I've been away from this page for some time. The first quarter of the year was spent moving the office that I manage from its home of more than a half century. A Herculean effort was required and a Herculean effort was delivered despite being physically diminished from the long-haul effects of a first-wave coronavirus infection.
We moved into our new office March 5. Since then I've been ironing out the wrinkles on a new phone system and attempting to reduce my hours back to a normal 40-hr. work week. I'm starting to read more of the newspaper again.
I wish I could say it is with relish that I return to the news, but it is not. Something noxious has occurred in the short amount of time since Biden has assumed the throne. The prestige press which not too long ago was critical of policies because they had a Trump imprimatur has now lined up in support since the Biden administration has adopted them as their own.
Look no further than the Saudi war on Yemen. It was with great fanfare that Biden announced in early February the end of U.S. support for Saudi "offensive operations." It turns out that this was more public relations than a plan to bring peace to the Arabian Peninsula. As the great Tariq Ali makes clear in "Killer Prince":
Though Biden has signalled the US will end ‘offensive operations’, it will continue to provide Saudi Arabia with ‘defensive weapons’, which appear to serve much the same purpose. His Administration has said nothing about halting technical, logistical and intelligence operations. By all indications, its plan is still to extract an unconditional surrender from the Houthis while maintaining its disastrous ‘counterterrorism’ operations in the country. To date, Biden’s promised ‘recalibration’ of the US–Saudi relationship is nowhere to be seen.
Remember, Congress invoked the War Powers Act to force Trump to withdraw U.S. support for the war. Trump vetoed that resolution. Why doesn't the Democrat-controlled Congress invoke the War Powers Act again? What's at stake? Tariq Ali summarizes:
Cholera and hunger on a scale that has not been seen since the last century, with some 20 million experiencing food insecurity and 10 million at risk of famine. An estimated 110,000 have been killed in the fighting, with a death toll of 233,000 overall, mostly due to indirect causes such as lack of food and health services. Few of the country’s medical facilities are functional.
Remember this the next time a U.S. official pleads for a "humanitarian" military intervention to liberate an oppressed people.