Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Smart Diplomacy to Brilliant Diplomacy?

Congress will use the Saudi-UAE split as an excuse to try to end our help to the anti-Iran side in the Yemen civil war:

The rapidly escalating fight between Yemen’s Saudi-supported government and the United Arab Emirates-backed southern separatists has renewed Congress’ determination to buck President Donald Trump and pull the United States out of the war.

This is simply falling for Iran's propaganda effort to give Iran a victory in a war they are slowly losing.

What is the problem. We keep saying we want our allies to pull their weight in the fight against our enemies! In Yemen we have our allies pulling their weight to fight our common enemy Iran which seeks to leverage their help to the Houthi rebels into a new vassal state in service of Iran.

Yet Congress wants to end our help to that effort:

We don't want Iran dug in at the southern end of the Red Sea. Or is this kind of launching pad funded and directed by Iran just fine with you?

Drones claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oilfield operated by Saudi Aramco early Saturday, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies.

While the small drones didn't do lasting damage, it was quite broad (tip to Instapundit):

Coordinated drone strikes on the heart of the Saudi oil industry forced the kingdom to shut down half its crude production on Saturday, people familiar with the matter said, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

The Saudis hoped to be fully on line by Monday. What if larger weapons had been used?

You have to admit that destroying the oil production reduces Iran's need to interdict the exports.

But no, Orange Man Bad so Congress should stop Trump. Is it any wonder the mullah nutjobs think Allah is on their side?

Trump at least knows who is behind this:

A top White House official is downplaying the threat of imminent action against Iran after President Donald Trump said the U.S. is "locked and loaded" following a drone attack on Saudi Arabia that cut into global energy supplies.

And of course we are "locked and loaded" all the time in that dangerous region. Stop the frantic objections to what we say. You yawn at "Death to America" so why get frantic if we state the obvious? I'd sack commanders who aren't figuratively if not literally locked and loaded and risk getting hit first.

One wonders what Iran has to do to convince Congress and our media that Iran is the problem.

UPDATE: The damage is greater than I thought:

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Tuesday that more than half of its daily crude oil production that was knocked out by a weekend attack had been restored and that full production is expected by the end of the month.

But then again the strike was bigger than I thought--and quite possibly a direct Iranian act of war against Saudi Arabia:

The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, giving an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East.

Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved both cruise missiles and drones, indicating that they involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.

While America should support the Saudis with intelligence and logistics, the Saudis are fully capable of blowing of Iranian things.

UPDATE: And can you imagine the impact of taking half of Saudi Arabia's oil production offline before the fracking boom?

UPDATE: Earlier drone attacks look like practice for the latest missile/drone attack.

UPDATE: While America should certainly intensify the fight against Iran after the Iran-backed (if not an actual Iranian) strike on Saudi oil facilities a week ago (and were they missiles and not drones?), I don't think America needs to strike back. Or should.

This was a Saudi facility and Saudi Arabia is fully capable of launching a military retaliation if the two of us think that would be better than tightening the economic screws even more using the strike on the Saudis as diplomatic leverage.

And then maybe our Congress would get a clue about who our ally in the Gulf is and is not.