Tag: Yemen

What the Hell Are We Doing in Yemen?

 

It’s easy to forget the ongoing war in Yemen. But a pair of news stories this week serves not only of a reminder of American involvement there but the foolishness in involving ourselves in yet another civil war.

The first story is the bombing of a school bus by Saudi warplanes that killed 29 children under the age of 15 in Saada Province. For what it’s worth (which isn’t much), the Saudis claim they didn’t intentionally target a bus full of children and that this was a “legitimate military operation.” Civil wars are usually full of atrocities, but this particular horror and the 29 dead children (and many others in this war) was made possible by generous assistance from the United States government and American taxpayers.

Yes, these were Saudi pilots flying Saudi planes (probably — this particular atrocity is credited to the “Saudi-led coalition”), but those planes and the bombs they dropped were sold to them by the United States. Now, you can argue that a seller has no moral responsibility for the atrocities committed when they provide weapons to a bestial regime. So be it, but American involvement doesn’t end when the check is cashed.

Now that President Trump has made good on a major campaign promise – pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal – the debate has begun whether it was the right move. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his opinion and explains how the change affects both the politics of Iran and the Middle East region.

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First a brief refresher on events in the region from last year: While Saudi Arabia has long meddled in Yemen and focused on combatting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh lost sight of developments in Yemen while focusing on other regional fights… It was not that Saudi Arabia was not paying attention to Yemen, […]

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The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, passed both houses of Congress unanimously. In the Senate, it had 24 cosponsors, including Dianne Feinstein, Ted Cruz, and both of New York’s Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to override President Obama’s veto, scheduling two hours of debate on […]

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A former State/Defense Dept. official who was responsible for sending military aid–equipment that was selected more for the congressional district it was produced in than for in-country conditions–to U.S. allies in the Middle East recaps the past five years. He concludes,  Upon my return to the states, I was dejected, and my desire to continue […]

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This is interesting: The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran.It is the first combat deployment for a foreign army that the Emirates has […]

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In my post about Freya Stark’s book A Winter In Arabia, I said that I would make a separate post discussing the colonial administration as it was portrayed in the book. Harold Ingrams and his wife Doreen were the colonial administrators assigned to the Hadhramaut and were headquartered in Al-Mukalla on the coast. At this time, […]

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 In 1937, three British women went on an expedition (encompassing archaeology, among other things) into the Hadhramaut region of Yemen (at that time, part of the East Aden Protectorate). One of them, Dame Freya Stark, wrote a book about it titled A Winter in Arabia: A Journey Through Yemen. I read it recently, and thought […]

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Why Are We Backing the Saudi Campaign in Yemen?

 

yemen-airstrikesTwo weeks ago, I ventured a prediction:

Anyway, how do I bet what little I have left on “Saudis screw this up big time within two weeks? I’ll bet it all. I need the money.

The prediction was correct–that was an easy one–but I regret the insensate tone, not least because this is now yet another humanitarian catastrophe. UN estimates suggest 100,000 people have been displaced. It’s easy to dismiss Yemen as a perennially benighted hellhole, but kids who were born in Yemen have committed no other crime: