Tag: Saudi Arabia

How Saudi Arabia Tried to Blame Doctors Without Borders After Bombing Its Cholera Treatment Center in Yemen

Saudi Arabia tried to blame Doctors Without Borders after the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed the medical group’s cholera treatment center in Yemen. MSF says this is ridiculous and false.

By Ben Norton

The Saudi embassy in the United States pointed the finger at Doctors Without Borders after the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed the medical humanitarian group’s newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen.

The Saudi government circulated a misleading fax from a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) employee, to try to absolve itself of responsibility for the airstrike. I contacted MSF for clarification, and the organization said the fax is being misrepresented, and strongly condemned the “unacceptable attack on a medical facility.”

On June 11, the US-backed Saudi coalition waging war on Yemen bombed a cholera treatment center in the northwestern town of Abs. This medical facility, which had just been built, was operated by MSF, and was clearly marked on the roof with the logos of MSF and the Red Crescent.

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Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

US Congressmembers: Stop ‘Famine-Triggering Attack’ on Yemen’s Port City Hodeida, Which Could Starve Millions

Lawmakers have published a bipartisan letter calling on the US government to withdraw support for a military attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, which could unleash a humanitarian disaster that starves millions of civilians.

By Ben Norton

Lawmakers from both major parties have published a letter calling on the U.S. government to withdraw support for a military attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, which would almost certainly unleash a humanitarian disaster that could starve millions of people.

The letter — which follows in full below — was signed by prominent Democratic and Republican congressmen, and is directly addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

With blessings from the United States, military forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an attack on Wednesday, June 13 on Hodeida, the site where some 80 percent of humanitarian aid enters Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East.

The U.S. military is providing intelligence assistance to the Saudi- and Emirati-led forces in the battle. The U.S. has played a key role in the war in Yemen, since Saudi Arabia first launched its bombardment campaign in March 2015, selling the Gulf monarchy billions of dollars in weapons and providing in-air refueling and intelligence support.

Continue reading “US Congressmembers: Stop ‘Famine-Triggering Attack’ on Yemen’s Port City Hodeida, Which Could Starve Millions”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

US-Backed Coalition Bombs Yemen’s New Cholera Treatment Center, After Unleashing World’s Largest Outbreak

The US-backed Saudi/Emirati coalition bombed a newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen run by MSF. This air attack comes after the impoverished country suffered through the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history.

By Ben Norton / The Real News

A military coalition formally led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and supported by the United States and Britain, bombed a newly constructed cholera treatment in Yemen on Monday, June 11.

This attack comes after Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, suffered through the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history, with more than 1 million cases reported in 2017 alone.

The cholera treatment center was operated by the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (known in French as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF). It was located in Yemen’s northwestern Hajjah Governorate, an area that has been heavily bombarded by Saudi Arabia for more than 3 years.

Continue reading “US-Backed Coalition Bombs Yemen’s New Cholera Treatment Center, After Unleashing World’s Largest Outbreak”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

Exclusive Leaked Docs Expose Yemen-Based Counter-Insurgency Program by Cambridge Analytica Parent Company SCL

Part one of a two part investigation into Cambridge Analytica/SCL’s global operations

By Max Blumenthal

Internal documents exclusively obtained by the Grayzone Project and embedded at the end of this article show how Cambridge Analytica’s UK-based parent company, SCL group, conducted a surveillance operation in Yemen, using psychological profiling, “strategic communications campaigns,” and infiltration of foreign operatives into indigenous communities through unwitting local partners whom they were instructed to deceive.

The SCL documents describe “a research and analysis study undertaken by Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) on behalf of Archimedes,” a US-based military contractor. The name of the operation was “Project Titania.” It relied heavily on deception to gain access to the local population, ordering project operatives to develop a “cover story” that placed their presence in the country in a more innocent light.

The geographic targets of the project were Yemen’s Hadramout and Marib provinces. These regions have served as organizational bases for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and were at the time in the crosshairs of then-President Barack Obama’s drone assassination program.

Many of the methods of surveillance and manipulation revealed in these SCL documents closely mirror the tactics that were later applied in Western electoral contests. And when these tactics were exposed in early 2018, they ignited a political firestorm.

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Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent on Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth

The US government spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, former ambassador Robert Ford disclosed in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

By Ben Norton

The United States spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, according to the former U.S. ambassador to the country.

This $12 billion is in addition to the billions more spent to pursue regime change in Syria in the previous three years, after war broke out in 2011.

This striking figure provides a further glimpse of the exorbitant sums of money the U.S. spent trying to topple the government in Damascus. It also bluntly contradicts claims by Syrian opposition supporters that the former administration of President Barack Obama “did nothing” in Syria, or that it supposedly did not seek regime change fervently enough.

Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford disclosed this information in written testimony prepared for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on February 6.

“The cost of US military operations in Syria between FY 2014 and the end of FY 2017 was between $3 and $4 billion,” Ford said. “In addition to the cost of those military operations, the FY 2017 budget request included $430 [million] to build local security forces and the FY 2018 request was for $500 million.”

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Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

How the Saudis Escalated Yemen Struggle Beyond All Control

The Yemen Civil War could have been a local power struggle, if not for the Saudis’ heavy hand.

By Justin Podur / AlterNet

Yemen is a small, poor country in a region empires have plundered for centuries. This civil war is a local struggle that has been escalated out of control by the ambitions of powers outside of Yemen—mainly Saudi Arabia.

The British Empire ruled the Yemeni city of Aden in South Yemen as a colony, a refueling station for ships on the way to the Empire’s Indian possessions. Gaining independence in 1967, South Yemen had a socialist government from 1970 on, becoming the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY).

Northern Yemen was ruled by a king from the city of Sana’a who followed of the Zaydi denomination of Islam, clashing periodically with both the British and with the Saudi kingdom over borders in the 1930s. Arab nationalist revolutionaries overthrew the king in 1962, starting a civil war between nationalists, backed by Arab nationalist (Nasserite) Egypt and royalists, backed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iran (then a monarchy too). A peace deal was reached and by 1970, even Saudi Arabia recognized North Yemen as the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR).

North and South Yemen talked about unification throughout the 1970s and ’80s, and it finally happened in 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union that had been South Yemen’s most important ally.

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Justin Podur is a writer on international politics, and a professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto. He is the author of Haiti’s New Dictatorship.

 

Why I Confronted Gerald Feierstein, a Key American Advocate for Saudi Arabia’s War on Yemen

Former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, of the Saudi/UAE-funded Middle East Institute, denied that he lied about foreign government funding, and called a Yemeni journalist a “terrorist.”

By Gunar Olsen / AlterNet

At a public event in New York last week, Gerald Feierstein, director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Gulf Affairs and former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, denied claims that he lied on a congressional disclosure form about foreign government funding. He also called Abdulelah Haider Shaye, an independent Yemeni journalist whose reporting on the U.S. covert war in Yemen landed him in a jail cell at the request of the U.S. government during Feierstein’s tenure as ambassador, a “terrorist.”

The event where Feierstein appeared was organized by Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security, which recently hired former CIA director John Brennan as a “distinguished fellow for global security.” Feierstein used his time to condemn what he saw as the destabilizing influence of Iran in the Middle East, hyping the threat of Iranian support for the Houthis in Yemen, who have been the target of a brutal 32-month bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with significant support from the United States.

The war on Yemen has created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, causing 130 children to die everyday from extreme hunger and disease, forcing 20 million Yemeni civilians (almost three-fourths of the population) into need of immediate aid and unleashing the worst cholera outbreak in history.

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Gunar Olsen is a New York-based journalist. You can follow him on Twitter at @GunarOlsen.