As The Associated Press reported last night, President Donald Trump just issued only the second veto of his presidency — on the issue of Congress’ attempted defunding of U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s defensive war against genocidal Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the Saudis’ war-torn neighboring country of Yemen.
Per The Associated Press:
President Donald Trump vetoed a resolution passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. …
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his Tuesday veto. …
The U.S. provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Trump said the measure was unnecessary because except for counterterrorism operations against Islamic State militants and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the United States is not engaged in hostilities in or affecting Yemen.
The Associated Press saw fit to frame the Yemeni civil war as being “Saudi-led,” but such a characterization is highly tendentious at best, and distortional at worst. As I noted last month, “The reality is that the horrific and bloody civil war in Yemen, however tragic it may be from a collateral damage perspective, amounts to a zero-sum game between [Mohammed] bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia and the Iranian mullocracy, which is the world’s number one state exporter of global jihadism.” Consider also what the always-incisive Evelyn Gordon wrote in February:
An expert report submitted to the U.N. Security Council this month concluded that Iran is illegally funding Yemen’s Houthi rebels by giving them oil, which they can sell for cash. From last year’s version of the same report, we learned that Iran is arming the Houthis with missiles and drones, in violation of a U.N. arms embargo. Thus whatever the Houthis were when the war started, they are now effectively an Iranian subsidiary, dependent on Tehran for both cash and arms.
That is just one of many reasons to be appalled by the Senate’s renewed effort to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led fight against the Houthis. …
[E]mpowering allies is always better than empowering enemies. Granted, Saudi Arabia is a highly imperfect ally, but it is at least nominally in America’s camp. Iran, in contrast, has been America’s avowed enemy since 1979, and its proxies have been responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of American deaths in Lebanon and Iraq. Thus for the Senate to weaken Riyadh and strengthen Tehran, which targeting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen does, would be foolish at any time. …
In Yemen, the lesser evil is clearly backing the Saudi coalition. This would not only further America’s strategic goals at minimal cost (the U.S. contribution consists of intelligence sharing, midair refueling and arms sales), but would be preferable to a Houthi victory from a human-rights standpoint.
The Houthi rebels that Iran backs in Yemen, and against which the Saudi monarchy is fighting, happen to be an openly genocidal anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic jihadist menagerie.
The Associated Press’ highly biased, anti-Saudi framing of the conflict is, alas, par for the course for the mainstream media. Counter-Islamist national security expert Dave Reaboi recently wrote at The Federalist about “Why The Media Is At War With Saudi Arabia”:
No country is hated more by Islamists and the left today than Saudi Arabia, the richest and most powerful of the Arab anti-Islamist states — at least, as evidenced by the sheer number of relentless tweets about the country from the Brotherhood’s favorite new nember of Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar. The latest narrative from the pro-Islamist left is that, for their opposition to Islamists, Saudi Arabia and bin Salman are leading purveyors of anti-Muslim bigotry. “Arab Regimes are the world’s most powerful Islamophobes,” write Ola Salem and Hassan Hassan in Foreign Policy.
Reaboi also highlighted the uniquely dastardly influence of the Islamism-cozy Qatari regime, noting that “[t]hroughout its recent war against Saudi Arabia, the media has been egged on by its Islamist regional rival, Qatar, which realized that its goals could be advanced by breaking apart the longstanding U.S.-Saudi alliance.”
Alas, it appears that The Associated Press is helping to do the bidding of Iran and Qatar. A good thing, indeed, that President Trump saw through the Islamist charade.