Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Far Worse Than Capitol Riot

Caitlin Johnstone condemns the U.S. designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization and the scarce media coverage of the Saudi-led conflict’s deadly toll.

Dec. 11, 2017: Protesters against U.S.-backed Saudi-led war on Yemen handcuffed by New York police outside U.S. mission to the UN. (Felton Davis, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Caitlin Johnstone

While the Capitol riot is being hysterically compared to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht by the political/media class, the Trump administration has done something far, far worse that is receiving far, far less attention.

The U.S. State Department has officially announced its intention to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, as many had previously warned. Humanitarian organizations have been condemning the move as it will make it more difficult to provide aid to a population that is already being brutalized by the worst mass atrocity in the entire world, a Saudi-led atrocity which could not occur without the help of the western power alliance.

We are already seeing some effects of this designation.

Antiwar‘s Dave DeCamp reports the following:

“The terror designation will hamper the efforts of international charities that deliver food to Houthi-controlled areas, where 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives and malnutrition is the most widespread.

Aid agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized since the Houthis are the authority they have to deal with and make transactions with. US terror designations open up sanctions on any individuals or entities that do business with those Washington brands as terrorists.

Pompeo said exemptions would be made for humanitarian goods. But any additional roadblocks for aid agencies will cause more suffering in Yemen since the situation is so dire. “Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children, according to AP News.”

The United Nations conservatively estimates that some 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the war between the Houthis and the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition, mostly from what it calls “indirect causes.” Those indirect causes would be disease and starvation resulting from what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls “the worst famine the world has seen for decades.”

Please Contribute to Consortium
NewsWinter Fund Drive

When people hear the word “famine” they usually think of mass hunger caused by droughts or other naturally occurring phenomena, but in reality the starvation deaths we are seeing in Yemen (a huge percentage of which are children under the age of 5) are caused by something that is no more natural than the starvation deaths you’d see in a medieval siege. They are the result of the Saudi coalition’s use of blockades and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites, and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes aimed at making the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen so weak and miserable that they break.

In other words, the U.S. and its allies have been helping Saudi Arabia deliberately kill children and other civilians on mass scale in order to achieve a political goal. Which would of course be a perfect example of any standard definition of terrorism. The unfathomably savage and bloodthirsty U.S. empire designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization is the least funny joke that has ever been told.

This move is quantifiably far, far worse than anything Trump could possibly have done to incite the Capitol riot, as it will kill far, far more people, yet the mass media fixate on one news story while virtually ignoring the other. This is because the Capitol riot story feeds into partisan narratives and manufactures consent for authoritarian domestic terrorism laws, while the Yemen story highlights the depravity of U.S. imperialism. The plutocrat-owned media does not exist to give you a truthful representation of the world, it exists to keep the wheels of the empire rolling along.

There’s a weird taboo against saying some things are worse than other things, especially when it involves things the mass media tell us are of cataclysmic significance. People shriek “Why are you minimizing the Capitol raid??” and “Why are you comparing them! It’s not a pissing contest!” This is stupid. All things are not equal to all other things, and figuring out the ways in which news coverage is disproportionate and not reflective of reality is a very important part of making sense of the world.

So now Americans are being fed a steady diet of narratives about the threat Trump’s radicalized base poses to people of color, while ignoring the fact that Trump is currently implementing policies which facilitate the butchery of people of color. Only difference is the latter is hidden behind geographical remoteness, and is far more egregious.

It matters that the mass media do not cover news stories with an accurate degree of proportion. It matters that they keep the public’s gaze diverted from the horrors of empire while radically distorting their sense of reality. This isn’t some idle “contrarian take.” This matters.

In the last couple of centuries, we’ve progressed all the way from expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while saying racist things to expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while condemning racism. The murder hasn’t changed, and the racism hasn’t really changed either. All that’s changed is the norms of how it is put into practice.

This matters.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.   Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Contribute to Consortium
NewsWinter Fund Drive

Donate securely with Paypal


Or securely by credit card or check by clicking the red button:



12 comments for “Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Far Worse Than Capitol Riot

  1. DH Fabian
    January 14, 2021 at 16:49

    For years, US political leaders have developed close, personal friendships with Saudi royalty. Before 9/11, it was quite the thing to brag about! Magazines would do feature articles about, for example, visits to the Bush ranch by Saudi royalty. To understand America’s agenda in the Mideast, it might be helpful to understand Saudi Arabia’s agenda.

  2. January 14, 2021 at 09:41


    But where in America’s international affairs do you see any activity that is not worse than the Capitol gate-crashing?

    In Venezuela? In Cuba? In Iran? In Iraq? In Syria? In Ukraine? In Palestine? In China? In Russia? Destructive, all of them.

    • Anne
      January 14, 2021 at 13:54

      Everywhere, John…and since (abroad) at least 1898, though heated up from 1945 on…And one only has to recognize what the was done to indigenous Americans and then Africans in America….Nothing changes, just the target…

  3. FreeAssangeNow
    January 14, 2021 at 07:49

    And yet we pledge our support, by accepting the ‘right-vs-left’ sermon, so perfectly illustrated by the capital riot.
    Thank you guys soo much for helping to spread the gospel: ‘If ONLY we had enough votes, it’d be alll better’..
    They must really be LTFAO at how easy it is to mesmerize people away from truth.

    • DH Fabian
      January 14, 2021 at 16:51

      Fewer people are drinking that Kool-Aid today. We just aren’t supposed to tali about that.

  4. Sally Nelson
    January 13, 2021 at 23:07

    Heartbreaking. And so important that we know, that we bear witness. Many thanks to Caitlin Johnstone.

  5. kiers
    January 13, 2021 at 17:53

    The Israel lobby has funded this far right wing fascist racist movement in the United States via Trump. I don’t like it, how much are we supposed to swallow Just so Israel gets Iran bombed?. They pursue their gain with recklesseness for every other constituency in America who are also AMericans,

  6. January 13, 2021 at 17:16

    Its the spinelessness of the Euros that gets on my wick. Theyll wring their hand over this but wont challenge it when a collective defiance would be the right thing to do and would be successful. It also exposes their duplicity esp that of the germans. Look at how they fight tooth and nail in the face of a blizzard of sanctions over Nordstream 2 , not wanting to be tied to expensive US gas, yet meekly comply with other unilateral imperial edicts.

    • Anne
      January 14, 2021 at 13:51

      Here one only needs to pay attention to all of the lies surrounding the Navalny rubbish and know that, so long as they can continue to be the major country in the EU (fulfilling an old dream), Germans/Germany will happily go along with the total fabrication (as with the Brits and Skripals)….

  7. January 13, 2021 at 17:04

    If Americans really cared about America then they would realize that the quest for world domination hurts most everyone who lives in America. And they would stop paying taxes for wars of domination.

    • dennis hanna
      January 14, 2021 at 02:24

      America an Oligarchy

      We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing.
      All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites.

      The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they cannot had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal.

      We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.

      One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

      Is the United States of America any different, any better?

      Are we not in a long line of and are we not the embodiment of …

      God’s Chosen People
      Saved in Jesus Christ
      The New Soviet Man (Person) a.k.a. The New Man (Person)
      The Master Race
      American Exceptionalism*
      The Earth’s Last Best Hope**
      The Indispensable Nation***
      The One Indispensable Nation****

      The first reference to the concept by name, and possibly its origin, was by French writer Alexis de Tocqueville in his 1835/1840 work, Democracy in America:

      “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people.”

      President Abraham Lincoln
      Annual Message to Congress — Concluding Remarks

      Washington, D.C.
      December 1, 1862
      One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln sent a long message to Congress which was largely routine, but also proposed controversial measures such as voluntary colonization of slaves and compensated emancipation.

      “… We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. …”

      It is the threat of the use of force [against Iraq] and our line-up there that is going to put force behind the diplomacy. But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.
      Madeleinee K. Albright,
      U.S. Secretary of State (1997–2001).

      Stated on NBC’s Today Show (February 19, 1998)

      “The United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world. Now, sustaining our leadership, keeping America strong and secure means we have to use our power wisely,” Obama said in his address to the American Legion in North Carolina. August 27, 2014 ( not the first or last time he uttered these words )

      Please note, President Obama
      clarified and specified “… the one indispensable nation …”
      The President, thus, closed the rhetorical door on any other nation being “indispensable.”

      In meaning and use, “the,” definite article, acts as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is a “unique” or “a” particular member” of its class; i.e. “the” President as compared to “a” president.

      President Obama, of course, knew this being “ivory league” educated at Columbia University (B.A.) and Harvard University (J.D.)

      “Repetition is necessary to catapult the propaganda.” President George W.Bush
      [ “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” — George Bush, “President Participates in Social Security Conversation in New York,” May 24, 2005. ]
      Why am I wrong?
      dennis hanna

    • Anne
      January 14, 2021 at 13:49

      To stop paying taxes for warmaking (Moloch-ism) you’d a) have to give an eff about those your country is going to devastate, the people you are going to slaughter; and b) pay attention to these actions/be informed of them truthfully…

      The majority of the electorate in the US (and UK) are as follows: a) unconcerned; b) unaware, but even were they aware, unconcerned – So long as some chickens do not come home to roost….

Comments are closed.