(Editor’s note: Anthony C. LoBaido traveled to the Arabian Peninsula as a journalist and photographer. This is his third column on the heartbreaking war currently raging in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest nations. LoBaido’s first installment can be read here. The second can be reviewed here. It should be noted that local legends claim Yemen was once a paradise. Many believe Sana’a, one of Yemen’s major cities, was founded by Shem, the son of Noah who sailed on the biblical ark. According to the Wall Street Journal, Yemen was perhaps the home of Bilquis — the lovely Queen of Sheba who stole King Solomon’s heart.)
If a picture were ever worth 1,000 words, then millions of words could be written about the images listed above. Impoverished Yemen is the southern neighbor of Saudi Arabia – one of the world’s richest nations. Yemen faces a war-induced famine threatening the lives of 14 million of its citizens. Added to that is the recent cholera outbreak. Yemen was already a disaster before Sunni-led Saudi Arabia launched its war on the mostly Shiite Houthi tribesman in that ruggedly beautiful nation. Yemen has been called “the most beautiful nation you’ll never get to see.” In a cosmic turn of karma, Saudi Arabia, according to Forbes, might be heading for bankruptcy and has begun the unusual process of pawning its priceless “Crown Jewel” via an initial IPO.
The news from Yemen is grim. Around 60 people were recently killed when the Saudis bombed a prison in Yemen. You might not have heard that the Saudis actually bombed Yemen’s School for the Blind. Charlotte Alfred’s excellent article on the latter can be studied here.
Charlotte’s web of truth reads thusly: “Shortly after 1 a.m. on Jan. 5, as dozens of blind children lay sleeping in their school dormitory in the capital of Yemen, the unmistakable sound of an aircraft roared past, followed by the crackle of anti-aircraft fire. Then a bomb broke through the roof of the three-story building, blowing out doors and windows at the al-Noor Center for the Care and Rehabilitation of the Blind in Sana’a.” (You can guess how the rest of the article goes.)
How bad are things in Yemen? Well, Mother Teresa’s order in Yemen saw a group of their nuns shot down by Islamic gunmen in an act of derangement. Read about it here. It’s a shame those nuns didn’t live to read the news about China selling Saudi Arabia some Reaper drones after the U.S. had refused to do so. Read about that sale right here. And now China and Saudi Arabia are both building military bases in the erstwhile French Foreign Legion outpost of Djibouti.
Just in case the School for the Blind bombing isn’t enough for you, there’s also the bombing of a funeral in Yemen killing 140 and wounding 600 more. And just when you can’t take it anymore, please take the time to examine the multiple bombings of the Doctors Without Borders facilities inside of Yemen. Read about it here. And here and here and here and here and here. And here.
Antiwar.com features a Super Bowl-level archive of Yemen articles that can be deconstructed here. Along the way, we’re told that much of what we think we know about the war in Yemen is just plain wrong. Read about that here. Why the U.S. is helping this war go on is addressed here. Zero Hedge blames the entire mess on the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq. Read about that here.
“As the atrocities accumulate and the humanitarian crisis worsens, Yemenis blame the U.S. administration for most of their suffering. Nationwide, huge posters in the streets proclaim, ‘America kills the Yemeni people,’ as Yemenis are sure that the Saudis would not have dared to do all that to them without the consent of the United States. However, many Yemenis happily share media and social media, American citizens’ criticism of the Obama administration’s role in Saudi war crimes and weapons sales. They circulated tweets by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy that criticized the Saudi campaign and portrayed him and others as heroes in big rallies, improving a little bit the image advanced by the ‘America kills the Yemeni people’ campaign. Anti-America sentiment gets even higher when U.S.-backed Saudi jets kill whole families in their houses and commit massacres in weddings, schools, hospitals, factories, mosques, and markets, where hundreds of women and children have been killed.
“Saudis are increasingly worried— not only by rising hatred, anti-Saudi sentiment, and the growing number of attacks on southern Saudi Arabia, but also by the photos and videos published almost daily showing bare-footed Yemeni fighters defeating the Saudi army and its most advanced weapons. Yemenis made and circulated a lot of jokes about Yemeni fighters seizing American M1A2 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFVs), boasting of Yemeni fighters’ bravery and making fun of Saudi fighters. Since mid-August, these scenes are shown almost daily and sometimes twice a day, leading Saudis to block or hack the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV on August 26, which reports from the Saudi provinces of Najran, Jizan, and Asir. Al Masirah shifted to a new frequency in less than 24 hours.”
The article continued:
“Still, a bigger concern for Saudis are the ballistic missiles that hit vital targets, such as military bases and oil facilities. An Aramco power plant in Najran was hit on August 26 with a ballistic missile, and Saudi Arabia retaliated by hitting electricity stations, oil facilities, and factories, including an attack on the Ras Isa sugar factory in Hodeida, cumulatively killing and injuring hundreds of civilians. Yet on September 2 Houthis fired a home-made ballistic missile named Burkan-1 on Taif, unnerving Saudis. The range of this missile is over 800 kilometers (500 miles) and it weighs nine tons. Even though Saudis said they destroyed Yemenis’ ballistic capability in the first week of war, after eighteen months they are stunned by how Yemenis moved such a huge missile and fired it on a military base hundreds of kilometers into Saudi Arabia—let alone how they made it and where.”
Should the U.S. be involved in Yemen in any way, shape or form? Paul Craig Roberts, who served under the late and former President Reagan in the Treasury Department and was also an editor with the Wall Street Journal, recently wrote, “The United States has had an entire generation of people born into a war for which the purpose is inexplicable. Why this endless slaughter of women and children and endless columns of refugees overwhelming all of Europe desperately striving to escape Washington’s wars of world hegemony?”
How will this all play out? Yemen, now slouching toward peace, might find itself once again partitioned. (The history behind the North Yemen and South Yemen epoch is explained here. It involves the British East India Company, as well as the British, Ottoman and Soviet Empires.) One peace-oriented article gives the skinny here. In case you’re getting your hopes up, the New York Daily News offers a sad photo essay on Yemen’s famine here. Yemen has untapped energy reserves and its border with Saudi Arabia is ill-defined due to the vastness of the Rub’ al Kali. Regional plans seek to build a bridge from Yemen to North Africa and Ethiopia’s oil treasures.
The article reads in part:
“Michael Morell is a former acting director of the CIA and a national security adviser to Hillary Clinton — one who is widely expected to occupy a senior post in her administration. He is also an opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement, a defender of waterboarding, and an advocate for ‘making Russia pay a price’ in Syria by covertly killing Putin’s soldiers. Morell added another title to that résumé: proponent of going to war with Iran, for the sake of securing Saudi Arabia’s influence in Yemen.”
The U.K. Independent published an article stating that Saudi Arabia had money to bomb and kill people in Yemen like pancakes, but the Saudis don’t have the money to pay 31,000 of their own foreign workers languishing in tent cities and broiling in the summer heat. That article can be read here.
Writes the Independent:
“A country with 16 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves, whose Saudi Aramco oil company makes more than $1 billion a day and now records a budget deficit of $100 billion, cannot pay its bills. At first, the Yemen fiasco was called ‘Operation Decisive Storm,’ which – once it proved the longest and least decisive Arab ‘storm’ in the Middle East’s recent history – was changed to ‘Operation Restore Hope.’ And the bombing went on, just as it did in the pre-‘hope’ ‘storm,’ along with the help of the UK’s ‘experts.’ No wonder the very same deputy crown prince Mohamed announced this year that state spending on salaries would be lowered, yet individual earnings would rise.”
Salon published this article about a U.S. congressman who wants to force the United States to stop helping Saudi Arabia terrorize the suffering people of Yemen. You can read about it here.
In case you missed it, the brutal fight between the Saudis and the U.S. families who are the victims of 9/11 has been heating up. Paul Sperry – formerly of WND.com and now a New York Post journalist par excellance and all around great guy – published an article stating that despite the release of the “missing 28 pages” from the official 9/11 report, major revelations about Saudi Arabia’s involvement remain buried. You can read Sperry’s article here. Another smart guy, Doug Bandow, writes in Forbes how the U.S. should quit the Saudi’s war on Yemen. Gareth Porter explains how the Saudi slaughter in Yemen has been justified here.
Then there’s The Future of Freedom Foundation’s Jacob Hornberger, the “Michael Jordan of nice guys.” He attended VMI and became a lawyer. He also graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Jacob published an amazing piece of salient journalism on Yemen entitled, “Prepare yourself for blowback from Yemen.”
Writes Hornberger: “The Pentagon is not a victim in Yemen and it’s not an innocent party to the conflict. By providing armaments to Saudi Arabia, it has knowingly embroiled the United States in the conflict and is now playing the innocent. It’s another classic example of how the U.S. national-security establishment has operated ever since it lost its official enemies, the Soviet Union and communism, with the … unexpected end of the Cold War. As we have learned, time and time again, there are will be costs arising from the Pentagon’s intervention in Yemen.”
“The very idea that Yemen – what is arguably the poorest country on the face of the earth – is a threat to the [Saudi] Kingdom’s ‘territorial integrity’ is a grotesque joke. I’ve covered the historical roots of the ongoing rebellion in Yemen – see here, here and here – but in brief: the Saudi invasion of Yemen is quite simply a proxy war on behalf of the U.S. that has devolved into Saudi expansionism. Indeed, one could make the case that it is much more so than the Russian re-annexation of Crimea – which, after all, has been a Russian domain since the days of Catherine the Great. Yemen has never been a part of the Saudi kingdom: it is an ancient land, whose roots as an independent entity precede the birth of Christ.”
Since Saudi Arabia helped fill China’s desire for a bigger strategic oil reserve, Forbes published an article suggesting that for every barrel of oil the Saudis sell to China, they (the Saudis) should pay a tax to America. This article is sure to give readers a headache. It can be deconstructed here.
For a bigger headache, try Ted Snider’s article explaining how Hillary Clinton knew Saudi Arabia was funding extremists long ago. And here’s an article on how the war in Yemen is being spun as “self-defense” for those wishing to wear the white cowboy hat.
The Houthi advances during the past couple of years are only part of a long and complicated story of armed strife in Yemen, the poorest of Middle Eastern countries. The issues and lines of conflict have involved contests for resources among different regions and tribes. There also has been a sectarian dimension to the internal warfare: the Houthis are champions of Zaidi Shias, a large minority in a country with a Sunni majority. The identities of the contenders in the current round of civil warfare do not give any reason for the United States to be more against the side of the Houthis than for them.
“The Houthis are allied with longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was America’s man in Sana’a before he stepped down in 2012, amid popular protests and an assassination attempt that left him severely injured. The most threatening anti-U.S. element in Yemen has been Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is on the Sunni side of the sectarian divide; the Houthis are among the staunchest opponents of AQAP. In short, the United States did not previously—before getting involved in this war—have an enemy in the Houthis. Now, as a result of getting involved in the war, it does.
Knowing full well where his bread is buttered, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s leader-in-exile, moved his nation’s central bank in a blow to the Houthi rebels —who no doubt would like a central bank of their own so they can play “Helicopter Ben” and print up their own batch of Monopoly-like “quantitative easing.” You can read that AP article here. In case you haven’t noticed, it is World War III one nation at a time: Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq (again), Libya, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and, of course, Yemen (with an honorable mention for the Ukraine). The Arab Spring, which once held so much promise (unless you were, let’s say, the dictator of Egypt), has turned into a Hobbesian world of all against all.
The only thing worse than the famine in Yemen is this: The “cluster bombs” made by Textron Systems in the U.S. are some piece of work. These bombs look like sparkling little toys. Children pick them up and get their arms blown off. Then the tribal parents have to give extra care to the children instead of fighting in the war. America makes these bombs, which are outlawed by international treaty, and sells them directly to Saudi Arabia to use against the Houthis in Yemen.
When Hillary Clinton said, “America is great, because America is good” at the third presidential debate, she probably needed to first fly to Yemen and ask the children left with no arms how good and how great America is. The major reason the U.S. finally armed the tribes in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union was that the Soviets were using cluster bombs on Afghani children. Now America is the atheistic state exporting perversion, abortion, violence and revolution all over the Earth. Yemen is an outrage, subsidized by the American taxpayer, while both major political parties choose to look the other way. This fine article calls the destruction of Yemen an “American-made tragedy.”
“The problem is that the ‘camera-ready villain’ in this case is the U.S.-backed coalition of client states using weapons and other assistance provided by our government. It flatters the U.S. to believe it is on the right – or at least less horrible – side in Syria, but that definitely can’t be said about our role in Yemen. When faced with the atrocious nature and disastrous effects of the Saudi-led war on Yemen that our government is enabling, it is easier to look away. It is notable that … the war minimizes the extent of the U.S. role in enabling the Saudi-led campaign, which makes it seem as if the U.S. is only tangentially involved.
“What makes the story of Yemen’s conflict less ‘compelling?’ Here we have a rebellion against the established government that leads to a major foreign intervention, and that intervention then wreaks terrible devastation on the poor neighbor of some of the wealthiest states in the region … The humanitarian catastrophe created by the intervention is every bit as dire as the one in Syria, and in some respects may be considered worse. ‘Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years,’ a Red Cross official said last year. He said that more than a year ago, and conditions have grown much worse since then. Yemen was listed as a Level 3 humanitarian crisis in the summer of 2015, which put it at the same level as the crises in Iraq and Syria. Now most of the country is close to suffering from one of the first man-made famines of the twenty-first century. That seems like it might make for a compelling story. Of course, what counts as ‘compelling’ in our media coverage depends to a large extent on the actors involved.
“There are some practical reasons why Yemen receives less attention, but they also point to why the war cries out for more coverage than it has received. Yemenis are trapped by the coalition blockade that also starves them of basic necessities, so the outside world doesn’t see the millions of displaced from their homes by the conflict and the tens of millions that desperately need food and medicine. The Saudis do their best to keep journalists from documenting what they are doing to the country, so it is difficult for anyone to get in to witness what is happening and also difficult to get back out to tell the story. The war itself makes it physically very dangerous for anyone to report on the war from the areas that are suffering the most, and the fuel shortage created by the blockade makes it hard to travel around the country in any case. Even if there were much more interest in the conflict than there is, there would be barriers to reporting on it. But there simply isn’t much interest at all.”
Saudi Arabia is not a favorite of human-rights advocates. Read about that here. Are U.S. and Saudi relations souring? Medea Benjamin asks if Western nations care more about Yemeni blood or Saudi Arabia’s oil money. The aforementioned American Conservative says this war is “atrocious.” The Intercept says the U.S. and the U.K. are basically complicit in Saudi war crimes against Yemen. Read about it here. Yemen in a “war laboratory,” some say. Read about it here.
Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has exposed some significant economic problems for the Kingdom. Writes Barron’s: “Meanwhile, as the Saudis seek to diversify their investments and returns away from oil, the Saudis are shopping bonds in Boston and New York the week of Oct. 17. And the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and Japan’s SoftBank are partnering on a multi-billion dollar tech investing fund … [The] Saudi’s intervention in Yemen has put significant strain on Saudi finances and it looks like it will be a persistent drag.”
No primer for the Yemen conflict would be complete without deconstructing the whole “Everything you think you know about the war in Yemen is wrong” meme.
“The only target in Yemen that Washington has clearly defined is the so-called Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terror group, or AQAP. However, AQAP is not the Saudi coalition’s primary target. Indeed, it is barely gets any mention in Riyadh and allied capitals. Among the coalition members, only the United Arab Emirates routinely cites AQAP as its main enemy. Now, there’s little doubt that the Houthis — an armed religious-political movement of Yemeni Shia Zaidis — expresses strongly anti-American, anti-Jewish and anti-Saudi views.
“The group, which calls itself Ansar Allah — ’Supporters of God’ — operates from strongholds in northern Yemen, primarily in Sa’ada Governorate. Its 20,000-strong militia force has fought a series of bitter campaigns against the central government in Sana’a since 2004. While scoring clear-cut victories in most of these actions, the Houthis lost badly in their initial confrontation with the Saudis in 2009 and 2010. Early on, Ansar Allah’s demands might have sounded perfectly reasonable. It wanted an end to its own economic disenfranchisement, political marginalization and discrimination as well as to the outright conversion of ever-larger parts of Yemeni society to Saudi-style Wahhabism.”
The article continues:
“But since taking over the capital of Sana’a in September 2013, the Houthis’ rule has increasingly been characterized by violence against any sort of political opposition. Indeed, the methods of rule they apply in the parts of Yemen under their control are as bad as those of the most oppressive Middle East regimes.
“There’s scant evidence of direct Iranian support for the Houthis. The truth is, with Syria gobbling up money and men, Tehran cannot afford a major proxy war in Yemen. Likewise, there are reasons to doubt Saudi Arabia’s claim that it’s defending Yemen’s legitimate government. Actually, Pres. Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has next to no popular and political support in Yemen. His predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh is much more popular than Hadi is within the Yemeni armed forces. Apparently convinced that Hadi remained legitimate, the Saudis seemed to believe that air strikes and limited ground operations would force the Houthis to withdraw from Sana’a and let Hadi take over again. They were wrong.”
Concerning the operational combat capabilities of the Houthis and the regular Yemeni Armed Forces aligned with them, things might not be what you’d expect. As a prequel, the Houthis feel it’s basically them (and Iran and a large portion of the Yemeni regulars) against the world. They feel the United Nations Special Envoy in Yemen is against them. Read that story here. If you want to read it in Arabic, you can do so here. (Remember, it goes from right to left!)
“Between September 2014 and March 2015, up to two- third of the Yemeni army either sided with the Houthis — because Saleh also did so — or were overrun by them. This included five out of 10 brigades of the 3rd Military District in Ma’arib, 10 of 13 brigades of the 4th Military District in Aden, four out of seven brigades of the 5th Military District in Hodeida, all nine brigades of the 6th Military District in Sa’ada and at least two of the six brigades of the 7th Military District in Dhamar. Only the units of the 1st and 2nd Military Districts based in eastern Yemen remained untouched by insurgency. However, several of these were subsequently overrun and disarmed by AQAP— and some outright butchered, too.
“At least three brigades of the Defense Reserve Forces, nearly the entire Special Forces Command, most of the Missile Defense Command and all four crack brigades of the Presidential Protection Force — some of these equipped with T-80 main battle tanks — sided with the Houthis, as did nearly all of the Yemeni air force‘s air-defense brigades. In total, more than 50 out of around 90 brigade-size formations of the Yemeni military aligned with the Houthis, only four or five with Hadi and three with southern separatists. AQAP overran four.
“Considering that the total pre-war strength of the Yemen military was around 400,000 personnel, this means that the Saudi-led expeditionary forces of around 40,000 Bahraini, Emirati, Sudanese and other troops — deployed in southern Yemen since August 2015 — faced up to 200,000 Yemeni troops hardened by years of bitter civil war. Little surprise then that the Saudi coalition quickly hired foreign mercenaries and scrambled to establish, recruit and train an entirely new military force, the Yemen National Army.
“Considering the size, experience and capabilities of the Houthi-allied Yemeni forces, it’s no wonder that the Houthis proved capable of launching raids across the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border … and even holding Saudi territory.”
The truth is, Yemen had a president-for-life since 1978. And the Saudis have, with their oil and energy money, interfered with Yemen’s various tribes for four decades now, handing out cash to different groups for whatever reason they deemed expedient at the time. If Jimmy Carter were still the president of the United States, how would Americans feel?
The Saudis have attempted religious colonization in Yemen. As the Dallas Morning News reported:
… The common threat from Saudi Arabia started in the late ‘70s. The Saudis tried to settle Wahhabis in Zaidi territory. It’s been a Saudi solution to their internal extremist problem. People who are even more extreme than the ruling, the dominant group in Saudi Arabia, to export it. So we saw that most vividly in the 1980s, when people like Osama bin Laden and his followers moved to Afghanistan and were financed, encouraged to do so by the regime in Saudi Arabia. We’ve seen it more recently in Syria, where they’ve done the same thing.
And in 1979 in Yemen … they sent someone who just tried to overthrow the Saudi regime, amazingly … But they let him out and said, ‘OK, off you go to northern Yemen,’ and he set up a madrassa, sort of an academy, which over the years became a hotbed of extreme Wahhabism, which the local Zaidis didn’t care for at all. And in reaction, they turned to Iran and asked for, really, not weapons or anything, but initially at least for instructors and literature. They thought they should get serious about their religion, and they sort of drifted more towards the sort of mainstream Iranian Shia variant.
Finally, last Halloween, the Obama administration, flush with a Nobel Peace Prize, asked Saudi Arabia to stop bombing Yemen. Read that article here.
According to the U.K. Guardian:
The U.S. has called for an end to airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen at a U.N. Security Council meeting, but critics pointed out that Washington continues to supply arms and provide other military support to Saudi Arabia. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, condemned missile attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels on Saudi Arabia and said the kingdom had a right to defend itself.
But she added: “It is also incumbent on the Saudi-led coalition and the forces of the Yemeni government to refrain from taking steps that escalate this violence and to commit to the cessation of hostilities.”
“After 19 months of fighting, it should be clear that there is absolutely no military solution to this conflict. Airstrikes that hit schools, hospitals and other civilian objects have to stop. In many cases these strikes have damaged key infrastructure that is essential to delivering humanitarian aid in Yemen.”
On another positive note, Textron Systems recently announced it will no longer be producing cluster bombs – for now. You can read the Mother Jones article here.
According to Mother Jones:
The announcement comes three months after Textron’s CEO defended the weapon in a Providence Journal op-ed amid ongoing protests at the company’s Rhode Island headquarters. Around the same time, the Obama Administration blocked the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in a rare display of unease over the growing civilian death toll in the Saudi Arabia-led war against Shiite rebels in Yemen.
Cluster bombs, which are dropped from aircraft or launched from the ground, contain sub-munitions, or ‘bomblets,’ that spread over a wide area before exploding. They’re intended to target military convoys or installations, but can kill or injure anyone who happens to be nearby. Bomblets that fail to detonate can become de facto landmines, laying in wait for anyone unfortunate enough to come across them. The CBU-105 cluster bomb contains 10 canisters, each of which disperses 4 explosive bomblets, called ‘skeets,’ which can spread out over an area the size of a football field before detonating.
If the Houthis (maybe) launching a missile at Mecca is of interest to you, that Washington Post article can be found here. (Imagine if the holiest sites in Islam were attacked or even destroyed, what that would mean on so many different levels to Saudi Arabia, Islam, the region and various state and non-state actors. Similarly, some fear the Vatican might be destroyed by terrorists.)
Information on U.S. drone strikes in Yemen can be found here. Information on why the Magna Carta has, for more than 800 years, made the idea of killing people with drone strikes (and without a trial) not in line with Atlanticist norms and mores, can be found here. Yemen’s post-apocalyptic “House of Horrors” as “assisted” by arms merchants from the U.S. and U.K. is addressed here.
The Yemen War Crimes Blog can be found here. The Brookings people get all uppity about Yemen in this report. Here’s an excellent “foreign correspondent” video about the war on Yemeni children. And if you don’t like objective, intelligent, non-biased reporting, there’s this CBS news report on Yemen. The BBC published this disturbing video report on Yemen’s famine. How about this YouTube.com video regarding an amazingly brave 11-year-old girl from Yemen who refused to become a child bride in Saudi Arabia? These dozen photos capture the war in Yemen in a gripping way. Yemeni photographers show their stuff here.
The Human Rights Watch report on Yemen can be found here. Their notes on cluster munitions, child soldiers and attacks on aid workers can be found here. The International Red Cross’ report on Yemen can be found here. When an International Red Cross worker was abducted by some oxygen stealing parasites in Yemen, the totally awesome Sultan Qaboos of Oman interceded to save her. Props for the sultan acting like a world-class monarch while defending the weak can be found here.
Anyone interested in assisting with the famine in Yemen should check out the World Food Program’s website here. Save the Children’s Yemen page appeal is here. The “science of hunger” and how that impacts one billion people on Earth all day and all night is touched upon here. The U.K. Guardian explains right here that half of all of the food in the world is thrown away every single day. Salon explains how Saudi Arabia, assisted by the U.S., has bombed Yemen’s agriculture and food production right here.
If you’re willing to go into extra innings, take a moment to meet Abdullah al-Ibbi, the Yemeni man who had 27 of his family members killed by a single and very deadly Saudi Arabian airstrike. The BBC published his story here. The aforementioned Catholic nuns murdered at an old age home in Yemen are honored here. The thin chance for peace for Yemen is once again addressed here. In a publication produced by Amnesty International, Yemeni children describe “playing” around cluster bombs that “look like a toy you play with.” You can read it here. Anthony C. LoBaido addresses all of this and much more here and here.
One can imagine the Queen of Sheba looking down upon Saida Ahmad Baghili and asking when everyday ordinary Americans – the sons and daughters of the men and women who once fed the world, helped save the world from Nazi Germany and also evangelized the world with the Good News – will stand up for those in Yemen who have no voice of their own.
Anthony C. LoBaido is a ghostwriter, journalist and photographer. He has published 371 articles from 53 nations around the world. He has also published a book on the Kurds. Some of his favorite adventures include attending the British army’s jungle warfare training in Belize, retracing Lawrence of Arabia’s World War I trek through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, investigating the blood diamonds of Sierra Leone as popularized in the Leonardo DiCaprio film by the same name, meeting “CNN hero” Aki Ra at one of his land mine digs in extreme northern Cambodia, working with Time Magazine’s “Hero of Asia” Lek Chailert on her crusade to assist injured and abused elephants in Southeast Asia, rescuing HIV/Aids throw-away babies in the garbage dumps of Cape Town, South Africa, visiting a leper colony in Myanmar, as well as debriefing a woman who escaped from North Korea not once but twice.
LoBaido’s articles have been cited by Ivy League universities such as Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. As a photographer, LoBaido made National Geographic in 2014. His photographs were auctioned at the 2015 St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital “Miracles by the Bay” Gala in San Francisco. St. Jude’s carries out premier research for childhood diseases. Its founder, Lebanese actor Danny Thomas, made a promise to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, that he would “build a shrine” if the Supreme Being would help Thomas find his way in life. The hospital and the state-of-the-art research it carries out are now in effect that shrine.