Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl took a massive, human rights-violating catastrophe—the US-assisted Saudi bombing of Yemen for the past two-and-a-half years, and the massive famine it’s caused—and somehow turned it into a write-up on how good and noble the United States is. The Washington Post whitewashed the US’s role in the crisis and turned Saudi Arabia’s primary defender in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, into an unsung hero—a true masterwork in public relations reality inversion.
Diehl framed the topic as something both public and media have ignored, insisting, “No One Is Paying Attention to the Worst Humanitarian Crisis Since World War II” (6/25/17). This is a bold rhetorical gambit, not least because Diehl himself hasn’t made Yemen a topic of an article since the bombing first began in February 2015. “No one’s noticing this thing I just noticed” is a great way to frame oneself as a moral visionary, without the arduous work of ideological coherence.
Not only does Diehl ignore the US’s role in supplying arms, giving logistical supporting and even facilitating torture on behalf of Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen (a complicity so deep the US State Department itself warned the US could be liable for war crimes), he actually writes,
“the United States is not the problem here.”
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