WHEN SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-Vt., called for a vote on a war powers resolution that would block U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, the Biden administration immediately pushed back. The resolution, the White House warned, would upset diplomatic efforts and bring about the war it was trying to end.
“The Administration strongly opposes the Yemen War Powers Resolution on a number of grounds, but the bottom line is that this resolution is unnecessary and would greatly complicate the intense and ongoing diplomacy to truly bring an end to the conflict,” read White House talking points circulated privately. “In 2019, diplomacy was absent and the war was raging. That is not the case now. Thanks to our diplomacy which remains ongoing and delicate, the violence over nearly nine months has effectively stopped.”
The White House’s claims that its diplomacy is working, however, are undercut by its own political moves and the reality on the ground. President Joe Biden’s envoy for the conflict has consistently sided with the Saudi coalition against the Houthi movement that controls much of the country. And though a ceasefire during the spring and summer provided a respite in civilian casualties due to bombings, the ongoing Saudi blockade and economic warfare against Yemenis perpetuates the humanitarian crisis in the country — which the United Nations has deemed the worst in the world.
Without taking an even-handed approach to the conflict in search of a political solution and the mitigation of the humanitarian crisis, the Biden administration’s machinations can hardly be considered good-faith efforts at diplomacy, critics of U.S. policy in the conflict said.