Biden Kills Senate Resolution to End Yemen War

It’s hard to think of a word to describe all this besides “evil.” If intervening to ensure the continued mass starvation of children and mass military slaughter of civilians is not evil, then nothing is evil, says Caitlin Johnstone.

President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz bump fists at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, on July 15. (Saudi Press Agency, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Sen. Bernie Sanders has withdrawn his bill to end U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen following reports that the Biden administration was working to tank the resolution, with White House aides reportedly saying they’d recommend the president veto it.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports:

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Tuesday night withdrew his request to vote on the Yemen War Powers Resolution that would end US support for the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen, citing White House opposition to the bill.

Sanders said on the Senate floor that he was informed ahead of the scheduled vote of the administration’s opposition to the legislation, meaning President Biden would veto the resolution. The Intercept reported earlier in the day that The White House was pressuring senators to vote against the bill, and Democrats came out in opposition to Sanders’ resolution earlier on Tuesday, including Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA).

Sanders’ justification for not holding the vote was that the administration claimed it would work with Congress on ending the war in Yemen. He said the White House wanted to “work with us on crafting language that would be mutually acceptable” and insisted if that didn’t happen, he would resume his efforts to end the war through a resolution.

But even if the White House really wants to engage with Congress on the issue, or if Sanders chooses to reintroduce the resolution, the plan will take time, which Yemenis don’t have. There has been a cessation in violence in Yemen, with no Saudi airstrikes since March, but there has been a recent uptick in fighting on the ground.”

It’s probably also worth noting that this administration has been consistently lying about its intentions to end this war, with Biden campaigning on the promise to bring peace to Yemen and make a “pariah” of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, then turning around and keeping the war going while greeting the crown prince with a friendly fist bump ahead of a meeting where the two leaders coordinated their governments’ continued intimacy.

“Today, I withdrew from consideration by the U.S. Senate my War Powers Resolution after the Biden administration agreed to continue working with my office on ending the war in Yemen,” Sanders said on Twitter. “Let me be clear. If we do not reach agreement, I will, along with my colleagues, bring this resolution back for a vote in the near future and do everything possible to end this horrific conflict.”

“At which time the House, under GOP control, will block your efforts,” former congressman Justin Amash replied. “But you know that already. As does the Biden administration, which is why they don’t want you to pass this joint resolution now, when all the pressure is on the president, because his party currently controls.”

“What I’m acknowledging is that both Rs and Ds in government are addicted to war,”Amash added. “They’re playing a game. When Trump was president, everyone knew he wouldn’t sign a Yemen joint resolution, so it passed Congress. Biden has to pretend he’d sign it, so he needs Congress to block it.”

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Indeed, it would appear that a determination was made that the war in Yemen was too important for its outcome to be left to the legislative branch. Experts have long acknowledged that the mass atrocities in that war-ravaged nation would be forced to end if the U.S. and its allies stopped assisting the Saudi military in perpetrating them, and Biden could have done so on day one of his presidency, but, as Vox’s Alex Ward put it last year, “doing so would risk losing Riyadh as a key regional partner.” Saudi Arabia plays a key role in both U.S. fossil fuel interests and in fighting Iran, and that’s clearly a geostrategic asset that Washington is unwilling to relinquish.

So now we’re looking at a best-case scenario where either (A) the worst mass atrocity on earth continues for a much longer time than it would have if Sanders’ bill had passed, or (B) we get a watered-down version of the resolution. And of course, there’s also the scenario in which neither of these things happen and the slaughter continues completely unabated.

In the lead-up to the vote The Intercept’s Daniel Boguslaw and Ryan Grimm reported on the shenanigans coming from the White House to undermine the resolution. An update to their article about the bill currently reads as follows:

“The White House, according to sources involved in the fight over the resolution, is urging senators to vote against the resolution. The White House is arguing that a vote in favor is unnecessary because, despite the lapse of the ceasefire, significant hostilities have not yet resumed, and the vote will complicate diplomacy. They are also arguing that Biden has made significant progress in reducing violence and re-opening ports and airports, so his judgment should be respected and the resolution rejected. And finally, the White House has warned that some of the arguments being made could complicate the effort to back Ukraine in its war against Russia. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

So efforts to end the war in Yemen needed to be sabotaged because they might complicate the U.S. proxy war against Russia? That’s some, uhh, interesting logic.

Jamal Benomar, a former U.N. under-secretary-general who served as special envoy for Yemen until 2015, told The Intercept’s Ken Klippenstein that there hasn’t even been any diplomacy by the Biden administration for the bill to “complicate,” which if true would mean the entire White House claim is bogus. “There’s been no diplomatic progress whatsoever,” he said. “There’s been no political process, no negotiations, or even a prospect of them. So an all-out war can resume at any time.”

[Related: Sacrificing Yemen to Appease the Saudis, Joe Lauria, Consortium News.]

It’s hard to think of a word to describe all this besides “evil.” If intervening to ensure the continued mass starvation of children and mass military slaughter of civilians is not evil, then nothing is evil. It’s actually hard to think of anything more evil.

This could be called a tri-partisan crime, with both Democrats, Republicans, and independent Sanders each playing a role in making sure the war in Yemen keeps going. Libertarian Scott Horton, one of the most forceful critics of the U.S. role in the war, had harsh words for supposedly anti-interventionist Republicans for not doing more on this front.

“I blame Rand Paul,” Horton tweeted. “He’s supposed to be young Ron in the Senate, and with more willingness to rumble. He could have been championing this resolution all along. We know he knows about the war. He’s why we had to rely on Bernie Sanders and his friends to even try. Mike Lee too. There was not a single GOP co-sponsor in the Senate. Not one.”

It’s safe to say that in a nation which serves as the hub of an empire that’s held together with endless violence and the threat thereof, anyone who ascends to a certain level of power in any party is going to have to be a servant of mass military slaughter to some extent.

That’s why efforts to save Yemen keep getting stonewalled, that’s why Biden’s promise to end that war turned out to be a lie, that’s why the U.S. war machine keeps expanding, that’s why aggressions keep ramping up against Russia and China, and it just might end up being why the human species went the way of the dinosaur.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

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22 comments for “Biden Kills Senate Resolution to End Yemen War

  1. robert e williamson jr
    December 16, 2022 at 02:35

    I’m not sure why anyone is either disappointed or doesn’t understand the dynamics of the issues involved here.

    If the US wants to continue to get along with Israel Yemen is toast. Why president after president panders to the criminal leadership of the state of Israel is a matter of intrigue. Biden is neocon, one the US did not need as president at this point in history.

    His actions today of releasing only part of the JFK assassination records follows with trend of US presidents who continued to be upstaged by the only nuclear power in the Mid-East. We wouldn’t want to tout ( Def 3) those in power in Israel now would we.

    Look I’m not very good at not saying things that cause others heart burn. You know that little thing we all have in us that warns us not to say certain things we are thinking. Mine does not work when hiding the truth is a concern. I cannot do it.

    As a direct result those words of mine, borne by the individual right of free speech just keep escaping through my mouth and my finger tips. It is what it is.

    I got wind that CNN was to broadcast a blurb tonight about Biden’s partial release of JFK assassination files.

    Let us remember every existing file should have been, by earlier law, released. I want to know why they were not.

    CNN’s behavior here is reprehensible. It is obvious they feel their viewers are fools, ignorant of the rudimentary
    basic facts about the murder. Many of the rest of us, especially free thinkers, not so much. I’m not sure why Dour Brinkley was even present.

    Doug Brinkley cannot be proud of himself right now, unless he got paid off somehow. His presence validating the bull shit espoused buy the others there. Him, a history prof at Rice U and presidential historian. Seriously Doug.

    The way I see this charade that is being played out by the security community is one of a very few ways.

    Could it be that in those remaining documents enough information still survives to expose serious issues of failure that have till now been hidden and will provide demonstrable avenues that will reveal secrets not known to the point in history?

    Could it be possible that the official policy followed till now is used to withhold this information until anyone who gives a damn is long dead and gone, so that this torrid, as in “full of difficulty”, fervent affair can be swept under the rug of even more white-washed history?

    Or could it be that the truth in the case can cause enough pandemonium on the stage of world politics that the nation of American could be shaken to it’s very foundations? {X marks the spot here for me.}

    No guts, no glory, isn’t that right Joe Lauria. I have referred earlier to the present POTUS as being a grinch, I’ll stand by that statement.

    Remember this, the reason to see all remaining documents immediately is to be able to discern truth from fiction. Why continue to hide the truth? The excuse used tonight was thinner than tissue paper, “Well the conspiracy buffs will never be satisfied. . . “, Brinkley himself stating that no matter what remains some will never be satisfied and link the un-linkable regardless. Bull shit. This is a pretty sad excuse for a viable reason to withhold history from the public, especially in view of the fact it was a statement made by a history Prof.

    You cannot make this stuff up!

    Seems Mr. Brinkley is fine will lowering himself to the same gutter level of the other so called reporters present, utterly disgraceful.

    Thanks CN

  2. Arch Stanton
    December 15, 2022 at 17:45

    Problem is 99% of the lobotomised West think the US / UK Five Eyes axis are the good guys. Even the UKs Private Eye publication spews relentless Russiaphobic BS and always takes the side of the MSM.
    These lucifers hold all the cards, not sure how anything can change for the better?

  3. Jim other
    December 15, 2022 at 16:30

    That’s two wars the potus supports, Ukrain and Yemen. What was Afghanistan? One war too many? When he prays what god is he praying to? You can say he is the devil but to me he is just human. How can he support killing people?

    • Rex Williams
      December 15, 2022 at 22:57

      The saddest fact, Jim, is the number of children that have died from Saudi bombing using US supplied weapons………..

      11,000 to date

    • Korey Dykstra
      December 17, 2022 at 13:05

      Hitler wanted Lebestraum.
      America wants world hegemeny
      It is estimated that Hitler killed 60 million people.
      It is estimated that America has killed 20 million Since WW2. It is catching up

  4. Renate
    December 15, 2022 at 13:12

    Not surprisingly, as an old and experienced politician once said:

    “Elected officials have nothing to say and the people who do have the say were never elected.”

    So true.

  5. mgr
    December 15, 2022 at 10:59

    Thank you again. “Evil” is exactly the correct term. I subscribe to a simple definition of “evil” that I think gets to the heart of it without any ambiguity. In any case, it has worked well for me until now. It is Emmanuel Kant’s famous dictum, which I am here paraphrasing, “Don’t use people as a means to an end but treat them always as the end itself.” Simple, direct and to the point. You can also add, supporting the natural environment and entire ecosystem on which our lives and livelihoods depend.

    Of course, this is easier said than done but at least decent people try. And there is certainly a broad spectrum of “evil” in this regard from small to outrageously, puking sick. Where does the tragedy in Yemen, or even more, destroying the entire world through war or environmental destruction for the satisfaction of someone’s petty ego sit, do you think? What has happened in the US and in other, particularly the Western parts of the world that it is leading, and particularly in the last 30+ years, is that the “evil” being done is now completely out of control and industrial strength.

    The outcome of “evil,” is, of course, destruction, but even more, it is ultimately the destruction of oneself. As the saying goes, again paraphrasing, “Those whom the gods would destroy will first make mad.” One look at the American government, in particular the State department and intelligence services, surely confirms the truth of this.

  6. IJ Scambling
    December 15, 2022 at 10:28

    “And finally, the White House has warned that some of the arguments being made could complicate the effort to back Ukraine in its war against Russia.”

    I take it the complications here move beyond backing a screwball who recently won Time’s man of the year award and whose recent negotiation proposals ran: “a) give us more money; b) give us more weapons; and c) remove Putin as leader of Russia, and we will negotiate.”

    Complications, further, could include questions on: “We really regret the terrible Yemen, but when it comes to Ukraine we MUST continue to remove Putin who is threatening to take over the globe.”

  7. December 15, 2022 at 10:20

    U.S. foreign policy is to support war wherever it can be found. It’s good for business.

  8. susan
    December 15, 2022 at 09:53

    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here”…

  9. Dfnslblty
    December 15, 2022 at 09:35

    Keep writing.
    usa Citizens are again lied to, and again manipulated by the military-industrial-corporate complex through its paid for-congress and its paid for-executive branch.
    usa is a plutocracy run by oligarchs.
    Evil is too nice a word for these diseased puppets. Let’s use corrupt, depraved and morally wrong.
    Protest Loudly!

  10. Henry Smith
    December 15, 2022 at 09:19

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the situation, but it does seem to me that Bernie Sanders consistently fails at everything he states he’s trying to achieve. I don’t know, but maybe he’s just a trojan horse !

    • Steve Naidamast
      December 15, 2022 at 16:16

      Sanders has no credibility anymore.

      He is just another shill for The Empire who does what he is told…

    • Piotr Berman
      December 15, 2022 at 22:16

      Alternatively, his “best use before” date is in the past. One cannot simple use a formula based on age, but a combination of age and exposure to brainwashing has a cumulative effect.

    • Bill Todd
      December 16, 2022 at 02:56

      You are indeed misunderstanding the situation, which unless you have worked full-time for the past 50+ years wrestling with it and learning how to navigate its complexities as Bernie has is hardly surprising. The main problem is that politics in the U.S. is far too corrupt and well-organized for just any well-meaning person (or even a coordinated group – e.g., the Green party) to make any inroads into fixing it unless they can manage to raise sufficient popular demand for real reform to overcome the gullibility of the American public when it comes to party affiliation and carefully cultivated ‘wedge issues’. Both major parties (with active assistance from the corporate-owned media) have become far too adept at herding their sheep to allow any effective external challenges (e.g., the Green party) to form.

      After toiling for a quarter century in the sewers of Congress to make decades of bad legislation at least marginally better Bernie decided that INTERNAL challenge was the only political path left open as long as it could be arranged within one of the major party establishments (Ralph Nader who arguably has the most experience in the world fighting against the duopoly from a third-party position agreed with this assessment), and got the Democratic establishment to agree to his being a foil in 2015 to keep Hillary’s nomination from looking too much like a coronation.

      One of the pledges he had to make was to support the eventual nominee, and support her he did, but also, both during and after the 2016 general election he kept supporting the popular progressive stances he had put forth and explained that he had no control over his own supporters save to encourage Hillary to earn their support and encourage them to join with the party to avoid a Trump presidency (I believe that his great aversion to Trump was not an act).

      What Bernie achieved with his two presidential campaigns (and is continuing today) was sufficient visibility for progressive policies to make it difficult for the Democratic establishment to ignore them, even though it still manages to use party loyalty and identity politics to herd its sheep effectively and has developed more skill in giving progressive policies lip service while ensuring that they never actually become used (see current example). That establishment twice kept Bernie from becoming the party presidential nominee (it is implacably opposed to reform) but has failed to muzzle his efforts to keep progressive reform in the minds of a significant percentage of the voting public (I suspect that it’s still just a bit afraid of what visible antagonism against Bernie might cost them).

      So Bernie’s main failures have been failing (twice) to make the public sufficiently demanding to give him the party nomination and then the presidency, after which he would have been in a far stronger position to steer policy in the directions he has supported all his political life. It’s quite amusing to listen to people who have never accomplished squat complain about how little Bernie has accomplished.

      • Henry Smith
        December 17, 2022 at 09:31

        So, if I now understand your explanation, good ol’ Bernie has achieved diddly squat apart from raise the profile of certain progressive policies that if he lives long enough may one day be implemented by someone.
        Sorry, but his currency was irretrievably devalued when he gave up and supported Hitlery Clinton.
        Snowdon, Manning and Assange have done far, far more to highlight the corruption of the US Government and in the process have stuck to their beliefs. Bernie plays the game and is happy to compromise his ‘beliefs’, so he is part of the problem and will never be part of the solution.

  11. Riva Enteen
    December 15, 2022 at 08:45

    “A sincerely antiwar right-winger with all the wrong positions on all other issues is still a much better person than you are.”


  12. peter mcloughlin
    December 15, 2022 at 05:40

    This is an example of how Great Powers put their interests before the principles. To define the connection: interests are the reason they go to war – principles are the excuse. If that dilemma is not resolved humanity will go the way of the dinosaurs.

    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  13. LeoSun
    December 15, 2022 at 03:02

    “IT’S SAFE TO SAY“ it was over when Biden reneged on the promise of $2000 checks, which foretold ALL the BETRAYALS to come, i.e., Eradicate “The Corona” aka SARS-CoV-2(19) & Student Loan debt, Expand Medicare, Get to the Root Causes of Immigration, “Make it Rain” for the Dreamers, End Oil drilling on federal lands & waters, Raise the minimum wage, End the War on YEMEN!!!

    And, so “the independent, hot-air factory, from Vermont b l o w s, “Today, I withdrew, from consideration, by the U$ $enate, my War Resolution,” yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Followed by a NON-threatening “THREAT.” “Let me be clear, IF, we do not reach an agreement,” I’m gonna lose my $h*t!!!

    NO doubt, Joey ”the OLDigarch” Biden pissed his pants and, reached agreement w/the MOST Famous $heepdog of all, “Let Me Be Clear,” Bernie $anders’ Resolution like his Revolution is f/D.O.A.!!!

    NO doubt, Bernie’s beyond feral. Gone viral. Bernie’s F.U.B.A.R.

    BIDEN-HARRIS, their Board of Executioners, & Congress are “so ripely symbolic of everything that is unchanging, unhinged, hopeless about our political system, i.e., “Keep America Dumb;” &, DISTRACTED from The ELEPHANT makin’ headlines, S B F (Sam Bankman-Fried) THE DOWNFALL of FTX AFTER FTX bankrolled BIDEN-HARRIS, The Party of Jackasses & The US/NATO v. Russia War, in Ukraine. To date, Putin rocks the Queen. Ukraine’s the Pawn. Et tu, Biden-Harris?!?

  14. Rosa
    December 14, 2022 at 20:27

    “Let me be clear. If we do not reach agreement, I will, along with my colleagues, hold a press conference, grandstand loudly, and be completely ineffective at stopping this” — what Col. Sanders really means.

    Col. Sanders has to hold the all-time record for political losses in a career. Will we give him a gold plague when he achieves his 1,000 defeat? Or was that decades ago? On the other hand, ‘Meaningful Victories by Sanders’ is the punchline to the old joke about the world’s shortest book.

    • Bill Todd
      December 15, 2022 at 13:09

      And what victories do you have to list aside from grandstanding on obscure Web sites (though I wish CN was less obscure)? Bernie, by contrast, has achieved hundreds of modest victories over his years in Congress (enough to earn him the title of ‘the amendment king’) and inspired tens of millions of people to support progressive causes since 2015 in addition to the millions he inspired before then by his Congressional efforts. Working around the edges is how he has managed to continue this level of visibility and effectiveness rather than being relegated to a lone voice in the wilderness.

      Sorry that you’re dissatisfied with that approach, but until you’ve got something better to offer I suggest that you spend some effort understanding what he’s been working against and how he might have done better (please come up with some evidence to back up your suggestions if you offer any).

  15. Rosa
    December 14, 2022 at 20:14

    (D) is for evil. It is perhaps easier to remember when put into this form …


    Did you expect anything else from an alliance of Wall Street, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the nation’s police chiefs and prison wardens?

Comments are closed.