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Photographing the Destruction of Yemen

Photographer Alex Potter has been documenting the destruction caused by the war on Yemen:

But no amount of collective resourcefulness will prevent many lasting consequences. Starved of resource and food shipments, the country faces imminent famine, the UN warns. The wounded face long-term serious disability because the hospitals are closing down. “There’s been no school in session since March,” says Potter. “Imagine if this continues for years. There will be an entire uneducated generation.”

Potter hopes her coverage will help people outside of Yemen wake up to the reality on the ground.

I applaud the effort, and I hope that the war on Yemen receives much more attention than it has. Unfortunately, it remains one of the most neglected conflicts in the world. The war there is neglected in part because the coalition makes it difficult to get into the country, and it is very dangerous for journalists to report from there in any case, but those things alone can’t explain the relative lack of coverage. More remote conflicts and smaller humanitarian crises have received more attention in Western media, so it is that much more noticeable that a U.S.-backed war that is helping to create a famine in one of the world’s poorest countries is so infrequently covered here.

One reason for the limited coverage is that there has been almost total silence from political leaders and pundits about what is happening in Yemen. When almost no one in Washington is calling attention to a conflict, it is easily overlooked. That seems to be true even when, or perhaps especially because, the U.S. is deeply implicated in an indefensible war. The usual suspects that clamor for the U.S. to “do something” about every crisis have nothing to say about the Saudi-led war, except for the occasional endorsement of it, and candidates from both parties that might be expected to challenge the administration over its support for the war also have nothing to say. There is scant Congressional oversight of the U.S. role in the war, and there is even less public debate or discussion about U.S. involvement in the intervention than there usually is. Many of the people in our government that know the war is happening have no problem with what’s happening to the people of Yemen, and most of the rest have other priorities.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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