It has taken a long while, but at least one member of Congress is finally objecting to U.S. support for the war on Yemen:
There have also been signs that the Obama administration could face more questions over its military support of the air campaign. On Tuesday, Representative Ted W. Lieu, Democrat of California, sent the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a letter citing reports of civilian deaths and requesting that the United States “cease aiding coalition airstrikes in Yemen until the coalition demonstrates that they will institute proper safeguards to prevent civilian deaths.”
Rep. Lieu deserves some credit here, but his letter is a reminder that members of Congress have been completely indifferent to or supportive of the Saudi-led campaign until now. It has taken six months of indiscriminate and unnecessary bombing enabled by the U.S. to prompt one member’s public protest. Perhaps there are more members that disagree with the administration’s policy here, but if so they have been remarkably quiet about it. The lack of interest from Congress isn’t surprising, but it has made it extremely easy for the U.S. to take part in an atrocious war without having to worry about any attempt at oversight. We can always hope that the administration would agree to Rep. Lieu’s request, but there is every reason to expect that they will ignore it.
The U.S. should never have been a party to this conflict. There is no American interest being served by pummeling and strangling Yemen. Insofar as the war has aided Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, it has actually harmed U.S. interests, and it has done so at a terrible cost to the people of Yemen. While most Americans may be oblivious to this indefensible war and the U.S. role in it, Yemenis are fully aware of our government’s backing for what is being done to them, and we are needlessly making new enemies in a misguided attempt to “reassure” some awful client states. Even if the war weren’t making the U.S. less secure, supporting it is still a horrible and inexcusable blunder.