Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 07, 2015

In Yemen Like Elsewhere The Saudi Sectarianism Creates Iran's Role

The Saudis continue their senseless war on Yemen. Next to bombing army troops and installation and thereby hindering it to go after AlQaeda they are systematically bombing electricity plants, water supplies and food centers:

Yemen Economic Corporation, one of Yemen’s largest food storage centres, was destroyed by three coalition missile strikes in Hodeidah last Tuesday, according to the Houthi-controlled defence ministry. The corporation had enough food for the entire country.

The government’s military food storage centre in Hodeidah was also targeted and destroyed on Tuesday, according to the defence ministry.

Also in Hodeidah, country’s second largest dairy plant was hit by five Saudi missiles on Wednesday, killing at least 29 people, mostly employees, and injuring dozens of others.

Unsurprisingly even those Yemenis who do not support the Zaydi Houthi rebellion are against the Saudi attacks. They will take revenge.

The Saudis continue to get favorable press coverage in the "western" media. No one seems to speak out against their war of aggression. Obama, who ordered the U.S. military to support the Saudi campaign, is only concerned with selling more weapons to them.

The Saudis want to invade Yemen but they need foot soldiers to do the bleeding. As their own people will no appreciate Saudi casualties they asked the Pakistani government to send them three divisions of cannon fodder. They specified that those division are to be purely Sunni. The Pakistani army, in a fight with Saudi supported radical Sunnis in its own country, was not amused. Some 30% of the army personal is not Sunni and the Pakistanis certainly want to keep sectarianism out of its rows. The conflict is Yemen is not about sects or religion but the Saudis, and most "western" media, do their best to turn it into one.

The Saudis have given Pakistan several "gifts" of billions of dollars and the current prime minister Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a Saudi protege. But all parties in the parliament are against sending their troops to Yemen and Nawaz Sharif is therefore struggling to do his sponsor's bidding:

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is “not in a hurry” to decide whether to join the Saudi-led coalition against rebels in Yemen as Parliament resumed discussion on the issue.

The premier addressed a joint session of the Parliament a day after Defence Minister Khawaja Asif revealed Saudi Arabia wanted Pakistani warplanes, warships and soldiers. Not a single lawmaker has spoken in favour of sending troops.
The premier has repeatedly said he will defend any threat to Saudi Arabia's “territorial integrity” without defining what threat that could be, or what action he would take.

Pakistan, as well as Turkey and Iran, wants to stop the war before it gets out of hands. On Friday the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in Ankara.

That meeting is being followed by a flurry of diplomatic get-togethers: a visit to Ankara Monday for consultations by the Saudi deputy crown prince and interior minister, Mohammed bin Nayef; a visit by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Tehran on Tuesday, where he’ll meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; and a visit Wednesday by Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, to Islamabad. Later in the week, the Turkish foreign minister is expected in Islamabad.

The Saudis, Turks and Pakistanis want Iran involved because they believe that Tehran has control over the Houthis. I very much doubt that. Besides some minor money donations no serious material help has come from the Iranian site. The religious connections between the 12er Shia Persians and the 5er Shia Zaydis are less than those between the Zayhdis and mainstream Sunnis.

Iran did not instigate the Houthi revolt which originally started over lower fuel subsidies. It did not instigate the Saudis to bomb Yemen. But now everyone seems to want an Iranian role in a political process to end the war. While the Saudis criticize a greater role of Iran in the Middle East they themselves create the chaos that enlarges Tehran's influence.

The Saudi position reflects in the anti-Shia position of "western" media. Over the last days there were many "concerns" and hearsay reports about Shia paramilitaries looting Tikrit after liberating it from the Islamic State. It now turns out that Sunni tribes opposed to the Islamic State did the looting and that those effected were from Sunni tribes supporting the Islamic State.

U.S. media obviously believe in the immaculate conception of the current sectarian Middle East strife. It can have nothing to do with decades of U.S. wars in the Middle East or the instigation of fervent radical Saudi/Wahhabi believes. No. When in doubt, just blame Iran and who ever seems to have Iranian support. Will that ever change?

Posted by b on April 7, 2015 at 01:33 PM | Permalink

The premier has repeatedly said he will defend any threat to Saudi Arabia's “territorial integrity” without defining what threat that could be, or what action he would take.

And this is the language of an elite who would sooner unify against and kill all of us than see its authority successfully challenged. In the long run, we are all Bahrainians.

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 7, 2015 2:00:45 PM | 1

"systematically bombing electricity plants, water supplies and food centers"

Uh, war crimes?
Who did they learn that from? Maybe the AmeriKans in Iraq, the Israelis in Lebanon? Repugnant bastards.

Posted by: farflungstar | Apr 7, 2015 2:17:25 PM | 2

Excellent post, b. No, the blame Iran game will not change. Obama in an interview with Tom Friedman doubled down on all the lies we have come to expect from Washington -- that Israel and the "Sunni states" are victims of Iranian terrorism and aggression. What I did notice from that interview is the novel re-branding of the rotten sheikhdoms of the GCC as the "Sunni states." Maybe what we are witnessing is the birth of a Saudi led "Pan-Wahhabism" to replace the long gone Pan-Arabism of Nasser.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 7, 2015 2:38:26 PM | 3

sa know about the places to bomb thanks the usa.. blame iran is the name of the game.. we even have one or two posters here that say the same!

b quote "The conflict is Yemen is not about sects or religion but the Saudis, and most "western" media, do their best to turn it into one." exactly, but try saying that in a room full of western media blare-horns..

if there is any invasion of saudi arabia, they will have brought it on themselves... pakistan would be better to protect them from their own folly, but that isn't going to happen either with their silent warmongering partners egging them on..

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2015 2:39:44 PM | 4

The endgame of The Empire® is finally here.

But it will be a nasty swan song for "America" as there as still a lot of hapless "Third World" brown people out there still vulnerable to mass murder.

Posted by: Some Guy | Apr 7, 2015 3:04:30 PM | 5

Very interesting post.

Just a thought on Pakistan: They applied for SCO membership. The summit will be in July in Ufa. If Pakistan goes to war in Yemen, their entry will be delayed. India and Iran will join though.

Posted by: jaqwith | Apr 7, 2015 3:26:17 PM | 6

Egypt & Saudi Arabia need to put to use some of their weapons stockpiles in order that they may reorder free killing implements and ammo from their suppliers. The Middle East has become a weapons RESALE/resupply depot for the manufacturing mass death industries. Ukraine Eastern Europe next up to bat. China, Russia, Iran on deck. Japan was taken care of by the General. General Electric. Turkey will self destruct under Grand Caliph Erdogone.


Posted by: Alberto | Apr 7, 2015 3:48:05 PM | 7

This was posted in Angryarab yesterday: Although the joint session of the Pakistani Parliament will discuss and decide how to respond to the Saudi request for sending Pakistani bomber jets and troops to Yemen to join the "Gulf coalition of the willing," Pakistan's most popular private TV channel tonight (5 April) invited in its show "Capital Talk" representatives of all the major political parties to explain their positions. There was an unprecedented consensus among ALL the political parties' spokespersons that: (a) Pakistan should act as a mediator and not as a party to the conflict; (b) Pakistan should remain neutral in the current conflict in Yemen; (c) Pakistan should not commit its troops unless there is a tangible threat to the sanctity of the two holy mosques.

I guess Pakistan's involvement in this war comes down to money or the will of the people.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 7, 2015 3:55:38 PM | 8

Posted by: jaqwith | Apr 7, 2015 3:26:17 PM | 6

Good point! It raises the larger promise that the new multi-polar world order may just have minimal use for the violent high jinks of the sort that is so supported by our favorite hegemon. Who among the nations would be causing the mayhem they do right now, if they didn't have America's skirts to protect them? How long will these wahhabists last when Xi and Putin finally get to clean house?

Posted by: kafkananda | Apr 7, 2015 3:59:24 PM | 9

Seems to me the Saudis want Iran involved in Yemen so they can have a reason to get the US to do some military misadventure against the Iranians.

Just a guess. May even Obama see that as a bridge too dangerous to cross….

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 7, 2015 4:44:20 PM | 10

The Saudis, like the US, are their own worst enemies. By their actions they create more enemies and empower the coalescing alliance in the East. There are ever greater Western inspired horrors to come but the West is digging its own grave.

Posted by: Arius | Apr 7, 2015 4:53:44 PM | 11

"The Saudis, like the US, are their own worst enemies."

That not a bug that's a future in Amerikas policy, the neo-cons and their weapon making friends use this to scare the Amerikan sheeple, then receive more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to keep the war machine go.

I do wish my country would change but there is just to many ill informed people living here watching fuax news and all other govt/corp. controlled media.

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 7, 2015 6:04:51 PM | 12

The New York Times doesn't like Tsipras's move. Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin. They say Russia can't afford to give much financial aid to Greece, but at the same time they say that the EU sanctions against Russia will soon lapse if Greece doesn't go along with them. Seems to me Greece's vote against the sanctions would be worth quite a lot of money to Russia.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 7, 2015 6:54:10 PM | 14


This is almost a verbatim copy of an editorial from a Germany commenter I read a few days ago with the same paternalistic tone. There is a difference in the last paragraph, the German called for Greece to declare bankruptcy.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 7, 2015 10:45:21 PM | 15

@13, @14

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 7, 2015 10:11:03 AM | 43

Posted by: jfl | Apr 7, 2015 11:39:48 PM | 16

jfl | Apr 7, 2015 11:39:48 PM | 16

That sounds like some kind of code. Could you fill us in?

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 8, 2015 12:11:12 AM | 17

@ToivoS, 17:

Not a code, just click on the link to take you to what Noirette posted on the topic back in Open Thread 2015-07.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Apr 8, 2015 12:28:15 AM | 18

"n the long run, we are all Bahrainians."

This is true of course. The end of the Cold War - if its architects were to be believed - would bring about the spreading of democracy and development. What we've seen, though, is the power of some extremely violent states increased to the levels not seen since the birth of humankind. Power that can quite easily be argued amounts to that most special of Cold War words: "totalitarianism".

In the end, the American people will be reduced to the same conditions of Greeks: not allowed to vote on important issues, public action hemmed in by a million pages of lop-sided (towards the super-rich) trade deals, wars to pay for abroad, and a state of unsurmountable surveillance and militarized police at home.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 8, 2015 1:35:16 AM | 19


sorry for the confusion. I first typed 'see Noirette', with the link to be at 'Noirette', but when I went to fetch the link I noted that the full reference looked better than 'see Noirette' - it had the date and comment number - and so I used that. But the 'see' got lost in translation. I say it after I posted, but thought the 'lit up' 43 would do the trick. Next time I'll do better. Add the thread name, too, as Vintage R

Posted by: jfl | Apr 8, 2015 2:17:26 AM | 20

ed has above.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 8, 2015 2:17:44 AM | 21

The way this so-called "war" on Yemen's civilians & civilian infrastructure/assets is being conducted is precisely why Iran should NOT let the IAEA's spooks, spies and stooges set foot on Iranian soil, under any circumstances.

The IAEA had been active in Iraq for many months when Iraq was attacked in 2003. The IAEA provided intel on Iraq's air defenses in the preceding months and those defenses (with the help of a no-fly zone) were systematically destroyed by US & UK leaving Iraq defenseless when the not-so-brave Yankees started their "war" to "Get Saddam."

All that has changed since 2003 is that in 2015 the Judeo-Christian Gloat Of The Year is the IAEA's transformation from the Iraq-AEA to the Iran-AEA.

One only need peruse the list of Nuclear-armed countries which DON'T allow the IAEA to roam around wherever they wish, to understand how dangerously fake and untrustworthy the IAEA really is.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 8, 2015 2:29:31 AM | 22

Brilliant investigative journalism, b.
And none too soon.
I've all but given up on waiting for ABC Four Corners and/or SBS Dateline to show a smidgin of curiosity, let alone "cutting edge investigative journalism."

Last night Dateline aired a pathetic (and imported from US) load of unsubstantiated anti-China drivel. And between them ABC & SBS have broadcast just about every trashy anti-everyone-America-Hates doco the Empire has cobbled together.

Very Professional, b.
Your closing paragraph is particularly delightful and insightful.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 8, 2015 2:59:48 AM | 23

Yemen’s Aden situation ‘worsening’: MSF

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that over 540 people have died and 1,700 wounded by the violence across Yemen, saying that the death toll is related to the time period between March 19 and April 6, 2015.

The UN also says at least 74 children have been killed since the beginning of Saudi strikes -- though the real figure is thought to be much higher -- while more than 100,000 have been displaced.

US Expediting Weapons to Saudi-Led Invasion

The United States government is providing intelligence and weapons to the Saudi-led coalition invading Yemen, confirmed Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken Tuesday.

“The U.S. have admitted they have reestablished a joint coordinating office with the Saudis (…) the U.S. are the prime movers of this intervention,” explained Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies Ajamu Baraka speaking to teleSUR English.

U.S. stepping up weapons shipments to aid Saudi air campaign over Yemen

Warren told McClatchy that the weapons are mainly ammunition and bombs, likely including precision-guided weapons to compensate for the absence of Saudi or allied foot soldiers in Yemen to provide targeting information.

Additionally, the number of U.S. military personnel assigned to what U.S. officials have called a “joint fusion center” in Saudi Arabia to oversee the air campaign has risen to about a dozen, Warren said.

An official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to disclose details said the American contingent is being led by Marine Maj. Gen. Sam Bundy, the deputy commander of Marine Corps troops at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. It is unusual for the Pentagon to choose a two-star general to lead a mission in which U.S. troops, warplanes or Navy ships are not directly involved.

On Monday, Warren told reporters that the U.S. had agreed to provide refueling services for the coalition’s aircraft, though it had not yet been called on to do so and would not do so over Yemeni territory.

He also said that U.S. military assets had been used to rescue two Saudi pilots March 26 from the Gulf of Aden after the engine of their F-15 fighter failed. Warren said an Air Force Pave Hawk special operations helicopter had been dispatched from Djibouti, on the eastern shore of the gulf, to carry out the rescue, which was coordinated by the guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett.

Whose war?
  The Nihilist Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's war.

Who pays?
  The Saudis pay in cash.
  The Yemenis pay in blood, sweat, and tears.

The USA is the number one criminal nation and wrecker of peace on planet earth right now. Been so for about 15 years.

Hoarse is right on, b. Thanks very much for your reportage and commentary. Not just this one but all of them.

I don't say that often enough.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 8, 2015 4:52:00 AM | 24

Interesting read about Hezbollah comments about Iran's nuclear deal:

Posted by: Harry | Apr 8, 2015 7:51:56 AM | 25

jfl says:

The USA is the number one criminal nation and wrecker of peace on planet earth right now. Been so for about 15 years.

hmmm...Martin Luther King said pretty much the same thing...48 YEARS AGO!!!.

Posted by: john | Apr 8, 2015 9:14:42 AM | 26

Posted by: Harry | Apr 8, 2015 7:51:56 AM | 25

LoL. Someone at VICE has managed to persuade himself that Hezbollah is as full of loud-mouthed USraeli buffoons as VICE is.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 8, 2015 11:19:50 AM | 27

this is what awaits the Saudi's at the Yemen border

looks like the Saudis were in a hurry to run to mummy!

Posted by: papa | Apr 8, 2015 11:47:06 AM | 28

Thank you, b. I was wondering myself about Pakistan's potential involvement in this criminal enterprise. KSA is the number one backer of the fundamentalist head-choppers the the Pakistan Army has been fighting for years now. The idea that they'd be used as a mercenary force to attack another country that has not REMOTELY threatened Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter!) is lunacy. How little does the Wahabbi Monarchy value non-Arab lives that they'd push this plan?

And what happens when they say no? Who will do the fighting then? Will the king go running to Uncle Sam? They're not sending Marines to take back Sanaa! That's why the Saudis are leading this effort in the first place!

PS: It's funny though, seems they want to pursue this war on the American military model: Contractors subcontracting to subcontractors! Where does it end?

Posted by: Almand | Apr 8, 2015 2:31:26 PM | 29

Did anyone notice that when the virtual members (some of them did not yet contribute anything if I understand correctly or even did not decide in parliament for the support of not) of the KSA new war against Yemen are mentioned, it's now invariable "Sudan" and no more "North Sudan" that is mentioned?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 8, 2015 4:18:42 PM | 30

@Almand, 29:

"PS: It's funny though, seems they want to pursue this war on the American military model: Contractors subcontracting to subcontractors! Where does it end?"

There was a time when feudalism turned to nice looking professional armies and even more professional (as in commoditized) mercenary forces alongside them. Along came the French Revolution's mass armies and they were outclassed. Now that capitalism's military model is degenerating in a similar direction, as its self-generated crises spin out of control who is to say what kind of new forces will emerge to outclass its professional and privatized mercenaries? Stay tuned (as if we have a choice)...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Apr 8, 2015 6:50:08 PM | 31

What a surprise! KSA's enemies are identical to al-Qaeda in Yemen's enemies:,-Sale.aspx

and Pakistan has never accepted to be part of a coalition, to start with. Gulf manners, as already watched during the Arab Leagues meetings in the escalation for the war in Syria,-Pakistan-urge-peaceful-end-to-Yemen-conflict.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Apr 9, 2015 4:55:32 AM | 32

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