Home/Daniel Larison/The ‘Force for Good’ That Enables Mass Starvation in Yemen

The ‘Force for Good’ That Enables Mass Starvation in Yemen

Pompeo had very little to say about the war on Yemen in his Cairo speech, but what he did say shows that the administration remains as blinded by Saudi propaganda as ever:

In Yemen, we’ve assisted our coalition partners as they take the lead in preventing an Iranian expansion that would be disastrous for world trade and regional security.

Pompeo both understates the extent of U.S. involvement and predictably exaggerates the danger from Iran. There was no “Iranian expansion” underway in Yemen in 2015 and there still isn’t one, and to the extent that Iran has gained influenced over the last four years it has been because of the Saudi coalition’s destructive, atrocious intervention. Our involvement in and support for the Saudi coalition war and blockade have been a moral and strategic disaster for the United States, and the Trump administration is responsible for keeping that policy going the entire time they have been in power. It is telling that one of the only Obama-era policies that the Trump administration has fully embraced also happens to be the most indefensible and despicable policy that we have.

The Secretary cannot square his self-righteous pronouncements about America as a “force for good” with the policy of backing the Saudi coalition as it massacres civilians and causes millions to starve, and so as usual he pretends that the real problems are Iran and imaginary threats to international trade. Even if Iran posed the threat that Pompeo claims, it wouldn’t begin to justify what our government has helped the Saudis and Emiratis do to the people of Yemen. Our government’s policy of supporting the war on Yemen has already made us an accomplice in the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from hunger and disease, and it has made us party to creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Our Yemen policy puts the lie to Pompeo’s propaganda and shows what happens when our government unquestioningly supports regional clients in their reckless and monstrous behavior.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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