Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 23, 2015

How The Saudi/UAE Invasion Of Yemen Fails

The predicted cauldron of a ground attack in Yemen is taking its toll of the invaders of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi army. Their invasion is stuck. News and videos from the last few days show that the fighting is quite kinetic and not to the invaders advantage.


In Aden, through which the UAE troops invaded, al-Qaeda blew up a security headquarter (video 1 min) and took over several parts of the city. AQAP militants allegedly also blew up three Yemeni coast guard vessels in Aden. There are rumors of some cooperation between UAE troops and al-Qaeda. UAE special forces freed one Robert Stuart Douglas in Aden. Douglas is a British hostage held by al-Qaeda since 2014. Was this "hostage rescue" part of a deal?

In southern Yemen a convoy of UAE mine resistant armor protected (MRAP) vehicles was ambushed on a long and windy road up into the mountains. At least three MRAPs were destroyed (video 7 min).

In another incident at least three UAE MRAPs were captured intact by Houthi forces and are now used by them (video, 2 min). Four more destroyed UAE MRAPs are visible in the clip.

Near Lawdar in Abyan, Central Yemen, another UAE patrol with at least three armored vehicles was destroyed by Houthi aligned forces using Russian made Kornet anti-armor missiles (video 3 min). This was again in mountainous terrain where road bound armored vehicles are sitting ducks for small groups armed with anti-armor missiles.

Around Jizan in Saudi Arabia, former Yemeni territory, a Saudi engineering platoon was ambushed in leafy terrain (video 3 min, photos). One M88A1 armored recovery vehicle, 1 M2A2 infantry fighting vehicle, 1 Al Shibl armored fighting vehicles, 3 armored bulldozers and 1 smaller tactical vehicle were destroyed.

A Saudi soldier was killed at the border after shelling from the Yemeni side.

Some 50 armored vehicles of Saudi backed and trained forces arrived in Marib under air cover from Saudi Apache helicopters. photo. In total some 150 such vehicles are said to have arrived in Marib. This is the brigade that days ago crossed from Saudi Arabia. The way from the Saudi desert to Marib is mostly through flat desert. From thereon to the Yemeni capital Sanaa is an uphill fight through the mountains. Few, if any, of the armored vehicles now arriving in Marib will ever reach Sanaa.

The Houthi claim that they shot down four Saudi Apache helicopters so far. At least one loss has been confirmed by the Saudi side. There is video of one Apache falling down but the moment it was hit and any the traces of the weapons used seems to have been edited out from the video video 2 min). Someone does not want the Saudis to know what anti-air toys are used against them.

When the UAE troops landed in Aden video showed a convoy of main battle tanks in battalion size. There have been no new pictures of these MBTs since then. As the above reports demonstrate taking those tanks into the mountains towards Sanaa would be a bloody mess. What then are the plans for these units?

The U.S. is supporting the Saudis and the UAE. U.S. cluster bombs are used to kill Yemeni civilians. The White House is faking concern about Yemeni civilians while doubling its support for the Saudi campaign.

It is obvious that the U.S/Saudi/UAE campaign against Yemen will not achieve any of its aims. The former U.S. installed Yemeni president Hadi will never be welcomed back in Yemen. The country is on the edge of a large scale famine. Meanwhile al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Yemen are taking over more territory. What then is the real aim the White House is trying to achieve here?

Posted by b on August 23, 2015 at 9:47 UTC | Permalink


What then is the real aim the White House is trying to achieve here

your prescient investigative reporting leads once again to the same redundant question.

the country is being ravaged and its people, on the brink of famine, displaced, and the takfiris are gaining ground...

this is always, at least by default, the objective.

Posted by: john | Aug 23 2015 10:36 utc | 1

Pepe Escobar was right: It's the Empire of Chaos.

Posted by: slirs | Aug 23 2015 10:46 utc | 2

The US, Israel and Saudi aims in the region are to oppose the so called "arc of extremism" Iran,Syria,Hezbollah,and now Yemen. To this end they [the US] support the Saudis and Israel, the Saudis because so many of the US/Saudi financial arrangements are tied up with inter alia, arms sales [80 billion in the past 10 years approx] and the Petro Dollar, plus the general willingness of the satraps in the Gulf to do their masters bidding. Israel on the other hand have their own agenda, to destroy any potential opposition to their hegemony of the region. It is for that reason, Iran as the leader of that opposition, and other members of "the Arc" must be destroyed. As far as the Israelis are concerned they know the opposition are acquiring the military wherewithal [Hezbollah 100,000 missiles, many with pinpoint accuracy] and Iran, with the nuclear agreement in place, can accumulate billions in world trade opportunities. The more they can build up their own conventional weaponry and provide the same for their other friends in the "arc". The Saudis/Israelis must know they are living on borrowed time, hence they are lashing out at anyone who opposes their agenda.

Posted by: harry law | Aug 23 2015 11:42 utc | 3

' What then is the real aim the White House is trying to achieve here? '

This is live training for the Saudis and whatever other Gulfies they can cadge to go with them, which at the same time expends great amounts of expensive ordnance and equipment. The US is the supplier of the equipment, the winner on that end, and it wins either way on the war as well.

1. If the Saudis turn into a real army they can join the ranks of Al CIA-da and further the US' progran of DD&D in Syria, Iraq and potentially in Iran.

2. If the Saudis lose there then those who vanquish them will head for the oil fields, at which point the US and Israel will step in 'stabliize' the situation, and the Saudi oilfields will become the US/IL oil fields.

The fact that the USA/KSA are committing genocide against the Yemenis is of no more concern to the US than is the US/IL Palestinian genocide.

When the US finally does exhaust itself at the end of this Clinton/Bush/Obama ... Clinton/Bush? string of aggessions Amerika and Amerikans are going to have to take lessons from the Germans on how to doff their hats when meeting their victims on the worlds' streets. I don't imagine it will stop them the next time, anymore than it's stopping the Germans this time. It's supra-trans-national. The 1% is not Amerikan or German or Chinese ... it's allegiance is to 'more' only!

Their power and overreach must be dismantled country by country, divide and conquer. just as they do to the nations of the mideast and the world.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 23 2015 11:56 utc | 4

What then is the real aim the White House is trying to achieve here?

The US needs to have one of those? After tipping toward Iran, the US had to give in to the anti-Shia obsession of Saudi's new and dumb as rocks dictator. As I've said before, with embarrassing defeat the dictator is destabilized somewhat and is reminded of how essential US support is to his and his clan's survival. Unlikely victory would means Yemen is turned into an example for others contemplating resistance to the US/Saudi military. And it's all good for arms sales.

Based on sheer lack of interest by the powers that be and their servant/mainstream media, I don't think the White House cares who wins or loses.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 23 2015 12:53 utc | 5

In an RT Op-Edge today, it's posited that Saudi's are pursuing "Religious Eugenics" in their acts throughout the region,

Another writer published at ICH urges us to call what the Outlaw Empire and its vassals have done is Genocide--I've long called it the Iraqi Holocaust, ongoing since 1980--

I agree with both writers. The behavior witnessed through Imperial policy is to remove the people from the lands so the land's resources can be looted without resistance. Perhaps not immediately, but after the poisons within Depleted Uranium have done their duty. Remember, Imperial Policy was to rid North America of its original inhabitants, which was mostly done with total impunity. 70 years of War Crimes later, hasn't enough evidence been generated to know what the Imperial plans are--I mean, they even published their aims for Full Spectrum Dominance. Can you think of anything more Totalitarian?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2015 13:46 utc | 6

...Imperial policy is to remove the people from the lands so the land's resources can be looted without resistance. Perhaps not immediately, but after the poisons within Depleted Uranium have done their duty. Remember, Imperial Policy was to rid North America of its original inhabitants, which was mostly done with total impunity.

Impunity - The victors - having raped and murdered the natives, and having established a "legitimate" government (by their primacy) with sets of (arbitrary) rules - cannot be expected to impose penalties (for genocide, atrocities and land grabbing) upon themselves!

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 23 2015 15:57 utc | 7

@harry law #3,

Well said! When will the endless wars and killing ends?

So long duopoly continues the endless wars and killing will continue till EU is flooded with refugees and asylum seekers.

The chickens come back to roost.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Aug 23 2015 15:58 utc | 8

@8 'When will the endless wars and killing ends?'

As long as a certain section of the population likes guns and fighting.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23 2015 16:30 utc | 9

Well, b, Yemen is a strategically important zone for the passage of oil and gas in case of a war against Iran.

Posted by: g_h | Aug 23 2015 18:25 utc | 10

I wonder what resources commenters are referring to in Yemen that the West might want, they do produce a lot of Khat but their oil is nearly depleted. Syria is another country with limited oil reserves and no known bonanzas to exploit.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 23 2015 18:30 utc | 11

The USA wants to appear to please the GCC until the Iran nuclear deal is done.
Saudis has a huge lobby in the Congress. Allied with AIPAC it can make the deal break.
Obama is taking no chance even if Yemenis are killed. He will show support to the Saudis. Yet Al Qaeda taking over part tAden is a red line and it seems it is happening.
The USA is now pressing Saudi Arabia for restraint but the Bedouins have a strong ego and are going wild.
They cannot bear a failure in the first war they conduct for decades. As for the USA, a defeat will put doubts about the efficiency of the billion dollars worth US weapons and the 'USA military advisers' to the Saudis
The irony is that the Saudi army and UAE will soon have to fight against Al Qaeda that is funded by Saudi and UAE 'charities', Islamic organizations and individuals, all tolerated by the Saudi regime.
Are we going to see a Saudi civil war by proxy in Yemen?
Will the USA intervene directly against Al Qaeda in Yenem creating a confusion similar to the one in Syria?

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 23 2015 19:03 utc | 12

Wayout at 11 --

For Yemen, same reason Brits wanted it for in 19th. Cent. -- location, location, location. It's astride an important sea lane between the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Europe, Aden is a good choke point. Syria also is prime transport real estate, as well as headwaters of the Euphrates.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 23 2015 19:07 utc | 13

If the reason isn't resources, then its strategic location. It is not strategic location then it's destroying resistance. It is not destroying resistance then it's the threat of a good example.

May no one else ever ask what the reasons are for evil empires actions/ abuse of power. it's always about domination/control.

Starvation genocide stratergy by the US is part of the military action. They go hand in hand. Because Yemen has had a long history of denying conquerors which the US knows about, is why genocidal starvation is part of the strategy.
And b'/ excellent work above on how hard it is to militarily control Yemen, shows that mass-starvation murder is always the plan and why it was the plan so early.

Posted by: tom | Aug 23 2015 19:45 utc | 14

Yemen voted against the Iraq war at the UNSC in 2002/3, The vote was 12 to 2 Cuba and Yemen. I remember a US official at the time saying "that was the most expensive vote Yemen could make". The US has a long and vengeful memory.

Posted by: harry law | Aug 23 2015 20:18 utc | 15

A Saudi top commander has been killed today..These guys are too stupid to realize the shit they've got themselves into..

They even managed to bully UAE to join in on their madness..Defeat waits them all..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 23 2015 20:47 utc | 16

Please, tell us something about the Southern Movement.

Posted by: Marcelo | Aug 23 2015 22:06 utc | 17

@virgile 12

' Are we going to see a Saudi civil war by proxy in Yemen? '

Excellent observation. How many sides ... 2 or 3 ? Do Al CIA-da proper and ISI[SL] count as 1 or 2 entities ?

I do believe that this will end with the transfer of the Saudi Arabian oil fields out of Saudi hands. And maybe out of Arabian hands, as well.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 23 2015 22:52 utc | 18

Daily we read the news hearing of the problems posed by "migrants" from the various Middle East conflicts which are raging. Of course it is an effort of journalistic malfeasance that these presented as "migrant problems" instead of the refugee crisis that they are. We hear them called "migrants" as if they are simply more people looking for economic opportunities instead of the reality: that these are people escaping the butchery of NATOs most recent covert and overt actions.

Can huge numbers escaping Yemen be far behind the masses of Syrians, Iraqis and Libyans who are already washing into the already poor, austerity stricken countries of Europe?

btw - Watching Tsipras wash his hands of governing Greece is a real spectacle, btw.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2015 0:34 utc | 19

thanks b..

i happen to agree with many of the posters views here starting with john @1, slirs @2 and harry @3.. harry - funny thing about extremists - they tend to see the same in others very quickly.. i think this is where saudi arabia and israel are both at - extreme to the core, so as a consequence worried that others in their neighbourhood might be a bit extreme like them..

rufus - i don't know why you bother with the retard.. if he can't figure that much out, there is no hope for him!

Posted by: james | Aug 24 2015 1:14 utc | 20

james at 20 --

Congenitally incorrigibly helpful. Ask and ye shall receive.... And if I'm nice now, I don't feel so bad when I inevitably have to rough him up later.

tom at 14 --

Yes, why take the trouble to examine the actual causes of things, when it's so much quicker and easier to ascribe it all to genocidal impulses? Doesn't really produce clear understanding and appropriate action, but it does do wonders for ones moral superiority.

This one seems largely location, they're not really much of an example, and have squat to steal. The Saudis do seem to have a hair across the ass about them, it's a long-standing beef between neighbors, so I guess resistance of a sort is a factor.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 24 2015 1:55 utc | 21


I see you are still having problems with understanding what you read, you might try reading slowly and even using a finger to track the words to avoid confusion.

I'm not sure why the Nutty Professor decided to lecture me about a claim made by two other commenters, that I was questioning.

The US and the Saudis are involved in Yemen because they cannot allow the wild Houthis to threaten the shipping lanes and access to Suez and they will not allow Iran to increase its influence or even indirect control of another major naval chokepoint in the ME.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 24 2015 1:58 utc | 22

#22 there is zero evidence that Houthis have " threatened the shipping lanes and access to Suez". Do you have any evidence to the contrary? The threats you refer to are pure speculation in the minds of American imperialist and their ME lackeys.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 24 2015 2:38 utc | 23

Any body read Howard Bloom, Lucifer Principle?

I read it when it first came out in 1995. That was 20 years ago.
I picked it up again, read it again, and am glad that I did.

He makes a good case for societal level memes being the primary source for the type of conflicts we find ourselves in today (and does a fairly decent job of looking at past events). I know that most of you will automatically poo-poo any of his ideas ... but I think there may be a few who will look (maybe look again) at Bloom and give some thought to his analysis.

The concept of American Exceptionalism is clearly a meme ... and it has adherents in a variety of sub-cultures. The same thing could be said for three virulent anti memes found in American society: The meme that all things Russian are evil; the meme that Israel is good and must be supported at all costs; and the meme that Iran can not be trusted.

Anyway, I thought someone might find this suggestion worth looking into. As a librarian I am quite used to having recommendations ignored ... after all, I am only a librarian and not a specialist. Though like everyone else on this blog, I am a know-it-all and have the gall to admit it!

Have a day ... good, not nice ...

RG an LG

Posted by: Rg an LG | Aug 24 2015 2:39 utc | 24

From our good friend guest77 - yes the spectacle in Greece is shameful, can the splinter group, too little too late, gather the kind of support now that is required? - making sure that The Speach is readily available at a moment's notice ... Why is the US pursuing this shameful war in Yemen?

Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

White leadership - and Barack Double Stuf Obama is the whitist of the white men, if one drop of black blood can make you black then surely one drop of white blood can make you white - is exhausted in America.

This is Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on 4 April 1967 - murdered on 4 April 1968, the CIA loves is 'subtle' symmetry - nearly 50 years ago. And nothing has changed, only increased and intensified.

If someone does rise up to lead in America she will not be white, will not be rich, will not be a technocrat. Will not be dependent on a salary drawn from helping America do what it does best.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 24 2015 2:53 utc | 25

9M113 Konkurs not 9M133 Kornet

Posted by: observer | Aug 24 2015 3:09 utc | 26

Off topic but probably not unrelated - especially wrt Saudi-AmeriKKKa.
I don't know much about money/high-finance but I do know that it's important to the wannabe Rulers Of The Universe.
Why It Really All Comes Down To The Death Of The Petrodollar

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 24 2015 3:35 utc | 27

Wayout at 22 --

That was way too short for a lecture. You seemed to have a question.

If you thought you knew the answer, then why ask? Go directly to slagging off on the Houthis, do not pass Aden, do not collect 500 riyal.

I attribute it all to your lack of sources. You really need to get that looked at.

Toivos at 23 --

They may or may not have announced intent or made any moves on shipping, but an armed group with an unfriendly dispostion in control of Aden would be a legitimate worry for maritime traffic.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 24 2015 3:47 utc | 28

Virgile @12:

The irony is that the Saudi army and UAE will soon have to fight against Al Qaeda that is funded by Saudi and UAE 'charities', Islamic organizations and individuals, all tolerated by the Saudi regime.

Are we going to see a Saudi civil war by proxy in Yemen?

Will the USA intervene directly against Al Qaeda in Yenem creating a confusion similar to the one in Syria?

You're quite confused and this is not complicated, Virgile. Saudi Arabia is Al Qaeda is ISIS. All are allies for the time being of the U.S. Now everything makes sense, doesn't it? Do you see Saudi Arabia fighting against Al Qaeda or ISIS? How 'sincerely' is the U.S. fight against Al Qaeda or ISIS? It seems we've "accidentally" helped them take over much of Libya, Iraq, and Syria.

So NO, "the Saudi army and UAE will" NOT "soon have to fight against Al Qaeda." And NO, we won't see a "Saudi civil war by proxy in Yemen." We also won't see "the USA intervene directly against Al Qaeda in Yemen." And there is no "confusion ... in Syria." The U.S. pretends to oppose ISIS and/or Al Qaeda and/or Al Nusra, but facts on the ground show that the US is their ally in the full-on "important" effort to overthrow the Syrian government.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24 2015 3:59 utc | 29

jfl @25

Racism is a terrible thing and it makes people stupid. Even though you likely will defend yourself with some sort of "I didn't mean white when I said white, it was a metaphor," nonetheless unbound capitalism is our problem, not "white-ism."

Divide and rule much?

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24 2015 4:03 utc | 30

@22wow.. that sounds like a reasonable rationale for sa and usa's actions until one recognizes just how unreasonable trying to starve out the people of yemen is.. but it really is all about optics and those wonderful saudis and americans have nothing but good intent and are only looking after the shipping channels... and you are the same idiot as always..

Posted by: james | Aug 24 2015 5:29 utc | 31

I think we are seeing the iron fist of Empire here more than the localized faction fighting. Geo-political control of access to the shipping choke point is what this is about. Will the strategy fail? It depends on how you define failure and who loses/gains from the process.

And this all is within the context of what looks like the strongest threat to "Western capitalism" in centuries. The challenges to private global finance, inheritance and ongoing accumulation of "property" by the global plutocrats is the real problem. The the myth of capitalism is the agnotology cover for our centuries old class form of social organization based on the concept that the progeny of ruling families evolving from the kings and noblemen are best to rule the world through private finance and inherited accumulation of property.....the best and the brightest.....

Until and unless we confront and resolve the global private/sovereign finance issue (Reserve Currency) that restricts any pure sovereign monetary systems, we will continued to be controlled by the global plutocratic families.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 24 2015 5:58 utc | 32

Iran after a nuclear agreement

Firas Abi Ali. Senior Manager - MENA Country Risk - IHS Jane's Intelligence Review 3 min video

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 24 2015 6:37 utc | 33

rufus magister @ 21 says:

Yes, why take the trouble to examine the actual causes of things, when it's so much quicker and easier to ascribe it all to genocidal impulses? Doesn't really produce clear understanding and appropriate action, but it does do wonders for ones moral superiority.

uh-huh, appropriate action? maybe you should abandon your typewriter and comfy digs for a year or two and volunteer your time in some godforsaken refugee camp on the Lebanese border. the causes for this kind of abject squalor, i assure you, will quickly become completely irrelevant. analyzing psychopathic behavior is, at best, a fools errand and, at worst, it lends an air of legitimacy to the entire sordid business.

so, i don't mean to muddle your clear understanding of these things, but if the causes for starving out half a population, or dropping two atomic bombs on a quarter million innocent civilians isn't clear to you yet...well, i'll wager that it never will be.

'fascists only relinquish power when it is pried from their cold, dead hands'

Posted by: john | Aug 24 2015 10:12 utc | 34

could it be a certain fake tribe and their Tribe of ANZA BEN WA'EL to wipe out history of the original inhabitants, especially Assyriens? Yemen, Syria, Iraq, fake Kurdistan, lots of real history there.

Posted by: papa | Aug 24 2015 10:26 utc | 35

Religious eugenics: How Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a frightening new movement in the ME.

Is there some sort of effort not to notice the EXTREMELY obvious pattern to the Qaeda/ISIS/KSA wars/terrorism? They are one thing, a Sunni extremist (Wahabbist/Salafist) crusade to exterminate or convert more moderate Islam and Shia-ism. Not noticing might be nice for Wayoutwest's PR efforts, but not for anyone concerned over religious genocide.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24 2015 10:42 utc | 36

john at 34

Well, let's just have blind rage and undirected rebellion, shall we? Maybe that will build the world anew. But probably not.

I'm all for taking on the fascists. If paroxysms of petty-bourgeois moral superiority could defeat them, we'd have had the revolution already.

The five "W's" vary from case to case. Effective response is only possible when the causes, actors, and possible outcomes are as clear as possible.

So I would urge less grandstanding and more analysis. Let's narrow the focus from "how do we right every wrong ever committed" to the more manageable "what the hell is going on in Yemen" for now, shall we?

You'll excuse me now, I need to unpack from that liberal guilt trip you wanted to send me on. The butler, chauffeur, and valet are all off this morning. So hard to find good help these days....

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 24 2015 12:11 utc | 37

You have to wonder about the sanity of the leaders of Ansar Allah. Did they actually think, when they moved south after capturing Sana'a, that the Saudis/US would sit on their hands and watch. There could possibly have been a negotiated settlement before their conquest of the south but now the Saudis and much of the resistance in Yemen will want them destroyed.

They are a minority group with legitimate grievances against the majority government but trying and failing to conquer the majority will lead to their and their peoples ruin.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 24 2015 14:20 utc | 38

rufus magister

the revolution is already well underway and it's far-reaching and drastic. it's defined by terminal economic growth and environmental degradation and we're pretty much all its recklessly prodigal participants.

and i know what the hell is going on in Yemen. they're being bombed, strafed, starved, and uprooted and there's not a fucking thing you can do about it. oh yeah, and the orders and ordnance are made in the us of a.

so, count the dead...and analyze away.

Posted by: john | Aug 24 2015 15:01 utc | 39


It is quite simple.

The corrupted Saudi royal family is terrified by Al Qaeda that threaten their legitimacy. Officially the Saudi royals do not support Al Qaeda, but powerful individuals within the royal family, the religious leaders and the rich businessmen are sending funds and promoting Al Qaeda for religious reasons. The Saudi government is tolerating that for fear of internal upheavals.
That's why I think that Yemen has become a proxy for an internal struggle within Saudi Arabia between the pro-al Qaeda and the ones who dread it.
The USA is insisting that the Saudis fight Al Qaeda in Yemen to prevent the creation of another Afghanistan in the region that may threaten the Gulf and the oil supply.
If the Saudi do not give the order to the army to fight Al Qaeda in Yemen, Al Qaeda will take over South Yemen and it will become a haven for terrorists. If they do, they face a split within the army as many Saudi or UAE soldiers would not want to kill their own sunni "brothers". Remember how the Iraqi sunnis army gave up Mossoul to Al Qaeda...
I expect that the Yemen situation will very soon create a big split within the Saudi regime.

It is as simple as that and we can watch it happening.

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 24 2015 15:03 utc | 40

"You have to wonder about the sanity of the leaders of Ansar Allah."

So cleaning out the Al Qaeda remnants in the south is evidence, for you, of insanity.

"Did they actually think, when they moved south after capturing Sana'a, that the Saudis/US would sit on their hands and watch?"

They acted like what they were, sovereign government supported by the vast majority of Yemenis. Who were tired of the violence and wanted a coalition government, which is what the Houthis had quickly established, bringing in the former President, rather than being 'ruled' by the feeble, no-popular-support anti-Shia puppet Saudi Arabia wants to forced on them.

"There could possibly have been a negotiated settlement before their conquest of the south ..."

There was a negotiated settlement with much of the South. But the only compromise Saudi Arabia would or will entertain is complete destruction of the Houthis. Why? That's obvious: the Houthis are Shia.

"... but now the Saudis and much of the resistance in Yemen will want them destroyed."

You've of course reversed the cause and effect. There was no effective resistance to a compromise, coalition government, and it was rolling quickly to complete control over the country before the Saudi invasion. And that's what everyone wanted or was willing to accept, because almost everyone except Al Qaeda and the Saudis was tired after years of war, chaos and destruction. Saudi Arabia and UAE aid and arms created a new resistance with their US-aided invasion.

"They are a minority group with legitimate grievances against the majority government but ..."

The Saudi Arabia puppets are the minority and illegitimate government. The Houthis are the leading force in the majority and legitimate government, especially after the massive destruction by Saudi Arabia and UAE on behalf of that illegitimate government. The Houthis ALWAYS recognized they were a minority entity and quickly created a coalition with Sunnis and southerners.

Saudi Arabia couldn't stand _participation_ by the Houthis as a strong partner -- the militarily strongest entity -- in a proper Yemeni coalition of Sunnis, Shias, Northerners and Southerners. That's what the Gulf dictatorships are fighting against. And for: Salafists uber alles.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24 2015 15:20 utc | 41

A Saudi Major General and brigade commander was killed yesterday on the border due to Houthi fire.

The Armed Forces said that Major General Abdul Rahman Al-Shahrani was martyred and sacrificed his life in the field of honor in defense of his religion, king, homeland and citizens.

plus these tweets

Green lemon @green_lemonnn
#PT Another #Saudi convoy ambushed by #Houthis in Jizan. 1 Toyota LTV&1 Gurkha 4x4 RPV destroyed, 1 LTV left behind.

Elijah J. Magnier @EjmAlrai
#Houthis using 9M113 Kornet guided missile hitting over 7 #UAE tanks today according to news from #Yemen. Ground attack will be costly.

#Marib: More coalition-backed forces arrive with even more combat vehicles in Marib/Safir. #Yemen *gulp*

Haykal Bafana @BaFana3
These pictures of heavy Saudi armour en route are in Marib, Yemen. I recognize this junction. Via @FaisalbinFarhan

#Ibb: Resistance groups meet in Hazm al 'Odain to form a Brigade to be integrated into the New National Army, as ordered by Hadi. #Yemen

("Resistance groups" are the Saudi proxy forces)

As long as the Houthis have ant-tank missiles left the Saudi/UAE forces will be in for a lot of hurt. They would need MASSIVE artillery support to break through the ambush sides.

Posted by: b | Aug 24 2015 16:27 utc | 42

@41, WOW keeps getting pwnd; but does he shut up and go away, does he apologize for his disingenuous spew? Not on your sweet bippy: he'll pop up again in short order with a fresh load as if nothing had happened.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 24 2015 16:46 utc | 43

ruralito @43: Yuup, he is pretty damn hit and run and seems to learn nothing from his errors and misinterpretations. But you have to admit his Saudi/ISIS/Qaeda Sunni empire perspective is interesting, and valuable to see out in the open.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 24 2015 17:17 utc | 44

@WOW is a quite dumb troll and not even funny. His Hasbara handlers should send a better one.


Haidar Sumeri @IraqiSecurity
#Saudi Abrams tank and Bradley IFVs (#US-made) destroyed by #Yemen's army/Houthis in Jizan.

From the audio I'd say 9M133 Konkurs, Soviet made anti-tank missiles have been used. The launch plop is typical. The Yemeni army bought several thousands of those. The Saudis are in for a lot of hurt.

Posted by: b | Aug 24 2015 17:29 utc | 45

I was watching an old recording of a Robt Fisk interview from early April. He mentioned that the "Saudis are talking about putting boots on the ground in Yemen which probably won't turn out as well as they're expecting."

Which suggests that only the Saudis will be surprised when they're routed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 24 2015 18:09 utc | 46

... and not even funny.
Posted by: b | Aug 24, 2015 1:29:35 PM | 45

Well, that clears up the repeat-offender mystery...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 24 2015 18:21 utc | 47

Ask them to send Ry Twinger.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 24 2015 18:37 utc | 48

The greatest threat to America? Republicans
This process may be reaching its logical conclusion with the emergence of property billionaire Donald Trump as the front-runner for the party's presidential nomination.

Trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America: casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandisement, vulgarity on an epic scale. He is the Ugly American in excelsis.

You might expect a tycoon/buffoon cross to be a political player in some Latin American failed state or backward former Soviet republic, places with no democratic tradition or public institutions that have stood the test of time and no such thing as "the people" in the sense of an educated, civic-minded citizenry.

The fact that so many Republicans are comfortable with the thought of this monumentally unqualified individual in the Oval Office shows how warped the party has become. To borrow the rhetoric of their candidates, the party is now an existential threat to America's leadership of the global community.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 24 2015 20:46 utc | 49

Russia could take advantage - Putin's continuously called for peaceful resolutions in the region along with a unified force against extremists, while Obama's led both Turkey and KSA into the threat of ruin.

If Putin can offer an out for The Saudis and Turkey it could be a watershed event, similar to how yom kippur terminally damaged USSR's strategic balance in the region.

Otherwise Al Queda and ISIL may finally get the knives out for the Saudi government, and the already-huge humanitarian catastrophe will spread

Posted by: aaaaa | Aug 24 2015 20:51 utc | 50

john at 39 --

Well, I do believe I’m being taunted as some sort of "armchair activist."

I won't bore you with too many details; I was active in reformist politics as well as Central American solidarity in the 70's-80's, a member of a vanguard party in the late 80's and early 90's, and involved in a (failed) attempt to organize grad students in the 90's as well.

Location and circumstances have made me less active, but I still got out against the 2000 Republican Convention and post-2008 on Wall St. Mrs. M tried to get active in Occupy, while it lasted....

"Peak prosperity" sounds like a New Age buzzword, but looming profit-driven global ecological catastrophe is more than real enough. Other problems may well come to a head before then. Sadly, however, the factors that could potentially create a revolutionary situation are not the revolution.

Political organizations equipped for the task are needed to collectively structure and direct (to some degree) the potential of these situations. Understanding the totality not only of politics, but of science, culture, and indeed the whole of human life is a prerequisite.

Regrettably, I see no organizations with such capabilities, especially on the required global scale, at present.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 25 2015 0:05 utc | 51

aaaaa @50: "Otherwise Al Queda and ISIL may finally get the knives out for the Saudi government ..."

How many times with this fantasy? What is its appeal?

Saudi Arabia is Al Qaeda is ISIL. Has Saudi ever attacked either? Have either ever veered from Saudi's strategic or 'Sunni extremist/imperialist' agenda? Why would either Al Qaeda or ISIL attack their creator, supervisor, and, most important by far, their primary source of money?

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 25 2015 2:02 utc | 52

interesting article from marcy at emptywheel from a few days ago..

What’s the Difference Between Saudi Arabia and ISIS?

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2015 3:47 utc | 53

James @53: Thanks for the link. Good to see the obvious recognized in a major blog.

"My immediate response to the piece was to suggest the proper comparison was not between al Qaeda and ISIS, but between Saudi Arabia and ISIS. McCants mentions Saudi Arabia, but only to support a historical argument about the efficacy of violence. ...

"Guess what?! The Saudis are still beheading people, even if Zawahiri is too squeamish to do so. It does so to punish those who question the apocalyptic ideology the Saudis have long used to police order, and never (that I’ve seen) to punish ISIS terrorists."

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 25 2015 6:09 utc | 54

Not only are the Saudis still beheading people, they are actually hiring more headsmen to maintain their record breaking pace.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 25 2015 8:58 utc | 55

fairleft.. i agree with you and others on saudi arabia and what a backward fucked up country it is.. i have said this a number of times here at moa. there really isn't much difference between sa and isis from what i can tell..

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2015 16:15 utc | 56

Thierry Meyssan, operator of, has for some reason decided to publish some lies . . .

The Russian army is beginning to engage in Syria

Ankara has in fact decided to break off its ties with Moscow, and has cancelled, without genuine motive, the contract for the gas pipe-line Turkish Stream, . . . .

. . . . again.
(because it ain't the first time he's done something like this)

The bolded portion quoted above is the first lie I fond in his piece. And it appeared in the lead paragraph no less.

Tsk tsk, Theirry.

Posted by: Blockquote | Aug 26 2015 15:48 utc | 57

Posted by: Blockquote | Aug 26, 2015 11:48:04 AM | 57

So ... if it can't be fond in WaPo or NYT it never happened?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2015 17:12 utc | 58

well, genius, why dont you tell me where it can be found, then?

(other than in Theirry's little BS-packed screed linked above, that is.)

Posted by: Blockquote | Aug 26 2015 17:37 utc | 59

Some people find hanging (like in Iran) more barbaric than beheading (like in KSA), and some prefer the opposite (Iranian PressTV regularly notes the number of beheading in the country on the other side of the Persian Gulf). China prefers firing squad, and some American states, for whatever reasons, prefer lethal injections. Before 19 century it was more of a norm to fit punishment to the crime, e.g. highwaymen would be hanged on a hook pierced under a lower rib, forgers of currency would be boiled in oil, noblemen would be beheaded unless guilty of high treason that would particularly irritate His Majesty (at that point there was a lot of creativity, like "hanged, drawn and quartered" or "broken alive on the wheel".

It is more disconcerting how the barbaric mayhem in Yemen is supported by USA and our domestic commentariat is totally ignoring the issue. Europe is not much different.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 26 2015 18:42 utc | 60

"well, genius, why dont you tell me where it can be found, then?"

Wrong question (it's only a leak).
What source could persuade you that it's true-ish?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2015 19:10 utc | 61

jeez, Hoarsey

even for you, that's an incredibly weak attempt at a rebuttal.


Wrong question (it's only a leak).

now, now, Hoarsey, even you know that ain't true.

It's right there in the quote.

Thierry reported, as fact that Erdogan had cancelled the Turkish stream contract. The fact that he hides it's alleged "source" in an untranslated footnoted French Language link is even more evidence of his deliberate obfuscation.

tsk tsk Hoarsey. more deliberately disingenuous claims like that will only get you labelled a "liar"

Posted by: Blockquote | Aug 26 2015 19:27 utc | 62

Let’s see exactly who is retailing what, shall we?

Well, it looks like construction is cancelled. But by Gazprom. Here's something from the steel trade press.

Sputnik has a report on it as well. I'll post the link separately in a moment. They say that "According to South Stream Transport [a Gazprom subsidiary]... the decision was reached due to a failure to come to an agreement on a range of working and commercial issues related to the project." Saipem, originally contracted to build it, is owned by ENI. One wonders if NATO pressures were brought to bear in order to produce intransigence by Saipem.

Pretty weak attempt at rebutting the rebuttal. Why would you think that "L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie" would discuss South Stream? Which, BTW, you can find in English here.

So, he actually provides no reference, and so not surprisingly, has the facts a bit off on the pipeline.

Folks therefore might be a bit hesitant to accept Meyssan's word alone. Quite understandable. So what's with the joint brigade? Syrian-Russian cooperation?

The recent congress of Tatars in Ankara, under the joint sponsorship of the Banderists and Erdogan, did get some coverage, mostly weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth about how the return of Crimea to the Russian Federation is a bad thing. See this by VOA.

The jointly sponsored formation was not widely covered, though it seems to me to be the big news coming out off the conference. But it did make the Turkish Today’s Zaman. Interfax-Ukraine noted the Muslim fighters but elides over the official Turkish involvement in the conference and brigade.

[Presidential functionary for the Tatars Mustafa] Jemilev said that the same battalion could also be used to control the passage of people and goods across the border between the occupied Crimea and mainland Ukraine, and after the liberation of Crimea - to ensure law and order and to prevent possible unrest on the peninsula.

It is to be staffed with a raft of jihadis from throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia -- won't that be fun!

Ongoing cooperation between Russia and their long-time regional ally Syria is hardly news. Even the Guardian allows, although Moscow worries about rising Iranian influence in Damascus, Russian support is strong and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

And Russia seems to a few more friends - or customers, anyway - in the area as well.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 27 2015 0:09 utc | 63

So yeah, even the local Clown Posse rep agrees that ya can't trust Thierry

Posted by: blockquote | Aug 27 2015 0:30 utc | 64

It's you that can't be trusted. Apparently "Pretty weak attempt at rebutting the rebuttal" was not quite clear enough.

You blow up a minor error -- and don't even do that right. And you treat people like shit while doing so.

In doings so, you miss/blow off the whole point of Meyssan's post, on which he is correct. Russia and Syria remain close. In another neo-Ottoman gambit by Ankara, Erdogan and the junta are deploying a joint mercenary battalion, composed in large part of Turkic jihadis from Central Asia.

Good news though - more Frequent Crier Bogus Miles for your Clown Car Club Black Lead Card.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 27 2015 1:49 utc | 65

Blockquote re various oversights/over-underestimates.

Attempting a global repudiation of Voltairenet on the basis of a gaffe seems a bit ambitious. It doesn't change the fact that Turkey and Russia aren't aren't friends any more. But I'd be the last to dispute different people's right to take different things away from the same story. Voltairenet seems reluctant to expunge memories of the Good Old Days of the Russo-France Mutual Admiration Society.

So bq takes away 'Meyssan is a Liar' and hw takes away 'Russia, in pretending to believe Obama's ISIS bs, gets itself invited into the Yankee Syria SNAFU to pretend to fight ISIS.'

It's an amusing story and I'm confident that it was intended to be amusing (Russian Humour being what it is).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 27 2015 5:58 utc | 66

So, rufie, if I want something fact-checked, but am far too lazy to do the actual fact-checking itself, all I gotta do is drop it here and rail against it, and you will go out and actually do the fact-checking for me?

For free?

Wow, that really is excellent news

My very own fact-checking stalker.

How cool is that?

This really is an excellent service on offer at this here website. My compliments to the owner.

Posted by: blockquote | Aug 27 2015 9:51 utc | 67

Heres another bunch o lies doing the rounds. This one I fact-checked myself, cos poor ol rufie was busy sortin out Thierry's mess

Remember those MIG31's "Putin" is apparently sending to the Syrians?

That news did the rounds in all the usual places. Why, even Mr Tarpley himself, so beloved of MOA-gullibles, was recently crowing over it

Russians however are denying

Posted by: blockquote | Aug 27 2015 10:02 utc | 68

blow up a minor error -- and don't even do that right. 

And you treat people like shit while doing so.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 26, 2015 9:49:04 PM | 65


I am shocked rufie that you would accuse me of incorrectly blowing up a minor error.

Posted by: blockquote | Aug 27 2015 10:14 utc | 69

And so repeatedly turning up under new guises and talking shit ain't stalking? Way to go Mary Poppins.

I've covered Tarpley, the LaRoucheite, before on "Stalingrad" in the Mid East. Many folks accepted the veracity of the MIG sale. Starting with the experts at Jane's.

And again, you don't take on Meyssan's main points.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 27 2015 12:25 utc | 70

I've covered Tarpley, the LaRoucheite, before on "Stalingrad" in the Mid East. Many folks accepted the veracity of the MIG sale. Starting with the experts at Jane's.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 27, 2015 8:25:59 AM | 70

Have you? well, I'm sure you have if you say so, personally I missed that, but then I haven't particularly attentive of late, what with all the luvverly global Warming we been havin'.

as I said earlier

This really is an excellent service on offer at this here website. My compliments to the owner.

Posted by: blockquote | Aug 27, 2015 5:51:54 AM | 67

So once again, my comps to the owner

As for the alleged "MIG Sale"? Well, many people here often accept, on the flimsiest of "evidence", the veracity of some truly ridiculous things. Things which later turn out to be nothing but "wishful thinking."

Posted by: BLOCKQUOTE | Aug 27 2015 13:11 utc | 71

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