Trump Plunges the US Deeper Into Forgotten Wars

While Washington is consumed with reactions to the Mueller Report and the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump, America is descending deeper into largely forgotten wars.

In the last month, the president has decided to sustain our involvement in the most
unconscionable humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen, and fueled even more violence in the civil war in Libya.

Neither his actions, nor the wars on the other side of the world, get much attention.

But, they reveal the true dangers of allowing a president complete license in questions of war and peace.

Few Americans know that the United States is a participant in the bitter civil war in Yemen, a conflict that has savaged that impoverished country.

Eighteen million people — of a total population of some 27 million — are now in need of humanitarian assistance. Three million have been displaced, and seven million have no idea where their next meal will come from. More than 14 million lack access to safe drinking water, and a deadly cholera epidemic has already begun.

The U.S. has backed the Saudi-led intervention into the civil conflict, largely by providing direct support for brutal Saudi airstrikes — ordnance, targeting, aerial refueling and intelligence. The stated rationale provided for our participation is that the Saudi coalition is attacking rebels that it claims are backed by Iran.

As Andrew Bacevich notes, Trump himself suggested that the real deal is he backs Saudi Arabia in this horror, in exchange for their continuing purchases of American-made weapons: “I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States,” the president told reporters last year.

When Congress — with bipartisan support — passed a resolution under the War Powers Resolution calling for an end to U.S. participation in the carnage, Trump vetoed it, claiming that it was a “dangerous attempt to weaken [his] constitutional authority.” Then Congress failed to overturn his veto — and the U.S. continues to abet the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.

In Libya, Trump just turned U.S. policy upside down with a phone call.

The U.S. has backed the UN endorsed Government of National Accord while seeking an end to the destructive Libyan civil war. When the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar began an offensive against that government to capture the capital, Tripoli, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo forcefully restated U.S. opposition to that offensive, urging an immediate halt to military operations. One week later, Trump spoke on the phone with Haftar, praising him and their “shared vision” of the future.

Ironically, the reversal came just as Haftar’s forces were beginning to lose ground.

Worse, Haftar’s offensive forced the government’s militia to turn their attention to fighting him rather than focusing on ISIS terrorist cells in the country. Again, Trump is lining up with a Saudi favorite, even at the expense of sabotaging the policy of his own State Department.

Congress has failed to rein in executive war-making for many decades.

Now in Yemen, Congress is once more allowing a president to usurp war powers that the Constitution gave to the legislature. And in both Yemen and Libya, presidential license only serves to add to the violence and destruction, and draw the U.S. ever deeper into conflicts we should never have
engaged in.

Trump frequently claims that he intends to terminate our wars without end and without victory. But, by vetoing the congressional resolution to end our involvement in the Yemen calamity and by bizarrely reversing U.S. policy in Libya, he is only extending the folly. And the United States continues to contribute to the violence that is spreading across the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King taught that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. He would quote President John F. Kennedy who said, “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put
an end to mankind.”

I only hope we can learn this lesson before it is too late.

More articles by:

Jesse Jackson is the founder of Rainbow/PUSH.


June 20, 2019
Robert Hunziker
The Dangerous Methane Mystery
David Schultz
The Intellectual Origins of the Trump Presidency and the Construction of Contemporary American Politics
Sabri Öncü
Thus Spoke the Bond Market
Gary Leupp
Japanese and German Doubts on U.S. Drumbeat Towards Iran War
Binoy Kampmark
The Fragility of Democracy: Hong Kong, China and the Extradition Bill
Doug Johnson
On the Morning Consult Poll, Margins of Error, and the Undecideds in the Democratic Primary
Laura Flanders
In Barcelona, Being a Fearless City Mayor Means Letting the People Decide
Martha Rosenberg
Humor: Stop These Language Abuses
Jim Goodman
Current Farm Crisis Offers Opportunity For Change
Kim C. Domenico
Lessons from D.H. : A Soul-based Anarchist Vision for Peace-making
Jesse Jackson
Mobilizing the Poor People’s Campaign
Wim Laven
We Need Evidence-Based Decision Making
Cesar Chelala
Health Consequences of Overwork
June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery