US Calls on Saudi Arabia to End Yemen Air War: Is This Real?

This just in: The United States has called on Saudi Arabia to halt (US-backed) airstrikes against Yemen and accept that there is no military solution to the conflict!

After a solid 19 months of endorsing the failed war, selling the Saudis massive amounts of arms, selecting targets, and refuelling their bombers with drone-fed logistical and intelligence support, official Washington insists military aid is also “under review”.

It is welcome news to hear that armchair warriors at the White House have apparently decided to take a stand and reclaim some of the moral authority and independence they have lost through unconditional support for the Saudi-led aerial campaign. The problem is, there is no sign that any real changes in US policy will ever be made. On the contrary:

1- A battleground marked by regional intervention and a growing Al-Qaeda presence, the US-backed Saudis’ barbarism will continue unabated. The illegal war has exacted a horrific toll on civilians, whether from bombing by the Saudis, indiscriminate shelling by terrorist groups, food and medical shortages, mass starvation, or the kidnappings of journalists and human rights activists by the Saudi-led coalition and their proxy forces that are endeavoring to bring a former president back to power.

2- Washington wants a way out of the quagmire not because it cares about civilians but because it's badly stuck. International pressure is growing too, with calls by the UN for an independent investigation into Saudi war crimes. After all, Saudi Arabia hasn't carried out these atrocities on its own. Official Washington is leading the charge and complicit in the carnage.

3- There are demands in the Congress to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Again, this is a show; it's all about the ongoing presidential race for the White House. Both the Republican and Democratic nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are candidates for the War Machine. Their foreign policy speeches and debates show that American voters have no antiwar candidates, or even a decisive break from the last decade and a half of disastrous foreign policy. Clinton tends to be in favour of military engagement, and Trump’s speech expresses parallel sentiments.

4- Trump and Clinton are the same when it comes to foreign policy. On a lot of issues, like the ISIL War (if it's genuine), praise for dictators and trillions of dollars in military spending, voters are left with a similar choice on foreign policy. Now the only question is which candidate will be elected to continue expanding the never-ending War on Terror that has already spread across the Middle East.

5- War-party hypocrites from one hand call on Riyadh to end the air war, but on the other say this won’t include any dial back in US arms sales. For instance, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power is insisting even on the announcement of their opposition to further strikes, but says that the US supports Saudi Arabia’s right to “self-defense,” which in this case includes continuation of the aerial bombardment.

6- Just like their American cousins, the British military has been involved in supporting the Saudi war as well as selecting the targets of the United States' secret drone campaign in Yemen. According to the UK-based rights group Reprieve, new documents show personnel at UK bases leased to the US military play a role in drawing up the "kill list" for the ongoing drone assassinations. These documents are the strongest evidence yet that the US will never end its illegal, secret drone warfare in the heartlands of the Muslim world. This also offers concrete evidence of the British government's complicity in the US-Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s call on the Saudis to halt airstrikes is not real; more likely an exercise in public hand-wringing than a serious effort to end the brutal war and prevent further loss of life. Just like in Syria, the warmongers have no intention to let Yemen be united. For them, Yemen is a problem that won't be solved until it is dissolved - a return to Ibn Saud's deathbed wish.

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