Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Yemeni child treated

Four-year-old Yassin is examined by a doctor in Yemen. (Photo: Sadeq Al-Wesabi/WHO/Twitter)

In Wake of 'Shameful' Vote by US Senate, New Cholera Warning for Yemen

"Let's not fool ourselves. Cholera is going to come back," says UNICEF's Middle East director

After a "shameful and unacceptable" vote by the U.S. Senate last week to kill a bill that would have halted the nation's military support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen, the U.N. agency for children is warning about the likelihood of another deadly cholera outbreak.

"In a few weeks from now the rainy season will start again and without a huge and immediate investment, cholera will again hit Yemeni children."
—Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF

"Let's not fool ourselves. Cholera is going to come back," Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said at a press conference in Jordan on Sunday.

"In a few weeks from now the rainy season will start again," he warned, "and without a huge and immediate investment, cholera will again hit Yemeni children."

"We are using endless time, energy, and money for issues that we should never have to negotiate. The lives of children should not be negotiable," Cappelaere added, referencing the months his agency spent fighting for a vaccination program in Yemen. "None of the parties in this war have shown for a single second any respect to the sacred principle of the protection of children."

The cholera outbreak has stemmed from, as Common Dreams previously reported "water and sanitation systems that have been bombed out of commission by Saudi Arabian airstrikes that receive direct support from the U.S. military." The humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by Saudi blockades that prevent food and medical aid from reaching civilians.

On Monday, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) also warned of the massive public health crisis in Yemen and put responsibility for the disaster squarely at the feet of both the U.S. and U.K. governments, which have backed the Saudi assault on Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries.

"The U.S.- and U.K.-backed Saudi-led coalition has bombed civilians and blocked the delivery of life-saving healthcare and medicine. This is a violation of international humanitarian law and indefensible," said David Miliband, president and CEO of the IRC. "The facts don't lie: the U.S. and the U.K. government's financial and policy choices that support the Saudi-led coalition are prolonging the suffering and deepening the schisms in Yemen."

Since late April 2017, the World Health Organization has tallied more than a million suspected cases of cholera, an acute diarrhoeal disease that is contracted by ingesting food or water contaminated with bacteria, and "that can kill within hours if left untreated." Children under the age of 5 represented nearly a third of the suspected cases in Yemen.

Despite widespread devastation that has left Yemenis battling starvation in addition to diseases such as diphtheria and cholera, U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition has not ceased, and key members of the Trump administration, including Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis, continue to advocate for U.S. involvement.

While 44 senators attempted last Tuesday to end U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval, President Donald Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in D.C., who was on a "whitewash tour" to bolster U.S. support for his country.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Support progressive journalism.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

US and Israel Vote 'No' as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

"The U.N. vote... on Cuba was a chance for President Biden to show global leadership," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. "He failed miserably."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


With Planet's Future at Stake, Biden Told to Be Bold With Pick for Top Energy Post

"It's time to treat climate change like the emergency it is, and stop approving new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, reads a letter signed by over 300 climate-focused groups.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


SCOTUS Solidifies Students' Free Speech Protections, Upholding Right to Say 'F**k Cheer'

"The message from this ruling is clear—free speech is for everyone, and that includes public school students."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners' Rights

The Supreme Court "fails to balance a farmer's property rights with a farm worker's human rights," said United Farm Workers of America.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


Lawmakers Tell Biden US Has 'Moral Obligation' to Ban Landmines

"If the United States takes these steps it will be welcomed around the world."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·