Originally appeared on The American Conservative.
The Trump administration bows before the Saudis once more over the war on Yemen:
The US has “slammed the brakes on” a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a limited ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid in Yemen over concerns about angering Saudi Arabia, two sources tell CNN.
One source familiar with the negotiations over the resolution tells CNN the US “has slammed the brakes on,” saying that “we can’t support a resolution at the moment.”
U.S. policy in Yemen has been dictated by Saudi and Emirati preferences for years, but Trump and his administration have taken this disgraceful subservience to new lows since he came to office. Trump’s outrageous Saudi propaganda statement from last week confirmed that he would happily lie to defend Saudi Arabia from any and all criticism, and now he is shielding them from international scrutiny and pressure at the U.N. He is not just serving as a Saudi mouthpiece, but acts as their lackey as well.
The draft resolution doesn’t even call out the Saudis and their allies, and criticizes the Houthis alone:
The resolution is not at all critical of Saudi Arabia, and in fact compliments Saudi action; it is critical only of the Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran and have been fighting Saudi-led coalition forces while maintaining control of the capital, Sanaa.
Because Mohammed bin Salman “threw a fit” over the resolution, Trump gave in to the crown prince’s wishes yet again.
The administration is killing whatever momentum there was for a new Security Council resolution, and in doing so they have signaled to the Saudis and Emiratis that there will be no pressure on them from this administration to halt their offensive or end their bombing campaign. Stopping a new resolution at this stage will probably sabotage the efforts of the UN special envoy to organize peace negotiations, and it makes a mockery of the administration’s own calls for a ceasefire by the end of this month. Any move to bring the war to an end is going to anger the Saudis because they don’t want to end the war. Blocking a new resolution at the UN because it would upset Riyadh proves that the administration has no interest in halting the war or bringing the necessary pressure on the Saudi coalition to alleviate the suffering of Yemen’s population.
Trump inherited the policy of supporting the Saudi coalition in their attack on Yemen, but he has somehow managed to take Obama’s worst policy and make it far worse than it was. Uncritical, reflexive support for Saudi interests and preferences at the expense of everything else, including US interests, has been the defining trait of Trump’s foreign policy in the region. 14 million people in Yemen suffer and may die because he insists on putting Saudi Arabia first. The US shares responsibility for the destruction and starvation of Yemen, and Trump in particular owns this disaster because he has repeatedly chosen to indulge the war criminals in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi when he had every opportunity to cut them off. Passing S.J.Res. 54 is the only way that the Senate can send a clear message to the president that his indulgence of despots and enabling of crimes against humanity will no longer be tolerated.
Daniel Larison is a senior editor at The American Conservative, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter. This article is reprinted from The American Conservative with permission.