“We’re sliding further down the mountainside into the ravine of despair and war, and there is no strategy.”—Col. Douglas Macgregor, Jan 16
On Jan 11, Biden’s Washington, along with our ever-helpful allies in Britain, began a series of airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen, ostensibly to stop their attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea. But no one with any knowledge of the region believes that this will stop the Houthis.
From 2015 to 2022, the Houthis sustained seven years of massive air attack (and ground invasion) from the Saudis and their allies. The Saudis used all-American planes and ordinance and American intelligence, and Washington even provided mid-air refueling. But after seven years, they had to abandon the campaign and turn to negotiation.
Yet the Jurassic glee with which the Military-Industrial Complex has celebrated this new US Mideast war (is anyone keeping count?) could very well put some of their statements into a future memorial museum for the United States. The MIC’s illustrious Dr. James S. Robbins writes, for example, “If the Houthis believe in ‘death to America,’ the least we can do is return the sentiment.”
But the most Jurassic justification for Biden’s violation of the War Powers Act in Yemen, came from anonymous US officials through the New York Times, after the third round of US strikes: “Senior administration officials and Pentagon aides say they are bracing for much larger retaliatory attacks from the Houthis, and American commanders are preparing a series of escalating responses, senior U.S. military officials said." Bomb we must, for the purpose of greater bombing—why?—to provoke still more bombing! The only result will be to hasten the slide towards region-wide war.
What about sitting down and talking with the Houthis first, as Col. Doug Macgregor has suggested—and as a President Trump would do?
The Houthis say they are attacking commercial shipping in support of the Palestinians in Gaza, and that they will stop when Israeli forces stop massacring Gazans from the air. That death toll is almost 25,000 as of Jan 18, most of them civilians—and of the civilians, most are women, children and the elderly. These dead exceed one percent of the Gazan population. Moreover, famine is stalking Gaza now, while an outbreak of hepatitis A presages deadly pandemics which will dwarf the deaths from the bombings, if not prevented. We can agree that it is wrong to attack commercial shipping on behalf of the Gazans. But if you viewed the Gaza War exactly as Jews viewed the Nazi Holocaust—as so many Arabs and Muslims clearly do—is there anything you wouldn’t do to stop it?
That question should begin to make clear what is pushing the Mideast faster and faster into a regional or wider war which no government and no militia wants. Which every government—including Biden’s—and every militia is trying desperately to avoid. (Excepting only the British imperial puppet masters). The Arabs and Muslims generally (including the non-Arab Turks and Iranians) are seeing every day on their phones, what the world saw for the first time when Allied armies liberated the Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II.
Fundamentally, this is what makes regional war inevitable if it continues. Muslim populations demand action, and governments will either be forced into action or swept away, as Col. Macgregor has emphasized repeatedly.
This means that the American President must obtain Israel’s agreement to a cessation of the bombing of Gaza, as part of an agreement for release of all hostages. Not just in defense of America and other nations from a looming regional war, but in defense of Israel as well—because today, unlike in decades past, Israel cannot survive a general war against it, even with American help. And of course, an American President can get that agreement from Israel, because the United States is supplying every bomb that is dropped and every shell fired. Additionally, it is reported that members of the Israeli Cabinet (not Netanyahu) are open to such an approach.
This is not the first time in history that such a choice has confronted an American President—to curtail Israeli military action in the interest of Israel’s own survival. Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and Richard Nixon in 1973 saw that they had to do this, and both acted decisively at the moment of crisis. President Trump would do the same. President Biden is a different sort of man, and his advisors lack courage.
Nevertheless, Biden must be caused to act; there may be no alternative.