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24 Apr, 2018 09:28

Boy clinging to his dead father won't become face of Yemen war for millions in the West (GRAPHIC)

Boy clinging to his dead father won't become face of Yemen war for millions in the West (GRAPHIC)

A harrowing image taken after the Saudi-led bombing of a wedding party in Yemen last Sunday showed a young boy clinging to his dead father’s body. But it’s a safe bet he won’t become the face of the war in the mainstream media.

Photos and footage were taken after the bombing, which happened in a remote village in the northwestern province of Hajjah. Appearing to be aged seven or eight, the boy tightly grasps the body of a man, grabbing his shirt and repeating “no, no, no” as rescuers try to take him away. People on the ground told Ruptly the boy insisted his killed father was just sleeping, and would soon wake up and take him to their home village not far from the one that was bombed.

He most probably remained there for hours, judging by how some of the images were taken at night and some in the morning. A Ruptly cameraman said the father’s body was the last one to be removed from the scene, and the boy stayed with it until the very end.


Here is a little prediction. This boy will not feature at prime time in the mainstream media, regardless of how heart-wrenching are his little figure and fruitless defiance. No well-paid anchor with perfect make-up will say in a tearful voice how she cannot look at him. No correspondent will confront the Saudi foreign minister, showing him the pictures, saying: “This is a war crime, sir.” At the UN Security Council, his tragedy will not be used to denounce a criminal regime, killing civilians with impunity.

A boy needs to be a bombing victim in another country to get this kind of attention in the West. Somewhere, where the bombs killing civilians are not supplied by the US or the UK. Where obvious signs of malnutrition would not be a silent accusation against Saudi Arabia, which blocks the supply of food, medicine and fuel to people opposing its invasion. One needs to be in Syria, not Yemen.

The MSM apparently have a very selective approach to child victims of militant violence, according to which many are simply not worthy of sympathy and coverage. A blind spot covers the Gaza Strip, where children were hurt and killed in the past week by Israeli soldiers manning the border wall. Or Ukraine’s rebellious east, where children were killed by shelling in their dozens in 2014, when post-coup authorities in Kiev deployed the army to bring the rebels to heel. Or in any other place in the world, where the violence is committed by the “right side.”

The 50-something killed at the Yemeni wedding were simply added to the statistics of the war, eventually making their way to the latest report by the UN or Amnesty International. They are unlikely to affect Saudi Arabia’s ability to purchase Western weapons, receive Western intelligence for bombings, or get refueled in the air.

One just has to wonder who that boy will grow up to be.

Alexandre Antonov, RT

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.