Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ah, the Glories of Smart Diplomacy

Another ally is thrown under the bus by the Obama administration and gets blamed for a war that we are supporting.

This time it is Saudi Arabia:

Iran had moved into Saudi Arabia’s backyard, Mr. Jubeir told Mr. Obama’s senior advisers, and was aiding rebels in Yemen who had overrun the country’s capital and were trying to set up ballistic missile sites in range of Saudi cities. Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf neighbors were poised to begin a campaign in support of Yemen’s impotent government — an offensive Mr. Jubeir said could be relatively swift.

Two days of discussions in the West Wing followed, but there was little real debate. Among other reasons, the White House needed to placate the Saudis as the administration completed a nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archenemy. That fact alone eclipsed concerns among many of the president’s advisers that the Saudi-led offensive would be long, bloody and indecisive.

Mr. Obama soon gave his approval for the Pentagon to support the impending military campaign.

But don't blame the president! Oh no!

Robert Malley, the top White House official in charge of Middle East policy, said in an interview that the United States was right to support its longtime ally, but put distance between the Obama administration and the conflict’s messy outcomes.

“This is not our war,” he said.

So Yemen's instability is all Saudi Arabia's fault? It's "not our war?" Yeah, not so fast Sparky.

When President Obama announced the air campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, he defended the decision by pointing to his air war over Yemen as a model of action.

We were already at war in Yemen in support of the government. That support--that the president once boasted about--did not prevent the Yemen government from falling, embroiling the country in a civil war, opening the country for increased jihadi activity, and providing Iran with an opportunity to gain a foothold on the Red Sea if they could back their faction to victory.

For added humor, the Obama administration decided to back Saudi Arabia's effort in Yemen to get Saudi Arabia's acquiescence for a nuclear deal with Iran.

The Obama administration got that looming-atrocity-on-a-document, yet Iran did not begin to evolve into a responsible regional power as the Obama administration's top strategeryists hoped, and instead Iran maintained its intervention in the civil war in Yemen.

How we got along all these decades without "smart" diplomacy is a mystery.