Earlier in the week, President Biden announced that American forces would join other allies and escalate attacks on Yemen. The attacks come as a terrorist organization backed by Iran known as the Houthis has increased attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
CNN reported, “US President Joe Biden said he ordered the strikes “in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea.”
Today, at my direction, US military forces — together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands—successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” the president said in a statement released by the White House.
Biden added that he will ‘not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary.’
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday the strikes were an act of “self-defense,” adding that the aim was to “de-escalate tensions and to restore stability to the region.”
US and coalition forces struck over 60 targets with more than 100 precision-guided munitions at 16 Iranian-backed Houthi militant locations, US Air Forces Central Commander Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich said.”
Not all Democrats are happy that the president would bomb terrorists who have launched attacks against American military personnel, though.
The anti-Israel Caucus of “the Squad” is enraged.
“@POTUS can’t launch airstrikes in Yemen without congressional approval,” Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is illegal and violates Article I of the Constitution. The people do not want more of our taxpayer dollars going to endless war and the killing of civilians. Stop the bombing and do better by us,” writes The Daily Caller.
“@POTUS is violating Article I of the Constitution by carrying out airstrikes in Yemen without congressional approval,” Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan posted. “The American people are tired of endless war.”
Other House Democrats cited Article I of the Constitution in the wake of the strikes, which Biden confirmed in a statement late Thursday night.
“The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict,” Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California posted. “That is Article I of the Constitution. I will stand up for that regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.”
“These airstrikes have NOT been authorized by Congress,” Democratic Rep. Val Hoyle of Oregon tweeted. “The Constitution is clear: Congress has the sole authority to authorize military involvement in overseas conflicts. Every president must first come to Congress and ask for military authorization, regardless of party.”
The attacks came after Houthi terrorists launched missiles at a cargo ship, but that didn’t, of course, stop the allies of “The Squad” from protesting in support of the terrorists.
Anti-Israel protesters react to the airstrikes against Yemen by gathering at Times Square in New York City, chanting:
“UK and US go to hell” pic.twitter.com/C0QBROjF3j
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) January 12, 2024
The protests, which included attacks on people carrying an Israeli flag in New York City, reveal how anti-Israel sentiment appears to trump any other personal belief system for these liberals. The Houthis are widely known as being some of the more brutal terrorists in the Middle East. To give you an idea of who the anti-Israel caucus is defending, in 2019, the terrorist group restored slavery to areas under its control in Yemen.
The White House has been trying to avoid escalation in the Middle East since the terrorist attacks led by Hamas last fall. The New York Times explained that “the Biden administration and some allies, which have sought to avert a wider conflict, had issued ultimatums to the Houthis warning of serious consequences if they did not stop firing at ships. Since the Houthis began their attacks in November, global shipping lines that use the Red Sea and the Suez Canal have diverted hundreds of vessels around Africa, adding around two weeks and costs to the journey.”
The Wall Street Journal noted that the Houthi attacks have led to a massive increase in costs for American businesses. “Western importers are reporting a steep rise in ocean-shipping rates and weeks long delays as carriers divert ships from the Red Sea to avoid Houthi rebel attacks.
Some companies shipping goods on the crucial trade lane are starting to chafe at the rising prices and extra fees that ocean carriers are imposing for the higher cost of routing container ships on longer voyages around the Horn of Africa following drone and missile attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Average worldwide costs to ship 40-foot-long containers have nearly doubled since late November, according to London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants.
The increases have also accelerated in the past two weeks on routes that traditionally use the Suez. The spot-market price to move containers between China and Rotterdam in the Netherlands reached $3,577 in the week ending Jan. 4, a 115% increase from the week before.”
Biden’s actions are one area where he is standing on firm ground in regard to American history. The United States has a long history of using force to protect shipping lanes in the Middle East and Mediterranean.
In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson deployed the newly established United States Navy to protect American vessels and secure vital shipping lanes. The conflict, known as the First Barbary War (1801-1805), saw the deployment of naval forces, including the famous frigate USS Constitution, to confront the Barbary pirates and defend American interests in the region. Jefferson’s decision to utilize the navy in Tripoli demonstrated a commitment to safeguarding trade routes and protecting American commerce against the threats posed by piracy in the Mediterranean.