The Senate Just Took a Major Step Toward Ending the War in Yemen. What Happens Now?

The Senate voted to advance a resolution withdrawing U.S. military support for the war in Yemen. What does this mean and what are the next steps forward?

Photo illustration: Soohee Cho/The Intercept, AP

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The United States Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to advance a resolution withdrawing all unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which has created, according to the UN, the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe and killed more than 50,000 people. It’s the first time that a majority in either chamber of Congress has endorsed a bill which calls for an end to U.S. involvement in the Yemen war — a war which would not be happening if it weren’t for U.S. involvement. Mehdi Hasan is joined by Sen. Chris Murphy, one of the big drivers behind this resolution, Yemeni-Canadian activist and academic Shireen Al Adeimi, and The Intercept’s national security reporter Alex Emmons to discuss what the Senate’s vote means and the next steps forward.


Chris Murphy: This is a seminal break with Saudi Arabia. This is Republicans and Democrats rebuking both the current Saudi regime and also this administration’s policy toward Saudi Arabia.

[intro music]

Mehdi Hasan: Welcome to ‘Deconstructed’, I’m Mehdi Hasan. Amazing: The United States Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to advance a resolution withdrawing all unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which has created, according to the UN, the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, and killed more than 50,000 people.

Although it’s technically only a procedural vote, it’s a big deal. It’s the first time ever a majority in either chamber of Congress has endorsed a bill which calls for an end to U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, a war which would not be happening if it weren’t for U.S. involvement. One of my guests today, and we’ve got a few, was one of the key Senators behind that antiwar resolution.

Chris Murphy: I’ve just stepped out the Senate chamber where we’ve advanced a resolution ending U.S. participation in the Yemen war by a big bipartisan majority. It is a watershed moment, the first time the Senate has ever moved forward a resolution under the War Powers Act to withdraw us from military activity overseas.

MH: That was Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

So, this week, on Deconstructed: this is big. The Senate seems to have begun the process, finally, hurray, for ending the U.S. role in the war in Yemen – but what happens now?

I want to kick off the show by telling you all about a little girl called Amal Hussein. A few weeks ago, my good friend Declan Walsh, foreign correspondent for The New York Times, went to Yemen with photographer Tyler Hicks and together they documented the horrific human cost of that civil war, of that aerial bombardment by the Saudi-led coalition in a news report, in an article that rightly, finally, went viral. The images of starving, malnourished, emaciated children in Yemen, the results not of a natural disaster but of a man-made disaster.

Those images caught the attention of millions of people around the world. And one story, one image that stood out from the rest, to me and many others, was that of 7-year-old Amal, a little girl just a year older than my own daughter. Declan and Tyler found Amal in a hospital bed in Aslam, 90 miles northwest of the capital, Sana. She was lying on that bed with her mother with nurses feeding her every two hours with milk, but she was vomiting all the time. She was suffering from diarrhea. And the doctor in charge was sitting by the bed, and when Declan and Tyler arrived she tugged on the flaccid skin of Amal’s stick-like arms, they wrote. And she said, “Look, no meat. Only bones.”

Amal’s mother was also sick, recovering from a bout of dengue fever that she had most likely got from mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water of the refugee camp that she was living in with Amal and her other children. And that picture of Amal was shared around the world and provoked an impassioned response from New York Times readers who wrote into their paper expressing their sorrow and their horror and their outrage. They offered money to try and help the family. They wanted updates to see if Amal was getting any better. And yet, and yet, and yet, only a few days later, Declan Walsh was reporting that Amal had died in a ragged refugee camp four miles from the hospital.

“My heart is broken,” said her mother, Mariam, who wept during a phone interview with Declan. “Amal,” she said “was always smiling. Now I’m worried for my other children.” Amal after all, was just one of 1.8 million severely malnourished children in Yemen today. This is a country where the number of people living on emergency rations, emergency food support, is around eight million, but that could soon rise to 14 million people. Yemen, says the United Nations, is on the verge of a “great big famine.” And don’t forget the cholera either. Last year, Yemen suffered the largest cholera epidemic of the modern era – more than a million cases recorded. The highest number of cholera cases recorded since records began. Cholera! In Yemen.

And this is not a natural disaster. This is a man-made disaster. This is a US-Saudi made disaster. But maybe the focus on Yemen in recent weeks, since the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has started to turn the tide, maybe coverage of the deaths of innocent Yemenis, like Amal, has finally helped U.S. senators recognize that voting in favor of continued U.S. involvement in this war is madness, is morally grotesque, is self-defeating on so many levels. “Amal” in Arabic means “hope.” And this week of all weeks, with this Senate vote on Yemen on Wednesday signaling a big political shift on that controversial and brutal war, on U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, given that vote – maybe, just maybe, it’s time to finally have hope.


Yesterday, shortly after the vote, I spoke to Senator Chris Murphy, one of the big drivers behind this Senate resolution and a man who’s been campaigning against U.S. involvement in the Yemen war for several years now, even back under the Obama administration.

Senator Murphy, thanks for joining us back on the show again. You’ve got some good news for our listeners, I believe.

CM: I’ve just stepped out of the Senate chamber where we voted to advance resolution ending U.S. participation in the Yemen War by a big bipartisan majority, 63-37. It’s the first time in three years since I started fighting the U.S. involvement

in Yemen that we’ve broken through. This is a preliminary vote. It just allows us to proceed to a debate on the resolution. But it is a watershed moment. It’s the first time the Senate has ever moved forward a resolution under the War Powers Act to withdraw us from military activity overseas, and it shows that both Republicans and Democrats are very upset about the status of U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Khashoggi murder, but also in the wake of the increasing humanitarian disaster in Yemen. I don’t know what happens after this. This is kind of new, unknown territory for the Senate to be in an open-ended debate on a War Powers Resolution, but I’m really proud of my colleagues for being willing to jump into this breach given the seriousness of what’s happening right now with the way the administration has bizarrely bear-hugged the Saudis.

MH: And 49 – all 49 Democrats voted for this. You also got 14 Republicans. Did you ever think you’d get 14 Republicans? When we last spoke a couple of months ago, I bet you didn’t think you’d get 14 Republicans onto a vote like this.

CM: Certainly not. A lot of credit to Bob Corker who came out this morning in support of this resolution –

MH: The chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.

CM: – Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, and a lot of members listen to him. Lindsey Graham joined us today. He’s been the pre-eminent defender of the Saudis over the course of the last five years, and he was with us today on the resolution. So, we had some real high-profile, thoughtful Republicans on foreign policy join us. Now, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be there with us in the end. But they wanted to send a message and many of their colleagues followed.

MH: And so, in practical terms for our listeners at home who don’t follow all the procedures of the Senate, how close are we to the Senate actually voting to say “We want this war done and over in the U.S.?

CM: Great question. So, we have one more procedural motion and then we are in the middle of a debate. The debate though has unlimited amendments and all the amendments are at a 50-vote threshold, not a 60-vote threshold. And so, if we do get to an actual debate, it could be long. It could be torturous we could end up having debates having nothing to do with foreign policy. So, this is a long way until the Senate votes on actually withdrawing the U.S. support from Yemen. I think what Senator Corker and Senator Graham are hoping for is that the leverage of this vote will cause the administration to change their policy. I don’t know exactly what that means. Perhaps it’s a push for a ceasefire, perhaps it’s additional sanctions. I think many Republicans who voted for it today are hoping that over the weekend the administration takes some steps to change policy vis-a-Saudi Arabia so that Congress doesn’t have to do it for them.

MH: And of course, if this bill passes through the Senate and then through a Democratic house next year, Trump can still veto it as the president.

CM: Absolutely. And so, you’re a long way from this, you know, really becoming law. But again, this is a seminal break with Saudi Arabia. This is Republicans and Democrats rebuking both the current Saudi regime, but also this administration’s policy towards Saudi Arabia. That is going to have reverberations all around the globe and I don’t think today, literally an hour from the vote, we can fully understand what the impact of this vote is.

MH: Well, just on that, on the impact, before we finish. I know you’re in a rush. What do you think the reaction in Riyadh tonight will be?

CM: Well, I think they’ve got to continue to think whether it’s in their best interests to have Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince as their front man for the long-term. He is responsible for this seismic break with the United States Senate. Lindsey Graham, in particular, has been very clear that so long as Mohammed Bin Salman is running foreign policy for Saudi Arabia, he is going to be unable to reconcile with the kingdom and I think many Republicans and Democrats believe the same thing.

This is a Saudi foreign policy that has simply gone off the rails and I think

Congress is saying, maybe not explicitly, but I think Congress is saying that if you don’t think about new leadership, you may have a permanent problem with the United States Congress.

MH: Just to be clear, you want to see different leadership in Saudi Arabia, not

MBS in charge?

CM: I do. I think you know, between the kidnapping of the Lebanese Prime Minister, the blockade of Qatar, the humanitarian nightmare inside Yemen, the continued rendition of political opponents, we need new people to deal with there. And I think that that’s a message that is being sent.

MH: And very last question, I promise: whether this war stops any time soon or still drags on, the fact is that the Yemen war will be a stain on America’s reputation for many years to come. Is that fair to say?

CM: Absolutely. I mean you’re talking about 85,000 kids who have died from starvation and disease, and the Americans own responsibility for part of every single one of those deaths. Every single life matters and so the quicker we get out of this war the better. If the Saudis want to continue this bombing campaign, if they want to continue these atrocities, then they should do it without U.S. support. We have no obligation to back our allies’ play when they have gone off the rails as they have in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and hopefully we are closer to getting us out of this nightmare.

MH: Senator Chris Murphy, thanks for joining me again on Deconstructed. Keep fighting the good fight on Yemen.

CM: Appreciate it. Thanks for focusing on this.


MH: That was Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Joining me now to give us a Yemeni perspective and explain what’s happening on the ground in a country that’s being bombarded and besieged is Shireen Al-Adeimi, who’s an anti-war activist born in Yemen, now living in the U.S., who started a petition to end American involvement in this conflict more than three years ago. She’s currently an assistant professor at Michigan State University and joins me now.

Shireen, thanks for joining me on Deconstructed. What’s your reaction to this vote in the Senate?

Shireen Al-Adeimi: Well, to be honest, it’s the first real victory for those of us who’ve been campaigning Congress to end the U.S.’s war in Yemen for the last nearly four years now. It’s an initial step that allows the Senate to actually debate this issue and to vote on this issue in a bill that Senator Sanders had tried to introduce earlier this year, but it was tabled. So, for the first time the Senate has actually allowed this bill to be even discussed in the Senate which is I think an important shift, and so I’m excited that this is finally going to be able to take place.

MH: And you you’re teaching at Michigan State but you, when you were a doctoral student at Harvard back, in what 2015? Around the time that the Saudi bombing began. I think it began in March 2015 and late in 2015 at Harvard, you launched a petition calling on the U.S. Congress, back then when no one was really talking about Yemen to try and end U.S. support for Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen.

SAA: Right, this is – the first thing I did was try to figure out well is the U.S. involved

in the war in Yemen and to what extent is it involved? And I quickly realized that the U.S. was heavily involved in the war. They were refueling Saudi jets midair. Of course, we know about the weapon contracts. This was under the Obama administration. Trump hasn’t really changed anything in the way the U.S. administration has been dealing with the Saudis in Yemen. The Obama administration back then was training Saudi soldiers, providing them with intelligence, helping with the bombing with, you know, midair refueling like I mentioned. And so, since the beginning, the U.S. has been involved and I have been trying to get the American public, you know, informed about that, but also petition my Senator, at the time, Senator Warren to bring about an end to this U.S. involvement. I didn’t think it was going to take this long for Congress to finally do something that would allow this debate to even happen. But I’m glad that we’re finally here.

MH: Yeah, no, I was going to say I mean, Senator Warren recently, Elizabeth Warren has been very outspoken on Saudi Arabia, on Yemen. She’s been writing about ending U.S. involvement. But back in 2015, she wasn’t. As were most U.S. Senators, weren’t really interested in the subject. Did you think in 2015, you know three years later, more than three years later, we’ll still be kind of arguing our procedural votes in the Senate rather than just saying “This is a monstrosity. This is a horror and the US should have nothing to do with it?”

SAA: Absolutely not. I was surprised. The first letter received back from Senator Warren in 2015, by then the war had already been going on for six months and people were saying that in the five months of the war, Yemen in five months is worse than Syria in five years. So, right from the beginning, the outcome was disastrous in Yemen. It was already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by 2016. So, I didn’t expect that we’d still be sitting here, like you said, debating procedures. I thought that right away people in the Senate and in Congress would take on this issue and be very vocal against it. But at the time, you know, the language was, well, we want to help our Saudi allies and they want to, you know – we don’t want to be supporting Iran in the region or having Iran-anything expand its support or its influence in the region.

And so, I think it’s unfortunate that it took, you know, at least the death of 85,000 children who’ve starved to death so far in Yemen, according to Save the Children, and the killing of at least 57,000 people have now been killed. I know that the numbers are going to be much more horrific once the dust settles, and people are actually able to tell you the numbers. And we have a country that’s gone to complete collapse and chaos. You know, 14 million people which is over half the population of Yemen is on the brink of starvation. I’m shocked that, you know, we’ve allowed it to get to this point before saying “We really should not be involved in this war. We really should not be, we should not have any kind of role and complicity in this disaster.”

MH: The political media class has come very late to this conflict and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist in Istanbul, in the Saudi consulate has definitely helped in its own ironic tragic way. His death actually sparked a reassessment of what Saudi Arabia is doing in the region. Has led people to start talking much more about Yemen than they ever did before. You were born in Aden the Southern port city that’s been the scene of a lot of fighting over the last few years. How did you end up – how did you, as someone born in Yemen, born in Aden end up – you’re now teaching at Michigan State University. Tell us your story. How did you get here?

SAA: I was born in Yemen, grew up – spent half my childhood in Yemen, half my childhood in India. I lived through the Civil War of ’94 where Northern Yemen basically attacked South Yemen for wanting to secede. South Yemen with the capital being Aden is still trying to secede from the North after all these years. There’s

still a lot of bitter resentment among Yemenis in the North and South. But I think having lived through war myself, you know, for the first war, I was too young to remember but I definitely felt the effects of it.

And then the second, I was much older and remember the horror of living through a war. You just never want to see that again anywhere, and you don’t want to ever advocate for any foreign intervention because that always makes things much worse. The Civil War in Yemen can no longer really be called a civil war given how much foreign involvement there is. But my family had moved to Canada shortly after that and I’ve been living in the U.S. here for for about 10 years now.

MH: And you, obviously, I’m assuming, still have a lot of family back home in Yemen. What are they telling you about what life is like on the ground there for the past,

what, nearly four years now?

SAA: Well, it’s really horrific. Again, people who have family abroad are doing better than most because at least they can rely on us to help them through, you know loss of income, loss of businesses and whatnot. But people are trapped. You know, you don’t hear about a Yemeni refugee crisis because there’s really nowhere to go. Borders are closed. There’s a blockade, and mostly people are stuck in the country. They’re displaced. I’ve had family members who’ve been, whose homes were bombed. I’ve had family members who’ve been injured and worse. And so, they say that they’re really not sure how much longer they can really hold on.

You know, what if the coalition is attacking the port city of Hodeidah which feeds 70% of Yemen? If they go through with that, and if they’re succeeding, if they succeed to block that point, then the country starves, and no matter how much money we send, they won’t be able to buy anything with that money. The currency has, of course, tanked. Before the war one U.S. dollars was 250 rials. Now, it’s over 700 rials. And so, people are barely surviving.

MH: Yeah, GDP had been wiped out. Unemployment is at record levels. It’s horrific on so many levels – economic, political, social. Do you think Saudi Arabia – which is leading this coalition which has been bombing Yemen for more than three years now, blockading, besieging this country. Do you think it’s going to pay any attention to this U.S. Senate vote this week?

SAA: Well, Mohammed Bin Salman has just been doing whatever he wants to do in Yemen with complete impunity. I think he was surprised and expressed his shock that people were, you know, questioning his order, the order to murder Khashoggi,

because he’s just been operating in Yemen with impunity, and the lives of 27 million people have been at his hands and nobody’s really been questioning him. In

fact, they’ve been helping him. So, I’m not sure how Saudi will react. I thought it was interesting that a couple weeks ago when the U.S. announced that it would stop midair refueling of Saudi jets, Saudi Arabia was quick to release a statement saying “We asked them to stop refueling our jets because we are now capable of doing that.” And so, I’m not sure how you know, they might just say “Well, we don’t really need the U.S. We can do this on our own.”

MH: Although some would argue that they can’t do it on their own. They’re too reliant on U.S. and British arms, intelligence, assistance, refueling as you say.

SAA: Right, they don’t manufacture their own weapons. They don’t train their own soldiers. And the army has been very transparent about how they’ve been helping the Saudis.

MH: Which is what makes the U.S. and the U.K. so complicit in this war. It’s not just something that you know – it’s often described as you know, U.S. support for a Saudi-led war but it is actually a U.S.-Saudi war in the sense that U.S. bombs are dropping on Yemeni people with U.S. support. Given March 2019 will be four years since the Saudi bombing – the U.S./Saudi bombing campaign began, are you optimistic, pessimistic after the events of this week and recent months that at least by the fourth anniversary of this horrific war, the U.S. won’t be involved in it anymore?

SAA: I’m cautiously optimistic. I feel like we’ve had a lot of optimism in the past and we thought, “Of course, they’ll vote to end this war.” And then nothing has happened, and you know, War Powers get stripped and you know, bills get stripped of their privileged status in the House and in the Senate. And so, I’m optimistic – I’m a bit optimistic, but I don’t want to be too optimistic right now. I hope that by the four-year mark, the U.S. is no longer involved which means that the Saudis can’t continue to wage this war much longer. They and the Emiratis rely heavily on U.S. support and I hope that the U.K. follows if this goes through, and if the U.S. is no longer involved, I

hope that the U.K. follows through with that.

MH: As a Brit, a hundred percent agree with you. Shireen Al Adeimi, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining me on Deconstructed.

SAA: Thanks so much for having me, Mehdi.


MH: That was Shireen Al-Adeimi, Yemeni-Canadian activist and academic. Joining me to talk about where we go from here, and the politics of this Senate vote, is my Intercept colleague Alex Emmons, national security reporter, who’s been covering the war in Yemen and the U.S. role in that war for the past nearly three years.

Alex, in your view, how big a deal is this Senate vote?

Alex Emmons: I think it’s significant. I think it’s worth reflecting on the fact that such an all-or-nothing, anti-war measure could succeed in a Republican Congress. And I think by and large, the reason for that is that so many people are desperate to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for what is an increasingly interventionist foreign policy and increasingly, often, overt crimes, you know, most recently with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

MH: And how much did the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi which became a global story, global outrage back in October. How much did that lead to this vote on Wednesday?

AE: I think it catalyzed the conversation about Yemen in a way that no other specific crime in Yemen has. I mean, just based on my conversations with members of Congress, I think that there are a whole range of things that the Trump administration could do to give MBS a light slap on the wrist for this, and that would have probably satisfied a lot of moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans. But the fact that the Trump administration has been so unwilling to do anything to hold the Saudis accountable makes Congress feel like they have to step in and it’s making a lot of moderates feel like their only option is to vote for the Bernie Sanders bill.

MH: Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s yet another walk of political life where Donald Trump and his administration have kind of radicalized the Democrats and pushed them further to the left than they would otherwise have been because this war was raging under Obama too, and we didn’t see all these Senate Democrats. You know, 49 Senate Democrats, all of them, voted this week for this bill. I don’t think that would have happened under a Barack Obama presidency.

AE: I need to look at the final vote count, but it’s a few Republicans too.

MH: Fourteen Republicans.

AE: That’s how overt it’s become.

MH: Fourteen Republicans amazingly switched. I said to Chris Murphy earlier on in the show, I don’t think he would have ever thought that 14 Republicans would switch. Such are the politics of Saudi Arabia now, in this town in Washington, D.C. What does the administration do now? Because the administration, correct me if I’m wrong, Alex, has never – the Trump administration, and the Obama administration before it, has never accepted the premise of any of these bills that the U.S. is militarily involved in the Yemen War. Am I right in saying that?

AE: Right, so, what this bill does is it essentially invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which is an almost 50-year-old bit of legislation that was passed in the wake of unauthorized bombings in Cambodia and Laos by Richard Nixon. And it invokes that resolution and it says “Look, President Trump, we are directing you to get out of hostilities against Houthi rebels in Yemen.” And you’re exactly right. Neither administration has really accepted the premise that the U.S. is involved in hostilities to begin with because the U.S. is supporting the Saudi Coalition with intelligence, with weapons, with logistical support, midair refueling, but it’s not actually the one pulling the trigger and dropping the bombs.

MH: It’s just such a disingenuous argument.

AE: It’s certainly involved in hostilities, I’ll put it that way.

MH: I mean imagine in everyday life, if you were going off to massacre a bunch of people, and I gave you the petrol for your car, and the bullets for your gun, and gave you directions to the site of the massacre, I would be complicit in that massacre.

AE: Right, in an everyday sense, we think of that as being involved in hostilities, but the funny thing is that actually throughout the War Powers Resolution, its almost 50 years of history, many administrations have tried to water it down by sort of making the term hostilities dressed up in a lot of legalese.

MH: Didn’t the Obama administration during the NATO bombing campaign in Libya, which of course, the U.S. military was heavily, predominantly involved in, didn’t they also push back against the War Powers Resolution back then as well?

AE: Right, and when Clinton was involved in Yugoslavia, and essentially their argument was “Look, we are dropping bombs, but we are not on the receiving end of any fire. These groups cannot fire back at us. Therefore, we’re not involved in mutual hostility.” So, these are the types of –

MH: That is as hilarious as it is depressing.

AE: – This is the type of disingenuous legalese that’s been used to try and evade this form of congressional interference.

MH: And just on the legal angle, Donald Trump, for this to become law, of course, the president has to sign it into law. It hasn’t yet passed the Senate, though we hope it will. It might then pass a Democratic-led House next year. It’s failed in the House before, the same resolution under Paul Ryan, and the Republicans who shamelessly have blocked it at every turn. But Donald Trump, he’s not going to sign this, is he?

AE: I don’t know. It would be a very politically costly veto. We’ll see what happens.

MH: We will see what happens. One last question to you, for the people listening at home who you know want to do something about this, want to keep applying pressure. You’ve been covering this conflict since the start of 2016, I think. Saudi Arabia started bombing with its allies at the start of 2015, in March 2015. This is a war that’s approaching its fourth anniversary in terms of the Saudi bombing campaign. How much have you seen public opinion shift? And how much have you seen public pressure actually work in getting politicians to take this more seriously?

AE: I’ve been talking to a lot of members about – members of Congress

recently about this, and one of the things I’ve consistently heard is that what’s really changed the dynamic on the Yemen issue on Capitol Hill is the fact that when members go home, they have to answer questions about this issue at town halls. It’s become something that at least enough constituents know about that they’re going to apply pressure to a lot of their members –

MH: Wow, a foreign policy issue which doesn’t normally –

AE: Right, and it’s about a small country, literally halfway around the world, that has become the sort of hot button issue on how we see the U.S.’s role in the world in terms of fighting various conflicts. I know that in my three years covering the war, at the beginning, it was kind of a struggle to communicate even what was the U.S. role. New York Times, CNN, all those outlets would cover the bad bombings, but they would never mention that the weapons came from the U.S. Now, people are starting to understand that. They’re starting to communicate that and they’re really starting to put pressure on their members of Congress to demand a change to that.

MH: Well, we can only hope that pressure continues to be applied and has a successful outcome. Alex, thanks for coming on Deconstructed.

AE: Thanks for having me.


MH: That was my colleague at The Intercept, Alex Emmons.

And both he, and Senator Chris Murphy, are right to say that there’s still a way to go, though this is a very positive step by the U.S. Senate this week. We should be cautiously optimistic, as Shireen said, but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves either. As you listen to this podcast wherever in the world you are, think about the people in Yemen. Because they’re still being bombed. They’re still being blockaded. We might be a step closer to ending the war, but it’s a war that’s very much ongoing today. The U.N. says Yemen looks like the apocalypse, that’s how bad things are. And if you’re an American or a Brit listening to this, your government is complicit in this war, complicit in creating the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. So, we have to keep up the pressure on our governments to end this damn thing, to prevent more and more Amal Husseins, more and more innocent Yemeni kids, from losing their lives. It isn’t going to be easy to stop this war, to get Trump out of bed with the Saudis. It’s only going to get more intense and require more effort on all of our parts to keep Yemen in the news, to keep Yemen in the minds of our politicians. To borrow a line from Winston Churchill of all people: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”


That’s our show. Deconstructed is a production of First Look Media and The Intercept and is distributed by Panoply. Our producer is Zach Young. Dina Sayedahmed is our production assistant. The show was mixed by Bryan Pugh. Leital Molad is our executive producer. Our theme music was composed by Bart Warshaw. Betsy Reed is The Intercept’s editor in chief.

And I’m Mehdi Hasan. You can follow me on Twitter @mehdirhasan. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. Go to to subscribe from your podcast platform of choice, iPhone, Android, whatever. If you’re subscribed already, please do leave us a rating or review – it helps people find the show. And if you want to give us feedback, email us at Thanks so much!

See you next week.


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