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The Trump Administration’s Warped View of the War on Yemen

This exchange from a background briefing [1] with State Department officials shows just how distorted the administration’s view of Yemen has become:

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Well, the Secretary has talked of the role that Iran has played to really worsen and deepen the humanitarian situation in Yemen. When Iran supplies missiles that are fired into a commercial airport, it threatens people from every nation who are flying into another country’s airport. So we talked about how to better deter Iran, how to cut off their supply lines so that they’re not able to supply the Houthis with material to conduct bomb attacks inside Saudi Arabia. We think a role – that Iran has played a very large role in contributing to the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen [bold mine-DL].

QUESTION: What about Saudi or Yemenis’ responsibility in Yemen, Saudi or the UAE?

MODERATOR: Guys, we – we got to – we got to go, but I can – I can – I think I can probably connect you with David Satterfield, who’s been involved in the – he’s our Yemen guy.

change_me

The Saudi coalition air and sea blockade has been starving Yemenis for three years while Iran has done nothing to impede commercial goods and humanitarian aid, so of course Iran is the one that U.S. officials claim has a “very large role” in contributing to the crisis. The Emiratis and their proxies are right now engaged in an attack on a port that is essential to the survival of millions of people, but there is no mention of how this threatens to exacerbate a crisis that the coalition created. The administration isn’t interested in identifying the real causes of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, because it was caused in large part by the coalition acting with U.S. support, and so U.S. officials cynically feed the public this propaganda to shift the blame anywhere but where it really belongs.

This in keeping with the administration’s habit of dishonestly blaming Iran for anything that happens in the region, and it is also proof of the disgraceful carte blanche that the U.S. continues to give the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen. The official giving the briefing can’t even be bothered to address the question of Saudi and Emirati responsibility for the humanitarian crisis. The administration’s determination to cover for the Saudi coalition and ignore their numerous crimes against Yemeni civilians means that U.S. officials won’t even mildly criticize the coalition governments in a briefing.

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4 Comments To "The Trump Administration’s Warped View of the War on Yemen"

#1 Comment By Dumfries vs. Lorton On July 11, 2018 @ 11:56 am

“QUESTION: What about Saudi or Yemenis’ responsibility in Yemen, Saudi or the UAE?

MODERATOR: Guys, we – we got to – we got to go, but I can – I can – I think I can probably connect you with …”

This says it all, doesn’t it. Pompeo is emptying State of decent, knowledgeable professionals and replacing them with the kind of people who smirk impatiently, roll their eyes, and leave the room when they’re asked a simple question about the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.

#2 Comment By Chad Dust On July 11, 2018 @ 11:57 am

The shallowness of the State Department response to questions about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the emptiness of their minds, reinforces an anxiety that this shallow, empty headed psyche will surface when the Trump Administration seeks to reinforce its’political viability during the 2018 Congressional elections, which are coinciding with the U.S. supported Saudi and UAE escalation of the invasion of Yemen, particularly around the port of Hodeidah. capital city Sanaa, and the northern region which contains the bulk of the country’s population. However, thoughts die of loneliness in Trump’s Washington (and in Riyahd or Abu Dhabi). Despite three years of serious, effective resistance from the Yemeni people and Houthi to the invasion of 2015, the Trump administration and associates are likely to inflame the war as a distraction from domestic political priorities like a Supreme Court nomination and the 2018 Congressional election. A United States government ready and willing to declare trade war on China, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan -simultaneously- for alleged national security reasons, is not playing with a full deck. Expect an escalation in Yemen, and expect that to escalate further. Unless….unless…the Supreme Court choice is delayed until after the congressional election, when a rational majority returns, with heads full of thoughts.

#3 Comment By Clyde Schechter On July 11, 2018 @ 4:25 pm

@ Chad Dust “Unless….unless…the Supreme Court choice is delayed until after the congressional election, when a rational majority returns, with heads full of thoughts.”

Where is this rational majority coming from? Surely you don’t mean the Democrats. Have you heard a peep from Democratic politicians about the Yemen situation? Rest assured a Democratic majority will do nothing to change this situation: they are in support of it as well. Neocon foreign policy has broad bipartisan support in this country. Nobody who knows better than to believe in the tooth fairy should expect Congress to do anything about it in the foreseeable future.

#4 Comment By Sid Finster On July 12, 2018 @ 11:19 am

@Dumfries: Unfortunately, when Team D was in charge, we had the same kind of wannabe Machiavellis at State, only they spoke a slightly more articulate manner.

Changing Team D for Team R will fix nothing.