Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 26, 2015

The Wahhabis' War On Yemen

Just yesterday I wrote that the Saudis would not dare to attack Yemen. I was wrong with this:

While the Saudi army is now sending some troops to its southern border with Yemen neither the Saudi army nor the Egyptian will want to fight and lose again against the Yemeni tribes. The Pakistanis are unwilling to send troops. The request for troops the disposed president Hadi made will therefore be ignored. No foreign troops will invade Yemen and the Houthis will for now remain the ruling force.

Over night the Saudi air force attacked the Dulaimi military airbase in Sanaa, the capitol of Yemen.

Yesterday the Houthi led rebellion had kicked the Saudi/U.S. installed president Hadi out of the country and took control over most of its cities including the southern capitol Aden. The Houthi are allied with the former president Saleh, himself a Houthi and replaced two years ago with his vice president Hadi after a U.S. induced light coup. Saleh and the Houthi are supported by significant parts of the Yemeni army. The Saudis had warned that any move against Aden whereto Hadi hat earlier fled would have consequences but no one took that serious.

The Saudis have now announced, through their embassy in Washington(!), that a coalition of Sunni led countries will attack Yemen. These include at least nominally Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. The Saudis say that 100 of its warplanes and 150,000 soldiers will take part in the campaign. They also announced an air and sea blockade against the country.

The U.S. is "supporting", i.e. guiding, the campaign through a coordination cell. The White House statement says:

In response to the deteriorating security situation, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, and others will undertake military action to defend Saudi Arabia’s border and to protect Yemen’s legitimate government. As announced by GCC members earlier tonight, they are taking this action at the request of Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our GCC partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests. In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations. While U.S. forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.

While bashing Obama the usual warmongers in Congress support this attack.

There seems to be the idea that Saudi/U.S. selected president Hadi, out now, could be reintroduced through force. The U.S. claims that Hadi was "elected" but with a ballot like this any "election" is a mere joke. There is no way Hadi can be reintroduced by force. The chance to achieve the war's aim is therefore low.

Someone warned the Houthis of the imminent attack and they evacuated their offices before they were hit. They declared that all agreements between Yemen and Saudi Arabia , including the 1934 Taif border treaty line, are now null and void and the Saudi provinces of Najran, Asir and Jizan, long claimed as historic parts of Yemen, would be taken back.

The Yemenis are fiercely independent and dislike the arrogant Saudis. The Houthis especially have been at war for over a decade. There are tons of weapons in the country including some $500 million worth the U.S. "lost" after it delivered them to its allies on the ground. The chances for the Saudis to win in a fight against Yemen are very low. Pat Lang, former military attache in Yemen, writes about the Houthi:

Spectacularly gifted in field craft, endowed with a wry, dry sense of humor and fiercely independent among the clans and against whatever government might be, these perpetually armed little hill men make good friends but bad enemies.

Gregory Johnson, who studied Yemen, explains the roots of Houthi's campaign against the various U.S. supported governments in Yemen. Emad Mostaque describes the economic background. There are two Wikileaks cables (1 2) about the Saudi fight with Houthis in 2009. The Saudis ended that campaign after enduring unexpected losses.

While the Houthi have also enemies inside Yemen, and would likely not rule for long without a new internal political compromise, the attack by outsiders is likely to unite all Yemeni forces except maybe Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.

To see this whole conflict as a sectarian Shia-Sunni proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is wrong:

While the chief combatants in the civil war are certainly playing the sectarian card to some degree, there is reason to think that Yemen will not necessarily become part of some regional sectarian conflict. Regardless of their foreign ties, both the Shiite Houthis and their Sunni opponents are deeply rooted in Yemen, and they are motivated primarily by local issues.

The main danger now is that the Western powers, Saudi Arabia or Egypt will overreact and seek to intervene, ostensibly to counter Iranian influence or to quash the efforts of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to gain territory. Yet foreign intervention could very well be the worst approach now—further regionalizing what is still a local fight, injecting a stronger sectarian tone into the conflict while threatening to push Yemen closer to implosion.

As Pat Lang concludes:

The Houthi descendants of my old acquaintances are not servants of Iran. They are not dangerous to Western interests. They are dangerous to AQAP. Get it? Salih will return.

Seen like this the U.S. supported Saudi campaign is actually in support of their Wahhabi Al-Qaeda brethren, not in support of the majority of Yemenis. It is stupid (but typical) for the U.S to support such a move. The fight will, like the British dirty campaign against Yemen in the 1960s which Adam Curtis describes, not result in any progress or success for any of its participants.

The only immediate winners those oil producing countries which are currently distressed by low prices. Oil went up by 6% after the Saudis' plans were announced.

Posted by b on March 26, 2015 at 02:52 AM | Permalink

Comments

Could Yemen be Saudi Arabia's Vietnam? Probably not, but if the Saudis can't choke the Houthi uprising quickly, it'll be yet another prolonged and costly campaign.

Right in their backyard.

Posted by: never mind | Mar 26, 2015 3:59:12 AM | 1

@never mind

In Cairo the 1960s Egyptian campaign in Yemen is known as "Egypt's Vietnam"

If the Saudis or anyone else tries to invade Yemen they will be greeted with flowers ... on their graves.

Posted by: b | Mar 26, 2015 4:23:23 AM | 2

I dont think wahhabis (and US) realistically plan to win over Houthis, probably the main goal is to split the country. In the obedient part they'll install a puppet, in the rest - they'll do their best to keep it as a failed state, and sponsor Al Qaeda there too.

Posted by: Harry | Mar 26, 2015 4:59:02 AM | 3

Probably not, but if the Saudis can't choke the Houthi uprising quickly, it'll be yet another prolonged and costly campaign.

Right in their backyard.

Posted by: never mind | Mar 26, 2015 3:59:12 AM | 1

Now who do the Saudis buy from again?

And who do we know that likes "prolonged and costly campaigns"?

There seems to be the idea that Saudi/U.S. selected president Hadi, out now, could be reintroduced through force. The U.S. claims that Hadi was "elected" but with a ballot like this any "election" is a mere joke. There is no way Hadi can be reintroduced by force. The chance to achieve the war's aim is therefore low.

hmmmmm .. .. . "the war's aim"?

sez who?

Posted by: Quote/UNquote | Mar 26, 2015 5:34:36 AM | 4

Posted by: Harry | Mar 26, 2015 4:59:02 AM | 3

sounds reasonably achievable

Posted by: Quote/UNquote | Mar 26, 2015 5:35:20 AM | 5

Presumably Oman said fuck off. When you are trying to form a united regional coalition against Iran, it helps not to alienate your existing GCC southern partner. Otherwise you might find the Shia arc becomes a Shia noose.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 26, 2015 5:55:16 AM | 6

yet again Iran foreign policy based on supporting Islamic regimes has shown to be a failure, they supported the overthrow of ghaddafi in libya, Morsi in egypt, etc. the sunni shia artificial conflict is Israel manufactured, let's see this, how iran will react, will it be offered a nuclear settlement, something akin to Cuba in relation to Venezuela. time will tell

Posted by: papa | Mar 26, 2015 6:38:29 AM | 7

The US knows that the Sunni Arab countries are terrified by the imminent US-Iran nuclear deal. So, it just wants to reassure them that the US will not tolerate Iran to dominate the region, at least temporarily
It also wants the Sunni Arab countries to unite and test their own ability to defend themselves instead of relying on the USA military for their protection. Therefore it has not discouraged them to take the military initiative in Yemen, provided it is effective and short-lived.

Like Hezbollah and the Syrian army in Syria, the Arab Sunnis will have to decide who is the most dangerous, the Houthis or Al Qaeda. Weakening the Houthis will only allow Al Qaeda to take a larger geographical space and Saudi Arabia may soon have to face a more ruthless enemy on its borders.
With these strikes on Yemen, Saudi Arabia is therefore helping Al Qaeda to expand. The Sunni Arabs made a move that can become extremely dangerous to Saudi Arabia, if they stop short of protecting Yemen from Al Qaeda in the eventuality that the Houthis are not here to do it.

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 26, 2015 6:50:47 AM | 8

The Wahabi Kingdom announced a air and land blockade around Yemen - at the same time there are Iranian warships and submarine on anti-piracy patrol nearby - what will the Wahabi Pimpdom do if they decide to do a port call to Yemen? Or a Mehran airplane from Tehran is about to enter Yemeni airspace?

Also, they could find 10 countries, 100 planes and 150,000 canon foddet to protect Hadi - but sat on their arses as their legitimate child - ISIS - was about to take Baghdad, took Mosul and busy killing Iraqis.

Posted by: Irshad | Mar 26, 2015 7:13:23 AM | 9

This could well be the start of WW3 ... Russia and China are not going to like this US sponsored invasion of another country without UN backing just because the brutal Sauds could muster a coalition of a bunch of 'Arab' dictatorships and Ottoman wannabe imperialists. Iran may not implicate itself directly but it will clearly increase its support to all its other allies. When it goes so far as open invasions of other countries rather than covert use of 'rebels' or 'radicals' the rules of the change.

In Ukraine it looks like the spring campaign could start immediately.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 26, 2015 7:49:54 AM | 10

The Yemen have promised to hit back at the Saudi dictators aggression, quite right, you bomb us, we bomb you, how about the main Saudi oil terminal at Ras Tanua here is how the Guardian described a possible attack by militants on that facility back in 2004 "An assault on Ras Tanura, however, would be vastly more serious. As much as 80% of the near 9m barrels of oil a day pumped out by Saudi is believed to end up being piped from fields such as Ghawar to Ras Tanura in the Gulf to be loaded on to supertankers bound for the west. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jun/03/saudiarabia.oil That should sort the fat Saudi perverts out.

Posted by: harry law | Mar 26, 2015 8:24:40 AM | 11

hooray for the Houthis

Posted by: chris m | Mar 26, 2015 9:04:37 AM | 12

@3 Isn't the oil under the least obedient part?

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 26, 2015 9:09:19 AM | 13

Well, it looks like now the Houthis have officially joined the Axis of Resistance, as being attacked by the Empire of Chaos or its puppets is required for membership. This is an attack on a larger scale, a US-supported strategic move from the Saudis and its "Coalition of Henchmen" (the Gulf Counterrevolutionary Council, et al) that will definitely alter the geopolitics of the region, effectively displacing the attention from the proxy wars against Syria/Iraq/Lebanon to the Southeast. The degenerate Saudis have been itching to flex their military muscle in the region for quite a while now, and the Houthis advance against the US/Saudi puppet in Yemen gave them a golden opportunity. Iran might find itself overstretched, fighting yet another proxy war besides Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, furthering the potential for a direct confrontation with the corrupt Saudi satraps, in case they move to blockade Yemen as the rumor goes. At the same time, the Saudis attention on the Southeast will provide Syria/Iraq/Hezbollah a chance to reorganize/redefine their military/political objectives, reenforcing the need for a collective response for what is clearly becoming a regional conflict. Hopefully the Houthis have developed their military/political capabilities for a prolonged conflict, in which survival of the fittest will be the order of the day, fighting against an enemy with superior weapons and advanced technology. IMHO, the Saudis have entered a hornest nest, which will affect the region for years to come, redefining tactical-strategic alliances. A blockade of Yemen will also have the objective of blocking the alleged support of Eritrea for the Houthis, right accross the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb on the Red Sea, causing the fierce Eritrean warriors to increase their support/enter the conflict if they feel threatened by the Saudi campaign. Now we will have to wait and see the results of the latest US misadventure in the Arabian peninsula. May Allah strenghten the Houthis hand agains their enemies.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Mar 26, 2015 9:34:03 AM | 14

papa

Blame Iran? Islamic regimes? What are you even talking about?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 26, 2015 9:34:27 AM | 15

I would suggest taking a look at my 2010 Chaos in Yemen, where I outline the origins of the Huthi as part of a much larger coalition of disgruntled villagers from the Northern region of Saada...Salih was actually the primary instigator of war with Huthi, six proxy wars on behalf of KSA since 2004...so not sure we can entirely link him with this legitimate and non-sectarian movement that is so easily fused with KSA/US larger campaign to oppress opposition in the larger region. Pat Lang got it right. Also, Yemen is a future major supplier of oil...also something that suspiciously gets swept under the rug by our usual group of "experts" some of whom were mentioned in the piece above. Guess who is willing to use Salafist proxies to secure these resources.

Posted by: Isa Blumi | Mar 26, 2015 9:35:41 AM | 16

Didn't Ali Abdullah Saleh cooperate with the US drone war as much as his successor did? I thought that when Arab Spring protests began in Yemen, people on this blog wanted Saleh ousted as much they did Mubarak and the al-Khalifa royal family. Is it worth routing for the Houthis if they wind up restoring Saleh to power?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 26, 2015 9:49:47 AM | 17

Inkan1969


Didn't Ali Abdullah Saleh cooperate with the US drone war as much as his successor did? I thought that when Arab Spring protests began in Yemen, people on this blog wanted Saleh ousted as much they did Mubarak and the al-Khalifa royal family. Is it worth routing for the Houthis if they wind up restoring Saleh to power?

They dont support him, I dont where people got that idea from.

Lets ask b, he says that too.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 26, 2015 10:21:10 AM | 18

Some history on Yemen: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/asia/ye.htm

Posted by: ben | Mar 26, 2015 10:24:51 AM | 19

@17 The Houthis present a threat to the usual oil interests much like Russia, but the House of Saud/Wahaabiists fear a Sunni/muslim democratic/vaguely secular arrangement above all else. It might the Arabs of the peninsula ideas, and as long as the oil flows through the proper middlemen, the West on the whole won't care who is pumping, just disruptions.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 26, 2015 10:25:22 AM | 20

Gulf of Aden is a hub
http://rt.com/business/244205-oil-surge-yemen-airstrikes/
Even the Egyptians have a lot to lose in case of a blockade.
Seems that most of the Arab countries have decided to solve their little demographic problem the worse way. No doubt it'll help Western economies.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 26, 2015 10:34:19 AM | 21

"Yesterday the Houthi led rebellion had kicked the Saudi/U.S. installed president Hadi out of the country'

So, your insisting on promoting the bogus western narrative that the Houthi's ousted Hadi, rather then the accurate factual narrative that Hadi- stepped down and then fled of his own volition
Why? That narrative is simply not credible
Nor is the simplistic shia/sunni narrative which you have addressed
And finally obviously this is in support of AQ/Al Nusra/ IsIS
whatever brand you wish to label NATO's islamic irregulars with
It was pretty obvious at the time of Charlie Hebdo the "AQ in Yemen" meme bomb was dropped with intention and purpose

As for the oil?

Another piece of this puzzle the chokepoint aside for the moment, is the fact that after the Hadi government stepped down- and the Houthi's stepped up to the plate- Oil shipment to China increased over 300 percent

"China's crude imports from Yemen in the first two months this year were 4.5 mln bbls, up 315 per cent from the same period a year ago."

This will surely crimp China's access to oil and curtail revenue for the fledgling Yemen government

Posted by: Penny | Mar 26, 2015 11:03:55 AM | 22

KSA *is* AQ, Taleban, ISIS and most of the other international terrorist orgs. Oh, and they sponsored 9-11 perpetrators also*. So US is basically backing Al-Qaida and ISIS by supporting Saudi-Arabia. Shining democracy on the hill..

*http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/saudi-s-new-king-terror-1358544415

Posted by: Northernsoul | Mar 26, 2015 11:24:40 AM | 23

Saleh was driven out of power by a US-Saud conspiracy (after getting nearly killed by a bomb from unknown source that visibly burned his face and hands). US-Saud acted to counteract the protest from the on going branch of the real 'Arab spring' in Yemen and replaced one puppet with another puppet.

A couple years later Saleh and his allies in the Yemeni army, which were sidelined or replaced by the new US-Saud puppet, decided to change sides and help the Houthis. I read somewhere the Saleh and his allies have origins from the same Zaydi population than the Houthis come. The Zaydi in Yemen dominated the country until 1962 and they are not a small minority (35-40% from wiki) so they have the capability to run Yemen or large parts of Yemen.

I don't discard, after the US-Saud had decided to step in and prevent a Houthi take over, for Saleh to switch back if given proper compensation.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 26, 2015 11:36:31 AM | 24

@Anonymous

Best sign for Saleh influence is that the Houthis are collaborating with some (former) Yemeni army units that are/were loyal to Saleh. Saleh himself is from a Houthi aligned tribe.

Saleh was ousted in a U.S./Qatar engineered color revolution and when he didn't want to leave was bombed in an assassination attempt. Guess who engineered that ... or who Saleh believes engineered that. Who should he ally with to get back into his old position?

Coalitions in Yemen are extremely flexible. Hadi fled to Aden which he years ago bombed when he tried to wrestle it from Southern separatists. His enemies there became his friends and may tomorrow be again his enemies. The tribe changes their allegiances for money, to seek justice or for other perceived valuable political gains. That is normal in Yemen. (See the BBC documentation I linked yesterday for a few examples)
---
Egyptians generals say that there will be a land campaign

Egyptian security and military officials say Saudi Arabia and Egypt will lead a ground operation in Yemen against Shiite rebels and their allies after a campaign of airstrikes to weaken them.

Three senior officials tell The Associated Press that forces would enter by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. They said Thursday that other nations will also be involved.

They would not specify troop numbers or say when the operation would start, only that it would be after airstrikes weaken the rebels and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

They say the offensive aims to push the rebels into negotiations on power sharing. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. (AP)

Posted by: b | Mar 26, 2015 11:37:10 AM | 25

The Egyptian weak conscript army can't barely prevent Sinai from being attacked by a few Jihadists and local smugglers and they expect to weaken the Houthis? Sinai is basically depopulated in comparison.

In any case I wouldn't really trust Haretz until this is confirmed by Egyptian sources. The Sisi regime needs Saud money but I'm not sure he would risk the danger of being military humiliated. The Egyptian population is tired from the revolution and counter-revolution but it's also quite divided. Some major defeat and a flow of young conscripts dying in Yemen for the Sauds may destabilize again Egypt.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 26, 2015 11:47:21 AM | 26

I was more than a little surprised at the MoA view that Saudi Arabia wouldn't try anything militarily in Yemen.
Besides the historical animosity, there was the recent precedent (and success?) of Saudi tanks rolling into Bahrain.
Of course, Bahrain isn't Yemen - but a newly ascended Saudi King no doubt wants to flex some muscle and prove he's the leader of the Sunni world.
I echo what other's have said - this isn't going to end well for Saudi Arabia...

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 26, 2015 11:54:15 AM | 27

It seems spectacular hubris that Egypt and KSA will attempt a ground campaign. The silver lining here is that the war will now come home to al-Saud. This is what has to happen for there to be a change in the constant ratcheting up of destruction in the region. There was a story today by the NYT's UN reporter -- more asylum seekers now than since the Balkan Wars.

In Iraq, right out on the front page of today's paper, it was admitted by an unnamed U.S. official (probably Brett McGurk) that ISIS is merely a foil for conflict with Iran:

American officials now hope that an American-assisted victory by Mr. Abadi and his forces will politically bolster him and counter the view of Iranian officials, and many Iraqi Shiites, that Iran is Iraq’s vital ally. “Taking back Tikrit is important, but it gives us an opportunity to have our half of the operation win this one,” one American official said. “It’s somewhat of a gamble.”

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 26, 2015 11:56:21 AM | 28

Saleh houti connection as some ppl here claims makes no sense IMO,

Why would Saleh collaborate with Houtis when they have waged a war against each other past 12 years?

Not sure why US would hate him (as some ppl here claim) since he have been a US puppet for the past 30 years, even going to the US after his departure?

The Saleh talk is likely just MSM propaganda, dont spread it.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 26, 2015 12:24:33 PM | 29

Since Hadi was elected, the sancticity of electoral process requires interventions. The role of guardians of democracy is entrusted by the optimistic world to a bunch of absolute monarchies, with possible assist from a sketchily elected fascist ruler or Egypt. What was the appropriate quote? "Napalm in the morning smells like freedom"?

Is it the end of Yemeni Maidan, or far from it?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26, 2015 12:30:47 PM | 30

@ b

Look what AngryArab is saying:

http://angryarab.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-war-on-yemen-how-to-read-it.html

In the 1960s, the Saudi regime ignited the war of Yemen to thwart a progressive and republican alternative to the reactionary immate regime (and Israel supplied weapons to the Saudi side in that war). In this war, the GCC countries are supporting a corrupt and reactionary puppet regime created by Saudi Arabia and the US. Saudi Arabia never allowed Yemen to enjoy independence. It saw in itself the legitimate heir to the British imperial power in peninsula. The Huthis (with whom I share absolutely nothing) are a bunch of reactionaries but who were created due to the very policies and war pursued by the Saudi regime in Yemen and their then puppet, `Ali `Abdullah Salih.

Posted by: Yul | Mar 26, 2015 12:32:01 PM | 31

I laboriously prepare a sentence that can be pompously inserted to almost any erudite commentary about military-political situation in concerning wider Middle East. The uninterrupted tradition of backstabbing is documented in written sources extending from the era of the legendary Gilgamesh. Today the term is rather metaphorical, since firearms and explosives are used instead of daggers.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 26, 2015 12:38:14 PM | 32

Happy days ahead.. We're witnessing the natural disintegration of decades of Western form puppet states...All the countries in the Saudi led coalition were once British protectorates.. In fact, those states where created out of thin air and their "kings" installed... Their main job is to just pump oil...

Posted by: Zico | Mar 26, 2015 12:54:43 PM | 33

Zico says:

Their main job is to just pump oil...

and buy lots of US ordnance

Posted by: john | Mar 26, 2015 1:21:38 PM | 34

@32 zico.. that about sums it up with johns extra little caveat..

Posted by: james | Mar 26, 2015 1:33:15 PM | 35

@27... USNATO persists in thinking that a pair of deuces/jack high is a winning hand.

“It’s somewhat of a gamble.”

@28... The Yemeni military, mostly still loyal to Saleh, will resist a ground invasion, and they actually have been blooded fighting the Houthis (and vice versa). The Saudi and Egyptian militaries are very well supplied with US arms (as are the Yemenis), and sport nice uniforms with lots of medals. The situation is ripe with dire potential.

Posted by: chuckvw | Mar 26, 2015 3:00:58 PM | 36

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-president-saudi-amid-fresh-anti-houthi-strikes-1944829381
Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi arrived Thursday in Riyadh, which is leading a coalition against Shiite rebels threatening to take over Aden, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

He was received at an airbase by Saudi Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is overseeing the military operation by nearly a dozen countries against the Houthi Shiites.

Hadi's whereabouts had been unknown since the Houthi rebels and their allies closed in on his refuge in the main southern city of Aden this week.

Yemen's acting foreign minister, Riyad Yassin, told reporters in Cairo that Hadi would take part in a two-day Arab summit starting Saturday in Egypt.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 26, 2015 3:18:27 PM | 37

What this episode will make clear to the Russians and Iranians is that the US disregards the UN charter and International law generally,this time without the fig leaf of Humanitarian intervention as in the case of Libya,
They would back the Devil himself [as they are doing with the Islamist head choppers] to achieve their hegemonic ambitions in the region. The Saudis think they can do anything, who can blame them, the Saudi family own a country, with all the oil wealth to buy other countries allegiance. The Saudis are funneling billions into Egypt and are now buying mercenaries from Pakistan. Where will it all end? Hopefully with all the Kings and Emirs dangling from lamp posts.

Posted by: harry law | Mar 26, 2015 3:29:07 PM | 38

re 7

yet again Iran foreign policy based on supporting Islamic regimes has shown to be a failure,
What a joke! The intervention of Iran here is minimal, if anything at all.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 26, 2015 3:40:14 PM | 39

If the Saudis decide to invade by land, they will fail. Saudi troops are not very motivated - they're more used to drinking tea. And secondly the terrain is mountainous, with tribes shooting from behind every rock.

With regard to an air campaign by Saudi and other Arab allies, there's the question: did the US sell the latest laser-guided bombs? Or was it that the Saudis didn't know how to use them? The only photo I've seen so far is of a bomb which landed in a taxi-park.

We're not looking at the destruction of the Houthis yet.

The Angry Arab talks of a "war of the cities". Do the Houthis have access to SCUDs or the like? If they do, such a war of the cities could have an important effect on Saudi. I have my doubts though whether the Houthis are so very opposed to Saudi.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 26, 2015 4:14:29 PM | 40

Predictable op ed from George Will in Washington Post: How income inequality benefits everybody.

Illustrating how the media have been taken over by the .01%.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 26, 2015 4:52:12 PM | 41

the question is , why these wars?
the answer is, the us-militia wants to kill the us-americans in concentrations camps like hitler tried with jews. this is the goal of us-imperialism. the masskilling of americans. now they just prepare the atmosphere.

they just repeat last years killing the Gaza by israel. Israel createt the war in Syria. they earned the seeds in Gaza. they even tried gas-killing in the tunels. now it is us term to do it.

Posted by: ZX | Mar 26, 2015 5:56:31 PM | 42

Buzzwords:"wahabi". Here is a word. Tyranny. As in U.S. over Yemen. Millions starving according to relief agencies. A classified war according to Wired. Purely bombing the poor masses to keep its strategic foothold the U.S. is? Will Someone cut the BS?

Posted by: FredGarvin | Mar 26, 2015 6:06:30 PM | 43

Good post b, keep'em coming.

The Yemeni front in the south provides much needed relief for Syria and Iraq invaded by the Saudi trained and sponsored terrorists known as ISIL. There are rumors about Jordan withdrawing from the war against Syria, they will sign agreement with Russians about building 2 nuclear plants soon.

This is the end of the British/Rothshilde project "Saudi Arabia" which precedes the fall of their another project called "Israel".

2015, a year to remember.

Posted by: Prosperity+Peace | Mar 26, 2015 7:09:01 PM | 44

@laGuerre: "Do the Houthis have access to SCUDs or the like?" Yes, I saw on a Woodrow Wilson Institute panel that they have indeed captured such weapons. As someone suggested, perhaps they might be of use in raising the price of oil by hitting the Saudis' oil port or something along those lines.

If the Saudi's are foolish enough to get deeply involved, it is the first step in the final removal of the monarchy there. The harder they press their one-sided "sectarian" war, the more the elevate their military to power, the more they spread themselves thin is the sooner they will face a revolt in their oil provinces - an event which means the end of the USA's totalitarian piggy bank, and Israel's only friend in the region.

@Irshad: "they could find 10 countries, 100 planes and 150,000 canon foddet to protect Hadi - but sat on their arses as their legitimate child - ISIS"

This is an excellent point.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 26, 2015 7:32:08 PM | 45

I would take all of this US stink tank bullshit with a truckload of salt, but there is information in both of these:

Yemen Adrift: The Houthi Takeover and its Consequences for the Middle East

Published on Jan 30, 2015
The Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted an event in which three experts discussed the current Yemini crisis and the future of the country following former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s resignation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reOkdRlpwiY

A Year of Crisis: The Middle East in 2015

Published on Jan 21, 2015
The Middle East, already the world’s most volatile region, faces some of its toughest challenges in a century: Borders have been redrawn in Syria and Iraq. States from Libya to Yemen are collapsing. Autocracy is again on the rise in Egypt. And diplomacy is teetering with Iran. Meanwhile, the United States is being sucked back into the region. Come hear four top experts explore the crises of 2015, the stakes, and where they’re headed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz8G6eKzilQ


Posted by: guest77 | Mar 26, 2015 7:44:21 PM | 46

The two warships, the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry in the Red Sea may to be attacked by Israeli Dolphin submarines to claim Iran did it (a repeat of the USS Liberty gambit) and the war with Iran will be underway!

Posted by: ALAN | Mar 26, 2015 8:47:54 PM | 47

The hegemonic nation, whose ambition is set for that "pivot to Asia", has really stubbed its toe for the foreseeable future. The outline of catastrophe we see in Yemen, is composed of deep intrigue; and it was likely brought about by the same premeditated aggression and deception that has been seen elsewhere.

And don't be surprised if it comes wrapped in a double-cross, or two, somewhere down the line.

All this may, or may not lead to a World War; but be assured that the process is being manipulated by psychopaths,--whether they be in Washington, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, or in the capitols of certain vassals, in the NATO Alliance. One could say that this struggle pits the Axis of Resistance against the Matrix of Chaos.

But kingdoms will fall by the wayside, I think, before all of this is over.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 26, 2015 9:05:19 PM | 48

empire of chaos
*US defends strategy in Yemen and Iraq but diplomats admit: it's a mess *

from washington's pov, a *mess up* means MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. ;-)
u bet the diplomats are chuckling to themselves while they complain !

p.s.
this just comes in....
*china is deeply concerned with the mess in yemen, which might disrupt its oil supply* :-(

Posted by: denk | Mar 26, 2015 11:09:15 PM | 49

The depravity of the Gulf Monarchies on full display. The constantly accuse Iran of trying to meddle in Yemeni affairs by supposedly supporting the Houthis, and are now preparing to invade that same country. I guess that's not interfering, but being a good neighbor. And of course we all know this war is pretty much going to be directed from Washington.

Isn't it funny how the talking heads in US media portray Iran as plotting to conquer the whole Middle East, yet this is happening? Where Iran has sent its troops, it was to fight our "enemy" ISIS...

Posted by: Almand | Mar 27, 2015 1:13:58 AM | 50

more bs headlines...
*chaos deals blow to us war on terror*

no u fucking morons,
the war OF terror is all about CHAOS !
HEHEHEHE

Posted by: denk | Mar 27, 2015 1:43:03 AM | 51

How could anyone of us even think that the Saudis would be able to scrounge up this crew of arab tin pot despots to fight against Yemeni Houthis?
This is a bolt out of the blue. Let's start thinking about what will happen then if....What IF the Saudis actually crush the Houthis?
We talk about the Saudis losing this fight but they have the equipment and plenty of resources on their side. They might win mi gente, so what next?

Posted by: Fernando | Mar 27, 2015 2:09:49 AM | 52

As some houthi agitators said... Yemen will be the grave of the saudi agressors... Death to the corrupt medieval fanatics from the house of Saud and their sponsors in the american state!!!

Posted by: guy | Mar 27, 2015 2:24:52 AM | 53

@ Laguerre | 39

"war of the cities". Do the Houthis have access to SCUDs or the like?

They have, but they are militarily useless in cities, and Iran wont be supplying precise missiles like Fateh-110-D1. SCUDs could be very useful against Saudi oil installations though.

Iran's clandestine support could be tied to nuclear deal, but Houthis have plenty of weapons even if Iran wont be supporting them. In case of support, Houthis could really use anti-ship missiles like Noor/Qader, as well as AA mobile missiles. This would effectively break Yemen blockade, and on the ground invaders chances are slim to none anyway.

Posted by: Harry | Mar 27, 2015 3:05:47 AM | 54

The axis of resistance against the empire of chaos.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 27, 2015 3:39:29 AM | 55

43

This is the end of the British/Rothshilde project "Saudi Arabia" which precedes the fall of their other project called "America".

There, fixed it for you.

Posted by: NoReply | Mar 27, 2015 5:54:19 AM | 56

US to give 'logistical, intelligence' support in Yemen


"President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations," National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

25 killed in Saudi-led operation against Yemen's Houthis (Roundup)


Saudi Arabia's warplanes raided military camps of the Shia Houthi group in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Thursday, killing at least 25 civilians and wounding 50 others, as Riyadh led a joint Gulf Arab nations' operation in the crisis-hit country.

People carry the body of a child they uncovered from under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen


People carry the body of a child they uncovered from under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country's south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said.

Looks like the US is telling the Saudis where the women and children are so they can follow the US/Israeli example and kill them.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 27, 2015 7:31:41 AM | 57

41;You'd think serial screwups and idiots wouldn't have their jobs,but no,not one f*cking monster has lost his job for being wrong about everything and anything in the American propaganda campaign directed from the slavers,Zion.(Except Judy Miller,Israel called her home)

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 27, 2015 11:07:47 AM | 58

Good read who understands Russian, an interview by Russian expert who just returned from Yemen.

http://expert.ru/2015/03/27/er-riyadu-pridetsya-voevat-na-tri-fronta/

Posted by: Harry | Mar 27, 2015 12:37:43 PM | 59

First wahhabi losses in Yemen: two Saudi jets, one UAE jet, one drone. Yemen army already preparing missiles (incl. SCUDs) near the Saudi border, and forefront militias counter-attacked and took over about 30 Saudi villages.

http://buckthorn29.livejournal.com/76501.html

If Saudi army enters Yemen, Houthis not only promised to beat it to dust, but also said they'll invade Saudis and finish off Saud dynasty. (personal note: I like Houthis more and more :)

Posted by: Harry | Mar 27, 2015 12:55:40 PM | 60

via Angry Arab

Did Saudi Arabia intervene in Yemen to foil a Huthi operation against Al-Qa`idah in South Yemen?


This is an excellent article by comrade Amer about the Saudi war of aggression on Yemen. He explains the sequence of events. How the ISIS-affiliates and Al-Qa`idah in Yemen were sending car bombs to Shi`ite (or Zaydi) mosques in Yemen. And the leader of the Huthis explained that they would not let Al-Qa`idah grow as was the case in Iraq and that there is a need to root them out. The operation began and it succeeded in taking over areas in the South when the Saudi regime intervened. It is evident now that the Bin Ladenites were following Saudi orders in Yemen.

Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:46 AM

Makes a lot of sense ...

Posted by: b | Mar 27, 2015 2:32:19 PM | 61

@61 b.. thanks for that.. what do they mean by 'the bin ladenites'?

Posted by: james | Mar 27, 2015 2:58:54 PM | 62

@60 harry. i read an article on the yemen people.. they make very good friends and very bad enemies.. from that comment alone, i sense they are good people, not to be messed with.

Posted by: james | Mar 27, 2015 3:00:53 PM | 63

Moon---I have never been on your blog before--I like it. Now, Saudis go into Yemen with airpower. Question??? Are Americans flying the planes. We know Saudis can't fight their way out of a paper bag even with all the hi-tech stuff they bought from us.

Posted by: Brooklyn Dave | Mar 27, 2015 3:49:21 PM | 64

Brad Cabana's take on Sunnis, Shia, and western-imposed nation-states in the Middle East.

http://rocksolidpolitics.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-middle-east-on-fire.html

Posted by: Thirdeye | Mar 27, 2015 4:34:33 PM | 65

I'd be surprised if a Saudi offensive in Yemen makes much progress, either in the air, or on the ground. The leader is the Defence Minister, son of the King and thirty years old. It's either a young man who is leading, or the King himself. Bellicosity is the policy for the moment.

I don't know how the US will react to a

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 27, 2015 5:02:51 PM | 66

I don't know how the US will react to a Saudi setback.

I would have thought that the result of the present conflict will be a redivision of Yemen into North and South, though not necessarily on the historical boundaries. Al-Qa'ida, oil, and Sunnis are all in the South. Oil is near the historical border, and so might be grabbed by the North.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 27, 2015 5:09:42 PM | 67

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBBBfY9ydmM

On this week's Comment show, George Galloway debates with callers on Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Conservatives.

(I send you to YouTube, because the PressTV site seems to be suffering some sort of outage (or attack?))

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 27, 2015 5:59:29 PM | 68

@Almand: "The depravity of the Gulf Monarchies on full display. The constantly accuse Iran of trying to meddle in Yemeni affairs by supposedly supporting the Houthis, and are now preparing to invade that same country. "

Excellent point. I would remind all that this invasion of Yemen is just a repeat of the glaring hypocrisy shown in their invasion of Bahrain - to put down an so-called "Arab Spring" (but in that rare case, an actual democratic) revolution.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 27, 2015 6:03:37 PM | 69

re 69

I would remind all that this invasion of Yemen is just a repeat of the glaring hypocrisy shown in their invasion of Bahrain
It is not. The situations are very different. Here the Saudis will fail, if they try a land invasion.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 27, 2015 6:28:53 PM | 70

Here's some news:

Yemen’s Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes

Gains threaten last refuge of president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and could undermine air campaign to support him
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/27/yemens-houthi-rebels-advance-despite-saudi-led-air-strikes

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 27, 2015 9:01:45 PM | 71

Here's a good video on the war in Yemen, from TRRN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1RuskXHJss&feature=em-share_video_user

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 27, 2015 9:05:58 PM | 72

From the link given by Harry 59: KSA has BBC! Take that, England! Apparently, this is Cyrillic acronym VVS, Armed Air Force.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 27, 2015 10:29:03 PM | 73

Are Americans flying the planes. We know Saudis can't fight their way out of a paper bag even with all the hi-tech stuff they bought from us.

I was thinking they might have hired, or forced, Filipino women to fly their fighter jets.

Posted by: RudyM | Mar 28, 2015 2:00:21 AM | 74

Now for a Reality Segment apart from the #BsBombsBurstingInAirGoodOldBoysClub ruminations.

The Politics of Qat. Qat: National drug of Yemen: "It was in (communal) qat sessions that tens of thousands of hopeful men and women—mostly in gender separated tents—developed a vision of a new republic. For many Yemenis qat was the true unifier of Yemen’s north and south. Government consultations between the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) and the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) that led to the unification of these two antithetical systems in May 1990 were held primarily during qat chews. An estimated 40% of the country's water supply goes towards irrigating it."

Are there more Maribs? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Yemen Sapropelics.

We now return to repeating glaring moralist hypocrisy and respamming war psyop honeyposts.

Posted by: NoReply | Mar 28, 2015 3:28:02 AM | 75

WHEW! IT'S NOT THE HOLOCAUST YET! YOU CAN ALL JUST RELAX!!

Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror

Although a conservative estimate, physicians’ groups say the figure ‘is approximately 10 times greater’ than typically reported

By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | March 26, 2015

How do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.

In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.

However, the report notes, this is a conservative estimate, and the total number killed in the three countries “could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”

Posted by: NoReply | Mar 28, 2015 6:12:59 AM | 76

http://www.yementimes.com/en/1871/news/5003/Houthis-reject-Doha-peace-talks.htm

SANA’A, March 24—Calls for national peace talks to resume in the Qatari capital Doha were rejected by Houthi representatives on Tuesday, while militias and military units loyal to the group continue their push south towards Aden.

Muhammad Al-Bukhaiti, a spokesperson for the Houthi Political Office, said Qatar represents one of the group’s “worst enemies” and that the location for continued dialogue can only be decided by those participating in it.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 28, 2015 12:44:26 PM | 77

guest77

Hypocrisy? Sure but wasnt it you that supported Egypt's Sisi just a few months ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 28, 2015 12:44:36 PM | 78

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