Yemen

U.S. Looking to Escalate War in Yemen?

U.S. destroyer launches missiles at Yemen radar sites after missiles from Yemen miss destroyer.

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U.S. Navy/FILE

The USS Mason destroyed three coastal radar sites held by the rebel government in Yemen, the Pentagon announced last night, after the USS Mason was twice within four days the target of missiles launched from rebel-held territory in Yemen. Those missiles all missed and the USS Mason was not damaged. The U.S. action is the first time it has bombed Houthi targets in Yemen since Houthi rebels ousted the U.S.-backed government in Sana'a, which retreated to Aden, in 2014, sparking a civil war in which Saudi Arabia has intervened in support of the exiled government. The Saudi and U.S.-backed president escaped to Saudi Arabia in 2015.

"These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway," Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said in a statement. "The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate, and will continue to maintain our freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and elsewhere around the world."

The Houthi government denied responsibility for the failed missile strikes, saying it had "nothing to do with this act." Instead, Houthi officials suggested the accusation was an attempt to distract from the "heinous" airstrike on a funeral in Yemen over the weekend that killed more than 150 people. Saudi Arabia denied responsibility itself for the air strike on Yemen, and said it would "investigate." Human Rights Watch said remnants of U.S.-made munitions were found at the site. The U.S., for its part, insisted its support for Saudi Arabia did not amount to a "blank check" for Saudi actions in Yemen, with the White House claiming it would conduct an "immediate review" of what a National Security spokesperson described as "significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led Coalition."

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Ct.) tried last month to block a $1+ billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia but the effort failed in the Senate. Saudi Arabia has been the primary recipient of U.S.-made arms from 2011 to 2015, a period during which the U.S. was responsible for a third of arms exports across the world.

While the Pentagon asserted that U.S. commanders "retain the right to defend their ships," it says the strikes on the radar sites in Yemen, which the U.S. insists were in remote coastal areas far from civilians, were authorized by President Obama upon the recommendation of Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Prior to the civil war, the U.S. conducted drone strikes in Yemen against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other targets, sometimes fed to them by the government now in exile. Unsurprisingly, the airstrikes bred anger at the government and encouraged anti-Americanism. The power vacuums aggravated by Saudi intervention in the current civil war have helped Al-Qaeda resurge in Yemen, with the terrorist group even taking complete control of Mukalla, the third largest port city in the country.

Yemen's exiled government has accused the Houthi rebels of being backed by Iran. No one appears to accuse the rebels of being backed by Al-Qaeda. The U.S. could not, then, twist the 2002 authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their "associated forces" for a more direct and more sustained intervention in the Yemen conflict in the way it has used the AUMF to justify interventions in conflicts from West Africa to the Kush.

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  1. “This incident in the Gulf of Tonkin is unacceptable and we must escalate…”

    “Sir, you’re using the wrong map…”

  2. What do the Rastafarians think of going to war?

    “Yemen.”

    1. I don’t care who you are, that was funny.

    2. I don’t think so. America is intervening with the Kush.

  3. Man, all those people who said in 2008 that if I didn’t vote for Obama, we’d be in even more wars um, military entanglements, all over the Middle East and Asia were right!

    1. Yeah… I’m rally kicking myself!

    2. The Orwellian phrasing Obama settled on for Libya was “kinetic military action.” Totes different from a war.

      1. Is it any wonder he chose something with the acronym KMA?

      2. I look forward to a future use of the obfuscating “Entropy Increasing Action (EIA)”.

        1. ‘Broken Windows Economic Multiplication’

      3. We’ve never been at war with Eurasia.

  4. The U.S. could not, then, twist the 2002 authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their “associated forces” for a more direct and more sustained intervention in the Yemen conflict in the way it has used the AUMF to justify interventions in conflicts from West Africa to the Kush.

    What difference, at the point, does it make?

    1. I’d sure like to smoke some Hindu Kush right now.

      /joking

      1. It’s unlike many of the other Kush strains like Bubba Kush, in that it induces an almost otherworldy sense of spiritual clarity. Bubba, Purple, Afghan, all of those have a very speedy, out-of-control anxiety feel.

        Hindu Kush is the stuff you want to try if you quit smoking because it made you feel paranoid.

        1. Dude, the only intoxicant Eddie has ever imbibed is communion wine.

          1. And i’m not sure it’s even alcoholic anymore once it gets all Jesusified.

  5. Sounds pretty uncomplicated. Perfect reason to stay in the game. Goal clearly in sight.

  6. WTF are doing in Yemen?

    a $1+ billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia

    Oh.

    Can’t we sell our arms to somebody nice like Canada or Denmark?

    1. We’d make more sales if our customer actually *uses* the product – that way they’ll keep coming back to buy more.

      But if they don’t use the weapons, we’ll just have to wait until they become obsolete before they come back to buy more weapons.

      1. This is why I’m not an arms dealer, I guess.

        1. 34th Rule of Acquisition: War is good for business.

          https://youtu.be/PvFYBkesqGU?t=1m58s

    2. Can’t we sell our arms to somebody nice like Canada or Denmark?

      Have you seen how those people react after hockey and soccer matches, respectively?

    3. Er…you do?

      Saudis are a much better customer because half of any deal is paying for maintenance, since it’s beneath their dignity. So money keeps coming in over the life of contract.

      1. +1 fighter pilot prince…

        1. Arabs at War is a pretty good study of various Arab armies 1945-1990. It deals with fighter pilot princes, among other things.

          Best parts are the least well-known wars, about Libya in Chad and Uganda, Egypt-Libya skirmishing and Syrian intervention in Black September war.

    4. WTF are doing in Yemen?

      Read the Romancing the Sunni thing

      Short answer – same thing we are doing in Syria: trying to undermine-dislodge-overthrow Iranian-puppet states

      because everything we do in the ME region is based on a very stupid geopolitical concept which requires us to take a specific side in the Shia/Sunni power struggle

      1. Link not working

          1. Yeah, I went an googled it and found it straight away, but thanks.

      2. And we pick the wrong side, how many times has a Shia group targeted the US or Europe? It’s based solely on Shia militants fighting Israel. ( Obviously I’m not counting Iraq occupation)

        1. It’s based solely on Shia militants fighting Israel.

          I’m pretty sure the Iranian Revolution and Iran’s support of Hezbollah play a larger part, especially since Iran’s actions against Israel have been less overt than those of Sunni Arab states.

      3. Good thing we’re shipping pallets of money to the Shia in Iran then.

    5. Armed conflict against the USA is not going to fund and arm itself. The US has to arm those who will turn against the USA in the future, so we have something interesting to shoot at.

    6. Actually, we do. Denmark flies F-16s. Canada flies (among other things) decrepit first generation F-18s. They were going to buy the piece of crap F-35, but the Harper government got caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and Trudeau is rethinking and may actually buy something European (maybe the Swedish Gripen or the coalition Eurofighter) or perhaps the current F-18.

      But they don’t buy as many as Saudi. Probably something about Clinton too…

      1. Why does Canada need an air force at all?

        1. So they can bomb the baldwins.

    7. Cananda’s already got, like, 500 AR-15’s. That’s enough to give each of their soldiers one with a backup and one in the warehouse for spare parts.

  7. “Yemen’s exiled government has accused the Houthi rebels….””

    Can we please start pointing out that the exiled “legitimate” government of Hadi was elected in a sham election where HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON ON THE BALLOT and was just organized to have a Saudi puppet put in power.. the people of yemen were completely justified to kick him out. oh yeah, it this sham election was arranged by Hillary Clinton..

    http://www.gettyimages.com/det…..d139453987

    1. dude, 100% of the popular vote is a mandate from the masses.

      1. As is a 46% win which we will see next month. Mandate!

        1. 42%

          1% less than Bill’s 1992 plurality win.

  8. against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their “associated forces”

    *cough* Saudi Arabia *cough*

  9. My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do,

    ————–>>>> http://YoutubeJobs.Nypost55.com

  10. why the hell are we involved beyond selling arms to the Saudis?

    1. why the hell are we involved beyond selling arms to with the Saudis?

      Better question IMO

    2. It’s simple. The Saudi’s sizable donations not only greased the skids when it came to the initial sale, it also bought more involvement (at their behest and direction, of course).

      You don’t think those foundation donations just materialize out of thin air, do you?

  11. You isolationist goofballs just don’t get it.

    This is “smart power” at it’s finest!

    Just ask Hillary, she’ll tell ya.

  12. You missed. There must be a problem with your radar system, let us help you with that.

  13. Excuse me for being skeptical but says who? The Pentagon? The White House? I don’t know that Yemen fired on our ships. For that matter, I don’t know that Iran has been firing on our ships, either. Of course our military would claim something like this if they were trying to generate support to invade Saudi Arabia (or Iran). I have seen too much in the last decade to believe anything from government sources. But maybe it’s just my inner anarchist.

    1. Sorry, I’m a dumbass.

      “trying to generate support to invade YEMEN (or Iran)”

      My kingdom for an edit button.

    2. Well *somebody* shot at us. From Yemen.

      ‘Our military’ is not a monolithic block of people who you can get to all spout the same story just by ordering it.

      Someone was watching the radar. Someone was on lookout and saw the direction the missiles came from.

      1. And ‘our military’ doesn’t come up with stuff to support (on oppose) wars anywhere with anyone. The Navy would just as soon sail around looking tough (and fabulous) in between port visits without having to worry that someone might scorch the paint.

  14. For everyone asking *Why the Hell are we __________*

    simple answers here, and here

      1. Is it twerking? It was twerking, wasn’t it?

      2. Damn,that’s the most h&r band ever

        1. I think we found the closing credits song for the H & R movie.

  15. The U.S. could not, then, twist the 2002 authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their “associated forces” for a more direct and more sustained intervention in the Yemen conflict…

    I wouldn’t bet on that. These are the same people who can twist things like “shall not be infringed” to mean the exact opposite of the plain meaning, so I’m sure the AUMF contains more than enough vague language for them to twist it into justifying intervening in Yemen.

  16. “These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway,”

    It’s my limited understanding that the US navy is essentially acting as “spotters” for the Saudi government who’s conducting strikes on Yemeni territory.

    If my neighbor was spotting for a shooter down the street, my neighbor might find his house getting firebombed… or something.

    Or is blowback something we’re only allowed to talk about when the Bush’s are at the levers to power? Asking for a friend.

    1. “Or is blowback something we’re only allowed to talk about when the Bush’s are at the levers to power?”

      No because it’s never too late to directly blame it (or anything else) on Bush.

      Five billion years from now when the Sun burns this planet to a cinder that will also be Bush’s fault.

        1. You’re confused. It’s called the Big Finger Bang, despite the little fingers.

    2. Well, consider for a moment who Bush is voting for. I’m not sure it’s that legitimate to say that anything is ‘his fault’ so much as it’s ‘the governments fault’. It’s clear that they all agree that our foreign policy needs to involve as much bombing as possible, no matter who you’re allowed to vote for.

  17. Are we still using drone strikes in Yemen? Or have Yemenis finally stopped getting married thereby denying us targets.

      1. 1. What good is an airstrike if everyone’s already dead.

        1a. Striking people at a funeral home kills two birds with one stone.

  18. Pretty convenient this happens so quickly after the Saudis bombed a funeral and killed hundreds of civilians. Also other than being Shia there is no evidence that Houthis would be puppets of Iran (and being Shia doesn’t even mean they practice religion identical to Iran there are differences).
    If they actually did fire the missiles, who could blame them? The US is supplying the tools used to bomb and starve them. Such hypocrisy as the Saudis are doing something just as bad as Assad is claimed to do but not a peep.

    1. and being Shia doesn’t even mean they practice religion identical to Iran there are differences

      ^ This.

      The Houthis are Zaidi – i.e. Egyptian Shi’ite, not Persian. IIRC, from the Persian perspective, they are five Imams short of a full stack..

      Doesn’t mean they would be natural enemies, but the assumption of collusion is a little thin if that’s the only pretext.

  19. You know, when a lot of Reason writers speculate that Trump is more scary than Hillary because her corruption is “normal,” well, this is fucking normal.

  20. U.S. Looking to Escalate War in Yemen?
    U.S. destroyer launches missiles at Yemen radar sites after missiles from Yemen miss destroyer.

    I’m as anti-intervention as anyone but this isn’t ‘escalation’, its ‘tit-for-tat’ – you shoot at me, I shoot back.

    1. Ever think they shot as us because we back the people bombing the shit out of them?

      1. Like I said – tit-for-tat.

      2. And we’ve also been droning their country for 6 years and counting.

  21. Iran is sending arms to the Houthi rebels,same as they do to Hezbollah and Hamas. With the same results.
    (hint for the numb and uninformed; that’s where the Houthi rebels got their C-802 anti-ship missiles.)
    The US is there to prevent that,same as Israel does in it’s own interest.
    Some folks here are willfully blind.

    BTW,now Iran has moved two warships into the area “to protect shipping and commerce”.
    (to protect their arms shipments to the rebels.) I don’t know if that will work.
    it depends on Comrade Obama The Weak.

    1. Oh look a neocon. Israel is the problem in the Middle East.

      1. Israel is the problem in the Middle East…..hahahahahahhahahahahahaah. Idjit.

        1. Laugh all you want but they are. They are the primary reason many Arabs hate us, they are a constant recruitment tool for radicals, they are a nation of Europeans based on land theft, displacement and massacres. They keep thousands of people locked in a starving ghetto, they attack their neighbors all the times, they have hundreds of nukes, they play the Arabs against each other, they are the only active colonial settler state in the world.

          1. Even if your caricature of Israel were accurate, and it’s not, that would make them pikers next to the House of Saud and the Arab nationalists.

            They don’t give a shit about all those Western liberal grievances. Regardless of whether or not Westerners hating on Israel are antisemites, Arabs hating on Israel almost universally are.

            1. Saudis and Israel are closet allies. I would hate them too,if they stole my land killed my relatives, forced me to live in an outdoor prison and then called me a terrorist for fighting back.

              Israel has no legitimate right to be their, lies based on garbage religious texts for a justification.

              1. Saudis and Israel are closet allies.

                Oh, I like this game. It’s called fantasy, right?

                lies based on garbage religious texts for a justification

                But enough about Wahhabists.

                1. They are closet allies,check out some Hillary email communication with her advisors on Israel policy. But at any rate the religious nationalism of Israel is just as dangerous as the religious nationalism of any other country, and the Arabs and Muslims have legit grievances against Israel.

              2. Whaaaat?

                I’m no fan of Israel, and obviously we should have never given them Nukes, but you’re wandering pretty close to tin-foil hat territory there.

                Next you’ll be telling us how 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that.

                If Israel isn’t a ‘legitimate state’ because they stole land, what the fuck does that make America? Or any other state on the face of Earth?

                1. No I don’t believe that or that they control all the banks or whatever gets leveled at anyone who criticises israel. They do have a lot of lobbying power and sway in congress though, and yes most countries are based on land theft but most go back much farther and people have been there long enough to have some claim on it, but it’s not an excuse.

                  Why do the Arabs have to suffer for the crimes of Europeans? The fact remains that in modern times they have stole land to begin with, and expanded far beyond what was originally stolen from the Arabs, and continue to steal and displace them now, they also occupy parts of neighboring countries.

                  The good news is people are waking up and one day the blanket protection that the US offers Israel will be no more and the world can see their lies and deception and aggression. But it’s not fast enough for the people of Gaza, one of the most miserable places on earth.

  22. WarBama
    1st day in office = War!
    Last day in office = War!

    King WarBama – with this Imperial Drone and shredded US Constitution as My Witness, I do Hope that Queen Killary will do vow to continue the endless Imperial Wars!!!

    1. War is Peace.

      Weakness is Strength.

      Everyone knows Obama has presided over 8 years of peace and prosperity.

      Actually, even the left isn’t terribly happy with him but hey Historic First Black President. Just like the left isn’t happy with Hillary but Historic First Lady President.

      I’m curious, what will the Democrats be able to run on after they’re out of ‘Firsts’ for people to virtue-signal vote for? At that point they might actually need to run on substance, but I think they’re hoping there won’t be an opposition party at that point. That seems to be the trajectory of how things will go post-Trump.

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