Israel nuked Yemen, period. This is hard fact that has been 100% confirmed.


Israel nuked Yemen, period. This is hard fact that has been 100% confirmed.

Target arm - Livermore Nuclear Labs

…by Jeff Smith, with Gordon Duff and Ian Greenhalgh

By now, every reader will be aware that Israel dropped a neutron bomb on Yemen on behalf of their Saudi allies. A billion Arabs also know this truth, every Arabic media outlet picked up the VT story as have the Russian outlets Pravda, Russia Today and Sputnik News. This story is too big to die, it is worldwide.

Israel nuked Yemen, period. This is hard fact that has been 100% confirmed.

Just watch the video, the scintillating pixels are caused by particles from the nuclear explosion hitting the camera’s sensor, there can be no other explanation; note the white hot ball of plasma seen briefly before the huge detonation.

The camera never lies

Until mobile phones with cameras and small video cameras were developed, small florescent lights were used as emergency nuclear explosion/radiation detectors.  Now, phones and CCD video cameras have become dependable “slam dunk” nuclear detectors.

The next few words are the technical explanation of why we are absolutely certain we are dealing with a nuclear event, with no questions whatsoever.  This is information available to all member of the press, the military, the scientific community and the general public.  This means, of course, that anyone in “denial” of our assertion, proven with this much certainty, is defective as to mental function or suffers from moral degeneracy.

The combination of the cameras plastic lens and the photoelectric effect produced in the cameras CCD pick up chip (because it is basically a very large array of photo diodes) allows them to act as very good detectors of high level ionizing radiation. Low level radiation in this case is not of concern because it will not immediately kill you or have long term negative health effects.

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By simply pointing the camera at an explosive event it will immediately determine if it is nuclear or not. When the camera’s CCD pick up chip is overloaded by excess radiation it will pixelize showing white sparkles all over the picture of the fireball or blast image area.

The demonstration video still was taken in Yemen this month.  It is perhaps the best single demonstration image of ionizing radiation hitting a CCD receptor.  It is as perfect a demonstration of a nuclear explosion as detected using mobile phone or CCD camera technology, as explained above, as might be possible.

We are contacting scientists and physicists throughout the Middle east and Ukraine; we are distributing software that will allow us to detect not just nuclear weapons but radioactive threats of all kinds including polonium poisons; we are training teams to collect soil samples; preparing packages to allow medical personnel to screen for radioactive poisoning and we are offering materials for civil defence and decontamination efforts.

There has thus far been zero denial or refutation (other than by wingnuts and conspiracy theorists) of this having been a nuclear event nor has there been any effective denial of the pair of F-16A/Bs shot down over Yemen this week; planes which can only have belonged to Italy, Portugal or Israel, otherwise it came out of the mothballed stockpiles in the US southwest.

Russia speaks out

As stated in Pravda today, the world’s scientific community is aghast that ‘the Saudis have begun to wipe Yemen off the map’, they get straight to the point by telling us that ‘shocking video reveals proton bombardment from a neutron bomb’ and that  ‘forbidden strikes have brought about a storm of worldwide protest’ and might I add, this wave of protest isn’t going to be silenced by a handful of internet trolls and unemployed Haifa housewives.

‘Obama has recently offered military assistance to any external threat the rich Arab Gulf States may face’ according to Pravda. Russia is not only certain after viewing the evidence, that this is a nuclear attack but they believe that the United States is fully complicit in it; where other sources have cited the Israeli-Saudi nexus, highest level Russian sources believe this irresponsible move is the result of Washington kow-towing to both Saudi Arabia and The Gulf States.

Here come the trolls

There is a truism that one catches the most flak when one is over the target; being attacked by shills, stooges, trolls and other assorted disinfo entities is always a good indicator that one has written something that exposes a truth that the bad guys really don’t want people finding out about.

We know that our article exposing the Israeli use of a neuron bomb in Yemen has upset the applecart in Tel-Aviv and elsewhere because we are seeing a slew of videos and posts appearing online attacking VT and ridiculing the Yemeni nuke story.

One video I found particularly objectionable was posted by one of David Icke’s sycophantic supporters; a loud-mouthed, obnoxious type who looks like a third Milliband brother shouts at us that Yemen wasn’t nuked, that neutron bombs don’t exist and warns that VT is a disinfo op. Oh, and just to make sure you know who he is working for, he gets in three or four ‘fuck Israel’ outbursts.

David Icke personally, has run the other way to get as far away from this nuke issue as he can; while at the same time tasking his pack of attack trolls with attacking VT and the existence of neutron bombs – further confirmation of his disinfo agent status and a clear indicator of who he works for, what agenda he is trying to further. The fact that Icke is tasked with specific assignments such as covering up the nuking of Yemen shows us that he is an active agent.

Personally, I never had any doubt that Icke was a disinfo scumbag, I remember all too well the days in the early 90s when he appeared on the Terry Wogan chat show claiming to be the son of God and wearing a turquoise shellsuit because that colour held some mystical power. Icke has always been full of it and working against the best interests of mankind.

You just outed yourself David, you have made it plain for all to see that you are nothing more than a foetid outlet for the lies and disinfo of Israel. We knew this all along of course, but now we have confirmation. What we have to ask ourselves though is why have they chosen to employ David Icke on this issue, rather strange because the timing makes it very clear that Icke is taking the grubby Shekel to do the bidding of Israel. This has the effect of ‘burning’ him as an asset – after this his credibility is gone, he is no longer an asset, just a spent, discredited force. But why burn one of your best assets?

The answer is both simple and gratifying – VT’s breaking of the Yemeni nuke story has done real damage, we hit the mark and drew blood; they have responded by turning one of their major assets against us with full knowledge this will burn the asset; this shows just how much they want to keep this nuclear warfare a secret.

Thank you so much, you just handed us a gift from heaven; proof positive that Israel really doesn’t want people to know they nuked Yemen; hence they have unleashed their moronic hordes of stooges, shills, trolls, whatever name you prefer to use for these lying pieces of faecal matter in human form; these disgusting, completely amoral creatures who gladly take the Shekel as reward for their attempts to run cover for the mass murder of innocent people and the use of horrific weapons of mass destruction to commit war crimes.

It is too late to put the cat back in the box, the word is out – Israel is using nukes to kill innocent civilians.

Where are the other big names in the so-called ‘truth movement’? Where are Alex Jones and Christopher Bollyn? They are certainly nowhere near this oh so important nuke issue and you can bet your last cent they won’t be going near it unless it is to spread disinfo and tell outright lies.

Note that all these nay-sayers have no credentials other than being pro-Israeli or suspiciously aligned to groups such as the ADL, SPLC or AIPAC which are nothing more than fronts for Israeli interests.

Take note of the reaction to this very serious issue of the Israeli use of nukes. Anyone who tries to claim there was no nuke dropped on Yemen or apply a derogatory label to those who seek to get the truth about this most heinous of war crimes out to a wide audience must be viewed as a stooge for Israel.

The worldwide spread of the true story of Israel’s nuking of Yemen has got the perpetrators very worried; the truth is one of the things these people fear most.


Appendix I

A scintillator is a material that exhibits scintillation — the property of luminescence when excited by ionizing radiation. Luminescent materials, when struck by an incoming particle, absorb its energy and scintillate, (i.e., re-emit the absorbed energy in the form of light). Sometimes, the excited state is metastable, so the relaxation back down from the excited state to lower states is delayed (necessitating anywhere from a few nanoseconds to hours depending on the material): the process then corresponds to either one of two phenomena, depending on the type of transition and hence the wavelength of the emitted optical photon: delayed fluorescence or phosphorescence, also called after-glow.

A scintillation detector or scintillation counter is obtained when a scintillator is coupled to an electronic light sensor such as a photomultiplier tube (PMT), photo-diode, or silicon photomultiplier. PMT’s absorb the light emitted by the scintillator and re-emit it in the form of electrons via the photoelectric effect. The subsequent multiplication of those electrons (sometimes called photo-electrons) results in an electrical pulse which can then be analyzed and yield meaningful information about the particle that originally struck the scintillator. Vacuum photo-diodes are similar but do not amplify the signal while silicon photo-diodes, (CCD cameras) on the other hand, detect incoming photons by the excitation of charge carriers directly in the silicon. Silicon photo-multipliers consist of an array of photo-diodes which are reverse-biased with sufficient voltage to operate in avalanche mode, enabling each pixel of the array to be sensitive to single photons.

History

The first device which used a scintillator was built in 1903 by Sir William Crookes and used a ZnS screen.The scintillations produced by the screen were visible to the naked eye if viewed by a microscope in a darkened room; the device was known as a spinthariscope. The technique led to a number of important discoveries. Scintillators gained additional attention in 1944, when Curran and Baker replaced the naked eye measurement with the newly developed PMT. This was the birth of the modern scintillation detector.

Applications for scintillators

Scintillators are used by the American government as Homeland Security radiation detectors. Scintillators can also be used in neutron and high energy particle physics experiments, X-ray security, nuclear cameras, computed tomography and gas exploration. Other applications of scintillators include CT scanners and gamma cameras in medical diagnostics, and screens in older style CRT computer monitors and television sets.

The use of a scintillator in conjunction with a photomultiplier tube or a CCD camera finds wide use in hand-held survey meters used for detecting and measuring radioactive contamination and monitoring nuclear material. Scintillators generate light in fluorescent tubes, to convert the ultra-violet of the discharge into visible light. Scintillation detectors are also used in the petroleum industry as detectors for Gamma Ray logs. ( Note small compact fluorescent light bulbs can also be used in an emergency to detect radiation bursts from a nuclear event. They will flash or glow under radiation exposure).

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Plastic scintillators and the CCD camera, cell phone connection.

Plastic scintillators are the most common type of radiation detectors found in everyday CCD video cameras, cell phone cameras and home security cameras. With little or no modification at all they can be used as simple radiation detectors for emergency self protection from nuclear blasts and high background radiation levels or to document nuclear detonations. The combination of the cameras plastic lens and the photoelectric effect produced in the cameras CCD pick up chip (because it is basically a very large array of photo didoes) allows them to act as very good detectors of high level ionizing radiation. Low level radiation in this case is not of concern because it will not immediately kill you or have long term negative health effects.
By simply pointing the camera at an explosive event it will immediately determine if it is nuclear or not. When the cameras CCD pick up chip is overloaded by excess radiation it will pixelize showing white sparkles all over the picture of the fireball or blast image area. If you are looking to protect yourself  from high level ionizing radiation produced by depleted uranium anti tank rounds or after a nuclear blast this will work. For lower level radiation effects usually just putting black electrical tape over the cameras lens is sufficient enough to detect lower radiation levels. Once the background radiation level has drooped off after an explosion. Usually after about 3 hours or more excluding ground zero where levels will remain higher for a longer period of time the  CCD cameras may not be sensitive enough to detect these lower levels of radiation and a better detector will be required. However for emergency use this this process altho crude will work.

If you have an Android or Apple smart phone there are several APPS that will allow you to use your phone as a simple radiation detector/ Geiger counter. Some work better than others and several are actually fake or toy apps so user be ware make sure the APP really works.

 

Types of scintillators

Plastic scintillators

The term “plastic scintillator” typically refers to a scintillating material in which the primary fluorescent emitter, called a fluor, is suspended in the base, a solid polymer matrix. While this combination is typically accomplished through the dissolution of the fluor prior to bulk polymerization, the fluor is sometimes associated with the polymer directly, either covalently or through coordination, as is the case with many Li6 plastic scintillators.

Polyethylene naphthalate has been found to exhibit scintillation by itself without any additives and is expected to replace existing plastic scintillators due to higher performance and lower price.

The advantages of plastic scintillators include fairly high light output and a relatively quick signal, with a decay time of 2–4 nanoseconds, but perhaps the biggest advantage of plastic scintillators is their ability to be shaped, through the use of molds or other means, into almost any desired form with what is often a high degree of durability. Plastic scintillators are known to show light output saturation when the energy density is large ( Birks’ Law).

Bases

The most common bases are the aromatic plastics, polymers with aromatic rings as pendant groups along the polymer backbone, amongst which polyvinyltoluene (PVT) and polystyrene (PS) are the most prominent. While the base does fluoresce in the presence of ionizing radiation, its low yield and negligible transparency to its own emission make the use of fluors necessary in the construction of a practical scintillator.

Aside from the aromatic plastics, the most common base is polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which carries two advantages over many other bases: high ultraviolet and visible light transparency and mechanical properties and higher durability with respect to brittleness.

The lack of fluorescence associated with PMMA is often compensated through the addition of an aromatic co-solvent, usually naphthalene. A plastic scintillator based on PMMA in this way boasts transparency to its own radiation, helping to ensure uniform collection of light. Other common bases include polyvinyl xylene (PVX) polymethyl, 2,4-dimethyl, 2,4,5-trimethyl styrenes, polyvinyl diphenyl, polyvinyl naphthalene, polyvinyl tetrahydronaphthalene, and copolymers of these and other bases.

Fluors.

Also known as luminophors, these compounds absorb the scintillation of the base and then emit at larger wavelength, effectively converting the ultraviolet radiation of the base into the more easily transferred visible light. Further increasing the attenuation length can be accomplished through the addition of a second fluor, referred to as a spectrum shifter or converter, often resulting in the emission of blue or green light.

Gas.

Gaseous scintillators consist of nitrogen and the noble gases helium, argon, krypton, and xenon, with helium and xenon receiving the most attention. The scintillation process is due to the de-excitation of single atoms excited by the passage of an incoming particle. This de-excitation is very rapid (~1 ns), so the detector response is quite fast.

Coating the walls of the container with a wavelength shifter is generally necessary as those gases typically emit in the ultraviolet and PMTs respond better to the visible blue-green region. In nuclear physics, gaseous detectors have been used to detect fission fragments or heavy charged particles.

Glass.

The most common glass scintillators are cerium-activated lithium or boron silicates. Since both lithium and boron have large neutron cross-sections, glass detectors are particularly well suited to the detection of thermal (slow) neutrons. Lithium is more widely used than boron since it has a greater energy release on capturing a neutron and therefore greater light output.

Glass scintillators are however sensitive to electrons and γ rays as well (pulse height discrimination can be used for particle identification). Being very robust, they are also well-suited to harsh environmental conditions. Their response time is ≈10 ns, their light output is however low, typically ≈30% of that of anthracene.

Response to various radiations

Heavy ions

Scintillation counters are usually not ideal for the detection of heavy ions for three reasons:

  1. the very high ionizing power of heavy ions induces quenching effects which result in a reduced light output (e.g. for equal energies, a proton will produce 1/4 to 1/2 the light of an electron, while alphas will produce only about 1/10 the light;
  2. the high dE/dx also results in a reduction of the fast component relative to the slow component, increasing detector dead-time;
  3. strong non-linearities are observed in the detector response especially at lower energies.

The reduction in light output is stronger for organics than for inorganic crystals. Therefore, where needed, inorganic crystals, e.g. CsI(Tl), ZnS(Ag) (typically used in thin sheets as α-particle monitors), CaF2(Eu), should be preferred to organic materials. Typical applications are α-survey instruments, dosimetry instruments, and heavy ion dE/dx detectors. Gaseous scintillators have also been used in nuclear physics experiments.

Electrons

The detection efficiency for electrons is essentially 100% for most scintillators. But because electrons can make large angle scatterings (sometimes backscatterings), they can exit the detector without depositing their full energy in it. The back-scattering is a rapidly increasing function of the atomic number Z of the scintillator material.

Organic scintillators, having a lower Z than inorganic crystals, are therefore best suited for the detection of low-energy (< 10 MeV) beta particles. The situation is different for high energy electrons: since they mostly lose their energy by bremsstrahlung at the higher energies, a higher-Z material is better suited for the detection of the bremsstrahlung photon and the production of the electromagnetic shower which it can induce.

Gamma rays

High-Z materials, e.g. inorganic crystals, are best suited for the detection of gamma rays. The three basic ways that a gamma ray interacts with matter are: the photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and pair production. The photon is completely absorbed in photoelectric effect and pair production, while only partial energy is deposited in any given Compton scattering.

The cross section for the photoelectric process is proportional to Z5, that for pair production proportional to Z2, whereas Compton scattering goes roughly asZ. A high-Z material therefore favors the former two processes, enabling the detection of the full energy of the gamma ray.

Neutrons

Since the neutron is not charged it does not interact via the Coulomb force and therefore does not ionize the scintillation material. It must first transfer some or all of its energy via the strong force to a charged atomic nucleus. The positively charged nucleus then produces ionization. Fast neutrons (generally >0.5 MeV) primarily rely on the recoil proton in (n,p) reactions; materials rich in hydrogen, e.g. plastic scintillators, are therefore best suited for their detection.

Slow neutrons rely on nuclear reactions such as the (n,γ) or (n,α) reactions, to produce ionization. Their mean free path is therefore quite large unless the scintillator material contains nuclides having a high cross section for these nuclear reactions such as 6Li or 10B. Materials such as LiI(Eu) or glass silicates are therefore particularly well-suited for the detection of slow (thermal) neutrons.

Chaos – not Victory – is the Empire’s “Name of the Game”


Chaos – not Victory – is the Empire’s “Name of the Game”

By Peter Koenig Global Research

“Once again a country “liberated” by the West is sinking deeper and deeper into chaos.” Global Research. 

This could be anyone of the countries in conflict, where Washington and its Western and Middle Eastern stooges sow war – eternal chaos, misery, death – and submission.

This is precisely the point: The Washington / NATO strategy is not to ‘win’ a war or conflict, but to create ongoing – endless chaos. That’s the way (i) to control people, nations and their resources; (ii) to assures the west a continuous need for military – troops and equipment – remember more than 50% of the US GDP depends on the military industrial complex, related industries and services; and (iii) finally, a country in disarray or chaos, is broke and needs money – money with hardship conditions, ‘austerity’ money from the notorious IMF, World Bank and other associated nefarious ‘development institutions’ and money lenders; money that equals enslavement, especially with corrupt leaders that do not care for their people.

That’s the name of the game – in Yemen, in Ukraine, in Syria, in Iraq, in Sudan, in Central Africa, in Libya…. you name it. Who fights against whom is unimportant. ISIS / ISIL / IS / DAISH / DAESH / Al-Qaeda and whatever other names for the mercenary killer organizations you want to add to the list – are just tags to confuse. You might as well add Blackwater, Xe, Academi and all its other successive names chosen to escape easy recognition. They are prostitutes for the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon Empire, prostitutes of the lowest level. Then come elite prostitutes, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and other Gulf States, plus the UK and France, of course.

President Hollande has just signed a multi-billion euro contract with Qatar for the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets. He is now heading to Riyadh for talks with the Saudi King Salman, and to sell more Rafale planes – it’s good business and helps killing off the fabricated enemies; and also to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on 5 May. Topics of discussions at the meeting are the ‘crises’ of the region including in Yemen, planted by the west on behalf of Washington (and its Zionist masters) and blamed on the ‘rebels’ who are seeking merely a more just government.

The west has invented a vocabulary so sick, it’s like a virus ingrained in our brains – or what’s left of it – that we don’t even know anymore what the words really mean. We repeat them and believe them. After all, the MSM drills them into our intestines day-in and day-out. People who fight for their freedom, for survival against oppressive regimes, are ‘terrorists’, ‘rebels’. – The refugees from Africa, from the Washington inflicted conflict-stricken countries, the refugees of whom more than 4,000 have already perished this year trying to cross the Mediterranean for a ‘better life’ – they have been conveniently renamed ‘immigrants’. Often the term ‘illegal’ is added. Thus, the west’s conscience is whitewashed from guilt. Immigrants are beggars. Illegal immigrants belong jailed. They have nothing to do with unrest and chaos planted by the west in the ‘immigrants’ home countries. – Shame on you, Brussels!

Back to chaos – Mr. Hollande knows very well that his jets are being used to serve the master and spread more havoc in the region, more death, more disaster, more misery, more slavehood – more refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea – more everlasting chaos, people at the edge of survival, people who can no longer fight for their country, for their resources, for their freedom – as they must just fight for their sheer survival, for the survival of their kids and families. That’s empire.

Tell me – is someone who sells weapons, fighter planes – other types of killing machines, to countries, knowing quite well that these weapons are being used for killing people, for destroying countries – is such a person not a mass-murderer? A war criminal of the worst kind?

Mr. Hollande, in addition to being a war criminal, he is a perfect bigot who believes at the end of the day a few crumbs of the Big Loot will fall into his plate – and that he may swim with his masters in a lush sea of milk and honey. Does he think he has to safe the economy of his grand country that produced the likes of Victor Hugo, Stendhal, Balzac, Dumas – by selling killing machines to other stooges of the empire? – Does he not care that 83% of his electorate despise him?

Spreading unrest, chaos, misery – that is what Washington and its vassals do best. They do not want to ‘win’ wars; they want eternal chaos, misery; people who can be subdued easily – full spectrum dominance, they call it. 

And since the US army and its big brother (or sister) NATO cannot be everywhere, doesn’t want to be seen everywhere, they hire to kill. Washington invents and creates, then funds with its endless money stream, the ISILs, Daesh’s, AlQaedas – and the repertoire grows as the masters please – to fight for them, to kill for them, to produce chaos and false flags – so that eventually they – NATO and the Pentagon bulldozer – can come in and make believe ‘destroying’ those mercenaries that they generated in the first place. But the mainstream media won’t tell you the truth.

They have you believe that the Houtis, a secular humanitarian left-leaning group of Shias, and the Sunnis are fighting each other in Yemen for power; that the Saudis and their GCC cronies are just freeing Yemen from a bunch of terrorists; that the Houtis are supported by Iran (a predominant Shia country) – recently vehemently denied by a UN official – so, the Houtis have to be subdued. At the same time there is more reason for Washington to put yet another blame on Iran. Once the Houtis are dominated and killed off in sufficient numbers, a puppet president will be put in place, like the ex-President Saleh, or his successor Hadi, so that Washington can keep calling the shots – oppressing the country’s population to maintain unlimited access to the strategic port of Aden – and to the Gulf.

Ukraine is the same: Are ISIS / ISIL/ Daesh, Al Qaeda, or whatever their names may be, in the Ukraine? – You bet they are, under the command of CIA and some 6,000 US troops, trainers of course. They train the Kiev troops how best and fastest to kill their brothers in the Donbass; they train them how to create lasting chaos. And if the soldiers refuse to be trained to kill their brothers, the Kiev Nazi regime will shoot them as traitors. Point blanc. So easy. So that nobody will resist.

Not least, the US military ‘advisors’ and CIA with the help of their hired killers, the Kiev Nazis, the ISIS / Daesh / AlQaeda, are attempting to provoke President Putin into war – possibly a third World War. Yes, the third in less than hundred years, potentially devastating Europe, and possible the world. So far, the world has been spared this disaster, largely thanks to Mr. Putin’s wise strategy of non-confrontation.

So – no question whether the ISIS / Daesh / AlQaeda are in the Ukraine. They are everywhere the empire orders them to be. That’s what they are paid for. That’s what prostitutes do. Especially created prostitutes; well-paid prostitutes. Ideology is just a fig leave, conveniently used by the western media – so we all may believe that the Muslims are evil, some even more than others. The west must fight them, because they are a serious and present danger for our freedom, our liberty our democracies – and especially our neoliberal everything-goes free market values.

Because that is the ultimate goal: humans as a market commodity, dispensable, reducible to cannon fodder, to be killed off in masses by (poisoned) genetically modified food, by drones, by bombs, by artificially created famine, so that at the end the survivors are serfs to a small elite which controls the four corners of the globe and ALL its resources, to maintain a lifestyle of exceptional people – yes, the exceptional nation, will be reduced to a bunch of exceptional people living in grand splendor.

Remember Henry Kissinger’s infamous words, the vision of one of the most atrocious war criminals still alive today – another Nobel Laureate (sic) – spoken some fifty years ago: “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”

These words ring truer every day. But only as long as we allow it; as long as We, the People, We the 99.999% of the globe’s inhabitants, allow it.

The Geopolitics behind the War in Yemen


The Geopolitics behind the War in Yemen

Mahdi Darius NAZEMROAYA

 

The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became very uneasy when the Yemenese or Yemenite movement of the Houthi or Ansarallah (meaning the supporters of God in Arabic) gained control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa/Sana, in September 2014. The US-supported Yemenite President Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi was humiliatingly forced to share power with the Houthis and the coalition of northern Yemenese tribes that had helped them enter Sana. Al-Hadi declared that negotiations for a Yemeni national unity government would take place and his allies the US and Saudi Arabia tried to use a new national dialogue and mediated talks to co-opt and pacify the Houthis.

The truth has been turned on its head about the war in Yemen. The war and ousting of President Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi in Yemen are not the results of «Houthi coup» in Yemen. It is the opposite. Al-Hadi was ousted, because with Saudi and US support he tried to backtrack on the power sharing agreements he had made and return Yemen to authoritarian rule. The ousting of President Al-Hadi by the Houthis and their political allies was an unexpected reaction to the takeover Al-Hadi was planning with Washington and the House of Saudi.

The Houthis and their allies represent a diverse cross-section of Yemeni society and the majority of Yemenites. The Houthi movement’s domestic alliance against Al-Hadi includes Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims alike. The US and House of Saud never thought that they Houthis would assert themselves by removing Al-Hadi from power, but this reaction had been a decade in the making. With the House of Saud, Al-Hadi had been involved in the persecution of the Houthis and the manipulation of tribal politics in Yemen even before he became president. When he became Yemeni president he dragged his feet and was working against the implement the arrangements that had been arranged through consensus and negotiations in Yemen’s National Dialogue, which convened after Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over his powers in 2011.

Coup or Counter-Coup: What Happened in Yemen?

At first, when they took over Sana in late-2014, the Houthis rejected Al-Hadi’s proposals and his new offers for a formal power sharing agreement, calling him a morally bankrupt figure that had actually been reneging previous promises of sharing political power. At that point, President Al-Hadi’s pandering to Washington and the House of Saud had made him deeply unpopular in Yemen with the majority of the population. Two months later, on November 8, President Al-Hadi’s own party, the Yemenite General People’s Congress, would eject Al-Hadi as its leader too.

The Houthis eventually detained President Al-Hadi and seized the presidential palace and other Yemeni government buildings on January 20. With popular support, a little over two weeks later, the Houthis formally formed a Yemense transitional government on February 6. Al-Hadi was forced to resign. The Houthis declared that Al-Hadi, the US, and Saudi Arabia were planning on devastating Yemen on February 26.

Al-Hadi’s resignation was a setback for US foreign policy. It resulted in a military and operational retreat for the CIA and the Pentagon, which were forced to remove US military personnel and intelligence operatives from Yemen. The Los Angeles Times reported on March 25, citing US officials, that the Houthis had got their hands on numerous secret documents when the seized the Yemeni National Security Bureau, which was working closely with the CIA, that compromised Washington’s operations in Yemen.

Al-Hadi fled the Yemeni capital Sana to Aden n February 21 and declared it the temporary capital of Yemen on March 7. The US, France, Turkey, and their Western European allies closed their embassies. Soon afterwards, in what was probably a coordinated move with the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates all relocated the embassies to Aden from Sana. Al-Hadi rescinded his letter of resignation as president and declared that he was forming a government-in-exile.

The Houthis and their political allies refused to fall into line with the demands of the US and Saudi Arabia, which were being articulated through Al-Hadi in Aden and by an increasingly hysteric Riyadh. As a result, Al-Hadi’s foreign minister, Riyadh Yaseen, called for Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikdoms to militarily intervene to prevent the Houthis from getting control of Yemen’s airspace on March 23. Yaseen told the Saudi mouthpiece Al-Sharg Al-Awsa that a bombing campaign was needed and that a no-fly zone had to be imposed over Yemen.

The Houthis realized that a military struggle was going to begin. This is why the Houthis and their allies in the Yemenite military rushed to control as many Yemeni military airfields and airbases, such as Al-Anad, as quickly as possible. They rushed to neutralize Al-Hadi and entered Aden on March 25.

By the time the Houthis and their allies entered Aden, Al-Hadi had fled the Yemeni port city. Al-Hadi would resurface in Saudi Arabia when the House of Saud started attacking Yemen on March 26. From Saudi Arabia, Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi would then fly to Egypt for a meeting of the Arab League to legitimize the war on Yemen.

Yemen and the Changing Strategic Equation in the Middle East

The Houthi takeover of Sana took place in the same timeframe as a series of success or regional victories for Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and the Resistance Bloc that they and other local actors form collectively. In Syria, the Syrian government managed to entrench its position while in Iraq the ISIL/ISIS/Daesh movement was being pushed back by Iraq with the noticeable help of Iran and local Iraqi militias allied to Tehran. 

The strategic equation in the Middle East began to shift as it became clear that Iran was becoming central to its security architecture and stability. The House of Saud and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began to whimper and complain that Iran was in control of four regional capitals—Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Sana – and that something had to be done to stop Iranian expansion. As a result of the new strategic equation, the Israelis and the House of Saud became perfectly strategically aligned with the objective of neutralizing Iran and its regional allies. «When the Israelis and Arabs are on the same page, people should pay attention», Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer told Fox News about the alignment of Israel and Saudi Arabia on March 5.

The Israeli and Saudi fear mongering has not worked. According to Gallup poll, only 9% of US citizens viewed Iran as a greatest enemy of the US at the time that Netanyahu arrived t Washington to speak against a deal between the US and Iran.

The Geo-Strategic Objectives of the US and Saudis Behind the War in Yemen

While the House of Saudi has long considered Yemen a subordinate province of some sorts and as a part of Riyadh’s sphere of influence, the US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands. The Bab Al-Mandeb it is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe. 

Israel was also concerned, because control of Yemen could cut off Israel’s access to Indian Ocean via the Red Sea and prevent its submarines from easily deploying to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran. This is why control of Yemen was actually one of Netanyahu’s talking points on Capitol Hill when he spoke to the US Congress about Iran on March 3 in what the New York Times of all publications billed as «Mr. Netanyahu’s Unconvincing Speech to Congress» on March 4.

Saudi Arabia was visibly afraid that Yemen could become formally align to Iran and that the evens there could result in new rebellions in the Arabian Peninsula against the House of Saud. The US was just as much concerned about this too, but was also thinking in terms of global rivalries. Preventing Iran, Russia, or China from having a strategic foothold in Yemen, as a means of preventing other powers from overlooking the Gulf of Aden and positioning themselves at the Bab Al-Mandeb, was a major US concern.

Added to the geopolitical importance of Yemen in overseeing strategic maritime corridors is its military’s missile arsenal. Yemen’s missiles could hit any ships in the Gulf of Aden or Bab Al-Mandeb. In this regard, the Saudi attack on Yemen’s strategic missile depots serves both US and Israeli interests. The aim is not only to prevent them from being used to retaliate against exertions of Saudi military force, but to also prevent them from being available to a Yemeni government aligned to either Iran, Russia, or China.

In a public position that totally contradicts Riyadh’s Syria policy, the Saudis threatened to take military action if the Houthis and their political allies did not negotiate with Al-Hadi. As a result of the Saudi threats, protests erupted across Yemen against the House of Saud on March 25. Thus, the wheels were set in motion for another Middle Eastern war as the US, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait began to prepare to reinstall Al-Hadi.

The Saudi March to War in Yemen and a New Front against Iran

For all the talk about Saudi Arabia as a regional power, it is too weak to confront Iran alone. The House of Saud’s strategy has been to erect or reinforce a regional alliance system for a drawn confrontation with Iran and the Resistance Bloc. In this regard Saudi Arabia needs Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan —a misnamed so-called «Sunni» alliance or axis — to help it confront Iran and its regional allies.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the crown prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE’s military, would visit Morocco to talk about a collective military response to Yemen by the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt on March 17. On March 21, Mohammed bin Zayed met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to discuss a military response to Yemen. This was while Al-Hadi was calling for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to help him by militarily intervening in Yemen. The meetings were followed by talk about a new regional security pact for the Arab petro-sheikdoms.

Out of the GCC’s five members, the Sultanate of Oman stayed away. Oman refused to join the war on Yemen. Muscat has friendly relations with Tehran. Moreover, the Omanis are weary of the Saudi and GCC project to use sectarianism to ignite confrontation with Iran and its allies. The majority of Omanis are neither Sunni Muslims nor Shiite Muslims; they are Ibadi Muslims, and they fear the fanning of sectarian sedition by the House of Saud and the other Arab petro-sheikdoms.

Saudi propagandists went into over drive falsely claiming that the war was a response to Iranian encroachment on the borders of Saudi Arabia. Turkey would announce its support for the war in Yemen. On the day the war was launched, Turkey’s Erdogan claimed that Iran was trying to dominate the region and that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the GCC were getting annoyed. 

During these events, Egypt’s Sisi stated that the security of Cairo and the security of Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms are one. In fact, Egypt said that it would not get involved in a war in Yemen on March 25, but the next day Cairo joined Saudi Arabia in Riyadh’s attack on Yemen by sending its jets and ships to Yemen.

In the same vein, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif released a statement on March 26 that any threat to Saudi Arabia would «evoke a strong response» from Pakistan. The message was tacitly directed towards Iran.

The US and Israeli Roles in the War in Yemen

On March 27, it was announced in Yemen that Israel was helping Saudi Arabia attack the Arab country. «This is the first time that the Zionists [Israelis] are conducting a joint operation in collaborations with Arabs,» Hassan Zayd, the head of Yemen’s Al-Haq Party, wrote on the internet to point out the convergence of interests between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Israeli-Saudi alliance over Yemen, however, is not new. The Israelis helped the House of Saud during the North Yemen Civil War that started in 1962 by providing Saudi Arabia with weapons to help the royalists against the republicans in North Yemen.

The US is also involved and leading from behind or a distance. While it works to strike a deal with Iran, it also wants to maintain an alliance against Tehran using the Saudis. The Pentagon would provide what it called «intelligence and logistical support» to House of Saud. Make no mistakes about it: the war on Yemen is also Washington’s war. The GCC has been on Yemen unleashed by the US.

There has long been talk about the formation of a pan-Arab military force, but proposals for creating it were renewed on March 9 by the rubberstamp Arab League. The proposals for a united Arab military serve US, Israeli, and Saudi interests. Talk about a pan-Arab military has been motivated by their preparations to attack Yemen to return Al-Hadi and to regionally confront Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Resistance Bloc.

 

The Strange War in Yemen The Senselessness of Joining in a Sunni vs. Shiite War


The Strange War in Yemen
The Senselessness of Joining in a Sunni vs. Shiite War

by GARY LEUPP

What sense does this make? The U.S. is abetting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan. Morocco and Sudan—all ruled by Sunni Muslims who despise Shiite Muslims—to attack and roll back advances by the Shiite Houthis of Yemen who are eager to fight al-Qaeda and ISIL in that impoverished, unstable nation.

Recall that shortly after 9/11, the George W. Bush administration declared that “he who is not for us is against us,” scaring the shit out of anyone hesitant to cooperate with U.S. war plans. Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had come to power in 1990, cooperated with the U.S. during the first Gulf War, arranged to get his nation removed from the U.S.’s “terror sponsor” list, purchased weapons from the U.S., and cooperated in the investigation of the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemeni waters in 2000, rushed to Washington in November 2001 to declare fealty.

This meeting was followed up by a meeting between Vice President Dick Cheney, de facto leader of the U.S. “War on Terror” and Saleh in Yemen’s capital Sana’a in March 2002. In the interim the U.S. announced that it would send hundreds of troops to Yemen and afterwards the Yemeni government confirmed that the U.S. would dispatch 200 “advisers” to train local troops against al-Qaeda terrorists (whom, by the way, were then small in number but have burgeoned steadily ever since).

In Yemen on March 14 Cheney stated that the U.S. was “being responsive to Yemen’s request for training its special forces in their counter-terrorism mission, [and also] planning to address essential military equipment needs and to increase assistance to Yemen’s Coast Guard and economy.” But on April 11 Saleh told al-Jazeera the real story: “As for the American anti-terror security experts and technical equipment, it is not we who requested them. It is the U.S. government that said ‘prove your genuineness and let the experts in’ so we let them in.”

Meanwhile Yemen’s ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) accused U.S. ambassador Edmond Hull of “interfering” in domestic affairs and threatened to expel him. “Since he was appointed (last September), ambassador Edmond Hull has behaved like a high commissioner, not like a diplomat in a country which is opposed to any form of interference” by a foreign state, reported a GPC-linked newspaper. “Edmund Hull adopts a very haughty behaviour, far-removed from his diplomatic duties, when he speaks to certain Yemeni officials,” adding that Hull should “respect Yemen in order not to become persona non grata.” From the very beginning of the U.S.-Yemen alliance, the relationship has been characterized by mutual antipathy.

Thirteen years and countless anti-U.S. demonstrations later—protesting U.S. political interference, the asinine anti-Islam Youtube video of 2012, and most importantly the drone strikes—radical Islamists are more numerous and active than ever in the Arab world’s poorest country, where 45% of the people live under the poverty line. Over 800 “al-Qaeda militants” have supposedly been killed by drone strikes, but it’s hard to know how much credibility to attach to the claim. The Obama administration considers any post-pubescent male in the wrong place at the wrong time a “combatant” suitable for slaughter.

In November 2011, the 40-year-old U.S.-born cleric Anwar Awlaki was killed by a drone strike. Few in this country mourned, although the legal precedent (target-killing a U.S. citizen that way without any trial or conviction of a crime) caused some unease in some quarters. Less attention was given to a separate strike the next day that apparently targeted and killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old son and a teenage cousin. Apparently their only crime was the family connection.

According to the Long War Journal, 35 civilians were killed in U.S. drone strikes in 2012, along with 193 considered “militants.” A 12-year-old boy was among the victims of a strike Feb. 9 this year, after which Slate Magazine asked, “What if drones are part of the problem?” What if they’re just generating more of what the CIA calls “blowback”?

Recall that during the “Arab Spring” of 2011, President Obama concluded at some point that Egypt’s President Mubarak, who had long been a “staunch ally” of the U.S. , had become so unpopular with his people that further U.S. support would damage the relationship with Egypt. So he gave Mubarak his marching orders. (You can do that if you’re the president of the United States.

The Egyptian dictator was succeeded by a democratically elected member of the Muslim Brotherhood, then toppled by the military with tacit U.S. approval. In Yemen, where the “spring” also brought massive protests against the regime in power, Obama ordered long-time U.S. ally Saleh to step down. Saleh was obliged to comply in February 2012, while remaining active behind the scenes in his retirement.

Before that—in the early months of the “Arab Spring” in 2011—Glevum Associates conducted a poll in Yemen of 1005 adult men and women. Its results are telling. It found that 88% of Yemenis at the time thought their country was heading “in the wrong direction.” 98% had an unfavorable perception of the U.S. government (55% “very unfavorable,” 43% “somewhat unfavorable”). Only 40% approved strongly or somewhat with President Saleh’s cooperation with the U.S.

99% opposed the U.S.-led “War on Terrorism.” 99% had an unfavorable perception of U.S. relations with the Islamic world.
66% thought the U.S. had no or very little concern about Yemeni interests. The analysts concluded, “The overwhelming majority of Yemenis think that the economic, military and cultural influence of the U.S. in the world is bad and that the U.S. does not take into account the interests of countries like Yemen when it acts.”

52% of those surveyed thought that the Arab League was best able to help Yemen (only 1% thought this of the U.S.). Perhaps most shocking, Anwar Awlaki’s popularity exceeded that of President Saleh’s.

On September 12, 2012 demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy in protest of the anti-Islam film posted on YouTube. They were mistaken in supposing that the U.S. government was behind it, or might have prevented it, but this was an indication of the profoundly anti-U.S. sentiments documented in the Gleuvum Associated study. In November there were more demonstrations in Sana’a, this time in support of the ousted Saleh, blaming the U.S. for his departure. They were largely Shiite-led demonstrations.

This is significant. It showed that Saleh (depicted in U.S. propaganda as a casualty of a popular uprising) actually retained his own social base in a complicated society, and that while he had fought the Houthis in the past, with Saudi and U.S. support, he was now aligning himself with Houthis and his fellow Shiites in general against the U.S.-orchestrated Hadi regime.

The U.S. political class and State Department-briefed mainstream press have shown themselves (again) to be totally clueless about intra-Muslim issues. It is as though they find these problems so arcane, requiring so much homework to figure out, that they can dispense with them all together and boil them all down to one allegation: Iran is the headquarters of global Shiism, and wherever Shiites are struggling to retain or acquire power, Iran must be held responsible for their actions.

Syria is led by Alewites, a branch or offshoot of Shiism. Ergo, Tehran supports the Assad regime. Hizbollah in Lebanon is a Shiite movement, so it must be a pawn of Iran. The demonstrators in Bahrain as mainly Shiites; thus the mullahs in Iran are instigating their protests. The Houthis are Shiites, so Iran must be driving their rebellion in a bid to dominate Yemen.

This interpretation is absurd. It is immediately refuted by the fact that Iran has not embraced the cause of Azerbaijan, and its claim to Nagorno-Kabarakh, in relation to the Republic of Armenia that supports the independence of the ethnically Armenian region surrounded by and claimed by Azerbaijan. (In 1923 the Soviet government made the decision to make Nagorno-Kabarakh an autonomous oblast within the Azerbaijan SSR. With the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the new leaders in Azerbaijan sought to retain control over the region—rather like the new Georgian state tried to retain control over South Ossetia and Abhkazia. Armenia supported the secessionists in the subsequent Nagorno-Karabakh War of 1988 to 1992.)

Iran is the largest primarily Shiite nation in the world, with 81 million people, 90 to 95% of them Shiites. Iraq is number two; of its 32 million people, 60 to 65% are Shiites. Azerbaijan is the third most populous mainly Shiite nation in the world, with 8 million people, around 85% of them Shiites. The Azeris have a mixed Iranian-Turkish culture. And there are only four majority Shiite nations in the world, after all (the last being Bahrain). Shouldn’t Iran be best friends with them?

The answer is no. Tehran is more friendly with Christian Armenia than it is with Shiite Azerbaijan, for various geopolitical reasons that have little to do with the Shiite religion. But how often do you recall this matter being discussed in the U.S. press?

Still, Shiism is an important factor in political and military events in the region. U.S. policy in Iraq from 2003 produced the sort of civil conflict between the Shiite majority and Sunni minority that Baathist secularism had kept in check for decades. The fools in charge, arrogantly traipsing around Baghdad in cowboy boots, had no idea their policies would give rise to Iran-backed Shiite parties and militias rising to power on the one hand, and a Sunni resistance vulnerable to terrorist manipulation and even leadership on the other. The current confrontation between ISIL and combined Iraqi and Iranian forces, that has shaped up so dramatically and unexpectedly, is a lesson in what absolute stupidity and indifference to religious history can produce.

Look at a religious map of the Middle East. To enlarge here

gulf2000-columbia-Mid_East_Religion_med

Notice how there are Shiite communities from Afghanistan to the Anatolian Peninsula and the Levant. (There are also millions in India and Pakistan.) Notice how the island country of Bahrain, located across the Persian Gulf from Iran, is mostly Shiite. Over 60%, in fact, but it is ruled by a Sunni monarch. Feeling themselves victims of discrimination, Shiites rose up in the “Arab Spring” in peaceful demonstrations. The king, Hamad ibn Isa Al Khaifa, cracked down severely, and in March 2011, Saudi Arabia and other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council invaded to quell disturbances. “I saw them chasing Shiites,” one Sunni resident of the city of Sitra recalled, “like they were hunting.”

It might be worth noting in this connection that Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to Washington from 1983 to 2005 (and a dear friend of the Bush family) once told MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove that, “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will literally be ‘God help the Shia.’ More than a billion Shia have simply had enough of them.” A chilling prediction?

The Saudi-led invasion of Bahrain came just after U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had paid a call on the king to thank him for hosting the U.S. Fifth Fleet. The U.S. position on the suppression of this particular expression of the “Arab Spring” was to reiterate its support for the Bahraini and Saudi governments, both of whom blamed Iran for inciting the Bahrainis to rise up. Little evidence has ever been adduced for that.

Similarly, after Shiites in Lebanon responded to the Israeli invasion in 1982 by forming the resistance movement Hizbollah (now aligned with more secular Shiite-based Amal Movement), that movement has been dismissed by its foes as mere proxies and puppets of Iran. As though oppression and invasion do not in themselves invite resistance, but the latter has to be explained in terms of outside agitators’ nefarious interference!

There is in fact a close relationship between Iran and Hizbollah, due in part to deep religious affinities and the studies of its clerics in Iran’s holy city of Qom. But Hizbollah also enjoys close ties to Baathist Syria, which is a far different and more liberal society than Iran. (Women need not wear headscarves. Beer is brewed and sold legally. The state is officially secular, etc.) Those prone to deny the reality of oppressed people’s agency need to depict them as someone else’s surrogates.

And so we come to Yemen. It seems the Bahrain intervention was a mini-dress rehearsal for this, just without the bombs. The Saudis are amassing a huge force to invade, abetted by their allies and receiving logistical and intelligence support from the U.S. Why?

The Yemeni government has long faced multiple insurgencies, including a southern secessionist movement dating back the unification of North Yemen (the Republic of Yemen) and South Yemen (the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen) in 1990. That movement has Baathist and Nasserite elements and is a separate phenomenon from al-Qaeda and ISIL movements in the south. Neither is related to the Shiite movement led by the powerful Houthi tribe in the north. (The Shiite population of Yemen is estimated at 30-35% of the population, the great majority members of the Zaidi denomination of Shiism. This is quite distinct from the form of Shiism prevalent in Iran.)

For many years Houthis have campaigned for a more representative government in Sana’a, and for a greater Houthi voice in parliament (which they dissolved last month). Their primarily peaceful protests, which have never evolved into secessionist demands, met with violent repression in 2004, by the Saleh regime. This led to a six-year war ending in a ceasefire in 2010.

Ironically perhaps, President Saleh was and is a Zaidi Shiite himself, like the Houthis. But he is not overly religious and (according to the Gleuven report) was as well supported by the Sunnis as the Shiites in Yemen while in power. He resigned as noted above in February 2012. In the election for his successor, Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Sunni, ran unopposed with U.S. blessing. The point was to appease the masses who had called for Saleh’s resignation (not that he lacked a certain social base which remains supportive), while insuring the continuation of the status quo particularly the U.S. alliance.

But Hadi was less adept at handling the situation(s) in the south, raising Houthi concerns of an al-Qaeda or ISIL takeover or division of the country. Having already obtained control over the governates of Sa’da and al-Jawf (where they have eradicated al-Qaeda), they pressed south to the capital of Sana’a, taking it virtually without bloodshed in January. Representing maybe 40% of the Yemeni population, they seem to enjoy considerable support. They indeed appear to have ex-president Saleh’s support at this point.

In a New York Times interview published February 10 the leader of the Houthi militia, Saleh Ali al-Sammad, said he wanted Yemen to have good relations with the U.S. and other countries, including Saudi Arabia, so long as national sovereignty was respected. He added that the Houthies would reach out to political rivals. Why is Saudi Arabia so determined to crush them—if not to strike terror into the hearts of Shiites everywhere, particularly the rulers of Iran?

The current round of Saudi bombing of the Houthis is by no means the first. In 2009 alone, the Saudi Air Force dropped U.S.-made cluster bombs on 164 locations in the northern province of Sa’ada from U.S.-supplied F-15S fighter jets and UK-supplied Tornado aircraft. On January 22, 2010 UPI reported that Saudi fighter jets had made bombing raids over Houthi rebel positions in northern Yemen, killing about a dozen people and destroying homes.

In late 2010, the director of Amnesty international UK, Kate Allen, reported that over the previous year “Saudi Arabia’s fighter bombers – very likely supplied by the UK – have taken part in the Yemeni government’s massive bombardments of entire villages in Yemen’s restive north, an operation targeting Shia rebels. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians have been killed, with thousands more forced to flee their homes.” Such reports have drawn little attention, much less outrage, in this country wedded at the hip to the Saudi absolute monarchy that routinely beheads people found guilt of adultery, homosexuality or even “witchcraft.”

Some talking head on CNN or MSNBC was noting how odd it is for the U.S. to be supporting Shiite militias led by Iranian officers against (Sunni) ISIL fighters in Iraq, while supporting Sunnis against Shiites in Yemen. Of course there’s more to it than U.S. forces siding confusedly with this or that form of Islam in the Middle East, or tolerating the expansion of Iranian influence in one country while challenging it in another. It’s not that simple.

In Iraq, the U.S. cannot allow the regime it brought to power (however disappointing its performance has been, causing some to charge in exasperation that “We did all this for them, and then they blew it!”) to fall to forces even more hideous than al-Qaeda or Saddam Hussein. Even if it does mean making common cause with Iran and the al-Sadr Brigades. The alternative—ISIL in Baghdad, crucifying and beheading, blowing up monuments—would show the world all too clearly how utterly evil and inexcusable the invasion and occupation of Iraq (that directly produced these results) have been.

And on the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda’s original breeding ground, it cannot alienate the Saudi leaders, whose cooperation is vital in containing al-Qaeda and ISIL, promoting peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and most importantly supplying a steady flow of cheap oil to the world market. A Shiite-led Yemen engaged in ongoing conflict with its Wahhabi Sunni-ruled neighbor could lead to all-out war in the Middle East, pitting Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizbollah against a coalition of Sunni tyrannies whose religious prejudices (that mean nothing to Washington) could draw this country into even more disaster.

The arrogant Americans who once thought they could call the shots in Yemen have been forced to flee the country with their tails between their legs. Obama, who as recently as last September proclaimed Yemen as a model of the “strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines” has been embarrassed by the collapse of his partners.

In January Hadi resigned as president, citing an irresolvable political “stalemate.” Under house arrest, his home surrounded by Houthi forces, he was able to flee to Aden in February, pronouncing himself once again as “president of the republic” before fleeing the country for Somalia March 25 after Houthis seized the Aden airport.

Meanwhile on February 10 the U.S. embassy, which had evacuated non-essential staff in August 2013, closed down entirely, citing security issues in Sana’a. On February 12 al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula overran a government military base in southern Yemen. Five weeks later 100 U.S. troops evacuated a hitherto secret base near the city of al-Houta as al-Qaeda forces attacked. Not since the retreat of the last U.S. forces from South Vietnam in 1975, or the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, has U.S. imperialism met with such abject humiliation.

Now Washington must rely on Saudi Arabia and its anti-Shia, anti-Iran coalition to re-impose an acceptable level of stability in Yemen. Meanwhile Obama seeks rapprochement with Iran in part to stabilize Iraq, the current catastrophic condition of which is basically the result of U.S. crimes.

The original article from Counterpunch

US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation


US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation

(Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The “proxy war” model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.

Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the “Islamic State,” pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American “soft power” and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.

Though Saudi Arabia claims “10 countries” have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a “coalition,” it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with “coalition partners” added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.

The New York Times, even in the title of its report, “Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen,” seems not to notice these “10” other countries. It reports:

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country. 

The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

Proxy War Against Iran 

Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.

Iran’s interest in Yemen serves as a direct result of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” and attempts to overturn the political order of North Africa and the Middle East to create a unified sectarian front against Iran for the purpose of a direct conflict with Tehran. The war raging in Syria is one part of this greater geopolitical conspiracy, aimed at overturning one of Iran’s most important regional allies, cutting the bridge between it and another important ally, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

And while Iran’s interest in Yemen is currently portrayed as yet another example of Iranian aggression, indicative of its inability to live in peace with its neighbors, US policymakers themselves have long ago already noted that Iran’s influence throughout the region, including backing armed groups, serves a solely defensive purpose, acknowledging the West and its regional allies’ attempts to encircle, subvert, and overturn Iran’s current political order.

The US-based RAND Corporation, which describes itself as “a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis,” produced a report in 2009 for the US Air Force titled, “Dangerous But Not Omnipotent : Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East,” examining the structure and posture of Iran’s military, including its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and weapons both present, and possible future, it seeks to secure its borders and interests with against external aggression.

The report admits that:

Iran’s strategy is largely defensive, but with some offensive elements. Iran’s strategy of protecting the regime against internal threats, deterring aggression, safeguarding the homeland if aggression occurs, and extending influence is in large part a defensive one that also serves some aggressive tendencies when coupled with expressions of Iranian regional aspirations. It is in part a response to U.S. policy pronouncements and posture in the region, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Iranian leadership takes very seriously the threat of invasion given the open discussion in the United States of regime change, speeches defining Iran as part of the “axis of evil,” and efforts by U.S. forces to secure base access in states surrounding Iran.

Whatever imperative Saudi Arabia is attempting to cite in justifying its military aggression against Yemen, and whatever support the US is trying to give the Saudi regime rhetorically, diplomatically, or militarily, the legitimacy of this military operation crumbles before the words of the West’s own policymakers who admit Iran and its allies are simply reacting to a concerted campaign of encirclement, economic sanctions, covert military aggression, political subversion, and even terrorism aimed at establishing Western hegemony across the region at the expense of Iranian sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia’s Imperative Lacks Legitimacy 

The unelected hereditary regime ruling over Saudi Arabia, a nation notorious for egregious human rights abuses, and a land utterly devoid of even a semblance of what is referred to as “human rights,” is now posing as arbiter of which government in neighboring Yemen is “legitimate” and which is not, to the extent of which it is prepared to use military force to restore the former over the latter.

The United States providing support for the Saudi regime is designed to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be a difficult narrative to sell. However, the United States itself has suffered from an increasing deficit in its own legitimacy and moral authority.

Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed.

In reality, Saudi Arabia’s and the United States’ rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess.

Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Gamble 

The aerial assault on Yemen is meant to impress upon onlookers Saudi military might. A ground contingent might also attempt to quickly sweep in and panic Houthi fighters into folding. Barring a quick victory built on psychologically overwhelming Houthi fighters, Saudi Arabia risks enveloping itself in a conflict that could easily escape out from under the military machine the US has built for it.

It is too early to tell how the military operation will play out and how far the Saudis and their US sponsors will go to reassert themselves over Yemen. However, that the Houthis have outmatched combined US-Saudi proxy forces right on Riyadh’s doorstep indicates an operational capacity that may not only survive the current Saudi assault, but be strengthened by it.

Reports that Houthi fighters have employed captured Yemeni warplanes further bolsters this notion – revealing tactical, operational, and strategic sophistication that may well know how to weather whatever the Saudis have to throw at it, and come back stronger.

What may result is a conflict that spills over Yemen’s borders and into Saudi Arabia proper. Whatever dark secrets the Western media’s decades of self-censorship regarding the true sociopolitical nature of Saudi Arabia will become apparent when the people of the Arabian peninsula must choose to risk their lives fighting for a Western client regime, or take a piece of the peninsula for themselves.

Additionally, a transfer of resources and fighters arrayed under the flag of the so-called “Islamic State” and Al Qaeda from Syria to the Arabian Peninsula will further indicate that the US and its regional allies have been behind the chaos and atrocities carried out in the Levant for the past 4 years. Such revelations will only further undermine the moral imperative of the West and its regional allies, which in turn will further sabotage their efforts to rally support for an increasingly desperate battle they themselves conspired to start.

America’s Shrinking Legitimacy 

It was just earlier this month when the United States reminded the world of Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea. Despite having destabilized Ukraine with a violent, armed insurrection in Kiev, for the purpose of expanding NATO deeper into Eastern Europe and further encircling Russia, the West insisted that Russia had and  still has no mandate to intervene in any way in neighboring Ukraine. Ukraine’s affairs, the United States insists, are the Ukrainians’ to determine. Clearly, the US meant this only in as far as Ukrainians determined things in ways that suited US interests.

This is ever more evident now in Yemen, where the Yemeni people are not being allowed to determine their own affairs. Everything up to and including military invasion has been reserved specifically to ensure that the people of Yemen do not determine things for themselves, clearly, because it does not suit US interests.

Such naked hypocrisy will be duly noted by the global public and across diplomatic circles. The West’s inability to maintain a cohesive narrative is a growing sign of weakness. Shareholders in the global enterprise the West is engaged in may see such weakness as a cause to divest – or at the very least – a cause to diversify toward other enterprises. Such enterprises may include Russia and China’s mulipolar world. The vanishing of Western global hegemony will be done in destructive conflict waged in desperation and spite.

Today, that desperation and spite befalls Yemen.