers from third-party countries which do not have a fig in the conflict to protect the food aid, instead of relying on the US and the Saudis to protect the food aid, some of the food might actually reach the families who need it.

Perhaps then the Houthis might not treat UN food agencies or affiliated agencies with the hostility that they do.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 1 2019 20:17 utc | 3

Welcome to 2019.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 1 2019 20:34 utc | 4

Here's the thing about obsession with WFP FOOD AID coming into Hodeidah: the war against the Houthis is primarily economic, not military. The entire Hodeidah port was not destroyed by Saudi jets at the start of the war, only the commercial container-handling side (cranes) and commercial warehouses were destroyed. That destroyed 80% of the port's capacity.

Half the Yemen population is in Sana'a and 'Houthi controlled' northern Yemen areas - well over 10 million people. Imaging cutting all commercial imports to New York City (8 million), waiting for its economy to collapse and then magnanimously stepping in and attempting to feed everyone there with food aid. It's stupid and impossible.

The US/UAE (and Saudi sidekicks) plan all along was to push northern Yemen slowly into NEAR starvation while expanding Yemen's reliance on food aid through Hodeidah. The Houthis were pissed about that because MOST Yemenis in the north (and Sana'a) are still able to buy their food today - somehow. They did not want to see Hodeidah turned into a giant aid-only port because that would ensure the exact situation - economic collapse and lack of food available to purchase - that the WFP is trying to 'solve' by monopolizing the port for their food aid. The more commercial cargo to the port is restricted, the more food/fuel aid you need. It's a psychopath's self-licking ice-cream cone.

ALL of this was precipitated by the Saudis bombing the commercial container port's cranes and warehouses in August of 2016. The situation has been compounded by the Saudi de facto blockade of the Port of Hodeidah (and Saleef Port to the north) to most commercial shipping - something they repeatedly deny.

USAID did send four much smaller mobile cranes to help unload AID ships after the gantry cranes were destroyed, but few ships are allowed in. Hadi's mafia threatens to bomb the gantry cranes again if they are repaired, so the intent is to prevent as much commercial cargo discharging as possible. The UN not only seems oblivious to this, but insists on seizing/controlling the port itself for the aid-only scheme, exacerbating the economic strangulation of the north. "We have to destroy Yemen - it's for the CHILDREN!"

Behind all this is the US, encouraging the Saudis/UAE to maximize the pain and suffering of the northern Yemeni civilians until they capitulate (or die) and all the Houthis give up, disarm and turn their country over to a US/Saudi puppet. Sound familiar?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 1 2019 21:03 utc | 5

So World Food Program Director David Beasley, a former governor of South Carolina, was nominated for the WFP job by then U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, also a former governor of South Carolina.
Sweet! As has been said in other contexts, you can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jan 1 2019 21:04 utc | 6

"WFP Director David Beasley, a former governor of South Carolina nominated for the WFP job by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley..."
Wow, I didn't know that. How corrupt can the UN actually become? It is obvious that the current UN-Secretary General António Guterres is even more a U.S. lapdog than his predecessor.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 1 2019 21:12 utc | 7

@ Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 1, 2019 2:27:15 PM | 1

40 years later... and mr.Freeman continues to get things wrong. Half his interview is tautology, half is delirious nonsense.

Posted by: vk | Jan 1 2019 21:38 utc | 8

The reason for the blockade, and the demands for an 'aid-only port', is that the Imperial psychopaths don't understand how the Northern Yemenis are able to keep fighting. It's not Iran sending them all their weapons in invisible jets & boats, it's the rental soldiers selling them for extra cash.

So they're starving people to death because they're too thick to understand that quisling forces are inherently disloyal.

Posted by: Jesrad | Jan 1 2019 21:46 utc | 9

thanks b and thanks for many educational comments from others here too..

seems to me the usa could put a stop to a lot of this if they were interested.. instead they would to remain in bed with ksa and uae - two of the driving forces in the siege and starvation of the yemen people... how do any of these countries expect ordinary people to view them down the road? are they hoping people remain ignorant of the facts going into the yemen situation? no wonder many refer to them as half/men, or people... that includes the leadership of the usa at this point in time in spades too..

why isn't any of this brought up at the un by russia or china? i guess they have too much on their plate, but watching this in real time, even from a great distance, is truly disgusting and speaks so badly of these 3 countries mentioned above in particular... i am forever tainted negatively towards them..

Posted by: james | Jan 1 2019 22:29 utc | 10

This is hardly the first time food aid to the starving is used as a weapon. Immediately after the first gulf war the US guaranteed the Kurds they would not get any food aid for the 400,000 who had taken refuge in the mountains unless they joined in an uprising against Saddam. they didn't out of fear of Saddam s revenge and some 200,000 starved that first winter.

Posted by: les7 | Jan 1 2019 22:40 utc | 11

Yemen, I think, is a peripheral part of Trump's Attack on Iran so there will be no let up there. So to is Syria and Graham being reassured about Syria does not bode well there, Though Syria are in a much better position to resist than Yemen.
This David Beasley I guess would have the same blind hatred of Iran as all Trump's appointees.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 1 2019 22:59 utc | 12

Jesrad, most of the weapons are from what was in the country before the war, military stock, excluding civilian weapon stocks. Estimated to last 10/12 years. Most men keep at least 1 automatic riffle and a stock of ammunition, many men also keep RPGs and Heavy machine guns. Some women also have pistols and rifles. This is the mountain regions. There is also the stocks held by arms merchants before the war.tribes also hold central stocks. Again Mountain region. They also manufacture weapons.the only weapons they didn't have enough of was snipping riffles, but they are making them now. They are purchasing weapons from the Saudi/uae proxies also. Payment is in cash and in Kat, the narcotic leaf they chew. Most of the Kat is cultivated in the mountain region.the missiles are stocks from before the war.a lot of these missiles were unusable due to age deteriation. They altered them, changed them, refuelled them, made them usable. They have technicians trained in Russia. Now they are making missiles. They are also making drones. They have a system were the drones shine laser on a target and the missile will home on it.they took the stock of air to air missiles for the Migs, altered them and are using them as land to air anti aircraft missiles. But these are only good to hit jets flying at low altitude, so the Saudi/uAe jets are flying higher up. As for food the mountain population has the ability to survive on very little food,you would be amazed, it's the genetics.also they are able to grow grains in the mountain region, not enough but it is also coming in from the south. Saudi/uae give the food to the religious lunatics in the south to distribute to the needy, instead they steal it and sell to merchants who move it to the north mountain region. Also north mountain region operate as large family units, so money is pooled together, distant relatives will help if they can. Also the expatriate community will help distant relation living in Yemen.these people terraced the mountains, moving soil and stone up mountains.really believe me in their nature there is no such thing as defeat.scores are always settled, they don't forget or forgive.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 1 2019 23:40 utc | 13

Just don't blame Trump or you will offend some dreamer.

>> Pro-Russian dreamers want to believe that Trump accepts "the inevitable" decline of the Empire.

>> Pro-Trump dreamers want to believe that he is anti-globalist/anti-swamp.

Trump's first missile attack against Syria was for "the babies" so we know he's real humanitarian./sarc

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 2 2019 0:04 utc | 14

This cant be true. Trump woukdn”t allow the babies to go hungry, he loves babies, he bombs those who hurt babies.

Interesting read here, not for dreamers though

“ the end, change will come. But it will be a change that will serve the interests of those for whom total power is the ultimate aim. The world’s inherent fluidity will run and be directed through their rigid hands.”

Posted by: Pft | Jan 2 2019 0:16 utc | 15 <- juliania Jan 1, 2019 2:34:09 PM

This link can be typed in html as follows, ^'s should be omitted:

Check <^a href="">this RT story<^/a>.

Check this RT story.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 2 2019 0:36 utc | 16

War is the enactment of the evil in some men's hearts.

Posted by: mike k | Jan 2 2019 0:52 utc | 17

Human rights in Western version make a provision for rights or rebels: they have a right to submit to the legal authorities. Otherwise they can be killed, maimed, starve, whatever the legal authorities (with Western advisors, otherwise their legality would be questionable) deem appropriate.

For example, legal authorities of Crimea are in Kiev (spelled Kyiv if you want to be funny and polite to those authorities, they like to transliterate Київ in this fashion), while Crimea is populated by rebels. There is no legal way of providing rebels with food, electricity and water, as they persisted in their error, the legal authorities were outlawing various types of supplies one by one. Any transportation to Crimea is criminal, and a bridge build to facilitate such transport is criminal. Blowing up the bridge would restore legal order, and attempt to prevent it being blown up by the legal authorities are illegal.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 2 2019 0:52 utc | 18

OMG. Typos in the previous post, lords of MoA do not allow me to change after clicking "Post". 1st paragraph should be

Human rights in Western version make a provision for the rights of rebels: they have a right to submit to the legal authorities. Otherwise they can be killed, maimed, starved, whatever the legal authorities (with Western advisors, otherwise their legality would be questionable) deem appropriate.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 2 2019 0:54 utc | 19

read the talmud folks
death is the juice
the brits and team zion usa are the past masters of blockade.
big death numbers for little cost.

pirates gonna pirate
rapist rape

the question is what has iran or russia done
what about china?
ohh yes china
just taken over isreals biggest port

partners is partners
business is busy ness

Posted by: sven | Jan 2 2019 0:59 utc | 20

A side note for anyone that still uses Twitter, Facebook, etc.:

The Saudis and UAE have spent millions since the beginning of their Yemen invasion lobbying D.C. for military and intelligence support. Mattis even went to the UAE in 2015 providing free consulting on building their armed merc forces right at the start. That was a part of his now tiresome neocon Anti-Iran Jihad To Save Mankind. Then there's either the outright bribery or threat of defunding whomever in the UN is necessary for that body's approval.

The Saudis and UAE have also spent a considerable amount of money on those MSM/social media messaging firms to promote their various narratives in the west regarding Yemen. Narratives that demonize the Houthis and Shia, misstates their rebellion against Hadi's thoroughly-corrupt (even by Yemen standards) Riyahd-based government and messages that promote the 'legitimacy' of Hadi's exiled fake government by reinforcing the "...internationally recognized..." qualifier in the MSM. I guess the people of Yemen are too dumb to have any say in their own government - the 'international community' will decide which government is approved for those savages.

One need only do a search for 'houthi' in any of the social media platforms to see the constant spew of paid Saudi/UAE sycophants.

The UAE has - of late - also started to promote the voice of the southern separatists and their grievances against the Houthis. Except most of those are, in reality, condemnations of old Saleh-directed policy, not that of the Houthis at all.

The Saudi/UAE social media campaigns will continue to hammer the narrative that the war in Yemen is a civil war - you know... just like it was in Syria. And despite some squeaking otherwise, the US will be on the side of abject evil once again. Some Yemenis are just going to have to die, especially if they're agents of Iran!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 2 2019 1:13 utc | 21

Many folks probably dont realize why Yemen is so important. In North Yemen there are rumoted to be a huge oil fields that may exceed Saudis reserves.

“The Hunt Oil Company of Texas has been sitting in the Alif Field since 1982 and discovered oil there in 1984. The Alif Field lies in the Houthi-controlled north of Yemen near the undefined border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The author had the occasion almost two decades ago during an interview with someone associated with the US Government to discuss notions of peak oil and oil geopolitics. At that point the person in discussion volunteered that the undefined desert lands between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, according to non-published US aerial and geophysical surveys, held oil reserve potential that likely exceeded that of Saudi Arabia.”

Posted by: Pft | Jan 2 2019 2:06 utc | 22

It is foolish to believe that the Yemen war is anything other than US instigated, the KSA are merely proxies (who hire sub-proxies). It suits the US to pose as the reluctant ally, trying to work for peace. The US is the perpetrator of this war.

The UN is under the effective control of the UN. Only the Security Council veto provides some kind of obstacle. It suits the US to effectively control the UN and blame the UN for being biased against the US. The UN will not come to the aid of The Houthis.

The Houthis have been surprisingly successful in their resistance but in the end they will be defeated. They will lose their port, will be blockaded in the mountains and starved even if it takes years. The Houthies cannot win.

Should Iran directly come to the aid of the Houthies this will be the justification for the US to declare war on Iran. Iran cannot directly intervene.

China and Russia will be defeated if they come to the direct aid of the Houthies because they have no effective position. China and Russia cannot directly intervene unless they are prepared to go Nuclear.

The solution is the easiest option of all. For the western population to collectively tell their leaders to stop. This won't happen.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 2 2019 2:23 utc | 23

Jen 3
One would expect the UN to do exactly that considering they have done it that way in the past. Where are the so-called UN peacekeepers we keep hearing about? The UN is corrupted in too many ways.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 2 2019 2:37 utc | 24

Hal Duell 6
When I lived in South Carolina, I kept seeing more evidence of political cronyism and corruption. Sen Graham always has a $4.5 mill "war chest" at election time. Where does all that money come from? In the state? Not likely.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 2 2019 2:43 utc | 25

ADKC@24 said in part;

"It is foolish to believe that the Yemen war is anything other than US instigated, the KSA are merely proxies (who hire sub-proxies). It suits the US to pose as the reluctant ally, trying to work for peace. The US is the perpetrator of this war."

Yep! case closed...

Posted by: ben | Jan 2 2019 2:47 utc | 26

@24 adkc... good post, except for the last line, which i don't agree with.. there are going to have to be some leaders willing to address this openly, and very vocally in public... none of them at this point have the jam to do it, but that could always change... doubtful, but possible.. it is kept off the news intentionally.. it is hard to get the public worked up with the same powers own the msm who are indirectly responsible for what is happening in yemen as well..

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2019 3:11 utc | 27

It is foolish to believe that the Yemen war is anything other than US instigated, the KSA are merely low level bag men money men proxies (who hire sub-proxies).

what is trumps usa
what is russia gate

Banksta's Paradise feat. Donald Trump

Posted by: christopher | Jan 2 2019 5:23 utc | 28

@ juliania #2

I can now use the HTML tags for bold, italics, underline, and blockquote, but I always have to cut/paste that link command. Then I use my article information to replace the parts.

"the full URL address is pasted between the quote symbols">Whatever you want the link text to be is pasted between the inner arrowhead symbols<

Had to erase most of the command - the forum software kept trying to make a non-functioning link which hid the first part. :)

Again, cut paste that bottom HREF command to the comment box, then substitute your parts to replace the example there. I believe you can test your new link while in the "Preview" mode.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 2 2019 6:57 utc | 29

@ Piotr Berman #17

I honestly thought I looked for somebody else offering help before trying myself. Anyhow, I like your instructions better than mine.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 2 2019 7:01 utc | 30

The world is fast changing alignments. The U.S. is doing a wonderful job making this happen.
The Heartland Theory is hard in the birthing pangs of reality.
With Eurasia fully aligned Oceana will lose major power and influence; a process well under way.
The EU may not fully fall apart (but I feel it's inevitable to regain sovereignty for its individual members) as U.S. pressure is forcing it to align to the east.
Without the U.S./NATO, this would be a natural inclination.

Posted by: V | Jan 2 2019 8:50 utc | 31

Indeed, what is happening in Yemen is both stupid and evil. Agreed. Still, missing a very large point.

According to wikipedia, in 1990 the population of Yemen was about 12 million. It had doubled by 2010 to about 24 million. So let's do the math:

1990: 12 million
2010: 24 million
2030: 48 million (projected if they are given enough food)
2050: 96 million
2070: 192 million
2090: 384 million
2110: 768 million

OK you get the idea. Yemen is not a big country like China or India, and has always had a very limited water supply. They could probably support about 10 million people with their own resources.

So of course Yemen is dependent on external food aid. The real question is: how long is the rest of the world going to keep feeding the Yemenis? And why?

IMHO the real crime here is not mentioning the obvious fact that, yes Virginia, Malthus was right, and people trying to have more children than they can reasonably support does NOT automatically create wealth. But then Yemen, and places like Yemen, are such a lovely source of cheap labor, so the press refuses to talk about this... Because that might actually make a difference...

Posted by: TG | Jan 2 2019 12:05 utc | 32

What is Russia/Putin's stance wrt Yemen? Other than his recent public display of affectionate bro-hood with MaBuS what other signals are out there?

Seems to me Russia has adopted a rather cool attitude towards Iran in recent times, perhaps because they are the main competition for influence in Syria? Didn't they more or less bypass Iran and try to open dialogue with US and KSA over Yemen?

I know Russians were playing a peace maker role in the UN a few months back but haven't heard much of anything since maybe because of the intensifying situation in Syria. Maybe Syria at the moment is the limit of Russia's ability to assert itself meaningfully in thye ME?

Honest questions.

Also James, there has been noticeably increased coverage regarding Yemen in the US recently especially after the Senate voted to end support for war efforts there. Starving children on the front pages and so forth although not as much coverage as maybe we would like to see. The Yemen war is not viewed by Americans as directly related to US interests. Frankly, Syria isn't viewed as essential either, whether right or wrong. Outside of DC and media classes there is little concern about Syria heard from the (wo)man on the street.

This is probably yet another downside of Trump controlling the media narrative with all his nonstop noise. Until (if and when) he focuses on Yemen the reporting will probably remain limited. Or maybe until Russia becomes more active in the situation, which doesn't seem likely.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jan 2 2019 12:06 utc | 33

Your buddy Trump, that you keep defending and protecting here, threatened to veto the Resolution to end support for the Saudis in Yemen that was passed in the Senate before Christmas. When it then went to the House for a vote, I believe that Trump asked Ryan to find a way to kill that Resolution and he did so by sneaking into the must pass Farm Bill, that included food stamps for the poor in the U.S., a provision that blocked any vote on a Yemen resolution invoking the War Powers Act making it so it was a vote to either deny impoverished Americans a means to feed their families or end U.S. support in Yemen.

Thefore, those of you that protect that inhumane, con artist, bas terd in the White House have only yourselves to blame for still trying to protect him!!!

Hopefully, now that the House is changing hands, the Resolution that passed the Senate will be put before the House again, and we'll see what your friend Trump does!

The hypocrisy reeks.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 2 2019 14:05 utc | 34


That you would even bring that topic into this discussion says a whole lot about you. What do you suggest then, GENOCIDE by famine or forced abortion?

Never mind. I shouldn't dignify what you wrote. It stinks!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 2 2019 14:14 utc | 35

Surely this must be perceived as an opportunity by Russia, China, India, Iran, and all decent nations, to ‘run the blockade’ with a humanitarian convoy.
There are times when human decency becomes paramount.
This is the, right , thing to do , full stop.

Posted by: MikeSmith | Jan 2 2019 15:34 utc | 36

Just to let you know how malicious Trump is, I'm posting this article on how difficult it was to arrive at a consensus on The Farm Bill with Trump in the mix.

Complex farm bill

So what was happening months BEFORE the provision to block a vote on Yemen was snuck into the Farm Bill in the House is this:

Since Trump imposed tariffs on China and other countries regarding steel and aluminum, some countries, especially China retaliated by imposing tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. Therefore your genius Trump who didn't want the rural vote to turn on him, figured out an expensive bandaid solution to subsidize farmers' export losses. To do this, and compensate for the expense of the subsidies, he then tried to stick it to the poor in the U.S. by imposing restrictions on the food assistance program, now called SNAP, that has been a part of the Farm Bill since the 1930s. So, Trump created an impasse situation for the Farm Bill vote. Then FINALLY when a compromise was reached and Dems accepted Trump's expensive subsidies to compensate his tariffs consequences, if Republicans dropped Trump's restrictions on SNAP, Trump, the vidictive ass he is, colluded to kill the passage of the Yemen Resolution by having Ryan sneak in the provision to block a vote on the latter last minute before the vote on the Farm Bill, that would be passed after months of wrangling, and 4 Democrats were forced to take the fall for killing the Yemen Resolution to spare the poor Trump's restrictions on SNAP.


Posted by: Circe | Jan 2 2019 15:48 utc | 37


Do you ever get tired of thrashing that dead, one- trick pony of yours? You sound like an anti- semite who blames all the world's problems on the same fictitious cause. Do the slightest research and you'll find over one half of the world's population depend on food imports, including the UK, EU, Hawaii and other first- world places. "But how long should the world feed Hawaii?" you bellow, "Just let them starve!"
Yemen was perfectly capable of availing itself of this fancy new technology called trade where they would exchange goods or currency to make up their shortfall of domestically produced food. Ya know, kinda like the literal one half of the globe that does the same thing. But it turns out that if you blockade and bombard an entire net- importing country, you'll get a famine (I know, a VERY tricky concept to wrap your head around).

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jan 2 2019 16:02 utc | 38

>> OMG. Typos in the previous post,
>> lords of MoA do not allow me to
>> change after clicking "Post".

It's okay, Piotr. Grammar and spelling Nazi's have been furloughed as "nonessential" during the government shutdown.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 16:27 utc | 39

>> "But how long should the world feed Hawaii?"
>> you bellow, "Just let them starve!"

TG didn't say that. Pointing out the nourishment problem affecting a people is an expression of concern for these people and their next generation. It stems from empathy/compassion.

Stop grossly misjudging people who point out we have a global population/food ratio problem.

>> Do the slightest research and you'll
>> find over one half of the world's
>> population depend on food imports,
>> including the UK, EU, Hawaii and
>> other first- world places.

First, just because the stronger countries fare better doesn't mean there isn't a nourishment problem. If you look at rates of obesity and other diseases, even these stronger countries are not doing great. Just because agribusiness helps keep people "alive" doesn't mean the supply of real food isn't being strained.

Second, the nourishment problem is hurting populations in weaker countries worse than in "first-world" places. Supposedly, 900 million Indians do not get enough calories every day. Facts like that matter far more than the fact that select groups of people (like Hawaiians, beneficiaries of government military spending and wealthy tourists) have the means to trade to import food.

Third, we're exhausting fish stocks and agri reserves. Every problem you see now is only going to get worse, at faster and faster rates.

You won't accomplish anything good by vilifying people who bring up the subject. You'll instead do a tiny part to make matters worse.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 17:02 utc | 40


You're missing the point. TG Yemen comments are blame-the-victim excuses for genocide.

Have you read Pft @23? Yemen might actually have resources that could more than support their "oversized" population.

With that said, the world does have to do better with managing global resources. We could start by ending the useless wars, disaster capitalism practices, and other gross misallocations of capital.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 2 2019 17:40 utc | 41

There is another reason

that the US wants to eliminate the Yemeni population.

To please its Talmudic masters, the US wants to attack and destroy Iran. To do so, though, would cause Iran immediately to close the Hormuz straits, thus cutting off oil supplies taking that route to the rest of the world.

So the US and the Saudis want to punch a couple of oil pipelines through Yemen, to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Once that is done, and the gulf nations no longer need the Persian Gulf route, then and only then can the US proceed to destroy Iran (or at least, make the attempt to do so.)

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 2 2019 18:22 utc | 42

@ dumbass

What an apt moniker you have chosen for yourself. I am well aware that TG didn't say Hawaii should starve, he said "How long should the world feed Yemen? And Why?" Thus my comment was a tongue-in-cheek reductio ad absurdum argument. I would suggest looking it up if it goes over your head. TG suggests that if a country doesn't produce enough food domestically for its citizens, they should simply starve. My comment shows how ridiculous this idea is as there are many, many countries and places that are net food importers, ie Hawaii which imports 92% of its food.
Further TG's "And why?" suggests that those countries with a surplus of food have no moral obligation to help a blockaded, bombarded country struggling to feed itself. And you say this "seems from compassion/ empathy". Dumbass indeed.
As far as a nourishment problem in the West, I would agree that exists but that it has nothing to do with Yemen and its current predicament. In the West, this has much more to do with education than lack of access to food. If you feed your family McDonalds every day because it's easier than cooking food at home, this has nothing to do with the amount of food produced in the US or worldwide. That is an education and/ or societal issue, not a food production issue.
The fact is, collectively the world ALREADY produces more than enough food tp feed everyone alive. That this food doesn't reach everyone is due to politics, economic systems and personal choices much more than it is a failure of agriculture world- wide. For example, the percentage of food waste is horrendous in the US and much of the West. Or the fact that by alerting the proportion of meat to vegetables consumed in the West, one would free up vast amounts of grains fed to livestock.
Instead of focusing on gloom- and- doom scenarios, which may or may not come to pass, you could realize that the solutions to world hunger already exist. The fact that none have been implemented is a societal failure, not an agricultural failure.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jan 2 2019 18:31 utc | 43

Jackrabbit, I read all the comments before posting and comprehend your and Don's points. Those points can be made without "oh my god you're a monster" reactions to a global problem that will not go away if we ignore it.

Yemen can continue getting food in exchange for oil. But, much of that food shipped to Yemen will come from the same global system straining to feed other people now.

You might (or might not) counter by saying more oil output from Yemen fields would help output in *petroleum-based* agribusiness, so that my prior statement isn't true. But, "big finds" now help only marginally because almost all of each big find goes to offset output declines elsewhere. The easy oil has been extracted and we're now doing stupid things like trading clean water to frack for oil. Any "big" finds in Yemen will be more like "running in place". So, again, the food shipped to Yemen will probably come from other mouths.

I disagree with TG's apparent emphasis on population growth as the proximate cause of the current problem. I suspect e merely misspoke or we're misinterpreting. But, the combination of "population growth" with "dependency on food imports" set up the dominoes that Oceania crime bosses chose to tip over.

Kissinger said "If you want to control a military, control their oil. If you want to control a people, control their food." When economists discuss the theory of comparative advantage and use it to convince third-world countries to raise monoculture cash crops and buy necessities in a global market, they fail to mention just how vulnerable those ideas make the target country in a global market where a few bastards in one of several empires can turn on "sanctions". The lack of self-sufficiency greatly undermines sovereignty and courts disaster.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 18:39 utc | 44

>> What an apt moniker you have chosen for yourself.

Tsk. Tsk. You couldn't resist going for low-hanging ad hominem fruit. Twice.

Since you've shown interest in my handle, maybe you're interested in knowing why I chose it: to remind myself that there's so much I don't know and to try not to be pompous or mean to others.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 18:59 utc | 45

@TG #33 - I recall you making a similar post before...or even several times. You're racist who sees all Arabs in an 'Orientalist', i.e. 'they are primitive savages' white imperialist mindset, as Edward Said defined the term. Look at you: 'look at these stats, they breed like rabbits and what the fuck ya gonna do about it?'. What utter bullocks you spew. There is a deliberate, premeditated starvation being instigated by the Saudis and Americans, and this is your prescient observation? You suck dude.

Posted by: Deschutes | Jan 2 2019 19:11 utc | 46

>> Instead of focusing on gloom- and- doom scenarios, which may or may not come to pass,

They *have* come to pass. They *are* coming to pass. A billion people aren't getting enough calories. Probably two billion more aren't getting enough nourishment. What does this do to brain development and, in turn, to how well these people can tackle challenges and enjoy the gift of consciousness to its fullest?

Sure, we should try to solve problems in food distribution. Yes, we could feed the world if we halved our military budget. Addressing those issues will be aided by recognizing, rather than suppressing, the extent of our past, current, and future Malthusian problem.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 19:30 utc | 47

@ dumbass

You chose that name, not me. So ad hominem? Perhaps but, again, you picked it.
Meanwhile you cede my points that the world produces enough food to feed its population if it were properly distributed. Moreover, the world is producing more food than ever before despite a changing climate thanks to improved technologies and more efficient uses of resources. So your assertion that environmental changes is why countries like Yemen, ME and African nations don't have food security -- and not say corrupt politicians, policies and war -- rings rather hollow.
Even admitting the core of my argument is correct, you continue to sprout nonsense like "So, again, the food shipped to Yemen will probably come from other mouths." Do you have any idea how much agricultural product is left to rot because it's 'not profitable enough' to ship to those who need it, or more often than not, to drive up prices by decreasing supply? But yes, let's blame the victims of imperial aggression for their lot and let them starve, cause the environment is f-ed up, right?

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jan 2 2019 20:03 utc | 48

@34 donkey.. maybe some of the adults in the room are trying to avoid another proxy war? meanwhile the usa likes to start them regularly... as for the usa msm - thanks for the update... it seems the usa is incapable of doing anything of value.. trumps farm bill with the yemen add on is another case in point.. too bad the way the usa is set up, they are unable to vote directly on anything of value it seems..

@dumbass.. TG is quickly establishing a bad rep at moa.. might be best to not support anything they say..

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2019 20:20 utc | 49

Don Wiscacho@44

Yes the world produces more than enough food to feed the world. However, this short-term fix is done at the destruction of the environment as explained in the book “Doughnut Economics”. Increasingly, the food produced has reduced nutritional value and is so processed as to actually be a long-term poison.

Some 50 years ago the Canadian Land Institute pointed out that every calorie of food production requires some 10-20 calories of fossil fuels. Such fossil fuel reserves are finite and are rapidly being depleted. This is especially the case for oil and oil condensates produced by fracking where the costs exceed the return and the rapid depletion rates. See the book “Limits to Growth- the 30-year Update” for more information.

As a vegetarian/vegan I agree with you concerns about food waste and the need to convert from a meat based diet to a plant based diet. See Dr. Greger’s book “How not to Die”. Unfortunately, as I learned late in life “one cannot fix stupid” even when your closest relatives are being stupid.

For more on the limits to growth see Dr. Bartlett’s presentation:

Much of this information is outside the Overton Window.

I hope this helps. No disrespect intended.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 2 2019 20:41 utc | 50

>> You chose that name, not me. So ad hominem? Perhaps but, again, you picked it.

The ad hominem act is choosing to use it to attack me personally. And you remain unnecessarily antagonistic. Do you think that will make me more or less likely to read your posts in the future?

>> let's blame the victims of imperial aggression
>> for their lot and let them starve, cause the environment
>> is f-ed up, right?

I defended Circe a few times from people ganging up. I'll defend TG, who I hope returns to clarify. Maybe Deschutes is right. I don't know. Until then, I believe you're putting words into TG's mouth.

IMO, TG brought up an important issue, even if it's not the proximate cause of Yemeni starvation. Is it "bad taste" to bring it up? When gun-control advocates mention gun-control in the wake of a mass shooting, gun-rights advocates say it's in poor taste and wasn't the proximate cause. But, when the subject is on people's minds, why not discuss it? When war triggers mass starvation, why not discuss factors that contribute to the intensity of the problem?

Population growth and lack of self-sufficiency contribute to dependency on imports and "the kindness of strangers". It makes a frail system.

Improve food distribution however you can. End war however you can. Promote contraception however you can. I don't see these as competing solutions. There's no problem in the world that is made *better* by increasing world population except the one problem TG pointed out: some people see a "problem" if they can't get enough cheap labor. Or religious followers or military enlistees.

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 20:46 utc | 51

dumbass has been a bar patron for a long time.

His comments have been cogent and on-the-mark.

I respect his point and his perspective, even if I disagree with him about TG's intent.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 2 2019 21:56 utc | 52

Krollchem@51 I don't have issue with an all vegetable diet. Eating meat is not however wrong or stupid. There are many ways to do this humanely. The main ingredient missing in today's food chain is respect...

The madness is in the method. There are plenty of sources on the web that explain how many 21st century problems can be solved with age old solutions that have been cast aside in the name of progress.

Hadn't heard of the Overton window before, so thanks and yes some things that need to be discussed are definitely outside the window. Happy new year.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jan 2 2019 22:21 utc | 53

Thanks to both Piotr Berman and Zachary Smith. I actually was confused by the earlier explanation but understood it better once I had the second one! I've copied both and will keep handy for future reference. (I see how the 'link to appear' gets attached to the 'full address' with both explanations in hand - I think!) High marks to you both.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 2 2019 22:58 utc | 54

And trying it out first in Preview is excellent advice also.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 2 2019 23:05 utc | 55

@ Jackrabbit 53


>> dumbass has been a bar patron for a long time.

I'm relieved you didn't follow that up with "...and he's obviously had too much to drink". ;-)

Posted by: dumbass | Jan 2 2019 23:20 utc | 56

I, along with others, hate following urls but FAR's the Iranian News agency summarized the situation in Yemen perfectly ...

It's funny, the Iranians are always charicarized as being lunatics but they totally nailed it in a very professional manner without any unnecessary theatrics.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 3 2019 15:39 utc | 57

One would expect the UN to do exactly that considering they have done it that way in the past. Where are the so-called UN peacekeepers we keep hearing about? The UN is corrupted in too many ways.

Posted by: toptenbiz | Jan 22 2019 2:21 utc | 58

The reason for the blockade, and the demands for an 'aid-only port', is that the Imperial psychopaths don't understand how the Northern Yemenis are able to keep fighting.
happy wheels

Posted by: Gloria Rogers | Jan 23 2019 6:56 utc | 59

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