No sooner had I predicted that the Trump administration would be “unlikely” to continue support for the Saudi invasion of Yemen after the Khashoggi affair. Then, lo and behold, so it was. That’s my job, now isn’t it? Giving my readers some idea of what is actually happening in the world – as opposed to, say, confirming their biases and preaching to the choir.
Here is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement, which, in the context of our historic alliance is a real slap in Riyadh’s face. Not only are the Saudis told that military activities in Yemen’s populated areas “must cease,” but they’re given a deadline of thirty days to stop the slaughter. The new US position is carefully phrased: the Houthis have to stop lobbing missiles into the Kingdom, and then “subsequently” the Saudis will stop the wanton killing.
However, everything is negotiable, especially with this administration, and indeed another seemingly compulsory American diktat is that talks to find a political solution to Yemen’s decades-long civil war are to begin as soon as possible.