It's always astonishing to hear people complain about how tragic war is on the one hand, only to extol its economic benefits on the other hand. To boil this down to its absolutely simplest terms, how can building things that blow up, or that do nothing but shoot things that blow up, be an economic benefit? And the things we build that blow up are used to blow up other people's stuff. You have to really be deluded to not detect at least an inkling of a problem with this. Carried to its extreme, the more things you destroy, the wealthier you become. Crazy.
It would be interesting to do a “man/woman on the street” interview and ask this question: Why are we involved in Yemen? While not wishing to be uncomplimentary to our fellow citizens, we suspect we would get a lot of blank stares.
WikiLeaks can help educate us.
The Yemen Files are a collection of more than 500 documents from the United States embassy in Sana'a, Yemen. Comprising more than 200 emails and 300 PDFs, the collection details official documents and correspondence pertaining to the Office for Military Cooperation (OMC) located at the US embassy. The collection spans the period from 2009 until just before the war in Yemen broke out in earnest during March 2015. This time period covers both Hillary Clinton's term as Secretary of State (20092013) and the first two years of Secretary John Kerry’s tenure.
Julian Assange said: “The war in Yemen has produced 3.15 million internally displaced persons. Although the United States government has provided most of the bombs and is deeply involved in the conduct of the war itself reportage on the war in English is conspicuously rare.”
How do you like being the country that provided most of the bombs used to displace over 3 million persons? Apparently, it doesn't bother the consciences, such that they have any, of Obama, Clinton, or Kerry.
Why are we even interested in Yemen?
Yemen is of significant strategic interest as Yemen controls a narrow choke-point to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal through which 11% of the world's petroleum passes each day. In addition, Yemen borders Saudi Arabia (to the north) and Oman (to the east) and has access to the Arabian Sea, through which another 20% of the world's petroleum passes from the Strait of Hormuz (including the oil of Saudi Arabia and Iran). Saudi Arabia seeks to control a port in Yemen to avoid the potential constriction of its oil shipments by by Iran along the Strait of Hormuz or by countries which can control its other oil shipment path along the Red Sea.
So what is happening here is we have gotten involved in a dispute over oil (nothing new) between Saudi Arabia (led by cutthroats we like) and Iran (led by supposed maniacs we don't like). Since the people in this region of the world have been fighting for thousands of years longer than we have been a country, do we think we can fix this?
Or is it just too much fun to “go abroad in search of monsters to destroy?”