Thursday 28th of January 2021

obama wages war on Yemen...


The US bombed Yemen three times during the week, claiming that it was a response to missiles fired at the USS Mason by the armed Houthi political opposition faction in Yemen. The Pentagon, however, has now admitted that it's possible no missiles were launched at the US naval warship.

According to a Reuters report on Monday, the Pentagon said it is not sure whether the USS Mason was targeted by missiles launched in Yemen on Saturday. 

Moscow Expresses 'Grave Concern' Over Violations of Humanitarian Law, Civilian Deaths in Yemen "We are still assessing the situation. There are still some aspects to this that we are trying to clarify for ourselves given the threat — the potential threat — to our people," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told journalists. 
According to Sleboda, Yemen is a country that Westerners care little about, as there are no journalists on the ground and the ongoing war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition armed with western-made weapons is covered with "thick fog." Information mostly comes from a few activists inside the country, reporting to the outside world. "We don't know a lot," Sleboda said. "This is what we do know: the US is heavily involved in this war in Yemen […] The US is not only backing the Saudi invasion of Yemen. Obama has provided the Saudis with hundreds of billion dollars' worth of arms — twenty billion while this conflict was ongoing — including resupplying of the tanks and cluster bombs that Saudis are using up. But it goes much deeper than that. The US has active military involved.” 
The US has been providing Saudis with million pounds of fuel, intelligence resources, computers, communications, special forces on the ground, as well as air and sea support, in Riyadh's efforts to bomb Yemen. 
Sleboda claimed that a recent airstrike on a Yemeni funeral in Sanaa was an intentional, "deliberate decapitation," considering the large number of Houthi leaders and generals in attendance. Amid the ongoing airstrikes, using American-made jets and bombs and killing thousands of civilians, a recent announcement that the US government would review arm sales seems "a rhetorical slap on the wrist," he said. "The idea that Saudi Arabia needs defending while they are invading Yemen is hysterical," Sleboda asserted. 
US Involved in Yemen 'Since the First Month of Fighting', Claims Human Rights Watch 
He said that the manufactured outrage portrayed in the US media that was purportedly caused by alleged Houthi attacks on a well-armed Saudi-coalition that is blockading and starving 14 million Yemenis, is "extremely cynical and more than a little darkly hilarious." The US government is funding the Saudi and Qatar regimes that are, in turn, funding Daesh — and Washington knows it, Sleboda said. 
It is not a conspiracy theory, he offered, but a conspiracy fact that "the US has long been known to have been using [Daesh] at least in Syria, allowing them to expand and using them as a battering ram to knock down the Syrian government, allowing [Daesh] to advance against Syrian government," Sleboda stated.

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obama should stop supplying weapons...

On October 8, a warplane from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fired on the funeral of Yemeni interior minister Jalal al-Ruwaishan’s father. The attack killed 140 people and injured over 600. It was a gruesome strike. There was no military target there or nearby in the Sana’a neighbourhood of the funeral hall. The fighter came for blood and got it.

Condemnation of the Saudi strike came swiftly although this is not the first such mass attack on civilians. The richest Arab country – Saudi Arabia – has been bombing the poorest Arab country – Yemen – since March 2015. In the months that followed the first strike over 11,000 people – mostly Yemeni civilians – have been killed. Saudi aircraft have hit marriage parties and funeral halls, marketplaces and town squares. Massacres have been common, but unheralded. Three million Yemenis out of a population of 24 million have been displaced from their homes.

This entire war has gone by without much comment. In fact, the opposite has happened as Saudi Arabia’s depleted stores of munitions have been hastily replenished by Canada, the UK and the US. On average, the US sells $2 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi kingdom. These past months – despite evidence that these weapons have been used to massacre civilians – the US has continued to supply Saudi Arabia with arms.

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transparent lies ...


Western officials never seem to get tired of repeating transparent lies on behalf of Saudi Arabia:

Britain’s defence secretary said that Saudi Arabia was “simply defending itself” by bombing Yemen in a military campaign that has killed thousands of civilians and brought millions more to the brink of famine.

The claim that Saudi Arabia is “simply defending itself” by attacking Yemen is utter nonsense, and it is easily exposed as such. The Saudis and their allies were not being threatened from Yemen by the Houthis or anyone else when they initiated their bombing campaign and blockade against the country. There were no attacks on Saudi territory that warranted retaliation, nor were there attacks on any other member of the coalition. The coalition was organized with the express purpose of reimposing a discredited, unpopular leader on the country after he had been forced from power. From the start, the Saudi-led war was an aggressive campaign waged against the bulk of the population of Yemen by a group of outside governments. It was only after the Saudis and their allies began pummeling and starving Yemen that Yemenis began launching attacks into Saudi territory. The only people defending themselves in this war are Yemenis. The Saudi-led coalition has been and continues to be the aggressor, and the U.S. and Britain have enabled them in their aggression.

Fallon’s lie on behalf of the Saudis is much the same as the one then-Secretary Kerry told last year, and in both cases they are able to get away with making such plainly false statements to the press because the conflict is so rarely covered and so poorly understood in the U.S. and Britain. If our governments can get people in the U.S. and Britain to believe that they are helping the Saudis “simply defend” themselves, they can deflect attention from the war crimes the coalition has committed the and humanitarian crisis that the intervention has done so much to cause. It is important to understand that the “self-defense” justification for the war on Yemen is a lie, and the governments that repeat that lie are doing so to cover up for their own shameful enabling of an atrocious war.

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From Chris Floyd:At last,

From Chris Floyd:

At last, the "paper of record" runs a long, detailed story about the death spiral in Yemen. However, it seems to be short a few details. It paints the Saudis as champions of freedom simply trying to restore a democratically elected leader to office. It neglects the detail that the leader was "elected" in a "vote" (backed by the US & Saudis) that allowed only one candidate: the one favored by the US & the Saudis. It is also scant of detail on the US involvement. A few short paragraphs from the very end, it allows that the US is "a primary supplier of arms to the members of the Saudi-led coalition" but reassuringly notes " the United States is not directly involved in the conflict," despite the fact that "it has provided military support to the Saudi-led coalition, and Yemenis have often found the remnants of American-made munitions in the ruins left by deadly airstrikes." Carefully omitted are details like US military intelligence providing targeting directions for the Saudis, US ships helping the Saudis' murderous blockade and other support which -- in throwaway paragraphs buried deep beneath layers of dutiful spin -- has been well-documented in the past two years by ... the New York Times.

It also leaves out the bombing raids and ground raids being carried out directly by US forces in Yemen, ostensibly against ISIS and al Qaeda. Here another fact is politely set aside: the fact that the US-Saudi war has vastly increased the power and reach of ISIS and al Qaeda in Yemen. The Yemen forces now under attack by the Saudis were sworn enemies of the extremists, and had pounded al Qaeda to a small remnant -- until the US/UK and the Saudis stepped in and drove them back. ISIS had almost no presence in Yemen before the war. Now, both groups are flourishing mightily in the chaos, with their enemies being devastated by the US/Saudi assault.

Two other details were lacking as well. You can read the whole long story and not see a single mention of Donald Trump or Barack Obama. The latter put the full weight of the US behind this war of aggression to install a puppet leader, while the former has expanded US involvement with more ground troops and many more air attacks, most of them blunderbuss bombings which have killed many civilians. So yes, the story does provide some moving detail about the human suffering being caused by the war; but the eminently savvy and well-informed readers of the New York Times could walk away from the story without the slightest clue of their own government's direct and deep complicity in this humanitarian crisis.

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all the children are going to be dead...

The venerated US television program “60 Minutes” reported on the crisis in Yemen on Sunday, pointing out if “you keep going like you’re going, there’s not going to be anybody left, all the children are going to be dead.”

The CBS program, however, left out the fact that the US is providing crucial material support for Saudi Arabia’s atrocities in Yemen.

In addition to failing to highlight that Saudi Arabia is a firm US ally, “60 Minutes” also never mentioned that the US House of Representatives recently passed a measure to continue refueling Saudi warplanes mid-flight. The bill, H.R. 599, passed despite evidence that Saudi warplanes have intentionally bombed civilians and even funeral proceedings.   

Congressional office holders Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced a measure in late September requiring the government to obtain Congressional permission before participating in war operations in Yemen, but it didn’t move out of the House.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, exclaimed in the November 19 show, “you keep going like you’re going, there’s not going to be anybody left, all the children are going to be dead.” The organization has said 150,000 kids will die over the next few months if 

Western support for Riyadh’s war remains unchanged.

The Intercept reports that “per 60 Minutes’ framing of the conflict, the crisis in Yemen is a random tragedy happening on the other side of the world – manmade, but outside US control.”

In addition to US and UK participation in Saudi air operations over Yemen, the Western nations have supplied the Kingdom with billions of dollars’ worth of bombs.

US warships have also helped enforce a blockade on Yemeni ports, effectively helping to starve the nation’s people, who rely on imports for 90 percent of their food supplies, which “60 Minutes” also paints as a dire situation in which the US has no involvement. The UN has warned against maintaining the blockade, stating that the 7.3 million Yemenis already living in famine-like conditions would be among “millions of victims” caused by a lack of food.

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This weekend, 60 Minutes aired a report on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Unfortunately, U.S. involvement and complicity in that catastrophe went entirely unmentioned. Derek Davison comments:

But by far the most egregious part of the 60 Minutes coverage was its total failure to identify one key element of “all those involved,” namely the role that the United States and Britain have played in arming and sustaining the Saudi war effort. The United States has been intimately involved in the Saudi intervention in Yemen going back to the Obama administration, but Donald Trump, in his zeal for all things Saudi, has significantly intensified that involvement.

There hasn’t been much Western media coverage of the war on Yemen, and often when there are reports the role of the U.S. in helping to make the war possible is minimized or left out all together. There is now more and better Western media coverage of the war than there used to be, but the coalition’s Western patrons often escape notice even now.

Ignoring U.S. and British backing for the Saudi-led war on Yemen matters for a few reasons. For one, it presents an incomplete and therefore inaccurate account of what is happening and why, and that allows Western audiences to think that their governments have nothing to do with the terrible consequences of the war. If the American and British publics remain largely unaware of their governments’ responsibility for helping to create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, they are unlikely to demand that their governments stop enabling the disaster. Ignoring their role also lets those governments off the hook for appalling policies, and that in turn ensures that there is much less international pressure on the coalition governments that are destroying Yemen. Absent sustained international pressure and criticism, the coalition governments are able to wreck and starve an entire country without paying much of a price.


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... and australia...

The Australian Government has been called on to disclose all defence deals it has made with Saudi Arabia, as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen worsens.

Key points:
  • Amnesty International wants Australia to reveal its defence deals with Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia is blockading Yemen's main port, preventing food from reaching much of the population
  • The UN says seven million people in Yemen are on the brink of starvation


Amnesty International said Australia "is legally obliged" to make sure any defence sales are not being used to commit human rights violations in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is blockading Yemen's main port, preventing food from reaching about 75 per cent of the population.

The UN says 7 million people in Yemen are already on the brink of starvation and the country could face the worst famine "in decades" if food aid remains blocked.

"In the past 12 months the Australian Department of Defence has approved four different military licences to Saudi Arabia," Amnesty International's Rasha Mohamed told 7.30.

"We're calling on Australia to fully disclose all transfer details and deals they've made with the Saudi-led coalition, and make public what are the end user agreements."

The Department of Defence routinely refuses to reveal what those licenses are for.


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solving water shortage in yemen...

Yemen had a serious water shortage even before fighting intensified in 2015. Now, increasingly desperate villages are experimenting with ways to 'harvest' moisture from the air.

The people of Yemen are facing incredible hardship at the moment: As if internal fighting and air strikes weren’t enough, food and water are scarce in the area, due to Saudi blockade on imports, isolation from humanitarian routes, and a tough natural climate. But there is one resource no one can take away: Yemen’s fog.


Already a region beset with serious water shortages in peacetime, Yemen’s yearly rainfall is only about 900 million cubic meters, or three quarters of what it needs, according to 2003 data from Sana’a University. Many must travel for hours to fetch water, and the country’s capital risks running out of water as soon as 2017.


Yemen is a poor country, but it has plenty of fog. Now some villages are experimenting with ways to “harvest” that moisture from the air.

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the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII...


From Chris Floyd


I've written a lot about Yemen over the past few years. And I knew the US Senate would never vote to end our direct participation in the Saudi war crime there that has led to the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. I knew they – like 60 Minutes and the rest of the US -- would kowtow to the extremist religious autocrats who rule over the most repressive regime on the face of the earth (with the possible exception of North Korea). I knew our leaders were bought and sold by Saudi money, which has also helped finance and arm violent extremists all over the world, for years. I knew they wouldn't vote against America's bipartisan participation in this genocide – and they didn't.

But sickening as this was, it was the statement by one of the senators who did vote to end US involvement in Yemen that caused my gall to overflow: the sanctimonious prig Tim Kaine – the man who would've been vice president. After casting a vote that he knew wouldn't matter (many Democratic "leaders," like Chuck Schumer, didn't even vote until the 51-vote approval threshold was passed), Kaine put out a smarmy, pious statement lamenting the millions of Yemenis who may starve and the tens of thousands already killed in a war that, he says, the US "stumbled into."

It was this arrogant, arrant, brazen, soulless lie that outraged me to the top of my bent. Kaine knows — as does anyone who has simply read the news in the past few years — that it is an indisputable, established fact that the US did not “stumble” into the Yemen war. He knows the indisputable fact that the former leader of his party, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, very openly and deliberately and knowingly not only greenlighted the Saudi invasion but actively, openly and directly aided the slaughter in almost every way — with weapons, with bombs, with US forces helping aim and target the bombs, with US warships helping enforce a naval blockade against the desert country that has plunged millions of innocent people into famine … all to “restore” a “president” who was the hand-picked toady of the US and the Saudis in an “election” in which NO OTHER CANDIDATE WAS ALLOWED TO RUN.

Again, all of this was done openly, directly, unashamedly: you could read about it in the most respectable newspapers in the country. The Obama administration didn’t try to hide it. Indeed, in the last months of his presidency, Obama gave the Saudis a $115 million arms deal — the biggest in the 70 years of US-Saudi alliance — while Yemen was not only sinking into famine and ruin but also enduring one of the worst cholera epidemics in all of recorded human history.

So no, Senator Kaine, the United States did not “stumble” into the Yemen war. It plunged whole-heartedly into the putrid slaughter, under the direction of the progressive, scandal-free Democratic president, Barack Obama, with the full support of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment and the mainstream media. Building on Obama’s foundation, Trump has expanded the US involvement in Yemen, with more blunderbuss bombing and troops on the ground. But he is only carrying forward the policy that Tim Kaine knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was willingly launched by his predecessor. Without, we should add, the slightest word of opposition from moral paragons like Sen. Tim Kaine — or Hillary Clinton, or, at the time, from Bernie Sanders, who said during his campaign that the Saudis should be more militarily involved in the region.

This is the tragic, sickening, indisputable fact: under the last two presidencies, Democratic and Republican, the United States has been directly, actively, openly complicit in a ghastly, ongoing atrocity in Yemen, an act of mass murder and deliberate savagery that has sent thousands and thousands of innocent human beings — including thousands of children — to their graves, and plunged millions more into suffering and chaos that almost none of us in the West could even remotely imagine.


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the saudis lie about yemen...

PRI investigated Saudi claims of Houthi seizures of oil ships off the coast and found that they were entirely made up. Stephen Snyder reports:

A Saudi Arabian diplomat said last weekend that 19 oil tankers were seized by rebel forces off the coast of Yemen. Then, the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, repeated the story. But based on interviews and research conducted by PRI, there is no hostage situation at all. 

It isn’t surprising that the Saudi government is fabricating stories like this about Yemen. Supporters of the war have been eager to portray the coalition’s enemies as threats to international shipping, but the only party to the conflict that has been interfering with shipping in and around Yemen is the Saudi coalition with their blockade. Since there is nothing to back up their warnings about threats to international shipping from Yemen, the Saudis are reduced to making things up out of thin air.

The Saudi coalition blockade is responsible for delaying and diverting the delivery of essential goods to the ports that serve the vast majority of the population in Yemen, and they have been doing this since their intervention began in 2015. The blockade is the primary cause of the starvation of millions of Yemenis, more than eight million of whom are on the brink of famine. It was the coalition that bombed the cranes at the main port of Hodeidah, and it was the coalition that shut down all commercial traffic into the port last fall. Some ships are being allowed in now, but they are far too few to provide for the basic needs of millions of Yemenis. 


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the poms lie about yemen...

To what extent is the UK aiding the Saudi intervention in Yemen? A new report suggests help is more hands-on than just defense deals.

Never seen before documents published as part of a new paper titled 'UK Personnel Supporting the Saudi Armed Forces – Risk, Knowledge and Accountability', suggest that some of the functions carried out by British personnel and arms companies in the Gulf kingdom may be more than what the Government is willing to admit.

According to the report, British arms deals to Saudi Arabia dating back to to 1985 have contained secret support clauses for British-made aircraft which tie British contractor and government personnel to Saudi military action, even if the UK is not itself involved directly.


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dirty work but nobody's got to do it...

A new report has torn the mask off the Pentagon’s public narrative that it does not specifically involve itself in the Yemeni Civil War except to refuel Saudi-coalition warplanes: US Army Green Berets are at work on the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border to find and destroy the Houthis’ missile stockpiles.

"With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities," the New York Times reported Thursday.


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the keys to the gate of hell


From Chris Floyd


So here we are. The Saudis — their brutal aggression armed, funded and guided with “target intelligence” by the United States and Great Britain — have finally begun their assault on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. This is where almost all humanitarian aid — and indeed, 70 percent of the nation’s food, medicine and other supplies — enter Yemen. The assault on the port — which has suffered from partial blockades supported by the US and UK — will plunge millions into famine and likely lead to at least 250,000 deaths in the short run, according to the UN. This in addition to the many thousands who have already died of famine, epidemic, bombing and lack of medical care throughout the three-year storm of carnage.

The Saudi attack has been a monstrous war crime since its beginning. It was approved and assisted at every step for two years by President Barack Obama; it simply could not have happened without him. Obama’s policies of arming, funding, guiding and — on occasion — directly participating in the Saudi invasion have been carried on, and extended, by Donald Trump, who has launched more direct military incursions and bombings in Yemen. 

Trump’s involvement has bestirred a bit of criticism from Democrats, who with very few exceptions did not raise the slightest objection to Obama joining extremist religious tyrants in invading a foreign country and driving its people into starvation and ruin. And you will search high and low in what is laughingly called the “liberal media” — MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, the WP and the gaggle of comedy TV hosts whose smarmy, shallow “hot takes” have somehow become the vanguard of “Resistance” — without finding any critique (or even acknowledgement) of the direct, personal complicity of Obama and the Democratic “foreign policy establishment” in this wanton act of mass murder. 

The Saudis invaded Yemen to restore a puppet leader who had been “elected” in a vote in which only one candidate was allowed to run — the candidate backed by the Saudis and the Obama administration. The Saudi-US-UK attack also saved Al Qaeda in Yemen. The terrorist group was nearing defeat at the hands of the Houthi rebels; the Saudi invasion battered and diverted the rebel effort, allowing Al Qaeda to thrive in the region once more. It also allowed ISIS to gain a foothold in Yemen for the first time.

The origins and context of the war — much less the absolutely critical role played by the US and UK — are almost never mentioned in the Anglo-American media. In fact, the war itself is rarely mentioned, despite it being what the UN calls “the largest humanitarian disaster in the world.” There is the occasional story about the “Saudi-led coalition” in action and, even more rarely, a piece about the horrendous human suffering in Yemen. For example, the NYT ran a long, admirably detailed piece on the catastrophic plight of ordinary Yemeni people caught in the crossfire of war. But as I noted at the time

It also leaves out the bombing raids and ground raids being carried out directly by US forces in Yemen, ostensibly against ISIS and al Qaeda. Here another fact is politely set aside: the fact that the US-Saudi war has vastly increased the power and reach of ISIS and al Qaeda in Yemen. The Yemen forces now under attack by the Saudis were sworn enemies of the extremists, and had pounded al Qaeda to a small remnant -- until the US/UK and the Saudis stepped in and drove them back. ISIS had almost no presence in Yemen before the war. Now, both groups are flourishing mightily in the chaos, with their enemies being devastated by the US/Saudi assault.

Two other details were lacking as well. You can read the whole long story and not see a single mention of Donald Trump or Barack Obama. The latter put the full weight of the US behind this war of aggression to install a puppet leader, while the former has expanded US involvement with more ground troops and many more air attacks, most of them blunderbuss bombings which have killed many civilians. So yes, the story does provide some moving detail about the human suffering being caused by the war; but the eminently savvy and well-informed readers of the New York Times could walk away from the story without the slightest clue of their own government's direct and deep complicity in this humanitarian crisis.

This remarkable myopia continues today. On Wednesday, the Guardian ran a story (linked aobon the new assault on Hodeidah. It is not a bad story, as such things go, for it does include extensive quotes from figures opposed to the attack, including this withering blast of truth from a former Conservative minister:

The former Conservative international development secretary Andrew Mitchell accused the British government of being complicit in the attack, and said the UK was using its position on the UN security council to protect its ally Saudi Arabia. “A decision has been made by Britain in relation to Saudi Arabia that security and commercial grounds trumps everything else. We are getting into a very difficult territory. We are part of a coalition that is besieging this country and creating famine. What happens when they have taken Hodeidah? There will be 1 million people that will need to be fed and watered and get medicine. They will not have a prayer of doing that. Britain will be complicit in that”.

But the story perpetuates the idea that the US and Britain have little to do with the war — in direct contradiction to the fact that the war would end tomorrow if the US and UK cut off the weapons and military assistance they are providing to the “Saudi-led coalition.” The Guardian story speaks of frantic diplomatic efforts, “backed by Britain and the US,” pleading with the Saudis to delay or call off the attack. Yet on the very same day, you could see this in the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. military is providing its Gulf allies with intelligence to fine-tune their list of airstrike targets in Yemen’s most important port, one sign of the Trump administration’s deepening role in a looming assault that the United Nations says could trigger a massive humanitarian crisis.

The Journal story details the “qualified support” Trump officials are giving to the assault on Hodeidah; i.e., go ahead and attack, but make sure you do some copious PR about “preserving the flow of humanitarian aid” and “commercial imports” while you’re slaughtering people and cutting off the nation’s lifeline.

Oddly enough, in a passage clearly intended to present US involvement in the most rosy light, the Journal tells us:

The U.S. shares limited intelligence with the Saudi-led coalition, including information used to pinpoint hospitals, mosques, U.N. offices and other locations meant to be off-limits for airstrikes. 

Yet we have seen story after story of the Saudis bombing hospitals, mosques, schools and other civilian targets with deadly, efficient accuracy. And this goes back to the halcyon days when the scandal-free Obama was in office. From Amnesty international in 2015:

Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law, and hampering access to education for thousands of Yemen’s children, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. The coalition forces are armed by states including the USA and UK …

“The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a series of unlawful air strikes on schools being used for educational – not for military – purposes, a flagrant violation of the laws of war,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International who recently returned from Yemen.

This was in the first few weeks of the war. Such attacks have been constant throughout the conflict. For example, in January 2017, two schools were bombed, including a school for blind children. Hospitals are routinely bombed as well. Weddings and funerals have also been frequent targets, with horrific slaughter of defenseless civilians. (Such as this one in April 2018.) As the Guardian notes, of 16,847 airstrikes against Yemen (as of April; there have been hundreds more since), at least one-third of them “have hit non-military targets.”

The attack on Hodeidah did bring more media attention to the Yemen slaughter and even a few whispers about the US participation in this war crime. The initial NYT story on the port assault seemed a bit less like transcription and almost like real reporting. It quotes some of the Democrats who have finally begun speaking against the Yemen war now that it can be tied to the loathed Republican president. We also get this very telling juxtaposition:

The Pentagon insists that all of its military aid is noncombat assistance, like advising the Saudi Air Force on adopting bombing practices that kill fewer civilians. But at the same time, the defense contractor Raytheon is courting lawmakers and the State Department to allow it to sell 60,000 precision-guided munitions to the Saudis and Emiratis, in deals worth billions of dollars.

With stock prices of our death metal merchants temporary flagging in the wake of the Trump-Kim summit, the masters of war are not about to let the fountain of blood money they’re getting from Yemen dry up. And we can be certain that the political courtesans who have served the death-feasters so faithfully over the years will not let them down.

But the wan, flickering hope of more rigorous coverages was already fading by week’s end. Two days after the bombs began pounding the people of Hodeidah, the NYT was already relegating the story to a bit of wire copy rips in the inside pages. The morally aroused Democrats, meanwhile, had turned their ferociously powerful instincts for piece toward a new bill they’re introducing to … prevent the president from withdrawing troops from South Korea — unless the move is officially approved by the Pentagon. Yes, the liberal progressive Resisters want to strip control over troop movements from the elected civilian government and give it to the military. (And this new stricture would not only apply to the dolt in office right now, of course, but to any future president.)

Again, here we are. The worst humanitarian crisis in the world is about to descend into an ever deeper level of hell, with the indispensable support of the United States; and the political opposition is spending their time trying to give even more political power to the Pentagon.

Dystopia? You’re soaking in it.


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they liked to dance so much...

Hussein Tayeb, 38, leads the way into a sparsely furnished living room and serves tea and sweet sesame bread on the earthen floor. He pulls his mobile phone out of the pocket of his dishdasha and plays back a couple of videos he filmed himself. To the beat of traditional drums, three boys can be seen dancing wearing floor-length, ochre-colored robes. "They liked to dance so much," Tayeb says. He smiles, though it's unclear whether it is out of awkwardness or pleasure at the memory. Either way, it's not enough to hide the deep grief written across his haggard face.

He pulls the ochre robes out of a plastic bag and breathes in the scent of his sons, their names written on the collars: Ali, 9, the ambitious one with Dumbo ears and a strong will. Ahmed, 11, the best in his class who wrote, "I love my country" in his homework folder alongside a drawing of the flag of united Yemen. And Yusuf, 14, the first-born son and the pride of his father.

Hussein Tayeb's three sons are all dead. At around 9 a.m. on August 9, the bus they were riding in was struck by a bomb in Dahyan, a village in the Saada province of North Yemen. It exploded on impact. A total of 51 people died in the blast, including 40 children.

News of the attack quickly spread around the world, briefly shining a spotlight on the disastrous situation in Yemen, where Houthi rebels have spent years battling government forces as a coalition under the leadership of Saudi Arabia bombs the country into rubble.

A short time later, Yemen disappeared from the headlines, once again becoming an invisible, forgotten war. There are two reasons for this invisibility: Hardly anyone is allowed into this civil war-ravaged country, particularly not journalists from the West; and almost nobody is allowed out. In part because hardly any refugees from Yemen make it to Europe, we have learned very little about the conflict.


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Note: the "civil war" is maintained by Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the USA. Had these two powerful countries not intervened, Yemen would be at peace now.

killing kids to sell guns...

How much is a Yemeni child worth? Not much it seems: about $400 if one uses the Trump administration’s calculations. The U.K.-based charity Save the Children estimates that five million Yemeni children are at risk of starvation. That risk has increased markedly thanks to the Trump administration’s fear of endangering $2 billion worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. 

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the continued sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia was a key factor behind Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to certify to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are taking effective measures to safeguard civilian lives, which allowed the U.S. to continue to provide both countries with mid-air refueling and other military support. This came after an American-made missile fired by either a Saudi or Emirati jet incinerated a bus full of schoolchildren last month.

The recertification comes at a critical time for Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, both of which are backing a disparate mix of militias in a bid to capture the Houthi-controlled Hodeidah. The city of 600,000 is critical, since as much as 70 percent of Yemen’s food is imported through its port. The Saudi- and Emirati-led offensive on Hodeidah started two months ago, stalled, and has now started again. The forces battling the Houthis claim to be making progress, but the battle is expected to take weeks, if not months.


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the masks of death in wonderland...

Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is



“Back of the world in which we live, far in the background, lies another world. The relation between the two is not unlike the relation we sometimes see in the theater between the forestage scene in the regular acting area and a scrim scene projected behind it. Through a thin gauze we see, as it were, a world of gauze, lighter, more ethereal, qualitatively different from the actual world. Many people who appear bodily in the actual world do not belong in it but in that other.” 

Soren Kierkegaard, “Diary of the Seducer” in Either/Or

From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings, with full knowledge restricted to the Director of Central Intelligence and a few of his chosen deputies.” 

Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media,” Rolling Stone

Personality is persona, a mask…The mask is magic…Larva means mask; or ghost…it also means mad, a case of demoniacal possession.”

Norma O. Brown, Love’s Body


There are innocent and guilty actors populating the American stage.

Unlike the naïve children who joyously revel in the costumes they don for Halloween, unaware as they are of the death fears they exorcise, the corporate mainstream media wear their masks year-round, while they consciously abet the United States government, its intelligence agencies, and its allies in exercising their God-given right to inflict death on people around the world, including many innocent children.

To point out the media’s sickening hypocrisy (Greek hypokrites, stage actor) is, in one way, quite easy and facile, but in another quite difficult because of the powerful hypnotic hold people’s “trusted” media have on them. To even suggest that people’s favorite mainstream media are doing the work of the secret state feels so insulting to people’s intelligence with its suggestion of gullibility that many recoil in anger at the possibility.

A common retort is that it is absurd to suggest that The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, CNN, etc. are just disseminating propaganda from behind a mask of objectivity. And it is that small word “just” that reveals the falsity of the reply. For obviously these media organizations report truthfully on certain matters. For if they didn’t, their lies would not work. But when it comes to crucial matters of foreign or domestic policy – matters that involve the controlling interests of the elites – lies and deceptions are the rule.

Yes, Trump is a narcissistic mana personality who has entranced and mystified his hard core followers. But to think he is the only hypnotist on the stage is childish beyond belief. The psychoanalyst Sandor Ferenczi observed that people are so susceptible to returning to an imaginary childhood through hypnotic trances because “In our innermost soul we are still children, and we remain so throughout life.” Like the little children who go trick-or-treating dressed up as ghosts, witches, or grim reapers, adults too fear death and are easily induced to believe god-like authorities who will quell their fears and ostensibly explain to them who the good and bad guys are.

Like parents with children, the masked media magicians play the good cop/bad cop game with great success. Obama was a god; Trump, the devil. Trump is a savior; Obama, a destroyer. This charade is so obvious that it’s not. But that’s how the play is played. At the moment, all eyes are on Trump, who commands center stage. And those obsessively transfixed eyes are staring out of the heads of people of all political persuasions, those that love and those that loathe the man and all he stands for. And who has created this obsession but none other than our friends in the corporate media, the same people who gave us Obama-mania.

Meanwhile, back stage…it’s a wonderful life.

There’s Saudi Arabia and the recent news about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi war on Yemen. You may rightly wonder what that is all about.

And you might remember and be wondering about the poisoning, allegedly by Russia, of those Russian nationals Sergei Scripal and his daughter Yulia, who have been kept in total isolation by the British authorities for eight months.

Do you wonder about where the war against Syria went? Has it just gone to sleep until after November’s election? Is that what wars do, take naps?

Do you wonder obsessively about the upcoming mid-term election and all those “former” CIA folks running for office? “Crucial” elections, the media tell us. The state of the country is riding on them, right? Or is it the world?

There is so much to wonder about. The costumes are so creative, the masks mesmerizing. Something’s happening, right. There is so much to wonder about in Wonderland. Something is happening, as Dylan sings:

You raise up your head and you ask, “Is this where it is?”
And somebody points to you and says, “It’s his”
And you say, “What’s mine?” and somebody else says, “Well, what is?”
And you say, “Oh my God, am I here all alone?”
But something is happening and you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?

As you no doubt do know, The Washington Post, The New York Times and other corporate media are outraged by the killing of Khashoggi and now by the Saudis’ war on Yemen. Does their outrage make you wonder how outrage works?

Here from seven years ago:

The extent of America’s war in Yemen has been among the Obama administration’s most closely guarded secrets, as officials worried that news of unilateral American operations could undermine Mr. Saleh’s tenuous grip on power. 

That was the NY Times’ Mark Mazzetti on June 8, 2011, two-and-a-half years into the Obama administration.

This is Mark Mazzetti for October 20, 2018, “Saudis’ Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider”:

In one conversation viewed by The Times, dozens of leaders [Saudi] decided to mute critics of Saudi Arabia’s military attacks on Yemen by reporting the messages to Twitter as “sensitive.

The article goes on to describe how the formerly Saudi good guys are getting bad and doing Russian-like stuff like trolling and “swarming and stifling critics on Twitter” in a propaganda and public relations campaign. Boy, isn’t it shocking and a cause for wonder? What they wouldn’t do!

And then there’s the Times’ emotional story from October 20, 2018 by Declan Walsh with photos and video from Tyler Hicks – “This is the Front Line of Saudi Arabia’s Invisible War” – that says:

The Khashoggi crisis has called attention to a largely overlooked Saudi-led war in Yemen. On a rare trip to the front line, we found Yemenis fighting and dying in a war that has gone nowhere.

“Largely overlooked” – by whom? “Gone nowhere” – and where was it supposed to go?

Now what’s happening, Mr. Reader? Has the worm turned? Do you wonder? It’s hard to remember to forget or forget to remember, isn’t it?

Would this article – U.S. stepping up weapons shipments to aid Saudi air campaign over Yemen – from April, 7, 2015 make you wonder what’s happening now?

It begins:

The United States appears to be slowly but steadily deepening its involvement in the war in Yemen.”
So many things “appear” and disappear, it makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Yes, the American stage is populated with so many spooky masked media characters, you’d think they were out to scare and trick us, rather than treat us well.

I’m afraid that’s what’s happening in Wonderland, Mr. Jones.


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meanwhile, halloween in crazy halal-land...

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs verified reports that 19 Filipino women were arrested on Saturday for participating in a Halloween party held at a private resort in Saudi Arabia.

The women, along with five Middle Eastern men, were arrested in the Saudi capital after Saudi intelligence officers raided the complex following complaints from neighbors over the noise coming from the party.

Saudi Arabia's legal system is based on Sharia, Islamic law procured from the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the traditions) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Under Sharia, women are required to minimize the time spent with men they are not related to. Unlawful mixing with men can result in criminal charges in the country.

An article published Monday by the Philippine Star references a Facebook post published on October 28 by Humoud Al Fajrawi, who has more than 100,000 followers on the social network. In his post, Fajrawi shared videos that appear to have been taken at the Halloween party, showing people dressed up in costumes in a crowded gathering. Later that day, Fajrawi shared a photo of a government document issued by the Embassy of the Philippines in Riyadh titled, "Advisory on Organizing and Attending Events that are Not Sanctioned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." According to Asia News, the advisory statement was issued by the Adnan Alonto, the Philippine ambassador in Riyadh.


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the bumbling, incompetent and feckless stupidity of it all...

The Military Officials Who Knew Saudi Arabia Would Fail

Privately they've been saying for years that Riyadh can't win in Yemen and that we shouldn't have given the Houthis up.

While it’s seems axiomatic that most Americans suffer from historical amnesia, that’s not necessarily true for the U.S. military. And as America and Iran were sprinting towards a military confrontation last week, a recently retired senior U.S. military officer expounded on what he called “the bumbling, incompetent and feckless stupidity of it all.” 

The target of the officer’s ire was not Donald Trump (whom he admires) or Mike Pompeo (who he doesn’t), but Saudi Arabia’s March 2015 decision to go to war against the Iranian-allied Houthi tribal movement in Yemen —“which is,” he argues, “how all of this nonsense got started in the first place.”

He explained: “We didn’t see the [Saudi] invasion [of Yemen] coming and we were shocked when it happened. But we were pretty blunt. We told them, ‘you can’t win and you’ll bankrupt your country. It’ll be a quagmire.’ And we were right.” 

This officer’s “we-told-ya-so” narrative, as it turns out, is accurate. Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen to destroy the Houthi rebellion (and reinstate the government of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi) not only surprised the Obama administration, it was met with nearly open disdain by the U.S. military. Key senior officers of the U.S. Special Operations Command viewed the Houthis as a robust counter to al-Qaeda’s strength in Yemen and even argued that America take steps to support them.

“The Houthis were only nominally Iran’s surrogates,” a military officer told me at the time, “but they were also our quiet partners against al-Qaeda.” Yet back in 2015, because of the Saudi invasion (with support from nine other Arab states), the possibility that the Pentagon could count on Houthi backing was not only off the table, senior Pentagon officials predicted that the tribe would strengthen its ties with their Shia co-religionists in Iran—something that, prior to the Saudi invasion, it hadn’t wanted to do. That’s why key segments of the U.S. military thought the Saudi invasion was a mistake. 

But that’s not how Senator John McCain saw it. McCain defended the Saudi invasion, linked it to Barack Obama’s decision to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, and said there was good reason that the Saudis had kept their planned intervention a secret. “These countries, led by Saudi Arabia, did not notify us nor seek our coordination or our assistance in this effort, because they believe we are siding with Iran,” McCain, who succumbed to cancer in 2018, said.

Senior U.S. military officers scoffed at this, even as, given McCain’s stature as the arbiter of all-things-military, they kept their views private. “The reason the Saudis didn’t inform us of their plans,” a U.S. Central Command officer told me at the time, “is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think—that it was a bad idea.” Yemen expert Michael Horton, whose intimate knowledge of the conflict is informed by visits to the region, echoed these views while channeling the U.S. military’s skepticism about Saudi Arabian military competence: “Frankly, they cannot begin to manage this,” he told me soon after the Saudi intervention. “They have all the toys, but few people who know how to manage them. Their NCO and officer corps are largely untested, and their enlisted men are drawn from the lowest rungs of Saudi society. If they get bogged down in Yemen, I wonder about the loyalty of many of their soldiers and NCOs.”

The Saudi-led intervention began well enough, with a relentless air campaign and naval blockade that initially eroded Houthi strength. And despite its skepticism, the U.S. military turned on a dime, providing the Saudi-led coalition with intelligence and logistical support and advising senior officers of the United Arab Emirates, which commanded most of the anti-Houthi ground forces. But over the course of the next three years, the intervention bogged down. The blockade triggered a famine that affected millions of Yemenis, the UAE’s mercenary force proved no match for the better-led Houthis, rebel militias began to lob scud missiles into Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, Riyadh’s allies began to peel away from the coalition (the UAE exited Yemen last July), the UAE-led mercenary army suffered a series of devastating defeats along the Saudi border, and, most crucially, the Houthis strengthened their ties with Tehran—all of which Pentagon officials had predicted back in 2015. 

Saudi Arabia’s troubles in Yemen rang alarm bells in Washington. Within months of taking office, Donald Trump’s national security team began meeting with Middle East experts to explore ways to ease the Saudis out of their Yemen pratfall. The under-the-radar meetings, conducted by national security adviser H.R. McMaster and his staff, were accompanied by mounting intelligence reports that Saudi Arabia’s intervention was throwing into doubt the long-term stability of the Saudi government. In fact, officials inside the royal family were using the Yemen crisis to mount a whisper campaign to undermine Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. 

In the wake of these White House consultations, a senior Pentagon official told me, the Trump administration reached two conclusions—that “all is not well in the House of Saud,” and that the U.S. should open talks with the Houthis to end the war. In September, as a part of this effort, the State Department dispatched David Schenker to Riyadh to pressure the Saudis to join prospective U.S.-Houthi talks hosted by Oman. 

This history provides context for the September 14 missile and drone strikes on a major oil processing facility inside Saudi Arabia. The U.S. intelligence community has since concluded that the attack, launched from western Iran, accounted for nearly 20 strikes that destroyed four oil tanks and disabled sophisticated oil pumping equipment. While the damage only temporarily curtailed world oil supplies, it sent shudders through global oil markets—and the White House. 

The Trump administration only briefly considered a military response, before dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh and then announcing the deployment of additional U.S. ground forces to help the Saudis improve their air defenses—a strategy that a senior Pentagon civilian described as “talking big and carrying a swagger stick.” In fact, the bluff and bluster belied the reality of what is actually happening in the region, this same Pentagon civilian told me. “We’re not the only ones moving pieces on the board,” he said. “Over the last two years, the Iranians have shown that they can hit us and our allies from all kinds of places.” 

According to this official, the U.S. and Iran have been engaged in “a kind of low intensity proxy war” in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the waters of the Persian Gulf since May 2018, when Washington withdrew from the U.S.-Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. By one count, the tit-for-tat conflict (“an escalatory salvo in an expanding regional power struggle,” as one report phrased it), has included the bombing of oil tankers, drone strikes on key ports, missile strikes on Riyadh, cross border operations targeting Saudi soldiers, and a drone offensive on the Golan Heights. 

The attacks have run parallel to Iran’s decision to upgrade and expand its support for Iranian proxies in the region, which, in turn, sparked the scrambling of Israeli jets to bomb suspected Iranian bases in Syria, Lebanon, and (most recently) Iraq. While the tit-for-tat blows have not yet put the U.S. and Iran into a direct confrontation, both nations are climbing the escalatory ladder towards war. Tehran’s new calculus (“expanding the battlefield,” as the senior Pentagon civilian phrased it) means that any U.S. strike against Iran itself would have to take into account multiple responses that would pit Iran and its allies (including Hezbollah) against the U.S. and its allies (including Israel). 

“You know that popular map that you see on Twitter that shows that Iran is surrounded by U.S. bases?” the Pentagon civilian asks rhetorically. “Well, guess what? The Iranians have now surrounded Saudi Arabia. And so while we’ve ratcheted up the economic pressure, they’ve decided to do the same. Last week’s message was loud and clear—if we can’t market our oil, we’re going to make damn sure you can’t market yours.” 

Left unsaid, but implied in this assessment, is what the official was careful not to say: that despite all of America’s saber rattling and Mike Pompeo’s bluster, the U.S. is playing an increasingly weak military hand—and it’s only getting weaker. 


Mark Perry is a contributing editor at The American Conservative and the author of The Pentagon’s Wars. He tweets @markperrydc.




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US helping the saudis to commit war crimes...




 By Doug Bandow


The U.S. has spent five years helping Saudi Arabia commit war crimes and slaughter civilians in an aggressive war against Yemen. Washington’s subservience to the Saudi royal family, whose regime shares few interests and even fewer values with America, has made the U.S. complicit in tens of thousands of needless deaths.

The Trump administration recently demonstrated a particularly toxic mix of hypocrisy and sanctimony regarding Yemen. The Pentagon complained that naval seizures by American patrols working on behalf of the Saudis had captured blasting caps for improvised explosive devices and components of anti-tank, anti-ship, and anti-aircraft missiles. The latter, called 358s, are known as “loitering” missiles, containing two different motors and avoiding normal defensive measures. An unnamed Pentagon official complained to the New York Times that the 358s could down American helicopters and tilt-wing Ospreys—though why that matters is unclear, since Washington supposedly is not running combat missions in Yemen.

Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, charged: “They are illicitly smuggled for a purpose and that purpose is to spread lethal assistance to the Houthis, to Iranian proxies, there’s not a plausible explanation on how these weapons got on to a vessel in Yemen without the sanction of the Iranian government.” 

With no hint of irony, he complained that Tehran had been arming the Houthis since the war’s start—when Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen—and had thereby prolonged the fighting. That is, Iran’s assistance enabled the Yemenis to defend themselves from their much richer and better armed adversary, which was supplied and otherwise aided by the U.S.

For decades, Washington has allowed Saudi Arabia to essentially hire out the American military as royal bodyguard. The Kingdom is an absolute monarchy without even a hint of religious or political liberty—indeed, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to whom the president and administration officials routinely genuflect, has reduced to nothing the minimal space that previously existed in his country for dissent. His most brazen act, in October 2018, was the murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

The United Arab Emirates is not quite so bad, at least if graded on a curve. Abu Dhabi, which has sharply downgraded its involvement in the conflict, has also long committed bombing carnage. Moreover, reports Amnesty International, the UAE imprisoned Yemenis and practiced “detention at gunpoint, torture with electric shocks, waterboarding, hanging from the ceiling, sexual humiliation, prolonged solitary confinement, squalid conditions, inadequate food and water.”

Washington has sold billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft and munitions to Riyadh and the UAE. The Pentagon also provides intelligence assistance to the Saudis in choosing their Yemeni targets, which itself raises serious questions since the royals appear to have intentionally struck civilians. For years, the U.S. military has also refueled Saudi aircraft engaged in bombing Yemen sites, including apartments, hospitals, weddings, funerals, school buses, and commercial sites.  

Of course, Riyadh’s culpability and cant are greater than Washington’s. American officials are aiding and abetting murder; Saudi officials are engaging in it. Riyadh announced that it had recently intercepted missile attacks on Saudi cities. Saudi spokesman Turki al-Malki piously complained: “They were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of international humanitarian law.” Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, he said, “has become a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching-hub for ballistic missiles that target the kingdom.”

Unsurprisingly, Malki failed to mention that he represents one of the world’s richest nations, which attacked one of the poorest. Yemen has long been convulsed by internal conflict. The latest round of fighting had nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. They invaded to restore to power a ruler they believed they could control. To the Saudi royals, everything is about the Saudi royals, irrespective of the cost to anyone else.

As for Malki’s complaint about attacks on Saudi cities, humanitarian groups agree that Riyadh has killed thousands of Yemenis. Two thirds to three quarters of all civilian casualties and property damage have resulted from Saudi and Emirati air attacks. Almost the entire Yemeni population faces death, hunger, poverty, and/or disease, the nation’s commercial, health, residential, and transportation infrastructure having been intentionally destroyed.

Last year, the United Nations warned, “The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly four years of conflict and severe economic decline are driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors.” The UN then estimated that some 24 million people, an astounding 80 percent of the population, needed international assistance. More than 14 million were in “acute need.” The cholera epidemic afflicted a million people. All of these resulted from Riyadh’s invasion.

Another perverse result of Washington’s support for Saudi tyranny has been the unintended transfer of U.S. weapons to Islamist radicals, as well as Yemeni Houthis and Iran. The Coalition, as the Saudi-Emirati axis styled itself in 2015, has allied with Islamists, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, long the most feared national affiliate of Osama bin Laden’s transnational group. According to the Associated Press, the Saudis and Emiratis “cut secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash.” Militias supported by the Coalition “actively recruit al-Qaeda militants, or those who were recently members, because they’re considered exceptional fighters.”

Equally serious, the Saudis and Emiratis have armed jihadist militias, sometimes with American weapons. Amnesty International charged that “the UAE has become a major conduit for armored vehicles, mortar systems, rifles, pistols, and machine guns—which are being illicitly diverted to unaccountable militias accused of war crimes and other serious violations.” The Pentagon recently complained about Iran transferring missiles to the Houthis, yet Riyadh provided antitank missiles to local al-Qaeda forces. Explained CNN, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi “have used the U.S.-manufactured weapons as a form of currency to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape.” Even more bizarre, some American weapons have ended up in Yemeni and even Iranian arsenals.

Under a worst case scenario, Iran would now be able to use American weapons against the U.S. Moreover, Iranians can study those weapons, analyzing weaknesses and reverse engineering to make their own. The results can then be shared with Iranian proxies.

Thankfully, war between Washington and Tehran is not likely. However, in the name of promoting negotiation, Washington has pushed Iran toward confrontation and conflict. The administration’s failed “maximum pressure” campaign greatly increased tensions, while the assassination of Qasem Soleimani set off violent reprisals. Iraq has become a new battleground and Tehran has dramatically demonstrated its ability to harm Americans with its missile strikes. It would be a tragic irony if U.S. officials supporting the Saudis ended up helping jihadists or Iranians kill Americans.

Area specialists emphasize that the Houthis have never been tools of Tehran. Never friends of America either, they turned to Iran for aid because they had no choice. After all, their well-funded enemies enjoyed the patronage of the United States, the world’s most powerful nation. The Obama administration apparently backed the Saudi royals’ aggression as a pay-off, since the latter were upset with the nuclear deal with Iran. Washington hoped to buy the Saudis’ favor by underwriting their brutal war. President Trump tore up the Iran deal but continued the deadly aid, choosing the worst possible policy on both counts.

The Persian Gulf matters much less to America these days: Israel is a regional superpower and the oil markets have diversified. The U.S. has no intrinsic security interest in Yemen. AQAP is a concern, but it is the Saudis and Emiratis who have allied with Islamist radicals. The conflict is a humanitarian tragedy, but on that score Washington is fighting on the wrong side, on behalf of the brutal aggressor.

The administration should end America’s participation in such an unjust, unnecessary war. That would encourage Riyadh to accelerate discussions with the Houthis in search of a diplomatic settlement. But America’s policy also shouldn’t depend on the Saudi position. The shock is not that Iran aided the Yemenis; it’s that Washington is supporting the corrupt, repressive Saudi royals.



Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire. He currently is scholar-in-residence at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney.


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man made by obama...


Like most modern famines, the famine in Yemen is entirely man-made. It is the result of the Saudi coalition’s military intervention and economic war against the country. The U.S. has been supporting the Saudi coalition in these policies for more than five and a half years. Yemen suffers from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis because of the predictable and predicted consequences of waging a senseless war in this country, and the U.S. shares culpability for the enormous harm done to innocent civilians from the Saudi coalition’s bombing and blockade. The humanitarian crisis has worsened this year as international donations have dried up and the Trump administration has suspended aid funding to the part of Yemen where most of the people live in a destructive bid to pressure the Houthis.


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bullshit from obama...

Barack Obama has said part of the reason more than 73 million Americans voted to re-elect Donald Trump in the election was because of messaging from Republicans that the country was under attack – particularly white men.

In an interview with the radio show the Breakfast Club on Wednesday to promote his new memoir, A Promised Land, Obama said Trump’s administration, which he did not name directly, 'objectively has failed, miserably, in handling just basic looking after the American people and keeping them safe', and yet he still secured millions of votes

Obama: Republicans portraying white men as 'victims' helped Trump win votes





Time for Obama to put the lid on his trap has he tries to add more sauce to his ointment for haemorrhoids... See: why trump should keep his head high... in the ballade of a departing president...


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See also: yeeeecks... in war is peace...