As if to show how meaningless the administration’s “concern” about Yemeni civilian casualties is, John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia this weekend to affirm U.S. support for the relationship with Riyadh and its Gulf allies and their unnecessary war on Yemen:
US Secretary of State John Kerry has reiterated Washington’s support for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war on Yemen, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 8,000 people.
This is hardly the first time that Kerry has endorsed the Saudi-led coalition’s war, but it’s a useful reminder that the U.S. fully supports the intervention and has been assisting the Saudis and their allies in wrecking the country for the last ten months. The misleading way that Kerry framed U.S. support for the war was also telling:
In Yemen, we face the Houthi insurgency and the ongoing threat that is posed by al-Qaida, threats to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we have made it clear that we stand with our friends in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi-led coalition has not only allowed the ongoing threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to grow worse while they are preoccupied with fighting the Houthis, but there were instances earlier in the war in which the forces they supported in Yemen fought alongside AQAP. The war on Yemen has helped make the threat from AQAP greater than it was, and by supporting that war the U.S. has made the region less secure. The U.S. was never threatened by the Houthis in any way, and yet out of a misguided desire to “reassure” the Saudis the administration has made them and millions of other Yemenis our enemies. Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity was only threatened when it launched its intervention. The Saudis and their allies are absolutely not acting in self-defense, and when Kerry claims otherwise he is lying. Kerry and other U.S. officials certainly have made it clear that the U.S. is siding with the Saudis, but all their reasons for doing so are risible.
On Sunday, Kerry went even further by declaring that the U.S.-Saudi relationship was stronger than ever:
We have as solid a relationship, as clear an alliance and as strong a friendship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as we have ever had, and nothing has changed because we worked to eliminate a nuclear weapon with a country in the region.
Possibly the most delusional thing Kerry said in his remarks to the U.S. embassy staff in Riyadh was this:
Saudi Arabia is committed to work with us in the effort to try to stabilize Syria and calm down this hyped-up, exploited division between Sunni and Shia.
In light of the Saudis’ sectarian propaganda related to the war on Yemen, its execution of Shia dissidents, and its support for extreme Sunni groups in Syria, this is obviously nonsense. The Saudis aren’t committed to calming down sectarian divisions in the region. They are deliberately stoking them, and the U.S. is foolishly helping them to do it.