Four years into the Saudi invasion of Yemen, the US Senate voted earlier this week to call for an end to direct US involvement in the conflict. This is driven by the huge number of civilians being killed by the Saudis, and the recent Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
The administration has expressed opposition to the Senate vote, claiming it is interfering in the president’s war-making powers as commander-in-chief. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a different tack, arguing the vote proves they don’t care about Yemenis.
“If you truly care about Yemeni lives, you’d support the Saudi-led effort,” Pompeo insisted, arguing that the Saudis are aiming to “prevent Yemen from turning into a puppet state of the corrupt, brutish Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Pompeo doubled down on this narrative by accusing those who voted against war of prolonging the conflict, saying that the way to “alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering” is to ensure that the Saudis can win the war militarily and “ensure a just peace.”
The US has been directly supporting the Saudi war for four years now, leading to the deaths of many thousands of civilians in Saudi airstrikes, along with the worst cholera outbreak in human history, and a naval blockade that has left much of Yemen on the brink of starvation. It is this disastrous status quo that Pompeo is looking to protect in the name of humanitarian compassion.
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