The Wall Street Journal’s Pathetic Case for Supporting the War on Yemen

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

The Wall Street Journal has distinguished itself for promotingpro-Saudi and pro-Emirati propaganda about the war on Yemen, gushingover Mohammed bin Salman, and for credulous reportingon the war and the humanitarian crisis it has created. Now their editors rail against S.J.Res. 54 because it threatens to put an end to the war they have supported for three years:

Saudi Arabia finally has a young leader pushing social and economic reform, fighting Iran’s attempt to dominate the Middle East, and even cooperating quietly with Israel. Wouldn’t you know now would be the time that a left-right coalition in Congress wants to snub this ally by pretending to be commanders in chief.

The WSJ editorial does its best to duck the real issues at stake while casting baseless aspersions at opponents of an indefensible war. U.S. involvement in the war is unauthorized by Congress, and it does constitute engaging in hostilities. US refueling of coalition planes makes our government a party to the conflict, and it means that our military is engaged in hostilities against the coalition’s enemies even if they are not directly involved in the fighting. The language of the War Powers Resolution is clear on this point. Our military is participating in the movement of coalition forces while they are carrying out attacks in Yemen, and as such they have been introduced into hostilities without Congress’ authorization.

The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for most of the war’s civilian casualties. The claim that their “targeting has improved thanks to US intelligence and training” ignores that the coalition has frequently targeted civilian structures and infrastructure on purpose. Our military has just confirmed that they don’t track what happens after the refuel coalition planes, so by their own admission they have no way of knowing what the coalition is doing with the support that our government happily provides. The coalition has committed numerous war crimes, and so long as the US provides refueling and arms for their bombing campaign our government is complicit in those crimes. Voting for S.J.Res. 54 is also a vote to put an end to that complicity. Because US support for the coalition is so important to their war effort, they would be hard-pressed to continue their campaign without it. Halting support for the bombing campaign is the best option that the US has for ending the war and ameliorating the country’s humanitarian crisis.

The editorial is called “the Senate’s Iran helpers,” but that is as dishonest as can be. Refusing to support the Saudis and their allies in their atrocious war does not make anyone a “helper” of Iran. One has to buy into Saudi propaganda without thinking to make the accusation in the first place. The WSJ‘s simplistic and inaccurate sectarian framing of the conflict might as well come from the Saudi government itself.

If anyone has been helping Iran, it is…

Read more