If the onsite horrors of the war and embargo against Yemen are not reason enough for us to advocate an American withdrawal from that foreign conflagration, hopefully this is: our government’s support for the Saudi war in Yemen entails aggression in the United States.
I am not here referring to anti-American blowback from bereaved Yemenis, although that sort of aggression could very well materialize in the future. I am instead talking about the ongoing and presently verifiable aggression against all American taxpayers forced to subsidize our government’s adventurism in the Arabian Peninsula. As common sense tells us, every bomb, every missile, and every tracer that the United States sends to the Saudi coalition is a bomb, a missile, and a tracer for which somebody somewhere will be compelled to pay. That "somebody" will probably be an American taxpayer who, given the nature of taxation, will risk imprisonment or property seizures should she ever decide not to genuflect to the unshackled military apparatus.
The American war in Yemen therefore extends all the way back home, albeit in a substantially diluted form. Pursuant to its military objectives, the American government threatens to aggress against any of its taxpaying citizens who refuse to aggress against Yemeni civilians. In what world is this not an abomination?
In the world of gung-ho militarists, apparently, who dragoon American taxpayers into shouldering the burden of the Pentagon’s profligacy. By the end of FY 2015, $12 billion from the United States will have buttressed foreign militaries in places like Saudi Arabia. $64 billion will have sustained the United States’ Overseas Contingency Operations. The Pentagon will have taken hundreds of billions more for its “base” supply, a fund that excludes additional resources for nuclear upkeep.
Surely our country should be equipped to defend itself. But our current government’s exorbitant military expenditures and reckless warmongering are far from defensive. The Yemeni Houthis, a foreign group mired in a foreign war with the hope of destroying Al-Qaeda, pose such a small threat to us that the United States’ overwhelming attempts to neutralize them can only make matters worse by intensifying anti-American sentiments. The truly defensive move in this case is for the United States to stop antagonizing people.
That includes Americans themselves who have done nothing to deserve threats from the American war state. There is no good reason that any private worker, as a precondition for receiving an income here at home, should have to bankroll the murder of Yemenis.
Tommy Raskin is a contributor to the Good Men Project and Foreign Policy in Focus. He is also an intern at Antiwar.com.