If you’d been disappointed that the US has only been supporting the destruction of Yemen and not directly participating in it, thanks to yesterday’s events it looks like you’re about to get some good news:
The Pentagon is contemplating retaliatory action afteron Sunday.
Defense Department spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis told CBS News an investigation into who exactly fired the missiles is underway.
“We’re going to find out who did it and take action accordingly,” Davis said. “Anybody who puts U.S. Navy ships at risk does so at their own peril.”
What Captain Davis means is that “we’re going to find out who did it and take action accordingly” if we find out it was the Houthis or maybe al-Qaeda who did it. If this missile launch somehow gets traced back to the Saudis or the pro-Hadi faction of the Yemeni military, you can be sure no action will be taken.
And, hey, it’s likely the Houthis and/or their pro-Saleh military partners launched these missiles. A couple of weeks ago they bragged about striking an Emirati vessel in the same general vicinity with what appears to have been a truck-mounted anti-ship missile used by the Yemeni military, and that may have been the same kind of missile that was fired at the USS Mason. So there’s no argument that the Houthis were capable of this missile launch. But it’s still unclear as to why they would fire on an American vessel, assuming they knew it was an American vessel. It would be nice if we could get an answer to that question before the retaliatory airstrikes commence, but don’t be shocked if the Pentagon opts to shoot first and ask questions never.
So a war that the US could have ended at any time by simply learning how to say “no” to Riyadh looks like it might instead end with the US helping to pound the Houthis into surrender. This would pave the way for the full reinstatement of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi–who to be fair is Yemen’s legitimately elected president, as his 100% landslide victory over no opponent proved conclusively in 2012. With Hadi back in power as a result of a total military victory, and with the United States fully back in his pocket, you can figure that whatever pogrom he decides to launch against the Zaydi Shiʿa in Yemen’s northern highlands and/or separatists in southern Yemen will go off without so much as a peep from Washington. And obviously there will be no reckoning for Saudi war crimes. But hey, at least the war will be over. Maybe. It’s also possible that the US could start bombing and change nothing on the ground apart from upping the amount of suffering this war is causing. What a time to be alive.