Biden’s Bewildering Blueprint for Middle East Diplomacy
War in Yemen – a complex cast of nations.
March 15, 2021
The Republic of Yemen is one of the Middle East’s poorest nations, but it is of strategic importance to the world. On the southwestern tip of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, Yemen sits on a strait linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden. This is an area through which much of the world’s oil supply must pass. Saudi Arabia is tactically important to the world’s oil supply. Iran is the arch-enemy of Saudi Arabia due to decades-old animosity regarding guardianship of Islam’s holy sites Mecca and Medina. A war has been raging since 2014 when Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists forcefully removed President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi from power in a coup d’état.
Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and other Arab nations joined Saudi Arabia to defeat the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen. The United States and Britain deployed military personnel in command-and-control roles. Over these 7 years, peace negotiations and alliances have all failed.
President Biden declared: “This war has to end, and to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” Biden has removed the terrorist designation from the Iran-backed Houthi Rebels. No one is happier than the Iranian Mullahs about withdrawn American support for the Saudis.
President Obama retreads, hired by Biden, include Tim Lenderking as the U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen. Rob Malley, another retread, said, “In the Biden Administration there is an urgency to end this war.” San Francisco Democrat Congressman Ro Khanna leads efforts to halt U.S. support for the Saudi perspective.
Congressman Peter DeFazio’s letter to President Biden was signed by 40 Congressional Democrats in February. They agreed with his decision to limit U.S. backing for the Saudis and asked for clarification about future support. The letter rehashes the half-page intelligence report, released in 2019, about the death of Jamal Khashoggi. It concludes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for Khashoggi’s death. There are no facts in the report, just conclusions based on assumptions.
Houthis have rejected offers by the Saudis for a cease-fire. Houthis launched ballistic missiles toward the Saudi capital of Riyad. Saudi’s King Khalid Air Base was hit with a drone. A fuel depot in Jedda was hit with Quds-2 cruise missiles. A ballistic missile was intercepted headed towards Jazan on the Red Sea coast. Saudi Arabia’s eastern oil fields were attacked by air, disrupting about half of the kingdom’s oil production. Houthis have attacked oil tankers in the Red Sea.
Many ancient Yemen cultural heritage sites, some 3,000 years old, have been destroyed and damaged during the war. There is widespread famine and disease. The United Nations calls this war the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
It remains unclear what the Biden blueprint to end the war might be. Pulling U.S. weapons and support from Saudi and the Arab Kingdoms is scarcely a plan. Biden has rescinded sanctions on Iran. Last week Iran rejected an offer by the European Union for Nuclear Deal talks that included the United States.
Yemeni political analyst Salim Al-Muntaser said on Al-Quds Al-Youm Television: “The American Patriot missiles failed to protect Saudi Arabia against the Houthi attacks. Soon there will be a complete American withdrawal from the region. After this he expects that missiles will be launched from Saada and Sanaa in Yemen to the so-called Tel Aviv, and the Zionist entity would be destroyed. And inshallah it will be very soon.” Let us hope that Al-Muntaser is wrong, and there will not be a complete American withdrawal from the region.
One cannot help but wonder if Joe Biden’s team hears the ancient Siren’s Song. Siren is the temptress that sang to beckon Odysseus’ sailors. They rowed passionately towards her, crashing on the rocks, to their death.
The internationally published writer is a former English teacher, stockbroker, and owner/president of a small corporation. She is active with Republican Women Federated, The Coachella Valley Lincoln Club, The California Republican Party, and Armed Services YMCA- 29 Palms Marine Base. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org