16 May 2017

Infections of gut and brain

If we were a sane society, the ‘humanitarians’ and ‘egalitarians’ among us would be jumping up and down screaming bloody murder about the brutal war of aggression America is perpetrating on behalf of the Saudi royals (the richest, most venally corrupt, most debauched family of plutocratic oil barons on the face of the planet) against the Zaïdi Shia of Yemen (who are some of the very poorest and most neglected people on the planet). Tens of thousands have died and many hundreds of thousands more are on the brink of starvation, without sufficient food or water or sanitation. Most recently, our actions in that country have been the cause of a serious outbreak of cholera in the Shi’ite area of Yemen.

But here’s the rub. It’s not simply that the Zaïdi Shia of Yemen are dark-skinned people in a small country most Americans couldn’t locate on a map if their lives depended on it. It’s also that they happen to be taking help – as any desperate people would – from those who offer it. And who is offering them help? The Iranian government, of course, for geopolitical and religious reasons both. And of course the Iranians Never Mean Anything Good because some Iranians took some Americans hostage almost forty years ago and that’s one of the few things we can be counted on not to forget. But most Americans – including and especially those who consider themselves ‘humane’ and ‘egalitarian’ – would just as soon prefer not to think about it at all (a task in which they are aided, of course, by pliant and power-serving corporate news media outlets). The few exceptions – statesmen who take thought on this aspect of our foreign policy like Congressmen Ted Lieu, Rand Paul and (somewhat surprisingly) Chris Murphy – are, sadly, by and large ignored.

When we listen to the sort of Serious™ political figures of the John McCain and Lindsay Graham stripe, who are always calling for more ‘muscular’ responses to international crises, we need to keep this humanitarian crisis of our own making in the back of our mind. These sorts of people want to use their ‘muscle’ on the poor and wretched of the earth, and they will be judged by God accordingly. And whenever we listen to an American public figure praising the bloated, heinous Saudi régime in any way, shape or form, our reaction should automatically be one of derision.


  1. But why is America so welded to the Saudis? That is what I cannot understand. This isn't 1975; the USA isn't anywhere near as dependent on Saudi oil as it was then. Washington's willingness to underwrite the Saudis is all the harder to fathom. What do you think?

  2. Hi Luke; thank you for the comment! I wish I had a good answer for that question. At this point, though, I don't. Still some combination of oil, guns and ideology? That's my best guess.