Sunday, September 23, 2018

Today in Yemen

The US is an active participant in a campaign of aerial carnage being carried out by the Saudi Air Force. The laser-guided, 500-pound bomb that killed 94 people in and around a packed bus parked at a busy outdoor market earlier this month was supplied by the United States. Most of the planes dropping the bombs are made in the US, and they're being refueled in mid-air by the US military.

When that bomb fell on August 9th, there were also developments in the FBI's investigation of the Trump administration, Oprah released a new line of refrigerated food, and Elon Musk broke up with his girlfriend. These were some of the important stories of the day reported by major news media. Local and state media where I live, in Portland, Oregon, were giving blanket coverage to the aftermath of a gathering of a dozen rightwingers who were defended with predictable brutality by the riot squad a few days earlier.

Meanwhile in Yemen, the daily, US-sponsored war crimes continue. One more country lies in rubble. Millions are on the verge of famine. And one more market is covered in blood, body parts, and shrapnel -- assorted pieces of which are adorned with US flags.

If the size of a human catastrophe or the degree of human suffering had anything to do with what qualified a story as newsworthy, Yemen would be a leading headline every day. But in the real world, Yemeni life is far less important than Saudi money or Saudi oil -- and this reality is reflected well in corporate media coverage as well as by US policies under both of our ruling parties.

Many of the people killed on the bus that day were children on a school outing.

Today in Yemen

There's a heat wave in Portland, the sun shines down
Sprinklers are running all over town
It's hot, too, in Yemen, but lucky for us
Nobody here was on that bus

Where 44 children died today

Here the buses pass by and they pass by again
In Saada the bus left, came back, and then

44 children died today
A school trip, a picnic as the bombings go on
I guess they should have stayed home, now they're all gone 

44 children died today

Fragments of bodies and fragments of bombs litter the market square
On most of the fragments if you wash off the blood you'll see “USA” written there

44 children died today 

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