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U.S. Backing for the Saudi Coalition Attack on Hodeidah Is a Disgrace

The International Rescue Committee sounds the alarm [1] about the impending Saudi coalition attack on Hodeidah:

The country relies on the port of Hodeidah for 90% of its imports and for critical, life-saving aid. An attack or besiegement of the port, and on its 400,000 civilian residents, would have catastrophic consequences. Immediate action is required from all parties to the conflict and the wider international community to deliver an inclusive political solution and put an end to the conflict.

Secretary Pompeo issued a toothless statement [2] today:

The United States is closely following developments in Hudaydah, Yemen. I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports. We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen on this issue, support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen.

This has been widely and correctly interpreted as an endorsement of the attack:

The Trump administration has effectively announced that support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is unconditional, no matter what the coalition does and no matter how senselessly destructive their war becomes. U.S. support for the war was already an enduring mark of shame for our country, and this decision adds greatly to it. The U.S. could prevent the horror that is about to engulf Hodeidah and the rest of Yemen, but it is going along with it and lending assistance to the governments responsible for it.

The attack on the port could begin as soon as tomorrow, as the UAE reportedly hopes to use the cover of the summit with North Korea [11] to launch the offensive without international scrutiny:

Diplomats familiar with the situation say they believe that the Emiratis, who are leading the push for an attack, are looking to launch their planned assault while Washington’s attention is focused this week on the summit meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

While Trump is getting his photo op, U.S. clients will be launching an offensive that could cause the deaths of a quarter million people [12] and lead to the starvation of millions more.

4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "U.S. Backing for the Saudi Coalition Attack on Hodeidah Is a Disgrace"

#1 Comment By SF Bay On June 11, 2018 @ 2:37 pm

The humanitarian disaster that is Yemen continues with the tacit approval of the US. Trump’s racist beliefs are on display too. Brown people in some far off country we don’t care about. So, bomb them into the stone age. History will judge us so harshly, and properly so.

#2 Comment By b. On June 11, 2018 @ 3:48 pm

we are at the brink of a war crime exceeding that of Iraq 2003, and published opinion is still playing catch-up with the play:

The Intercept’s Craig article


is full of unquestioning recounting of the usual “Iranian missiles caused blockade” narrative and edits out the history and role of Saleh and the fact that his ex-military forces have nowhere to go but to the UAE, but the most annoying unformation presented is how one has to read between the lines regarding the UN, the UAE, and the US.

Craig spins a tale on how the UAE expects the attack on Hodeidah to fail, and how the US expects the UAE to fail, to the point of quoting anonymous “former official” leakers, anonymous current “senior official” leakers to Wall Street Journal, and a “military document” obtained by immaculate reception, not sourced, and not provided. This is the exact kind of government propaganda stove-piping by pseudo-blowers that Greenwald so rightly criticized.

However, in addition to trial-ballooning the proposition by US government and foreign policy “insiders” that the US has itch and cause to “back the UAE” and “become involved” more directly because of the anticipated “failure” to take Hodeidah, we also get a lot of preventive CYA regarding proxies, mercenaries and Saleh “dead-enders” that are usefully out of control – paid and commanded by the UAE, but liable to attack Hodeidah all on their own and “fail”.

On top, we have the UN – acting on behalf of the US more than on behalf of the Yemeni – to “save Yemen” by giving the US what it, and its clients, want – Hodeidah. The UN expects the Houthi to hand over the port in exchange for permission to withdraw; it is safe to assume the Houthi will accept this generous offer exactly when they are prepared to give up on Hodeidah for the time being anyway. The UN is also leaking a “secret” initiative – deferred to a later time – for a cease-fire and a transitional government, with the Houthi surrendering their means to attack Saudi Arabia – “irrversibly”, one assumes – while Saudi Arabia will temporarily and very reversibly suspend its air force sorties against Houthi targets. The Houthi might or might not be able to accept such a “deal”, MbS cannot accept a “transitional government” unless it is a restoration of the Hadi regime currently under Riyadh house arrest.

The fiction, of course, is that UAE control of Hodeidah will make the blockade and collective punishment campaign go away, not seal it. But neither the US nor the Saudis nor the UAE plan on taking credit for cutting off the flow of food and aid through Hodeidah.

What the above tells us – seeping from the “shiny new” lines written by the Intercept’s “sandal-clad … weary” stringers – is that the US and the UAE are considering an attack on Hodeidah that will close down the port “for the duration of hostilities”, courtesy of the “unreasonable” resistance of the “die-hard” Houthi fighters, with the Yemeni proxies of the UAE proxies of our Saudi proxies “failing” to conclude the battle until US Navy and USAF have to provide carpet- and cluster-bombing assistance to “resolve” the Houthi “chokehold” on a “vital supply pipeline” to the long-suffering Yemeni then starving to death. We have to destroy Hodeidah to save Yemen, and the UAE is not up to it, and patriotic Yemeni forces of (another) former president of Yemen jumped the gun and brought us – and US – to this precipice, so we might as well jump in with all boots on the ground.

In short, from the UN to the Wall Street Journal to The Intercept, we are told in advance that the battle of Hodeidah will seal off all aid to Yemen, and that it will be the fault of the Houthi, who refused UN mediation and who disregarded the needs of the Yemeni people, and the US ultimately just had to step in to prevent, preempt or end a humanitarian catastrophe, which inevitably will happen because of this coalitioned attempt to take Hodeidah “at all cost”, so the Houthi are to blame for that catastrophe, too – and we tried, we had to, and “mistakes were made”, because we are a force of good in this world.

#3 Comment By sherparick1 On June 11, 2018 @ 4:49 pm

This is one I say the whole U.S. political class owns since Obama gave KSA and Gulf Emirates a greenlight to start the war in the hope it would bring them around to accepting the JCPOA. That was a forlorn hope. Of course, Trump and Bolton and crew could not give warm bucket spit if 10 million Yemenis died, considering them all WOGs anyway, and Trump I am sure is getting a huge bribe from KSA to back them up.

I feel like the Walrus:

I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.”

#4 Comment By Larry On June 11, 2018 @ 7:59 pm

Why exactly is the US supporting Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabians instigated 9/11.

There is something profoundly wrong with America supporting an attack that probably will kill hundreds of thousand of civilians.

The repercussions will last for years and, I am afraid, rightly so.