13 March 2019   Leave a comment


The US Senate voted 54-46 to withdraw US support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. The resolution will likely pass easily in the House of Representatives but will probably be vetoed by President Trump, and the veto will not be overridden. But the vote is quite a rebuke to President Trump and his alliance with Saudi Arabia. The vote reflects resentment over the way the Saudis have handled the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the brutal ways the war in Yemen has been conducted. According to Business Insider:

“The UN estimates that between the start of the conflict in March 2015 and August 2018 there were roughly 17,062 civilian casualties, 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured. The majority of those casualties, approximately 10,471, were a consequence of airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition the US supports.”

Unfortunately, the vote will probably do little to alter Saudi conduct in Yemen. It will also do little to change the US policy toward Saudi Arabia which increasingly appears to be based on personal, not strategic, relationships.

The British Parliament voted today to reject the possibility of an exit from the European Union without a formal agreement. The motion was passed by 321 votes to 278, a clear and stable majority. Great Britain is supposed to leave the Union on 29 March and it is extremely unlikely that any agreement with the Union could be reached by then. That situation means that the next step for Great Britain is to ask for an extension beyond 29 March. It is not clear that the Union will easily agree to an extension: after two years of fruitless discussion and debate, the Union can legitimately ask whether more time will make any difference at all. The vote on an extension is scheduled for Thursday, but the larger issue is whether Theresa May can hang on as Prime Minister. The likelihood of a British government strong enough to navigate Brexit seems remote and the EU can legitimately ask whether there will be anyone with whom to negotiate.

Posted March 13, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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