There are three characters in Yemen. Each has a separate tale to tell.

The first lives in Aden. His house is bombed, his family slain.

The second is a Saudi fighter pilot who delights in bombing civilians’ houses.

The third is Barack Obama who puzzles over what to do next in Yemen.

The story explores the helplessness of civilians in the current conflict in Yemen. It demonstrates the mindless brutal violence of Saudi Arabia. And it exposes the fact that the whole event is set up to benefit US financial interests.


Inside, I am alone. Outside people talk, walk, mingle, interact, perhaps even make love. Inside there is but I. My mother taught me to write I and not me. My mother is dead, her face bears a look of mild surprise. It lies in the dust two metres from her red, crushed, destroyed, body. Amidst the rubble that was my home. Amidst the bodies that were my family.

It is quieter now. During the raids jets scream, explosions rumble and roar, buildings crash. People weep, cry out in anger or shiver in silence thankful they are still alive. Some guilty that they have not yet died as others have. Or like me they search destroyed houses for those who still live and take them to the nearest medical facility. Where they might yet live. Or might yet die. As god wishes.

When the jets left, their pilots returning home to assuage their guilt by making love with girls or boys as is their preference, I returned to my home. To find that smouldering pile of rubble. And the dismembered parts of what had been my family, my life, my all.

I help bury them in rapidly dug holes in the light brown fertile soil. Soil that should provide for us by bearing life giving food, not suffice for us by covering disease giving corpses.

And then I walk away to be alone. For I am truly alone. Inside, and outside too, if an outside still exists for me.

Another missile fired, another kill. Things, not people. They are not like me, not of my faith, not blessed, not human. They are beneath contempt and so I do the world a favour, liberating them from their narrow evil lives.

This is my eighth sortie. Each sortie is longer now that the Americans provide refueling aircraft. We have total control of the skies. Before they left, the CIA had carefully mapped all bunkers of anti-aircraft missiles. And carefully documented the location of enemy aircraft on the ground. They supply us with information even now. Destroying planes on the ground was an anticlimax. The sound of explosions hidden by the roar of my jet’s engines. The black smoke mostly merging with the dark of the night.

To kill an empty plane is not to kill. It lacks the thrill of killing an occupied house. Knowing that bodies will be torn. That others will mourn and grieve.

In the sky I am all powerful, I challenge god. I hand out death or life at my whim, where and when I chose.

I return home triumphant.

But why are there tears in my mother’s now suddenly older eyes? Why does my wife flinch when I try to kiss her lightly on the cheek? Why does she look away when I talk, when I explain what it was like? I am a triumphant pilot protecting her, my mother, my family, my country, my religion, even my god. She should show respect, show love, show adoration, reward me softly and caressingly for my hard work. Give me pleasure, give me that explosive release from tension that only slow, controlled, drawn out, skillful sex can bring. But she turns her large black eyes to the ground; says nothing, does nothing.

Must I beat her? Must I turn to others? Must I pay to get what should be mine for free?

I am just a little concerned. Yesterday I rang Riyadh reassuring them they were still dear to me. Still foremost in my thoughts. Even though I have just triumphed negotiating a peace frame work with their bitter enemy.

Time to show those upstarts who is the boss. A very simple plan. Pitch two opposing forces at each other and thereby weaken both. Leaving a vacuum for my little marionette to remain in power.

Of course, he steals, defrauds, corruptly accumulates wealth. But he also does as he is told. Or at least he did.

But something went wrong. Not in the planning, that was perfect. No, it was the towelheads’ fault. They cannot be trusted to remain on the one side for any period of time. Instead, thrown out of office they join the very group that was against them and then turn on the hand that originally fed them.

I would prefer to nuke them all, but I cannot. Instead I praise Iran for following my terms of peace by handing out some hope of crumbs. While demonizing Iran so that Riyadh will attack and settle the opposition for good.

What do I care if my marionette can only perform on a bomb-damaged stage?

But bombs can only do so much damage. Blockading medical supplies helps. Should I also persuade Riyadh to do more?

I walk as in a dream, a dark nightmare with neither a beginning nor an end. Ghostly images appear, pass me by, disappear. Donkeys pulling carts, ambulances carrying wounded, people venturing out for food and supplies. Some seem to talk; I hear nothing but the ringing in my ears. It drowns out all other sounds. I grow hungry, I thirst. But I shall not eat nor drink.

Yesterday there was a larger world where justice might exist. Where the International Court might judge those guilty of war crimes and hand out sentence. Where the United Nations might call for peace. Call for a break in the nightly bombing to allow the dead to be buried properly. Call for a lift in the blockade to allow in medical supplies to replace the now exhausted stock.

Was that yesterday? Did such a day ever exist?

Was there a time in recent years that America was not manipulating my country? First one puppet and then another. Was there a time that the oil cartels did not control the Bab-el-Mandeb? When Saudi Arabia did not look enviously at my country, at its rich history and poor day to day existence?

Was there a time when olive trees hung joyously burdened with their purple fruit? When crops grew? When beautiful buildings sparkled in the sun? When men laughed, walked with a bounce in their step, danced, reveling in the simplest pleasures of daily life? Where poor or not, the rich culture of history brought joy to the eye? Where god’s will was done with a smile?

I go to bed frustrated. The officers tell us we must sleep during the day to be alert during the raids at night. How can I sleep when my mother cries? When my father frowns, my wife looks away and says nothing. When I am alone? Who are they to judge? I fight for god!

Silently I plan my revenge. Tonight I target apartments, not single houses. Aiming for the basements where the enemy, filthy scum, will huddle together like rats. With rats. Soiling themselves in fear. I shall destroy them and laugh. And god will bring my reward. So enjoyable, nay climactic is the vision of them being blown to bits, I almost miss the climax of my own making.

I must take care. So far the media has played their part presenting simple murder as a proxy fight of the law abiding Sunnis against despicable Iran-based Shiites. I say the media; I mean, of course, those few Jewish barons who, wielding their modern age mighty electronic pens, control much of thought in the free world. In truth they control my destiny too. But communists and extremists, Amnesty International and the ever controlled (dis)United Nations now voice complaint. Putin will seize on any lies to promote his own murderous regime.

Perhaps I need to talk to Riyadh again though getting them to listen is sometimes close to impossible. They are always praying whenever I want to speak to them. I have to keep them enthusiastic, but also get them to control some of their pilot hotheads who take delight in increasing collateral damage. Yesterday one called a refueler over land rather than over the sea. There would be all hell to pay if a couple of hundred thousand gallons of aviation fuel dropped onto Aden.

It’s dark. Time for salat al-isha. The women who at first went to their roofs laughing to see who might first spot a Saudi fighter, now go to their basements. They huddle their children and cuddle their babies as if love itself can stop white hot exploding steel. I head to the closest anti-aircraft position. It is time to fight back.

I fly again. I kill again. Tonight I take my time, flying circles to find the best target. To kill the greatest number. There. The cross hairs lock on, the missile fires, the apartment is obliterated. Low fuel alarm. I need the refueler now, I cannot make it out to sea. Come to me, I radio.

The fighter closes in to the in-air refueler. The weapon is aimed. They let me pull the trigger. In the sky the jet and refueler merge into one.  A mighty ball of flame descends. Engulfs. Explodes. Incinerates.

I am no longer alone.

I am no longer.

Peter Garcia-Webb was a pathologist and is now a poet and author. Read other articles by Peter, or visit Peter's website.