Haley’s Stunt and the War on Yemen
Nikki Haley is very concerned about the origin of a missile that didn’t kill anyone in Yemen:
Haley, holding a press conference at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., presented what she described as recovered pieces of a missile fired by Houthi militants from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, pointing out the missile bears “Iranian missile fingerprints.” Yemen is facing a devastating civil war that has been raging since 2015.
“It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it,” Haley said Thursday.
Supporters of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen have been desperate to shift the blame for the disaster engulfing that country to anyone other than the coalition and its Western patrons. They have therefore exaggerated the negligible role of Iran in the conflict in order to distract attention from the far larger, much more destructive role that the U.S. and our clients have had over the last two and a half years. Insofar as Iranian support for the Houthis has increased during the course of the Saudi-led intervention, that is just proof of how unsuccessful the coalition’s war has been and how pointlessly destructive their blockade continues to be.
That is why our U.N. ambassador feels the need to put on a show to accuse Iran of providing missiles to the Houthis at the same time that she and the rest of our government pointedly ignore the routine bombing of civilian targets by coalition forces and the coalition blockade that is strangling Yemen’s civilian population to death. The evidence in this case is not as clear-cut as Haley claims, but that is almost beside the point. Haley cannot defend what the coalition has been doing to Yemen for over thirty months, and she can’t justify the collective punishment they are inflicting on the population in response to the firing of this missile, so she has to try to change the subject. Haley’s stunt is a lame bid to try to make people forget that our clients are committing crimes against humanity with our government’s assistance. It is pitiful diversion and a confirmation of just how indefensible and disgusting our policy in Yemen is.
Haley says that it is difficult “to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.” That is not really true, but Yemen is probably the worst example she could have used. It is the coalition’s war that has strengthened Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the local ISIS affiliate in Yemen, and it is coalition forces that have been fighting alongside members of AQAP during this conflict. It is the Saudi-led coalition backed by the U.S. and other Western states that escalated the conflict in Yemen and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. These are the governments whose fingerprints are “all over” the devastation and loss of life in Yemen. Whatever else Iran may be responsible for elsewhere in the region, it is not responsible for most of what has happened in Yemen, and Haley’s stunt doesn’t change that.