Civilian Victims in Yemen Will Be Ignored Because U.S. and Its Allies Are Responsible
By Glenn Greenwald / firstlook.org

In Fayoush, Yemen on Monday morning, just outside of Aden, “a massive airstrike” hit a marketplace and killed at least 45 civilians, wounding another 50. Officials told the AP that “bodies were strewn about following the strike.” The bombing was carried out by what is typically referred to as a “Saudi-led coalition”; it is rarely mentioned in Western media reports that the U.S. is providing very substantial support to this “Saudi-led” war in Yemen,now in its fifth month, which has repeatedly, recklessly killed Yemeni civilians.

Because these deaths of innocents are at the hands of the U.S. government and its despotic allies, it is very predictable how they will be covered in the U.S. None of the victims will be profiled in American media; it’ll be very surprising if any of their names are even mentioned. No major American television outlet will interview their grieving families. Americans will never learn about their extinguished life aspirations, or the children turned into orphans, or the parents who will now bury their infants. There will be no #FayoushStrong Twitter hashtags trending in the U.S. It’ll be like it never happened: blissful ignorance.

This is the pattern that repeats itself over and over. Just see the stone-cold media silence when President Obama, weeks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, ordered a cruise missile strike in Yemen, complete with cluster bombs, which ended the lives of 35 women and children, none of whose humanity was acknowledged in virtually any Western media reports.

All of that stands in the starkest contrast to the intense victim focus whenever an Americanor Westerner is killed by an individual Muslim. Indeed, Americans just spent the last weekinundated with melodramatic “warnings” from the U.S. government — mindlessly amplified as always by their media — that they faced serious terror on their most sacred day from ISIS monsters: a “threat” that, as usual, proved to be nonexistent.

This media imbalance is a vital propaganda tool. In U.S. media land, Americans are always the victims of violence and terrorism, always menaced and threatened by violent Muslim savages, always targeted for no reason whatsoever other than primitive Islamic barbarism. That mythology is sustained by literally disappearing America’s own victims, pretending they don’t exist, denying their importance through the casual invocation of clichés we’ve been trained to spout (collateral damage) and, most importantly of all, never humanizing them under any circumstances.

This is how the American self-perception as perpetual victim of terrorism, but never its perpetrator, is sustained. It’s also what fuels the belief that They are propagandized but We aren’t. While these deaths will be concealed from the American public, people in that part of the world will hear much about them: just as Americans heard almost nothing about the Al Jazeera journalist imprisoned for years in Guantanamo with no charges, Sami al-Hajj, while he was a cause celebre in the Muslim world, leading Americans to believe that only the Bad Countries, but never Us, imprison journalists. From this latest Yemen bombing and so many like it, the resulting differences in worldviews and perspectives isn’t be because “they” are propagandized, but because “we” are.

Photo: House destroyed by Saudi-led airstrike in Saana, July 3; Hani Mohammed/AP

 

Glenn Greenwald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, constitutional lawyer, commentator, author of three New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, and a staff writer and editor at First Look media. His fifth and latest book is, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to his collaboration with Pierre Omidyar, Glenn’s column was featured at Guardian USand Salon.  His previous books include: With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful,  Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics,  A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, a George Polk Award, and was on The Guardian team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public interest journalism in 2014.

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 8,318 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump
Tim Dickinson · 8,038 views today · Though it's important to fight Trump's policies, "it's at the values level that we need to do a reset," says Jones
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 7,775 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 7,130 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 5,870 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 5,865 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 5,379 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 4,618 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
David Graeber: We Need a Revolution in the Way We Think about "Work"
4 min · 2,809 views today · David Graeber on the Value of Work. Does the world really need neuroadvertisers, PR researchers and branding consultants? Renowned academic and coiner of the ‘we are the 99%’...
Why You Should Stop Apologizing for Doing All That You Can
Kelly Hayes · 2,722 views today · I’ve noticed lately that a lot of allies and accomplices I talk to about NoDAPL and other struggles will name what they are trying to contribute to the cause, and then promptly...
A New History for Humanity - the Human Era
8 min · 2,101 views today · It is time to reframe how we think about our past. We need a new year 0 for humanity. But which one should we choose and why?
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 2,042 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Seven Must-Have Skills for the 21st Century
Tommy Lehe · 1,487 views today · We live in a world that moves faster than we do. Trying to keep up can be an overwhelming task that at times feels hopeless, like we are falling further and further behind—but...
Black on Black Crime Isn't a Myth
Donyae Coles · 1,461 views today · Let’s talk about Black on Black crime. Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, specifically likely in regards to Black people murdered by other Black people. Perhaps you’ve...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,433 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,379 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Asylum-Seeker Faces a Dangerous Deportation Back to Afghanistan
3 min · 1,303 views today · After an EU deal with Afghanistan, more than 80,000 rejected Afghan asylum-seekers are facing deportation back to that country. Alim says being sent back to Afghanistan could...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,223 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
It's The Damn Police
Walter Fields · 1,206 views today · From an early age Blacks are socialized to live defensively and to absorb the mental body blows that come from the day-to-day indignities that are hoisted upon us by the very...
There Is No One Right Way to Be an Activist
Tim Hjersted · 772 views today · There is no one right way to be an activist. There is no one right way to change the world. There is no one right philosophy of leftist politics. There is no one right reaction...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Civilian Victims in Yemen Will Be Ignored Because U.S. and Its Allies Are Responsible