Few people noticed, but the United States Senate came very close to ending America’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen earlier this week. But the very same person who had vowed to end that war intervened and stopped the Senate from taking action — President Joe Biden. The White House feared that the Senate resolution would have emboldened the Yemeni Houthi movement. But Biden may have instead signaled the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) that, even as he continues to undermine the United States, America still has his back.
The war in Yemen has a special characteristic. Opposition to it is one of the few things that Republicans and Democrats can find some agreement on. At a time when partisanship is at an all-time high, Congress has passed several resolutions calling for an end to America’s support for that war. The last war powers resolution that passed in 2019, which would have forced an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, was vetoed by Donald Trump. All Democrats in the Senate voted for it, as did several Republicans.
It was that same war powers resolution — with some modifications — that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont tried to put to a vote this week. One main difference compared to the 2019 version of the resolution was that “sharing intelligence [with Saudi Arabia] for the purpose of enabling offensive coalition strikes” was now also defined as a form of participation in hostilities.
If adopted, the resolution would have taken the U.S.’s involvement in the gruesome war in Yemen out of the hands of MBS, and put it back in the hands of Congress.
Read the full piece in MSNBC.