Former congressman Ron Paul highlighted several unsavory aspects of American foreign policy intervention in one of his latest pieces for The Ron Paul Institute.
Saudi Arabia has been in the news lately after its oil facilities were allegedly hit by Houthi forces on September 14th. Paul argues that “recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback.”
We often forget that Saudi Arabia launched an attack against its Yemeni neighbor in 2015 because a coup toppled the Saudi-backed dictator. Fast forward to the present, Yemen is a total mess and the UN reports that 233,000 people will likely perish by the end of the year as a result of this conflict.
However, this conflict has not gone so well for Saudi Arabia. Last month, the Saudis were asking the Trump Administration to fast-track talks with the Houthis to end the conflict, which has costed the Saudis tens of billions of dollars in an effort to keep crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s image clean. D.C. confirmed earlier this month that those talks have started.
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The Houthi attack on September 14th apparently disrupted half of Arabia’s oil and gas production and caught Washington by surprise. Naturally, neocons exploited this situation to advocate for military action against Iran — who they allege is backing the Houthis.
The usual Neocon suspect Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted that day, “It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries…” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined in to blame Iran for this attack by tweeting that “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Naturally, Pompeo provided no evidence that Iran launched the attack.
Paul correctly notes that Saudi Arabia is no victim in this scenario. In fact, they were the initial aggressors who attacked Yemen. So they have no reason to complain when Yemen fights back.
Although John Bolton was fired from his position as national security adviser, Paul excellently declared that “there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration” while also adding that they “have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.”
In the end, Paul calls for a mediated resolution to the Yemeni conflict and for the Saudis to acknowledge their mistakes. Additionally, Paul wants to end all American participation in this conflict, while also demanding that “neocon lies about Iran’s role in the war” be “refuted and resisted.”
Unlike many other hawkish Republicans, Paul recognizes the power of narratives. A misleading narrative that is repeated often can lead to terrible outcomes. One needn’t look further at the weapons of mass destruction rationale used to justify the Iraq invasion of 2003 to see how propaganda can put a country on a disastrous path.
The former Congressman’s warning is a wake-up call to Congress that their belief in false narratives comes with a massive price to pay. America should steer clear of any conflict with Iran given its already over-stretched military position and growing fiscal problems.