News Release

U.S.-Backed Saudi Attack on Yemen: * Media Blackout * Public Opposition

BEN NORTON, email at bennorton.com, @BenjaminNorton
A reporter for AlterNet and a contributor at the media watch group FAIR, Norton just wrote the piece “MSNBC Ignores Catastrophic U.S.-Backed War in Yemen.” Norton writes that for “MSNBC, the largest humanitarian catastrophe in the world is apparently not worth much attention — even as the U.S. government has played a key role in creating and maintaining that unparalleled crisis.

“An analysis by FAIR has found that the leading liberal cable network did not run a single segment devoted specifically to Yemen in the second half of 2017.

“And in these latter roughly six months of the year, MSNBC ran nearly 5,000 percent more segments that mentioned Russia than segments that mentioned Yemen.

“Moreover, in all of 2017, MSNBC only aired one broadcast on the U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes that have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. And it never mentioned the impoverished nation’s colossal cholera epidemic, which infected more than 1 million Yemenis in the largest outbreak in recorded history.

“All of this is despite the fact that the U.S. government has played a leading role in the 33-month war that has devastated Yemen, selling many billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia, refueling Saudi warplanes as they relentlessly bomb civilian areas and providing intelligence and military assistance to the Saudi air force.

“With little corporate media coverage from MSNBC or elsewhere, the U.S. — under both presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump — has staunchly supported Saudi Arabia as it imposes a suffocating blockade on Yemen, diplomatically shielding the draconian Gulf dictatorship from any form of punishment as it has plunged millions of Yemeni civilians into mass hunger and pushed the poorest country in the Middle East onto the brink of famine.”

JUSTIN WALLIN, jwallin at jwallin.com, @justinwallin1
Wallin is CEO of J. Wallin Opinion Research, which recently conducted a survey about about U.S. public opinion about military intervention. James Carden just reported on the major findings in an article in The Nation: “A New Poll Shows the Public Is Overwhelmingly Opposed to Endless U.S. Military Interventions.”

Carden writes about Wallin’s results: “The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that U.S. military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment ‘increases significantly’ when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid — including money and weapons — should not be provided to such countries. …

“And while Trump has largely betrayed his campaign promise to put ‘America first’ — particularly with regard to the Middle East policy being pursued by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — he does so at the risk of alienating his base.

“Nevertheless, the new survey indicates that the desire for a sensible American policy abroad goes well beyond Trump’s base, and that there is a wide bipartisan majority that seeks an American foreign policy of realism and restraint.

“The researchers at J. Wallin note that, even in spite of what they call a ‘climate of distinct political polarization,’ the results show these sentiments vary ‘only in degrees of intensity across political party, ideology, age groups, gender, and geographic regions.’

“The survey found that 78 percent of Democrats, 64.5 percent of Republicans, and 68.8 percent of independents supported restraining military action overseas. ‘Rarely,’ noted the report, ‘does opinion research reveal issues that enjoy shared sentiments on a bi-partisan level.’

“The poll brings home just how divorced the Beltway — and its think tanks, media outlets, and political class — is from the expressed desire of a large majority of Americans for a responsible and reasonable foreign policy.”