The CBS program, however, left out the fact that the US is providing crucial material support for Saudi Arabia’s atrocities in Yemen.
In addition to failing to highlight that Saudi Arabia is a firm US ally, “60 Minutes” also never mentioned that the US House of Representatives recently passed a measure to continue refueling Saudi warplanes mid-flight. The bill, H.R. 599, passed despite evidence that Saudi warplanes have intentionally bombed civilians and even funeral proceedings.
Congressional office holders Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced a measure in late September requiring the government to obtain Congressional permission before participating in war operations in Yemen, but it didn’t move out of the House.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, exclaimed in the November 19 show, “you keep going like you’re going, there’s not going to be anybody left, all the children are going to be dead.” The organization has said 150,000 kids will die over the next few months if
Western support for Riyadh’s war remains unchanged.
The Intercept reports that “per 60 Minutes’ framing of the conflict, the crisis in Yemen is a random tragedy happening on the other side of the world – manmade, but outside US control.”
In addition to US and UK participation in Saudi air operations over Yemen, the Western nations have supplied the Kingdom with billions of dollars’ worth of bombs.
US warships have also helped enforce a blockade on Yemeni ports, effectively helping to starve the nation’s people, who rely on imports for 90 percent of their food supplies, which “60 Minutes” also paints as a dire situation in which the US has no involvement. The UN has warned against maintaining the blockade, stating that the 7.3 million Yemenis already living in famine-like conditions would be among “millions of victims” caused by a lack of food.
The tragedy continues despite the fact that “if tonight the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told [Saudi] King Salman, ‘this war has to end,’ it would end tomorrow because the Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in April 2016.
“Congress and the American people know too little about the role we are playing in a war that is causing suffering for millions of people and is a genuine threat to our national security,” Rep. Khanna told Foreign Policy over email September 29. Thanks to programs like CBS’ 60 Minutes, lack of public knowledge about US involvement in the Yemen crisis will likely continue unabated.