The Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States

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by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka
Black Agenda Report

“This is the world that a President Sanders promises—continued war crimes from the sky with drone strikes and Saudi led terror in support of the Western imperial project.”

After months of horrific scenes of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean where literally thousands of human beings were dying at sea, European public opinion was finally mobilized to respond to this movement of people. However, the anguished expressions of concern from the general public and government leaders in Europe was a far cry from the response that met the first wave of migrants that was largely African.

In response to that migration, European authorities openly talked of launching military attacks on the boats in Libya to stop the “flood” of these “illegal” immigrants into Europe, even after experts cautioned them that military attacks would result in even more deaths at sea.

What changed? The racial composition of the majority of the migrants shifting away from Sub-Saharan Africans to refugees from the various conflict zones of Iraq and Syria, captured in the globally disseminated image of Aylan Kurdi, the Kurdish child from the devastated city of Kabani. But even more importantly, European and U.S. propaganda could exploit this flow of humanity from Syria politically.

This example is pertinent to the discussion here because it raises two issues related to Yemen: first, the ease in which public opinion is influenced by Western propagandists (I include both the official state entities responsible for psy-ops directed at the public and the corporate media that largely collaborates with these efforts because of shared ideological positions and worldviews), and secondly, how humanitarian concerns are selectively manipulated to prepare and justify military attacks from the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination.

In Yemen, six months of relentless and seemingly indiscriminate bombing by the repressive Wahabbist dictatorship of Saudi Arabia has cost the lives of over four thousands human beings, who according to the United Nations and major human rights organizations have been primarily civilians.

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