Increasing Support for the War on Yemen Is Obviously Insane


Daniel Larison in The American Conservative:

The Wall Street Journal publishes another shameless pro-Saudi editorial. This part stood out:

A Saudi air strike last week mistakenly killed civilians at a funeral in Yemen, and the White House is now leaking that Mr. Obama is rethinking U.S. support for the Yemen campaign. But the U.S. has made similar targeting errors in many conflicts, and Saudi bombing won’t get more precise if the U.S. bugs out. The U.S. ought to be helping the Saudis with enough support that they can win in Yemen.

Even by the WSJ‘s standards, this is an insane position to take. The funeral massacre last week was obviously not carried out by “mistake.” The coalition repeatedly hit the same target to maximize casualties, and it chose the target because many high-ranking political and military figures were in attendance. The coalition wanted to hit the target, and it did so several times in a row. They weren’t concerned about the hundreds of civilians killed and injured in the process, and it is absurd to claim that they were. When presented with an obvious atrocity committed by a U.S. client, the WSJ predictably ignores the evidence and insists on even more aggressive support for the offending government.

There is also no realistic prospect of a Saudi victory in Yemen. The coalition’s original goals were to drive the Houthis out of the capital and reinstate Hadi. Even if the coalition could somehow manage to do the former, it would come at an excruciating cost for the civilian population. The latter goal has always been hopeless. Hadi had scant domestic support when the war began, and now he has none. There is no chance that the coalition can “win,” and so it makes absolutely no sense for the U.S. to increase support for the war in the hopes that they do. Yemen has been wrecked and its people brought to the brink of famine because of the foolish belief that the Saudis could “win.”

More here.