This seems almost Pit-level stupidity and cruelty, but lets keep it GD, what do we hope to gain by actively supporting Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen?
Even if the the whole “100,000s of civilians dying by war and starvation”, isn’t a problem for you. Doing anything except spending all of America’s diplomatic and economic power trying to stop the war is still monumentally stupid. Both Al Qiada and ISIS (the terrorist networks we’ve spent trillions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, fighting since 9/11) only exist because of wars like the one in Yemen. If it wasn’t for the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the civil war that followed, the Iraq war and the Syrian civil war, those terrorist groups would not exist, period. If you were to formulate up the perfect theoretical place to grow the next wave of Al Qaida/ISIS terrorism you would come up with Yemen Civil War, lots of hideous stuff happening to Muslim civilians (check), break down in national government control (check), foreign jihadists* (check), “apostate” religious sects to attack (check), etc. A few drone strikes aren’t going to make change that, stopping the war will.
Yet instead of doing everything possible (diplomatically and economically) to end the war, the US is instead actively supporting one side in the war. We are actively supporting the Saudi military (that are supporting the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels), in the process making an already hideous situation far far worse (and more perfectly suited to jihadist terrorist groups). I realize doing everything might not actually be enough to end the conflict, but that still doesn’t excuse doing less than nothing and actually making the conflict worst and longer.
So I assume the counter argument would be that we are “combating” Iran by backing Saudi Arabia (the ol’ “enemy of my enemy” thing, or technically the “my friend against the friend of my enemy”). Yes the Houthis are clearly in Iran’s camp, and have an Iranian style Islamist government (sort of). And yes, Iran are “bad” (for some definition of “bad”) that is not just neocon propaganda. Iran do clearly sponsor terrorist groups.
But what is the strategic advantage to Iran in some remote desert tribes in the poorest country in the middle east? Iran are not Al Qiada, they don’t need remote desert training camps to train their militias. And regardless of how many bombs Saudi Arabia drops, that ship has sailed, the Houthis aren’t going to stop being in Iran’s camp (and the Saudis are certainly not going to bring an end to the war militarily, even with US support, something the Russians could claim in Syria, for all the appalling nature of their intervention there).
The worst that will happen (if the Saudis back off because of US pressure), would be the Houthis control a larger part of Yemen . Is that such a terrible thing that it’s worth killing 100000s over, and strengthening our real enemies? The argument that it is particularly galling, as the same neocons (like John Bolton) who are making it thought it was perfectly fine to depose Saddam Hussein and give Iran massive influence over one of the most strategic countries in the Middle East.
- Not those dastardly Iranians, our side (who remember are responsible for most the sallifist propaganda that is radicalizing Muslims all over the world) is importing child soldiers from Sudan to fight the war for them. No way those kids will end up as well trained Islamic radicals (as well as horribly traumatized and abused victims of a war crime), nuhuhh