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The right move for the wrong reasons: Pulling U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen

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The right move for the wrong reasons Pulling US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen

The United States should not be helping Saudi Arabia with their war efforts in Yemen. In fact, Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be involved. They claim their goal is to end Iranian influence in the nation that borders the Kingdom, but the way they’re going about it is making the situation much worse for the people in the war-torn nation.

A resolution sponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) would give the President 30-days to pull U.S. troops and assets who were helping the Saudis except those who are participating in the war on al Qaeda.

Supporters of the bill, which never reached the floor when it was first brought up earlier this year, will use journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder as a way to get the necessary Republican procedural votes to prompt a floor debate. The Senate will hear from ecretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday morning in a last ditch attempt by the White House to quash the bill.

Opponents warn the bill itself is flawed, but there are also fears of an “unruly” foreign policy debate on the Senate floor if the procedural vote passes.

My Take

Oftentimes the ends do not justify the means. Though some on this site have advocated for actions taken against Saudi Arabia because of Khashoggi, I tend to look at the bigger picture. His death, while tragic, should not be grounds to dictate our foreign policy. Those who were involved should be held responsible, not the entire country or our relationship with them.

With that said, I am in favor of this bill for a reason other than Khashoggi. The war in Yemen is crippling the nation for the sake of proxies. On one hand, you have the lawful government backed by the Saudis. On the other hand, you have the Houthis backed by the Iranians. While the two prominent Islamic powers in the Middle East battle through their proxies, the people of Yemen are dying from the fighting, starvation, and abject poverty. This is at a scale similar to the war in Syria, but because it’s getting nowhere near the attention.

We should not participate in any way other than offering humanitarian assistance. Our assistance is not bringing the war closer to an end. Neither is Saudi Arabia’s, nor Iran’s. People are dying because of a proxy battle. We need to get out of it.

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Netanyahu’s last-minute endorsement: Ilhan Omar wants him out as PM

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Netanyahus last-minute endorsement Ilhan Omar wants him out as PM

It will be incumbent on the people of Israel to decide Tuesday who will lead their government. Outsiders are discouraged from trying to influence foreign elections, but there’s nothing wrong with people expressing their preference, especially as it pertains to such as strong ally like Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is against the ropes, but he should get at least a symbolic boost from his latest outspoken detractor: Representative Ilhan Omar. The anti-Semitic Congresswoman has made her perspectives on Israel very clear, siding very heavily with “Palestine” and even declaring in her attempted visit there last month that she was traveling to Palestine, not Israel, in her itinerary.

She has insinuated at times she believes Israel should not exist as a Jewish state. She also often sides with Islamic terrorists, running cover for them while saying 9/11 was a matter of “some people did something.”

Now, she’s clear about her opposition to Netanyahu:

Omar: Netanyahu’s ‘existence’ contradictory to peace

“I certainly hope that the people of Israel make a different decision and my hope is that they recognize that [Netanyahu’s] existence, his policies, his rhetoric really is contradictory to the peace that we are all hoping that region receives and receives soon,” the Minnesota Democrat told Face the Nation on Sunday.

The problem with her statement is that Netanyahu’s policies have been the only thing keeping Israel at relative peace the last decade. Her remarks were meant as a rebuke against the Prime Minister, but it’s not going to be received well by those who understand her politics. Of course she wants Netanyahu out. She wants Israel to be as weak and defenseless as possible.

Considering Iran is rearing its ugly head, demonstrating a willingness to attack its enemies, it’s difficult to see Israel remaining strong and safe without Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm. Now is not the time for cultural experimentation. Stick with Bibi.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel’s election has immense implications for the United States

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Israels election has immense implications for the United States

Is Israel a Jewish state powered by its conservative, religious base or is it a secular state that pushes aside tradition? Is it the unabashed ally of the United States or are they hoping to move forward without input from Washington DC? Those two answers are really what will be decided in Tuesday’s election, and things will change between the United States and its best ally in the Middle East if there’s a major shakeup in the Israel government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life as his Likud Party seeks to not only get the most seats in the Knesset but also help their allies on the right win enough seats to allow the conservatives to form a coalition government. Both obstacles must be overcome in order for his pro-Israel and pro-America agenda to stay intact.

If Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party are victorious (they tied with Likud in April), then Gantz will likely be tasked with forming a government that is center-left. He’ll need some help from the center-right to form his government, but it will almost certainly be made with an understanding that the policies protecting the ultra-orthodox Jews, which represent around 10% of the population, will be removed. It would also change the direction of any Middle East peace plan the White House may present.

Even if Likud wins but does no have enough seats won by conservative parties, Netanyahu will still have to look to Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party to form a coalition. Lieberman refused to side with Netanyahu in April without the ultra-orthodox Jewish protections removed, which forced Israel to have this second round of 2019 elections. Yisrael Beitenu is expected to win even more seats this time, and unless there’s a surge for conservative parties, the new government will be center-right at best as Netanyahu will be forced to form a unity coalition with Lieberman and Gantz.

America needs Netanyahu to stay in power, but we also need his government to be built on a conservative platform. Neither Gantz nor Lieberman are anti-American, but they will not work as diligently on behalf of Israeli and American interests against Iran, Hezbollah, or Hamas. This will compel the United States to take a more active role in the region; currently, a strong Israel allows the United States to be much less aggressive when it comes to preventing catastrophes like a nuclear Iran or the expansion of threats to our interests in the Middle East.

Israelis will decide Tuesday if they like the direction the nation is going or if they want to explore other options. Unfortunately, those “other options” will likely include less engagement with their greatest ally, the United States.

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Foreign Affairs

The U.N. must respond harshly to Iran, or we’ll have to

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If the UN does not respond severely to Irans attack on the world economy they have no purpose at all

The opportunity to unite the world behind complete and unambiguous condemnation of Iran is upon us. Whether it was Houthi drones, Iraqi militia, or Iranian cruise missiles that hit huge Saudi crude oil processing plant through which 6% of the world’s oil passes, all fingers point back to Tehran for orchestrating or directly carrying out the attack. Seeking confirmation is a formality. Everyone with common sense and a snippet of knowledge of the attack must come to the same conclusion.

This is a prime opportunity for the United Nations to demonstrate why they exist. This wasn’t an attack on Saudi Arabia. This was an attack on the world economy, one that will do harm to billions of people who rely on oil for their day-to-day activities. If the United Nations doesn’t take decisive and immediate action against Iran, they are as worthless as many of us have thought they’ve been all along.

This is a Saudi problem first and foremost. We sell them enough weapons and other technology that they should be able to strike back appropriately. But they’re an ally, so our involvement should be considered VERY carefully. However, the fact that this attack and other recent actions are directed towards the world economy should not only bolster the necessity for our response but should draw an international response through the United Nations.

President Trump said we’re ready.

This is not our responsibility, but it affects us so we need to be involved in a response. Does that mean regime change? No. Not from us. We should be done with that after continuous failure. A response by the international community, urged on the United Nations by the Trump administration this week, is the better solution.

Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?

Following the Houthi attack on Saturday on Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facility, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an obvious and necessary point: Blame Iran.

It is obvious because the Houthi rebels in Yemen lack the drones, missiles or expertise to attack infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. In 2018, a United Nations panel of experts on Yemen examined the debris of missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into Saudi Arabia and concluded there was high probability the weapons were shipped in components from Iran. As one Hezbollah commander told two George Washington University analysts in 2016: “Who do you think fires Tochka missiles into Saudi Arabia? It’s not the Houthis in their sandals, it’s us.” Hezbollah, of course, is a subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Pompeo’s response is necessary because, historically, Iran pretends to seek peace as it makes war. This is why it sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to France last month to plead with the world’s great economic powers as it escalated its proxy war against Saudi Arabia. Iranian diplomacy depends on its adversaries treating the aggression of its proxies as distinct from its statecraft.

Unfortunately, if the United Nations doesn’t respond appropriately, we may have to. We are not the police, but this attack wasn’t just against an ally. It has an impact on American lives. We’re already prepared to tap into our own oil reserves as a result of the attack. Oil prices are going up. The world economy, including Wall Street, will be impacted. We aren’t able to sit back on this one and say, “Not our problem.”

We must first try to force the U.N. to do its job and come down hard on Iran. If they won’t do it, we may be forced to respond. As much as I’m not a warmonger, the Iranian regime is committing acts that affect Americans. They must be dealt with one way or the other.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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