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The U.S. Endorses Saudi Propaganda for the War on Yemen

The Secretary of Defense offered a justification for U.S. support for the war on Yemen [1]. It is nonsensical:

OK, well, with respect to the — the first part, the United States has indicated that we want to support our longstanding partner Saudi Arabia in defending its own borders [bold mine-DL]. And in conducting activities to restore stability in Yemen [bold mine-DL], we are providing them with intelligence information, surveillance and reconnaissance information to assist them in their operations.

The Saudis can pretend that their bombing campaign is aimed at “restoring stability” if they want, but there is no good reason for our government to endorse this obvious falsehood. Attacking Yemen certainly isn’t going to make it more stable. Outside intervention in Yemen’s internal conflict is much more likely to prolong and intensify the fighting, displace and kill many more people, and make it even harder to reach a political settlement. Few things could be more damaging or destabilizing than bombing an impoverished country and cutting its people off from basic necessities.

The Saudi war also obviously has nothing to do with defending its own borders. It is common for aggressors to claim self-defense for their unnecessary attacks on others, but this is a transparent lie that a government tells when it is engaged in doing something that it cannot honestly defend. Thus a reckless and destabilizing intervention is recast as a defensive operation intended to “restore stability” to a country that is already much worse off because of the intervention. If a government with a non-U.S. patron were doing the same thing, our government would presumably be denouncing the campaign as needlessly destructive and cruel. As it is, our officials are recycling preposterous propaganda lines to defend the indefensible.

2 Comments (Open | Close)

2 Comments To "The U.S. Endorses Saudi Propaganda for the War on Yemen"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 8, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

While I do not have the same objections about Saudi motivations.

I do find it hard to believe that they need our intel resources to deal with the rebels in Yemen.

#2 Comment By Just Dropping By On April 9, 2015 @ 9:03 am

While I doubt the consequences will be anywhere near as globally significant, I increasingly see U.S. policy toward the Saudi regime as resembling U.S. policy towards the Nationalist Chinese regime between 1937-1949 — i.e., we have no clue what the hell is going on with the politics of the situation, but we definitely know that we don’t like certain of the people who are hostile to the regime, so we’ll unreservedly endorse and support the actions of the regime regardless of what actual informed analysis might suggest would be the wiser course of action.