A recent ironic Reuters headline: “U.S. ‘alarmed’ by frequency of attacks on Saudi after Houthis target oil heartland.” Alarmed? The Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi terrorist militia attacks on Saudi Arabia should come as no surprise.
In its assessment of the Biden administration’s approach to the Yemeni terrorist organization, Liberty Nation reported back in February, “Just 22 days after Houthi militia terrorists – also known as Ansarallah – carried out an attack on the airport at the Yemeni port of Aden, President Biden lifted a ban on travelers from that country.” But lifting the travel ban was not enough, in the new administration’s opinion, to demonstrate that the United States was a “standup” country. Then Biden’s foreign policy experts removed the Yemeni Houthis from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. Unfortunately, the Yemeni Houthi terrorist militia did not get the “friendship memo.”
In the wake of these friendly overtures, on March 7, the Yemeni Houthis attacked the “oil storage yard at Ras Tanura, site of a refinery and the world’s largest offshore oil-loading facility,” as well as a residential compound. Also targeted were Khamis Mushait in the southwest and Jeddah on the west coast. The Hill’s Laura Kelly – in her article “U.S. vows to stand by Saudi Arabia after ‘heinous’ Houthi attacks” – highlighted the U.S. response:
“‘The U.S. Embassy [in Saudi Arabia] condemns the recent Houthi attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The heinous Houthi attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure demonstrate their lack of respect for human life and their interest in the pursuit of peace,’ the embassy tweeted in Arabic.”
As Kelly reported, the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs John Kirby also condemned the Yemeni Houthi terrorist attack. Kirby said, “These attacks are unacceptable and dangerous, they put the lives of civilians at risk, including U.S. citizens.” You have to give credit where credit is due. The Pentagon spokesperson is a master of the obvious: Imagine rocket attacks being “dangerous.”
Kirby went on to explain, “We continue to maintain there’s no military solution to end the conflict in Yemen.” Apparently, the Yemeni Houthi terrorists disagree and believe there is a military solution, which is why they persist in rocketing Saudi Arabia.
According to Reuters, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said, “We continue to be alarmed by the frequency of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia. Escalating attacks like these are not the actions of a group that is serious about peace.” Just spit-balling here, but this seems to be another obvious observation: It seems the Houthi terrorists do not want peace. If they did, why would they continue to pummel Saudi Arabia? Al Jazeera posits an answer to that question in an article titled, “What is behind the rise in Saudi-Houthi tit-for-tat attacks?” Quoting the Saudi-led coalition of countries opposing the Yemeni Houthi militia, Al Jazeera said:
“The Saudi-led coalition said in a statement the Houthis had been ‘encouraged to go too far in launching armed drones and ballistic missiles towards civilians in Yemen and Saudi Arabia’ after the new U.S. [Biden] administration revoked Trump’s ‘terrorist’ designation. The attack yesterday, deeper into Saudi Arabia, targeting vital refineries … is a message by the Houthis that they are far from being defeated and that they will continue to gain ground and expand their military influence.”
Maybe the Yemeni Houthi terrorists did get the “friendship memo” but did not take it in the spirit in which it was intended. Rather, the Houthis translated the lifting of the travel ban and taking the Houthi militia off the FTO list as: The United States is not going to oppose the Houthis.
Combine Biden’s foreign policy actions toward the Houthis with the recently released Interim National Security Strategy Guidance (INSSG), which clearly stated:
“That’s why we have withdrawn U.S. support for offensive military operations in Yemen and backed U.N. efforts to end the war. Our aim will be to de-escalate regional tensions and create space for people through the Middle East to realize their aspiration.”
The Yemeni Houthi terrorists apparently interpreted the INSSG statement as a feckless gesture and responded as anyone would expect: Let’s go about our terrorist business.
Joe Biden and his national security teams must eschew the astounding foreign policy naiveté that has been the hallmark of its first two months. With such a sophomoric beginning, being taken seriously by Middle East allies and friends will be challenging. U.S. credibility may already be lost.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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