The title question answers itself. Of course we won’t see any consequences, other than those borne by the people of Yemen. From Dave DeCamp at antiwar.com:
The war in Yemen is still raging on with no end in sight and the Saudis are beginning to see the war come home to them. The Houthi regime has been increasing drone strikes inside of Saudi Arabia, hitting an oil pipeline and an arms depot in recent weeks. While the Saudis are beginning to see blowback from their brutal military campaign in the country, we must not forget that this war would not be possible without US intelligence and weapons. President Trump recently bypassed congress by declaring a state of emergency to sell more weapons to the Saudis, using the “Iranian threat” as the excuse.
In 2015 Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies launched an attack on Yemen after the Houthis began to take control of some key cities, including the capital Sanaa. On March 25th 2015, the Obama administration released a statement pledging military and logistical support to the coalition. Four years and over 19,000 airstrikes later the UN has estimated if the war ended in 2019 it would account for 233,000 deaths, 140,000 of those deaths being children under the age of five. Eighty percent of the country’s population relies on humanitarian aid for their food, with 13 million at risk of starvation.
The UN report said the conflict is Yemen was turning into a “war on children,” they estimated 330,000 could be dead by 2022. The Saudis are known to target vital civilian infrastructure in their airstrikes, such as water treatment plants, hospitals, schools and markets. The Saudis have even targeted fisherman to further squeeze the country’s food supply.
This “war on children” is similar to the US campaign against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. After Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded Kuwait over a discrepancy of a contested oil field on their vague border, the UN security council, led by the US, imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. The sanctions were intended to make Iraqi forces withdraw from Kuwait, but even after they did, the US refused to allow the sanctions to be lifted.
Ron Paul salutes an honest colleague and his efforts against the US war machine. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
In a fitting legacy for my friend Walter Jones, Jr. who passed away last week, the US House made history by voting in favor of H.J.Res. 37, a resolution “Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” As George O’Neill wrote in the American Conservative magazine this week, the historic 248-177 victory for a bill demanding the end of the US participation in the nearly five year Saudi war of aggression “reflects how many hearts and minds were influenced by the late Congressman’s tireless efforts.”
Walter Jones did not care who controlled Congress. He was happy to join forces with any Member to end the senseless US global military empire, which sends thousands of young men and women off to patrol foreign borders, overthrow foreign governments, and needlessly put themselves at risk in missions that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the United States.
When the new Congress convenes Jan. 3, it is expected to pass a House resolution upholding congressional war powers and ending all direct U.S. involvement in the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. But hopes remain high that H. Con. Res. 138 will help to end the Yemen war itself. Congressional strategists and activists who have been working on the issue believe passage of the war powers measure will force Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the negotiating table.
Together, they are challenging the position of some former Obama administration officials who have warned the war powers resolution alone cannot bring the conflict to a close. Those former officials, led by Brookings Institution fellow Bruce Riedel, say that cutting off the Saudi pipeline of spare parts is the only way to prevent further airstrikes, which have been central to the Saudi war strategy.
It’s tragic that tens of thousands had to die before anyone in the US sat up and took notice. From Kathy Kelly at antiwar.com:
Twenty years ago, a small delegation organized by Voices in the Wildernesslived in Baghdad while U.S. cruise missiles attacked more than 100 targets in Iraq. Following four days of bombing, known as “Operation Desert Fox,” our group visited various Iraqis who had survived direct hits. One young girl handed me a large missile fragment, saying “Merry Christmas.”
An engineer, Gasim Risun, cradled his two-week-old baby as he sat in his hospital bed. Gasim had suffered multiple wounds, but he was the only one in his family well enough to care for the infant, after an unexploded missile destroyed his house. In Baghdad, a bomb demolished a former military defense headquarters, and the shock waves shattered the windows in the hospital next door. Doctors said the explosions terrified women in the maternity ward, causing some to spontaneously abort their babies while others went into premature labor.
In December 1998, US news media steadily focused on only one person living in Iraq: Saddam Hussein. With the notable exception of Stephen Kinzer of The New York Times, no mainstream media focused on U.N. reports about the consequences of US economic sanctions imposed on Iraq. One of Kinzer’s articles was headlined: “Iraq a Pediatrician’s Hell: No Way to Stop the Dying.”
Last week something historic happened in the US Senate. For the first time in 45 years, a chamber of the US Congress voted to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.
While there is plenty to criticize in the War Powers Act, in this situation it was an important tool used by a broad Senate coalition to require President Trump to end US participation in the Saudi war against Yemen. And while the resolution was not perfect – there were huge loopholes – it has finally drawn wider attention to the US Administration’s dirty war in Yemen.
The four year Saudi war on neighboring Yemen has left some 50,000 dead, including many women and children. We’ve all seen the horrible photos of school buses blown up by the Saudis – using US-supplied bombs loaded into US-supplied aircraft. Millions more face starvation as the infrastructure is decimated and the ports have been blocked to keep out humanitarian aid.
Stopping US participation in this brutal war is by itself a wise and correct move, even if it comes years too late.
The Senate vote is also about much more than just Yemen. It is about the decades of Presidential assaults on the Constitution in matters of war. President Trump is only the latest to ignore Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which grants war power exclusively to Congress. Yes, it was President Obama who initially dragged the US illegally into the Yemen war, but President Trump has only escalated it. And to this point Congress has been totally asleep.
Fortunately that all changed last week with the Senate vote. Unfortunately, Members of the House will not be allowed to vote on their own version of the Senate resolution.
Imagine if Russia had pulled the same stunts Saudi Arabia recently has: bombing a small, poor neighbor into oblivion, murdering a journalist in an embassy. The uproar would be incessant and interminable, and there would sanctions on top of sanctions on top of sanctions. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
The US Senate has voted 56 to 41 to sorta-kinda eventually end America’s part in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, one step out of a great many that will need to happen in order to end the worst humanitarian crisis on the face of the earth.
The joint resolution still allows US drones to patrol Yemeni airspace and rain death from above in its “war on terror” against Al Qaeda, and it is unable to pass in the House this year due to an unbelievably sleazy rider that House Republicans attached to the unrelated Farm Bill. The resolution isn’t expected to change much in terms of actual US participation in the war besides some intelligence and reconnaissance assistance to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against the Houthi rebels, since the US has already ended its assistance in refueling Saudi jets on their bombing campaigns as of last month. Trump is expected to veto any Yemen resolutions, and the Senate resolution was not passed with a veto-proof supermajority.
Unlike many websites, Straight Line Logic does not solicit donations. If you're going to lay out your hard-earned money, you should get something in exchange. If you like the site and want to support it, buy The Golden Pinnacle or The Gordian Knot, either as a book or download. The links are on the right-hand side of the page, in the Blogroll section. You'll be supporting the site, and getting a great book and hours of enjoyable reading.