Cassady Rosenblum urges the Senate to adopt the House amendments that would restrict U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen:
The Senate should embrace these amendments, but lawmakers also need to start asking themselves harder questions about whom the U.S. chooses to befriend in the Middle East and why. Any country that intentionally or recklessly attacks a boat carrying unarmed refugees to safer shores is not an ally that shares our values.
Rosenblum is referring here to the slaughter of Somali refugees at sea that occurred back in March. The U.N. recently reported on the results of their investigation into the attack, and they confirmed that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible. This was already clear at the time, and the government of Somalia said as much back then. The attack on the refugee ship was one of the coalition’s most egregious violations of international law, but as anyone following events in Yemen know it is one in a series of deliberate attacks on civilian targets.
It is certainly true that the Saudi-led coalition does not include allies that share our values, and that was true even before their forces murdered these poor refugees. In fact, none of the governments wrecking and starving Yemen can be called real U.S. allies in any sense. None is a formal treaty ally, the U.S. has no obligations to defend any of them, and their interests also increasingly diverge from ours. The U.S. has often justified working with despicable regimes in the past because it supposedly serves some larger strategic purpose, but in this case the U.S. has supported the Saudis and their allies for the last two and a half years in Yemen out of little more than unthinking habit. There is no good reason for it, and the excuses that have been offered in defense of this policy (“reassurance,” weapons sales, etc.) are pathetically weak.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship is noxious and destructive, and the war on Yemen has made that clear to a growing number of Americans. Let’s hope that more members of the Senate have begun to realize that as well.