As was expected, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially vetoed H.J.Res.37, a bill passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support in an attempt to end the US-led war on Yemen. Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop the US government from waging yet another illegal war without Congressional approval, per the Constitution.
However, text within the bill made it clear that even had it passed, the US-led war in Yemen would likely have continued unabated. The most obvious example of this was where it read:
Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al-Qaeda or associated forces.
This would allow the US (as it has done numerous times in the past) to simply claim to be engaging with al-Qaeda, while in actuality maintaining the same engagement with the Yemeni people as before; bombing schools, weddings, funerals, hospitals, food silos, fishing vessels, etc. All of which undeniably happened, was undeniably illegal, and was carried out with US support. To side-step this bill, all the US would have had to do was change who it said it was engaged with, while carrying on with what is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Some involved with this bill likely had good intentions however, and knew this bill would at the very least call attention to this catastrophic war that the mainstream media refuses to discuss. Yet everyone involved, whether they wanted this to secretly continue or not, is starkly aware of just how severe the situation in Yemen truly is and how many people are in fact suffering on a daily basis. Despite this awareness of the severity, and the world-wide acknowledgment that should the US withdraw its support this war would immediately come to an end, here is what Trump had to say about it:
“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.”
I am not entirely sure Trump fully understands what his constitutional authorities truly are. This is made all the more clear by the countless undeclared wars Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, none of which were approved by Congress. Moreover, for him to claim that ending a conflict would somehow endanger Americans lives is just insulting to our intelligence, and possibly inadvertently reveals that there are US troops on the ground in Yemen, something we already knew was the case, yet a fact they still try to deny.
Americans need to understand that the US provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudis who regularly carry out massive war crimes and human rights violations, as well as help them with every aspect of their efforts, including logistics, as many have framed it, “the US is the one with their finger on the map.” Members of Congress and human rights groups around the world have expressed concern about the hundreds of thousands of civilians that have been killed in US coalition airstrikes since the conflict began, as well as the 20 million people current on the brink of starvation. The US/Saudi invasion and illegal blockade on the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages. This starvation, shortages and suffering is not a byproduct of their illegal actions, but rather the entire point.
And yes, Trump just vetoed a bill that sought to end US involvement with this atrocity, ensuring the suffering of the Yemeni people carries on.