In August 1990, the United States linked a UN vote on Iraq sanctions to aid packages to poorer countries who were temporary members of the Security Council — such as Ethiopia, Zaire and Yemen. Yemen voted against the resolution and three days later found that the US had cancelled its entire aid programme to the country. The Yemeni ambassador to the UN was told: “That will be the most expensive ‘no’ vote you ever cast.”
But expensive to whom? Twent years on, Yemen is seen as one of the biggest sanctuaries for Al Qaeda terrorism.
A brilliant review by Andrew Cockburn in the London Review of Books on Joy Gordon’s Invisible War: The United States and Iraq Sanctions