Exclusive: The Trump administration’s hypocrisy was on clear display when it denounced Iran over an ineffectual Yemeni missile that landed in Saudi Arabia while the U.S. aids the Saudi slaughter of Yemeni civilians, says Jonathan Marshall.
By Jonathan Marshall
Political charlatans like Donald Trump often employ an essential trick from stage magic: misdirecting the audience. By taking the public’s eye off the real issues and channeling discussion toward made-up controversies, they can keep working their agenda in the shadows.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has been quick to learn that technique from her mentor in the Oval Office. Last week, in a performance reminiscent of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s UN speech before the Iraq War, she staged a highly publicized demonstration of alleged Iranian perfidy: bits and pieces of a missile fired on Nov. 4 by Houthi rebels in Yemen toward Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport outside of Riyadh.
“When you look at this missile, this is terrifying, this is absolutely terrifying,” Haley asserted. She said the scraps included “parts made by Iran, some by Iran’s government-run defense industry. All are proof that Iran is defying the international community.” In particular, she claimed that Iran is violating a United Nations Security Council resolution banning it from engaging in transfers of ballistic missiles — an annex to the Security Council’s endorsement of the Iran nuclear deal.
Critics quickly shot holes in her case. For one thing, the Security Council’s resolution actually says “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons . . .” “Called upon” is not the same as a ban. Nor would any serious expert confuse Houthi rockets with nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
In addition, the New York Times noted, “Defense officials said they could not say exactly when the weapons . . . were given to the Houthis, which means that they could have been transferred before the Security Council resolution was enacted.”
Nor could a U.N. panel of experts even confirm that…