With veto, President Trump keeps U.S. involved in tragic war in Yemen




The Press Enterprise.

Last month, in a rare push back against post-September 11 interventionism, Congress invoked the War Powers Act in a bid to end United States involvement in the Yemen war. President Trump unfortunately vetoed the effort. In doing so, he has taken ownership of an unconstitutional and unnecessary intervention.

For several years, Yemen, just south of Saudi Arabia, has been ravaged by war.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia, joined by other nations, intervened, and in doing so has only added fuel to the fire of a conflict that has displaced millions of people and directly and indirectly killed tens of thousands of people.

President Barack Obama was quick to insert the U.S. into the picture, providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition.

There never was congressional authorization for the U.S. aid to the Saudi-led coalition, with the assistance being merely another extension of presidential authority the Congress allowed to happen.

Over the years since, the Saudi-led coalition has bombed hospitals, schools, school buses filled with children and even a funeral, often with U.S.-made weapons.

Last year, the UN Human Rights Council noted that all parties in the conflict, including the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition, have likely committed war crimes. Meanwhile, aid organization Save the Children put out an estimate in November that 85,000 Yemeni children have may died of starvation since 2015.

In March, the Senate voted 54-46 to end U.S. involvement. Weeks later, the House of Representatives voted 247-175 in favor of the resolution.

President Trump vetoed the resolution on April 16, saying in a veto message, “This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future.”

In doing so, Trump has jumped to the defense of an unauthorized war, in violation of constitutional delegation of war powers to Congress, with fear mongering rhetoric typical of the neoconservative Trump has long seemed to reject. While Trump went on to rightly point out that “great nations do not fight endless wars,” and that efforts are underway to get U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and Syria, that does not justify his endorsement of continued U.S. involvement in Yemen.

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to override Trump’s veto last week, with 53 senators voting to do so, short of the two-thirds needed.