The Washington Post criticizes the Trump administration’s dishonest certification of Saudi coalition conduct in Yemen:
But a recent attempt to start the process in Geneva failed when Houthi leaders did not arrive; they said they had not been given safe travel guarantees by the Saudis, who control Yemen’s airspace. The new Saudi-UAE offensive began days later, raising the obvious question of whether the Gulf allies were ever serious about the peace process.
The same could be said of the Trump administration. In certifying the coalition’s behavior even as the assault on Hodeida went forward, the administration flouted Congress’s restrictions. Legislators should not let that stand.
Members of Congress will soon have their chance to challenge the administration on Yemen. A group of House Democrats is organizing another effort to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen under the War Powers Resolution:
Democrats frustrated over the Trump administration’s support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s bloody civil war are plotting moves to curtail or cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coaltion.
A group of House Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution under the War Powers Act that would withdraw U.S. forces from the war.
By invoking the War Powers Act, the resolution becomes “privileged,” meaning the Democrats could force a vote on it.
This effort is being led by Reps. Mark Pocan, Ro Khanna, and Adam Smith. Smith is currently the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. The Saudi coalition massacres in August had already spurred them to make a new effort to stop U.S. involvement in the war, and then Pompeo’s lies to Congress gave them another reason to push back against the administration’s policy. The new resolution is expected to be introduced next week.
The Trump administration has made it clear that it isn’t going to stop its support for this war on its own. Members of Congress have to assume that administration officials will continue lying to them to keep the U.S. involved in the wrecking and starving of Yemen. Conditioning U.S. support on supposed improvements in Saudi coalition behavior is a dead end. The administration has proven that it will lie on behalf of the Saudis and Emiratis, and we have to assume it will do so each time a new certification deadline comes up. Congress has to force the administration to withdraw from this war, and a war powers challenge is the best available way to do that.