Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 31, 2018

Yemen - After 200,000 Died An Embarrassed U.S. Finally Calls For Negotiations

Isa Blumi writes:

The war on Yemen today is a brutal example of how the expansion of global capitalist interests destroys nations.

It first takes the form of neoliberalism (often innocently labeled as globalisation) and then, as the inevitable structural collapse of the targeted country begins, (with its inevitable popular resistance undermining the political order), a more overt form of violence is introduced.

The war on Yemen moved towards the most violent form of war. A siege on a whole country with the obvious intent to cause a genocidal famine of the resisting population.

The attacking nations, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Britain and the UAE, planned to grab Yemen's resources but failed in their war. They are now making first moves to end the war. They finally recognized that they are unable to win while the financial and reputational costs of the stalemate steadily increases.

It is not by chance that this move comes after clown prince Mohammad bin Salman's recent Khashoggi disaster. It was that murder that moved the attention to his leading role in the genocidal war on Yemen.

A recent large reportage by the New York Times drew attention to the war induced famine. It includes haunting pictures of starving small children. In another censorship idiocy Facebook removed mentions of the piece that included pictures because they showed 'naked' dying children with no flesh on their bones. That might have been a friendly gesture by Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to his chap Mohammad bin Salman, but it only increased the coverage of the issue.

More reports about the true casualty numbers of the war on Yemen emerge. A year ago Moon of Alabama criticized the often quoted "10,000 dead" that the media continue to repeat as the official casualty count of the war:

Up to July 2017 the U.S.-Saudi coalition had flown more than 90,000 air-sorties over Yemen. Most of those will have involved weapon releases. Are we to believe that only 10,000 civilians have been killed by all these bombs and the additional artillery, sharpshooters and suicide attacks? That would be inconsistent even with western reports of the known mass incidents during the war. 100,000 dead civilians caused by the war so far is a more likely number than the never changing 10,000.

Since then the numbers increased due to continued fighting but even more due to the raging famine.


The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a group formerly associated with the University of Sussex, estimates that since March 2015, when the Saudis launched the war, 70,000 to 80,000 were killed due to combat. That estimate is conservative based on documented death as a result of fighting. The Save the Children NGO estimated in late 2017 that 50,000 children died that year for lack of food and from a ravaging Cholera epidemic.

The famine only increased since then. By the end of this year another 50,000 children will have died. The total number of dead caused by the war and blockade since March 2015 has thus likely exceeded the 200,000 mark.

Aid agencies attempt to bring more food into the country. But continued fighting over Hodeidah, the only port in the Houthi controlled area, makes that increasingly difficult. Even if food reaches the harbor there is no longer a reliable distribution system for cost free aid in the country. The UN and other rely on commercial traders to distribute aid. These traders take a share to cover the risk of transport under continued Saudi bombing.

Neither the exile government under Saudi control nor the Houthi have paid the state employees. High inflation, caused by the Saudi controlled central bank of Yemen, threw people into utter poverty. Starvation thus happens even when food is available in the markets because the people simply have no money to pay for it. This is the reason why the famine conditions shown in the map above prevail far beyond the Houthi controlled enclave in northwest Yemen.

The war caused not only a huge amount of death and a famine but also an immense destruction of buildings:

Saudi and UAE bombardment has destroyed at least 421,911 houses, 930 mosques, 888 schools, 327 hospitals and health facilities, and 38 media organizations, while halting the operation of 4,500 schools and leaving more than 4 million people displaced.

Additionally many bridges were bombed, roads destroyed, factories disabled and wells destructed.

All the destruction and death were not mentioned or downplayed in 'western' media because of the Saudi influence operation to hype its clown prince Mohammad bin Salman. The Saudis effectively bribed the United Nations to downplay the horrors they cause:

Saudi Arabia has demanded that aid agencies operating in Yemen should provide favourable publicity for Riyadh’s role in providing $930m (£725m) of humanitarian aid, an internal UN document reveals.
Future grants distributed by [the UN aid agency] Ocha to agencies should be tied to the amount of beneficial publicity given to Saudi Arabia, the documents advises. It also calls for Ocha to seek favourable publicity for the Saudi humanitarian effort in Yemen in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian.

The Saudi spend an estimated $200 million per day in their war on Yemen. The money they pledged this year to the UN for aid in Yemen sums up to less than 5 days of their military expenditure.

The murder in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi on order of Mohammad bin Salman changed the picture. Suddenly it is en vogue to point out Saudi misdeeds and influence. There is public and political pressure on the governments in Washington and London to end the war.

The Trump administration is taking the first tiny steps to end the war. Yesterday Defense Secretary Mattis called for a ceasefire in Yemen:

“The longer-term solution—and by longer-term, I mean 30 days from now—we want to see everybody around a peace table based on a ceasefire, based on a pullback from the border, and then based on the ceasing of dropping bombs that will then allow [Special Envoy Martin Griffiths] to get them together in Sweden and end this war,” Mattis said ...

Secretary of State Pompeo issued a similar statement (emphasis added):

The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.

Substantive consultations under the UN Special Envoy must commence this November in a third country to implement confidence-building measures to address the underlying issues of the conflict, the demilitarization of borders, and the concentration of all large weapons under international observation.

The sequentiality will of course not work. The Houthi and their allies will not stop their operations before the Saudi's end their bombing. A simultaneous ceasefire of both sides is the only possibility. Neither will the Houthi put their missile forces under international observation.

The U.S. statement neglects the economic aspect of the famine. While welcoming the plan UN envoy Martin Griffiths emphasized the central bank issue as one problem causing the famine:

“I urge all concerned parties to seize this opportunity to engage constructively with our current efforts to swiftly resume political consultations to agree on a framework for political negotiations, and confidence-building measures, in particular enhancing the capacities of the Central Bank of Yemen, the exchange of prisoners and the re opening of Sanaa airport," he said in a statement.

The U.S. plan is a no-go but nonetheless a big change of tact and a starting point.

Interestingly the State Department statement acknowledges Houthi strikes on the UAE. While several such strikes were claimed neither the UAE nor the U.S. had so far confirmed them. A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the UAE two weeks ago hinted at such strikes (see A1987/18 NOTAMN) but gained little notice. The ability of the Houthi to strike at a distance of some 1,000 miles is likely a main motive for the Saudis and the UAE to accept a ceasefire and negotiations.

The Saudi war on Yemen has failed. A recent third attack by UAE supported forces on the harbor of Hodeidah was again repelled. The frontlines are littered with burned out military vehicles. Meanwhile Houthi attacks into Saudi Arabia continue. The Houthi also continue to gain new capabilities. A few days ago they unveiled a new missile with a range of 150 kilometers and an impressive precision of 3 meter. They demonstrated its accuracy in a video which showed one hit on a disused house and a second one on a camp of Sudanese mercenaries south of Hodeidah.

Even if negotiations start next month the war on Yemen will not end anytime soon. The death toll will increase throughout the winter. Despite the high cost the people of Yemen will continue to fight until the last foreign force leaves their country.

As Isa Blumi writes in his essay:

For over a century, Yemenis have resisted a global capitalist machine that today is threatening to break down. Ironically, it was Yemen that educated high-level Ottomans about the limits of modern government.

Perhaps responsible leaders today can also consider what lessons they can draw from Yemen and hopefully avoid the impending disaster that awaits those too closely linked to a collapsing Western-centered capitalist order ensnared in southern Arabia’s destruction.

Posted by b on October 31, 2018 at 17:34 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"The technocratic error of thinking of ‘war potential’ primarily in terms of arms and armaments, special technical-industrial equipment and the like, and assessing man – according to the brutal expression now widespread in military literature – simply as ‘human resources’ – has already been widely criticised. The quality and spirit of the men to whom the arms, the means of offence and destruction, are given have represented, still represent and will always represent the basic element of ‘war potential’. No mobilisation will ever be ‘total’ if men whose spirit and vocation are up to the tests which they must face cannot be created."

that about sums it up. the west thinks "$$$ = ??? = success!" but as iraq, vietnam and afghanistan (among others) have shown, no "state of the art" military can match pure will to fight and die for a cause. if the saudis had a "cause" they wouldn't need mercs from the four corners of the world. if the west had a "cause" they wouldn't be using cowardbots to fly over and make "bugsplat". and these idiots think they'd have a chance against china. hilarious.

Posted by: the pair | Oct 31 2018 18:20 utc | 1

The latest missile hit inspired Mattis. Warfare today is based on quality and quantity of missiles and rockets. Look at the leverage Hezbollah holds over Israel's massive military. Look at the leverage North Korea held over US and South Korea. All based on missiles and rockets and long range arty.

Russia is not invaded because of rockets and missiles. Else, NATO would push Ukraine into action.

Russia changed Syria with Kalibrs fired from the Caspian.

The Iranian-Houthi missile connection signaled to the US (Mattis) that the war would grow so expensive in lost SA assets that eventually the US SOFs would be consumed in their "fight against AQ" in Yemen. Another loss for the US was unacceptable.

Thus, Peace Talks immediately.

It also shows, US missile defenses are pathetically weak and cannot protect the Hegemon's vassals like SA.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 31 2018 18:21 utc | 2

Speaking as a U.K. resident i’m aware that the U.K. has a large arms industry. The Tory party have always used that fact to justify arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and the subsecaunt loss of jobs if the arms sales were stopped !
We only have to look at film of the bombing of Yemen civilians and the directly resulting famine to realise how truly sick our leaders are !! Film showing human suffering as bad or worse as any thing Hitler did in W2 !
And every year we have remberence day !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 31 2018 18:23 utc | 3

I don't understand. Why is there still a war?

Obviously, the Houthis are being continually resupplied with weapons and ammo and missiles and drones. There certainly is no local manufacturing capability. Given the territory controlled by the Houthis, the arms must be coming in by sea from the Red Sea. On maps the coast they control is about 200 km long. Is the Coalition / US unable to interdict every ship in a 200 km stretch of coast? And only allow foodstuff and medicine to enter on UN approved ships. All others would be turned back or sunk. Why can't this war be won quickly by starving the Houthis of the means to fight?

Why is there still a war? What am I missing?

Posted by: TheBAG | Oct 31 2018 18:27 utc | 4

@2 Red Ryder

I think you've nailed the dynamic perfectly.

The war is ending because otherwise the Houthi will destroy its attacker. Missiles made this happen.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 31 2018 18:53 utc | 5

Let's hope Mattis and Pompeo's words are not mere preparations for the much bigger war against Iran which will need every ressource available.

Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 31 2018 18:55 utc | 6

What an unbelievable, ongoing tragedy is going on in Yemen! How power and money totally corrupt individuals as well as whole nations.

I quote from my favorite farmer/philosopher Wendell Berry:
"A war against the world is helplessly a war against the people of the world.
Against everybody. The innocent. The children. Increasingly, as modern militarism builds and brawls over the face of the planet, people of ordinary decency, are thinking of the children. What about the children? we ask as our leaders acknowledge, the inevitability of "some civilian casualties"--or "collateral casualties" as they put it...

"But we are not just thinking of the children who are living beneath the bombs. We are thinking too of our own children, to whom someone must explain that some people--including some of "our people"--look on the deaths of children as an acceptable cost of victory."

The losses are staggering in Yemen, in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq, in Afghanistan,...
The West is complicit in this terrible destruction of the Middle Eastern peoples.
May God help us as the whirlwind of destruction blows back on the US and its vassal countries!

Posted by: epnngg | Oct 31 2018 19:03 utc | 7

according to the red cross hundreds of thousands of innocent jews died in camps in poland and germany during the ww2.
we should never forget this even when bibi supports the new nazi guy in brasil and props up the ukrainia nazi parties.

those folks in yemen are not the same human semite as the innocent askanazim of germany of 1939.

yemen culling will fade in memory just like the babies and the depleted uranium victims of iraqi.

as clinton crime inc says what difference does it make
libya yemen who cares what happened to ghadaffis gold already.

brasil will soon move embassy from tel aviv like usa usa.

the gypsy of yememi are not original jewisher or semite they are sub strata.
chabad khazrian trumps them in this regard

we must believe and trust in the q anon zionist plan
oded yinon is still shining

Posted by: dave | Oct 31 2018 19:35 utc | 8

@4 The bag, You might have confused fighting a war with winning. The name of the game now is use as many weapons as possible, the more expensive the better all in the name of profits for the MIC.

Posted by: Arlo | Oct 31 2018 19:36 utc | 9

epnng 7

Ditto !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 31 2018 19:43 utc | 10

The war on Yemen today is a brutal example of how the expansion of global capitalist interests destroys nations.

It's also a timely reminder that the stuff which Capitalists sell to their "customers" is, more often than not, stolen - during an unnecessarily violent, Publicly-funded fake war (for Private Profit).

So the capitalists get to profit from the destruction funded by Taxpayers, then they profit from the Privatised Loot.
And it's all Legal. Apparently.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 31 2018 19:47 utc | 11

I'd like to think there was a big seachange in public opinion about Yemen.
I just don't see it.
9 out of 10 articles about Saudi don't mention Yemen.
It is carnage, Yet I doubt it has hit the front page of any newspaper more than twice recently and more than 5 times in 5 years.
I'm all for the Yemen cheerleading. But claiming minds are changing is just wishful thinking.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Oct 31 2018 19:51 utc | 12

Comments like @ 8
Show the mind set that is influencing our western governments undemacraticaly. I think that any aid, funding or arms should be stopped right now to both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Israel is a failed experiment that has led to the abomination that has happened in Yemen and throughout the Middle East!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 31 2018 20:11 utc | 13

Nothing but direct complicity in crimes against humanity.

None of those involved will see themselves before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, but it wasn't designed for us (westies 'n' friends). It was designed for them. Not to mention the deafening silence of the usual humanitarian warriors. I guess it really does depend on which side the bread is buttered.

Completely off topic, so please excuse me, but I just saw this which should lead to serious repercussions:

DNA Money via Neowin: Microsoft has been sharing Indian bank customers' data with U.S. intelligence agencies

...In the Office 365 contract, the banks agreed to share such data only if it was sanctioned by the Government of India or an Indian court. The contract also made provisions for gag orders issued by the U.S. agencies, where Microsoft wouldn't be allowed to outwardly acknowledge the disclosure of the user data. Per one of the banks,..

More at the link.

I read the other day (ZeroHedge?) that the NSA's plan was to surveille the whole world. I was a skeptical about the depth of the claim it until I saw the news above. This is the price of doing any business with the United States.

Posted by: et Al | Oct 31 2018 20:14 utc | 14

Oh Lord, are you buying into this fake ceasefire plan proposed by Trump admin that would only start in a month? You know how much damage the Saudis can do in a month? The Saudis started deploying thousands of troops to Hodeidah for a planned offensive:

Saudi offensive

Meanwhile, here's a story that might have legs (No pun intended). If the Saudi gov is involved in this, heads will roll, since it was done on U.S. soil and Trump wouldn't be able to squirm out of doing something to punish the Saudis.

Can the Saudis really be so brazen??? I SAY YES! When Trump is giving them so much cover not condemning them for the Khashoggi hit why not?

Saudi girls found

Posted by: Circe | Oct 31 2018 20:23 utc | 15

@Circe 15

Looks like its been pulled already...

Posted by: kgw | Oct 31 2018 20:32 utc | 16

DDG search did bring up the story...

Posted by: kgw | Oct 31 2018 20:42 utc | 17

TheBAG @4--

I suggest you rake a minute or two to inform yourself about Yemen and its domestic capabilities, particularly its industry, before you say all its war material's imported. The alleged collusion with Iran remains unproven and the maritime blockade is extremely effective which is why a humanitarian crisis exists. Admittedly, Wikipedia's articles about Yemen are all biased, but some basic information can still be gleaned. Yemeni animosity toward Saudi has existed for decades if not centuries--Yemen was one of the few nations to ally with Saddam Hussein against Saudi in 1990.

Yemen's history's fascinating, and Wikipedia's recap does well until the 20th century. It's had a settled civilization residing there for over 7,000 years and was the most sophisticated region of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam. Unfortunately, Yemen's geographic locale has made it the target of many imperial ventures over the past 2,000 years, with the current episode merely being the latest. And as Houthis are demonstrating, they're not easy to subdue.

As Red Ryder @2 notes, missile technology now provides a deterrent to imperial force projection; Houthis would salivate at the sight of a USN carrier coming within range. A ceasefire and evacuation of all foreign and mercenary troops must occur before any meaningful political process can begin. And given Yemen's fractious history, it will likely take a long time to arrive at a plan agreeable to all parties. But, at least the killing and starvation will have ended.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2018 21:21 utc | 18

There was a report yesterday as to how Saudi Arabia provided 1 billion dollars in donations on condition that they minimize the impact of the war on Yemen population. Apparently that deal is off as they know MBS wont be around to provide anymote donations. Pretty disgusting and destroys what little credibility these agents have left

Frankly I think we want Saidi Arabia to save their bombs for the new CIA Crown Prince who will replace MBS. He just returned to Saudi Arabia from exile in the UK and will try and unseat his nephew. Presumably he has been programmed to assume the role and serve the Empires interests

Interesting revelations on the Khashoggi case that is at the center of all this . Now Turkey says he was strangled immediately. No torture, no phone calls to MBS. Where is the audio video evidence? What happened to those body parts found in a well? A recent report now says Turkey complaining Saudis wont give them access to the well. People have been played big time. Its gone over so well because nobody likes Saudi Arabia so why waste critical thinking questioning a story that confirms our beliefs?

Posted by: Pft | Oct 31 2018 21:27 utc | 19

thw first link titled 'saudi offensive' in #15 works here

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 31 2018 21:31 utc | 20

The second #15 link has also a slightly different address right here I realise many will see this as some sort of deliberate concealment and it may well be that news organisations will increasingly seek to protect articles from off site access for concealment, but as any user of kodi knows, links are changed incessantly for a host of boring administrative reasons.

If you find a worthwhile article using a search engine and wish to share it taking out the search engine pieces of the link by visiting the site without google or whoever is far more likely to deliver a usable html link.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 31 2018 21:41 utc | 21

TheBAG @ 4, Karlof1 @ 18:

My money is on individual soldiers and maybe even entire units of soldiers and officers defecting from the Saudi army and supplying the Houthis with the weapons they need.

This would partly explain the huge losses the Saudis are suffering and the Houthis' ability not only to continue and hold out against the invaders, but even to target Riyadh itself with missiles. Riyadh is at least 1,000 km away from the Yemen border.

There will be many soldiers in the Saudi army who still have family or cultural connections with people in Yemen. Before the 20th century, the area along the northern Red Sea, the Hejaz, which contains the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, had closer trade and cultural connections with Yemen than it did with Nejd, the centre of Saudi and Wahhabi power. It was only in the late 1920s - not quite a century ago - that the Hejaz was joined to Nejd.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 31 2018 21:44 utc | 22

I truly can no longer be bothered with this site I have just put up a working link to the second piece 15 linked to and it ended up in the black hole for some reason, I frankly do not care whiat if typepad the blog provider is this incompetent or destructive it is time to move the blog on. I do not have the time to be rewriting stuff over and over again. The original post contained advice about not using google or other search engine detritus when sharing as that makes dynamic links even less likely to be 'worthy', but quite frankly I cannot spare the time to redo it, and the current nonsense at MoA where 33% of articles disappear for whatever reason is unsustainable.

The second link which is even more pointless and irrelevant than the first can be found here

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 31 2018 21:50 utc | 23

@22 Thanks for providing links to both articles, even though you think they're pointless.

I too have experienced numerous problems posting here. It's very frustrating. I have to spell words wrong deliberately; put periods, …, whatever to get the comment to post, and now even that doesn't work. It slows down the discussion to a crawl. Just to let you know you're not the only one.

Regarding the articles. I don't think any of them are pointless, because the first shows that the administration is not serious about peace or helping to end Saudi war crimes, as they're giving the Saudis time to capture this strategic port, Houdeidah.

Regarding the Saudi girls: they're very young and found bound together and it's like something the mob would do to send a message, only this feels like the Saudi gov mob. It's a crime committed on U.S. soil and the Saudi consular/embassy authorities called the mother the day before the girls were found. In view of what happened to Khashoggi, it's just too suspect to discard as pointless.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 31 2018 22:12 utc | 24

thanks b and debs... debs, what are you recommending? that b move his blog to a different format, or?

@4 thebag..i thought you might be the clown prince for a moment asking those about asking why the fuck ksaand uae are allowed to do this shit 24/7starving or murdering innocent. people... that would be a better question to ask..

why am i not surprised. ksa wants the donation equivalent of a few days bombing costs that they donate for ‘’’humanitairian reason’’’ tobe contigent on good prand no bad pr? these sickos running ksa areso sick and demented they figure they may as well as for some good prwhile they murder , maim and starve innocent yemeni 24/7. i guess this is a reflection of there religious values and ethics shining thru... i bet they are finding a lot of new recruits to wahabbism with an approach like wonder they are constantly in the usa, uk and israel good books..

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2018 22:12 utc | 25

How credible is this report by Middleeasteye that is being cited by Zerohedge:

ZH headlines two posts if credible are of huge import

"Saudi Coup "Imminent" As Crown Prince's Uncle Arrives To Oust "Toxic" MbS"

ME reports
Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, has returned to Saudi Arabia after a prolonged absence in London, to mount a challenge to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or find someone who can.

The septuagenarian prince, an open critic of bin Salman (MBS), has travelled with security guarantees given by US and UK officials.

“He and others in the family have realised that MBS has become toxic,” a Saudi source close to Prince Ahmad told Middle East Eye.

[.]The source said that the prince returned “after discussion with US and UK officials”, who assured him they would not let him be harmed and encouraged him to play the role of usurper.

Apart from those western guarantees, Ahmad is also protected by his rank.

Last November, bin Salman conducted a sweeping purge of dissident royals, yet was not able to touch any sons of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the modern Saudi state, who are regarded as too senior a target for him.[.]

And in Turkey, drip, drip revealing more because what MbS offered is not enough:

"Khashoggi strangled in planned attack, body dismembered – Turkish prosecutor"

The dissident reporter disappeared after going to the diplomatic mission on October 2. After denying his death and the knowledge of his whereabouts for days, Riyadh admitted that Khashoggi died as a result of a 'fist fight.' Later, the Saudi prosecutors also said that some evidence suggested that Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated.

Now, the office of Istanbul’s chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan says Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the diplomatic compound as part of a premeditated killing. This is the first official confirmation of the murder made by the Turkish officials.[.]

The western media will not let the Khashoggi murder be silenced. Will Jared Kushner be a casualty as well?

Posted by: likklemore | Oct 31 2018 22:25 utc | 26


There's another question that's not so pointless: Why would the girls apply for political asylum? And why would the Saudi Consul General call the family asking them to leave the U.S.?

The manner in which the girls were bound face to face and forming a cross; leads me to believe that someone wanted it to look like a religious fanatic committed this crime, and I don't believe the girls jumped off a bridge with all that duct tape and their bodies were unscathed and they fell in the form of a cross. There's a lot about this that raises red flags.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 31 2018 22:31 utc | 27

I havent had much problem posting here since i reduced the number of links and html tags, and copy my post before I click post. True some posts disappear for reasons unknown, perhaps due to length (so I shorten it up and retry) or its off topic (so I move to open thread) or maybe a forbidden link (so I remove), or I quoted too much of a copyrighted work (fuggedaboutit then, rework it or just post a link) all of which is easy to do if one copies ones work before posting.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 31 2018 22:36 utc | 28

If you are having trouble with lost posts, why not use TextEdit, Notepad or some such intermediate App?

I find that strategy useful when communicating with one of my doctors via their unreliable patient portals.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Oct 31 2018 22:39 utc | 29

Jen @21--

Paveway IV provided excellent info on Houthi capabilities and a glimpse inside their arsenal of missiles. Clearly they have expertise and manufacturing capabilities to produce or retool new or previously existing weaponry. Yemen's been at war off-and-on for 50 some years and was well stocked by USSR and China.

If Outlaw US Empire, UK and Saudi all seek truce, then naval blockade ought to be lifted immediately without any preconditions. Such a move will actually show if the War Criminals are serious about putting an end to their crime spree.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 31 2018 22:39 utc | 30

And there is the petition gathering signatures for the D.C. Mayor to rename the section of New Hampshire Avenue in question to "Jamal Khashoggi Way."
Sputnik cites Wapo

"We are petitioning for the roundabout in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington to be named after Jamal Khashoggi," Awad said, according to the Washington Post. "I want you to start a petition, that in every street and every city where there is a Saudi embassy or a Saudi mission, demand that it will be renamed after him."

When this story was published Wednesday afternoon, the petition had about 1,600 signatures. The organizers of the petition come from very different political persuasions: Michael Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Gary Schmitt, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the Post reported.
Schmitt told The Post, a paper for which Khashoggi wrote, that his intention was to "troll the Saudis for their unconscionable behavior," according to the paper.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 31 2018 22:42 utc | 31

@3 Mark2

The government pays the wages but UK citizens are making the bombs. There are many more sick UK citizens effectively killing Yemenis by making weapons than there are government politicians. Why are the concerned citizens of the UK not protesting against their fellow citizens, why do they always blame the politicians? If nobody worked in the UK arms industry then the UK would not be selling arms!

Posted by: Jon | Oct 31 2018 22:50 utc | 32

".......The attacking nations, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Britain and the UAE, planned to grab Yemen's resources but failed in their war. They are now making first moves to end the war. They finally recognized that they are unable to win while the financial and reputational costs of the stalemate steadily increases........"

I don't believe it's a resource war as much as a proxy war. Yemen oil and natural gas resources are paltry compared to the big producers. This is a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis consider Yemen in the sphere of influence much like Russia considers Ukraine in their sphere of influence (both are wrong). The Houthi missile technology is coming directly from Iran which is providing weapons to the Houthis.

The Iran-backed and armed Houthis ousted the internationally-recognized Yemeni government in a military coup. The Middle East Eye reported a conversation between the ex-President Saleh and a Houthi leader to undermine the Hadi government (Yemen leak: Collusion between Houthis and ex-president Saleh via @MiddleEastEye):

"........A leaked phone conversation allegedly between Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and a Houthi leader suggests that the Shiite militia have been coordinating militarily and politically with the country’s autocratic ex-leader to undermine the current elected government....."

Hadi was run out of town as the Houthi offensive swept to the south. The Yemen government under Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi asked for assistance from the Saudi-led coalition in much the same way that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah intervened on behalf of the Assad government. Hadi also asked for support for an intervention at the UN.

Additionally, the ousted Hadi government was critical to the US war on al-Qaeda in Yemen. The US also provided assistance in fighting al-Qaeda which had taken over the Abyan Governorate in 2011. The Yemen government with assistance from the US liberated the Governorate. Amnesty called the al-Qaeda takeover a “human rights catastrophe”. The US first began assisting the Yemen government fighting al-Qaeda in 2002.

According to Jonathon Marshall at Consortiumnews, the Obama administration enlisted support from the Saudi government for the Iran nuclear agreement in exchange for US assistance in Yemen (“Belated Pushback on Saudis’ War on Yemen

Like all wars, civilians ultimately bear the brunt of the conflict. Yemen is a poor country to begin with so the war is especially devastating for a population that barely makes ends meet (at best). The Saudi bombing campaign should be strongly condemned by anyone concerned about human rights and war crimes.

Posted by: craigsummers | Oct 31 2018 22:57 utc | 33

"Yemen - After 200,000 Died An Embarrased U.S. Finally Moves Towards Negotiations"

Most hilarious headline eva! The US 'embarrassed'? By the death of countless poor dark-colored non-Christian foreign people in territory adjacent to a major sea communications route (Suez canal southern exit to Indian/Arabian oceans)? Give me a break. The US is turning up the pressure on Saudi because it is moving away from sole US vassal status (with implicit threat to US petro-dollar). It doesn't give a flying fsck about the well-being of anyone below those who can buy US politicians.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 31 2018 23:26 utc | 34

we expect shoa from perfidious albion from cia and mossadick.
it is rooted deep in dna.

pirate nations rape pillage soft ohh so soft power.
gang counter gang and pseudogang
problem reaction solution
general sir frank kitson and sas david sterling.

where is ukrainias gold and libyas
where is the 10 billion of the gadaffi families investments
what of libyas sovreign wealth funds.

dustification of history
how old was syriana iraqi and yemeni
2 much history to complex for simon scharma bbc history.
in the future the ashkanazim history of the near and middle east will be much easier to understand.

zionist plots one can understand.

simple fact is libya was butchered raped yemen dustified china and russia did nothing.

no breach of blockade no rice or wheat emergency aid.

putin hero not in yemen
busy selling s400 to partners in donmeh house of saud and not so young oded yinon turk erdogan

Posted by: dave | Oct 31 2018 23:28 utc | 35

great video interview with alastair crooke

trump plan for military escalation is impossible due to usa debt

usa plan to destroy iran oil sales will not work

russians have no intentions of overreach

russia is now the center of diplomacy, everyone goes to russia to resolve problems

"sovereignty" - russia poorer than usa but more determined/alert/aware

russia will never capitulate to usa

usa oversimplifies other nations, does not comprehend

there are no iran military units in syria

netanyahu is trying to protect saudi and continue attack on iran

and trump follows netanyahu

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 31 2018 23:36 utc | 36

@31. Hiya NPC. Non Participating Craig. As soon as I read the line that Ukraine wasn’t in Russia’s sphere of influence I knew it was you. Clueless, funny but clueless. Must try harder.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Oct 31 2018 23:39 utc | 37

Alastair Crooke is former UK dip & MI6, knows more about ME than any white man

> What is happening is that Bolton and Pompeo seem to be precisely taking Trump back to the old 1992 Defence Policy Guidance document, authored by Paul Wolfowitz, which established the doctrine that the US would not allow any competition to its hegemony to emerge.
> Plainly, Europe will be expected too, to welcome America’s missiles deployed back into Europe. Some states may welcome this (Poland and the Baltic States), but Europe as a whole will not. It will serve as another powerful reason to rethink European relations with Washington.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 31 2018 23:39 utc | 38

"Subsequently." That's a key word that you highlighted, b. Pompeo is saying that FIRST, the Houthis need to stop fighting back. THEN the coalition will stop its attacks. We've heard this before. It sounds and smells like neocon thinking.

You're right about the story being fishy about there being a blockade and yet war supplies may be getting through. The only party I ever thought possible would have been the Omanis. But I'm not sure if they would want to risk the Saudi's (MbS) ire. Also, eastern Yemen is supposedly occupied by al Qaeda and/or Saudi/Qatari forces. How would supplies to Houthis get through them? We're back to the possibility of them making their own.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 1 2018 0:10 utc | 39

How can the Houthis continue to fight? Most of the Viet Cong's arms were U.S. weapons captured from the South Vietnamese ARVN army and the Americans.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 1 2018 0:20 utc | 40

@ Debsisdead and other like myself having comment posting problems.

I don't think the problems we are having are b's fault or typepad. It seems more are being triggered to go into the suspect queue for b to deal with later.

I would encourage you to be thankful we are not having these conversations on a bulletin board of the old days. If you value your comments enough you will learn to compose the bigger ones in a text editor of your choice for any blog site including MoA

Outside of typepad stuff that may be gamed by the NSA folk, Cloudflare is where all the techie action is taking place, IMO And we don't have Snowden contributing here to explain it more we take what we can get for now and watch the show

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 1 2018 0:32 utc | 41

So, the West and media and folks like craigsummers here always insist this is a proxy war, and that Iran is involved to a meaningful extent. So then if peace negotiations are held, they'll have no problem if Iran is involved in those negotiations, right? After all, since they insist Iran controls the Houthis, surely the Houthis don't have full negotiating power.

If that happens it will be a rather hilarious fail on the part of Saudi and the US/UK. Since Iran has had barely anything to do with this genocide, yet they'd be invited and maybe given concessions. For doing nothing except turning years of propaganda against itself. Put up or shut up time.

Posted by: Soft Asylum | Nov 1 2018 0:54 utc | 42

Thank you B for your detailed analysis, and shining a bright light on the mind numbing hypocrisy of the allegedly 'civilised' West, and of the utter bullshit and propaganda of the so called mainstream media. The West is drenched with the blood of millions of human beings, from Vietnam to Iraq, Syria to Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, not too mention C

Posted by: Gezzah | Nov 1 2018 1:21 utc | 43

Regarding lost comments.

b has explained repeatedly that every lost comment is captured and held to the moderation queue. Sometimes he sleeps, and when he wakes he sorts through the queue. He says that there are quite a few comments that he deletes and that we should be glad we don't have to see them, and I am.

b is the sole operator of this site. Every one of our held comments means work for him. I've never heard him complain about this workload, apart from explaining that point to us.


Over at the Vineyard, the Saker took a different tack and brought in moderators. But no comment appears until it gets moderated. I don't like it much but that's the way of it. Personally, I leave a comment and go away. Sometimes I go back. I notice that many people do seem to have threaded discussions over there, but I don't know how they have the patience for it. One great advantage of the moderation is that comments tend to be long and coherent in themselves, and a few of them together can enormously amplify an article's information.

Over here, comments appear immediately, for the most part. The downside is that all kinds of junk and trivial comments appear that we have to scan past, and this noise-to-signal ratio has been getting much worse, so it's also a problem. There's enormously more tolerance here than there is moderation, so it's a cruel sort of irony that the complaints hinge on moderation rather than spam. It amounts to the same as the Saker, in that one leaves a comment and moves on, and circles back to re-harvest later on. In the end, with maybe 4 times the comments here as at the Saker, the net information is probably the same.

But it always comes down to distilling from a thread what you can, and leaving the rest. The information takeaway is the real product here, I suggest, rather than any sense of real-time conversation - which this discussion resembles but for the most part isn't.


I don't know why it's always my best comment that gets held ;)

As some suggest, copy before posting, or simply take it as a lesson in non-attachment - training for a disappointing world.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 1 2018 1:22 utc | 44

Soft Asylum @40

Iran operates in the shadows in Europe as well as in Yemen (Analysis | A foiled assassination plot in Denmark may have just cost Iran a partner against Trump

"......BERLIN — Denmark is leading a push for new E.U. sanctions against Iran, after its intelligence agencies blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. The plot was already uncovered in September and triggered a massive police operation, in which Denmark shut down streets and bridges nationwide.

Agencies revealed only this week that the operation probably had prevented what they say was a plan to kill a member of the Arab separatist movement ASMLA, which advocates for carving out an independent Arab state from Iran. A suspect of Iranian origin was arrested two weeks ago.

The arrest could play into the hands of President Trump, who unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal but has struggled to persuade European allies to follow suit........"

Iran has a history of supporting terrorists like Hamas and Hezbollah for their geopolitical agenda. Supporting and arming the Houthis is part of their regional goals.

Posted by: craigsummers | Nov 1 2018 1:24 utc | 45

They can't win without glassing the place. And they can't glass the place b/c it would ruin the resources. They're working on the technology to get er done. They do have the audacity to believe they can sell it to the public. There's a significant number of US American idiots prepared to give up their social security to Mitch McConnell.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 1 2018 1:31 utc | 46


Wow! Hasbara alert! Pure Zionist claptrap.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 1 2018 1:35 utc | 47

Although as noted by Red Ryder the role of increasingly effective Houthi missile capability is likely one incentive for the Saudis to reconsider the war, I think it is the Khashoggi affair that has more strongly influenced the increased international attention to Yemen.

All media and political figures and 'human rights agencies' that have suddenly discovered SA as newly more notably reprehensible than previously can play alongside the viral lurid Khashoggi card, the starving bombed people of Yemen card. There has until now been a virtual taboo against anything approximating accurate reporting in western mass media re the 'invisible' war against Yemen.

What we can expect is the “not agreement capable” US and Saudis and English to attempt to continue destroying Yemen or subverting opposition there while waving false white flags and making false promises and weaving false narratives.

But for the moment, given that the progressive wunderkid MbS has been found wanting in subtlety when it comes to murdering an opponent, in addition to having created many internal enemies shaking down a whole bunch of decadent SA millionaire/billionaire fellow travelers, Yemen will be offered as an angst worthy reason to further reduce in standing the previously marvelous imaginary exemplar of progressive cultural dynamics, MbS.

And there is the further consideration, for those who revile Trump, that he and his son-in-law have previously fawned over the newly discovered monster, MbS. MbS was suddenly seen as a potential embarrassing hot potato for Trump.

And there is now a kind of relief valve for many people on Earth who for long self-censored re SA and Yemen. It's more okay to say true unflattering things about SA, suddenly.

So Yemen's horrors used just so in western politics and mass media propaganda serve several purposes, not one of which will involve sincere outrage over, let alone clear and full explication of, the war crimes committed against the people of Yemen.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Nov 1 2018 1:39 utc | 48

Within a few day after the Khashoggi killing it seemed that the one positive outcome would be that the Saudi war against Yemen would lose its western support. Hopefully that is now happening.

There are other potential positive developments from Khashoggi's death. Three other big ones are:

1: Saudi support for the jihadis in Syria will no longer be supported by the US, UK and France. Removing that financial support should be enough to allow the Syrians and Russians to kill off those jihadi vermin.

2. Saudi Arabia was a major factor in pushing for war against Iran. Today that influence is gone. Neither Israel nor the US can rely on them and are likely unable to build another anti-Iran coalition that is willing to go to war.

3. The Palestinians might even benefit. The growing Saudi-Israeli alliance made it extremely difficult for many Moslems to actively oppose Israeli suppression of the Palestinians or even avoid attacking Palestinian freedom fighters. Today they are more free to help their Palestinian brothers.

In any case I do believe that martyr Khasoggi has through his death made a contribution for a better future even if through his life he was as reactionary as they can possibly come.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 1 2018 2:32 utc | 49

@34 and 36 mauisurfer

Two excellent links, both involving Alastair Crooke - thank you very much.

Crooke, especially in the interview with Lavelle, illustrates how a sense of national sovereignty is truly taking hold in the ME and Europe - and, I think he'd agree, throughout the world. And Russia it is that has played this role in showing the nations how to be.

There was discussion, some years ago following the Maidan in Ukraine, about the information war and how Russia was not attempting to fight back word for word (in the enemy's terms and therefore on the enemy's terms, and furthermore with much inferior capacity), but was instead focused on the paradigms of worldly conduct. And we are now seeing the kind of shifts that Crooke is talking about, and I personally see them as flowing quite directly from Russia's example of how to be.

Russia has diplomacy and adherence to the rule of law. Russia has its culture and its state memory and its people. Russia is a role model. And I at least have the sense that many nations are re-discovering and developing a stronger backbone today because of the example of sovereign strength displayed by Russia. The so-called Demonstration Effect is a real thing, I think, and we are seeing it at work.

I'm on a tangent, so the way to bring it back to Yemen is to wonder if Russia could be involved in a peace there somehow, and how far away in time this might be for circumstances and positions to change enough to let this happen...

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 1 2018 2:34 utc | 50

Karlofi @ 18, Jen @ 21

Karlofi, thank you, I read the Wikipedia entry. There is nothing in there that indicates Yemen has the capability to manufacture weapons, ammunition, explosives, missiles or drones. If they did at one time, I would have imagined that the Saudi bombing campaign would have destroyed any such industry by now. After all, the Saudis have allegedly destroyed over 900 mosques and 300 hospitals!

I use to believe that the maritime blockade was effective but now I'm not so sure. Somehow the Houthis are getting medium range missiles in. How? Their only direct link to the outside world is the 200 km of coastline.

Jen, I don't believe there are many Saudi soldiers on the ground in Yemen. Most are mercenaries from Africa. The last thing the Saudi rulers want is a battle-hardened Saudi military that may decide to stage a coup like Nasser or Qaddafi. On a related note, it's my understanding that MbS's personal guards are Pakistani mercenaries. He doesn't even trust his National Guard. Having said all that it, defecting soldiers would not be bringing missiles with them.

If the maritime blockade is so effective and the Houthis cannot manufacture missiles, where are their missiles coming from??

I know that I am a broken record on this, but I think this is a very important question that goes to the heart of this hideous war. In Syria, it is clear that all the weapons used by the various rebel groups are supplied by outsiders. Isn't it rather obvious that advanced weapons are being supplied to the Houthis from the outside? Who is supplying them?? How are they coming in?? If the maritime blockade is so effective then how are the missiles getting in??

When this question is answered, I think we can begin to understand why hundreds of thousands have been killed.

Posted by: TheBAG | Nov 1 2018 2:34 utc | 51

@Red Ryder | Oct 31, 2018 2:21:52 PM | 2

The Iranian-Houthi missile connection signaled to the US (Mattis) that the war would grow so expensive in lost SA assets....It also shows, US missile defenses are pathetically weak and cannot protect the Hegemon's vassals like SA.

That's a thought. If the Houthi missiles keep increasing in range and accuracy, Saudi Arabia's oil port at Ras Tanura might be damaged. During l'affaire Khashoggi, the Saudis threatened to push the price of oil to $400, and now it could really happen, though for a different reason. Trump wouldn't like that.

Could this be the real reason why he and his minions are noticing the crisis in Yemen?

Or is the desperation of the citizens there affecting the U.S.'s heart of stone? Nah.

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 1 2018 3:17 utc | 52


The attacking nations, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Britain and the UAE, planned to grab Yemen's resources but failed in their war.


"Yemen contains proven crude oil reserves of more than 4 billion barrels (640,000,000 m3)"

Saudi Arabia has been pretending to have oil reserves of about 600 billion barrels. If they find Yemen's mere 4 billion barrels worth stealing, what is the true state of Saudi's reserves?

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 1 2018 3:18 utc | 53

Is it real though or just more hot air a la north korea?

Posted by: Adamski | Nov 1 2018 3:44 utc | 54

In any case I do believe that martyr Khasoggi has through his death made a contribution for a better future even if through his life he was as reactionary as they can possibly come. Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 31, 2018 10:32:26 PM | 46

Another great example of evil defeating evil, leaving us a world with marginally less evil.

Kashhoggi, the torturer's death by torture seems to have benefitted just about everyone,
even the Palestinians, as your post cogently notices. kashoggi almost seems a post modern
Kristo who gives his very life for humanity, his self-sacrifice livestreamed on an apple watch.

What about Mecca and Medina? MBS is like the guardian of these sacred places? I doubt it!
Why not let the Palestinians be the caretakers of the Ka'aba greeting the devout pilgrims
as the arrive from all over the world? Surely there's enough room for them to have their
own country, but not in a bad neighborhood where ones neighbor is forever calling the cops.

Russia can explain to them how it works, they can have a country but not political
parties such as Hamas and Fatah Nusra, nor suspect sects like Muslim Brotherhood etc.

MBS sentence him to a lifetime of clearing rubble from Yemeni ruins. Make him wear a
white helmet the whole time. Chain him in a work-gang with his generals and some colonels.

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 1 2018 4:02 utc | 55

Here is a link to another story from the strategic-culture foundation saying similar to what b has presented in this posting

Western Media Make One Death a Tragedy, Millions a Statistic

At what point will someone call a halt to this game of horror of the hour and ask for a structural solution to the noise level it produces these days to keep the Wurlitzer spinning? Hopefully this coming confrontation with China/Russia et al versus the iFUKUS et al sides will do so.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 1 2018 4:04 utc | 56

@53 I agree.
I think the discovery after discovery of mass graves, huge numbers of foreign trained, supplied and funded third party mercenaries, and foreign supplied weapons aimed at regime change in Syria and Yemen are increasing the general awareness that it was human life and human quality of life dependent infrastructure that were the targets in Syria and Yemen regime change efforts. The if it moves or can be used: destroy it, attitude has caused considerable don't let this happen again resistance. Also the question of "whether or not those who produce propaganda" or those who deny the truth from being told, in support of illegal use of force, infra structure destruction or murder are war criminals, terrorist or persons immune from prosecution is surfacing.

Red handed evidence would generally be insufficient to indite leaders of invading or participating nations in the past. But new pressures, China, Russia, Iran and others, have homogenized the military, social, political and power relations between the nations. Khoshoggi's murder may have intensified the demand for human rights justice; committing war crimes may soon be indictable offenses at the ICC without regards to signatory status.

Posted by: snake | Nov 1 2018 4:29 utc | 57

TheBAG @ 48: I admit I don't really know what proportion of the Royal Saudi Land Forces is made up of Saudi troops and what is foreign. Also I don't know how disciplined the Saudi military is. Would you happen to know?

If the Houthis are acquiring advanced weapons and missiles (and I assume these are very heavy), and Yemen is subject to a maritime blockade by both the US and Saudi Arabia, then the best explanation is that they are coming overland from Saudi Arabia itself, and they are being brought over by defecting KSA army units.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 1 2018 5:06 utc | 58

Nailed it! MBS has begun shifting his allegiance to China/Russia and that is why the US allowed Kashoggi to walk to his death. The ensuing outcry surprised MBS as when he had US support he could get away with any thing, including the mass murder of Yemeni civilians. Now the US wants MBS gone and a more agreeable, to them, puppet in power. The Kashoggi murder and the Yemen war are to be used to justify this.

Posted by: Ike | Nov 1 2018 5:07 utc | 59

I truly can no longer be bothered with this site ... The second link which is even more pointless and irrelevant than the first can be found here
Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 31, 2018 5:50:35 PM | 22

Two girls died, presumably murdered, a day after applying for political asylum. You say that is "pointless and irrelevant". If the two girls could hear what you said, how do you think they would feel about that? Indeed, how would you feel about someone who made such a comment if it was you yourself who was duct-taped and dumped in the river?

Which is more important and urgent - that MoA/its service provider examine and improve its quality of service to prevent minor service inconveniences - or that you carefully examine your own motives, way of thinking, and attitudes?

Posted by: BM | Nov 1 2018 7:05 utc | 60

Geostrategic importance of the waterway is the key parameter of Yemen war.
Superpowers try control waterways by segmentation of territories and nations around the waterway. See what happened on the area during last 100 year: wars and creation of Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Somali, [South-Yemen, Dhofar].
That is not the whole story. Depopulation is a clear and significant aspect of this war. That is the reason they make sea and air blockade from the beginning of the war, they do not allow commercial food and medicine supply, the aim is to cause sever famine and depopulation.
Targeting school bus is a symbolic hatred toward next generation to live on Yemen soil. Why they are targeting hospitals, water supplies etc, ? There is no military gain there.
It seems Yemen war is not Russia’s and China’s problem. Do you think So?
Why Russia and China did not veto UNSC resolution for blockade, in the beginning of the war? Waterways are controlled by superpowers. You can see China has established first military base outside of China in Djibouti few months ago.
Are Russia and China are two smart superpowers? They let their west partners do the dirty part of the job!

Posted by: RFN | Nov 1 2018 8:02 utc | 61

An Embarrased U.S. Finally Moves Towards Negotiations

Given the nature of Pompeo's statement,

The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.

Substantive consultations under the UN Special Envoy must commence this November in a third country to implement confidence-building measures to address the underlying issues of the conflict, the demilitarization of borders, and the concentration of all large weapons under international observation.

it appears to me that the main thrust of what the US is saying to the Houthis now is: "you must capitulate within 30 days and totally submit to control by the invading coalition, because the suffering and devastation we are unilaterally inflicting on you is causing too much damage to our international prestige. Stage 1 - you must stop attacks on SA and UAE and give up all your defences; stage 2 - after that we will stop bombing civilians, but we will continue to bomb Houthi fighters and we will continue to send waves of invading ground forces, which should go very well after you have given up all your defences; stage 3 - in the unlikely event there is anybody left alive, we will then impose a peace settlement on our terms".

That does not sound like the US is moving towards negotiation, at least for the time being. More like stepping up for the kill under cover of making vaccuous conciliatory noises.

OR Trump gave one order, and Mattis/Pompeo mangled it into the opposite.

The bold on the "populated" areas was important, B! Also to be noted is Mattis/Pompeo's emphasis on "de-militarisation of borders" and "pullback from the border" - has someone been misinforming Mattis and Pompeo about the Yemen war? They seem to have a tiny tiny misunderstanding about what is going on here, like Trump's ignorance multiplied by 1000. Or else that is yet another fast one they are trying to pull, that the war is all about Houthi aggressive invasion of SA and UAE, or what?

Posted by: BM | Nov 1 2018 8:05 utc | 62

Jen @58:
Regarding the Saudi military, here's something that might interest you. The gist of this long article is that the Arab culture is the main reason for the Saudis piss poor performance on the battlefield.

As for the Houthis and their supply lines, I have no doubts they're getting external help in some fashion. However, the Houthis can just as easily help themselves to the numerous weapons cache the Saudi-led coalition forces leave behind.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 1 2018 8:14 utc | 63

I flew off the handle this am whena post that I had written disappeared into the ether.
I haven't checked the particular thread since I posted that message so I have no idea whether anyone responded or more likely it made no impact.

All day I have been carrying around a feeling of having betrayed someone I care about, Bernard or b.
Like most all of us I hav3e never met b in the flesh, but that doesn'ty prevent me from liking and respecting this man so I'm happy to apologise if my post offen ded b as that was not my intent - intentions are the furtherest thing from my consideration when I'm in a curmudgeonly morning grump.

There is a reason why I am not emailing this privately to b and that is the issue that I was whining about is something which I would like to see b resolve - with the assistance and resources that fixing would require from MoA-ites.

In fact one reason why I haven't even made the usual rather meagre contribution myself is because whilst I 100% acknowledge 'MoonofAlabama' is b's site to do with as he sees fit, I also believe that deficiencies which cause posts to vanish until b has the time to resuscitate them are a liability, I'm prefer not to enable.

The posts are generally nixed by some algorithm designed on a lowest common denominator basis by typepad the corp which designed and now maintains the software which makes Moon of Alabama' work.
Many of us write posts up on a text editor or similar so that we can repost something that disappears into the ether - usually. Needless to say my post earlier wasn't lengthy, worthy or profound. I had not draafted it on a text editor - when it disappeared that was the end of it.

This must happen to many others especially new posters. Yes b restores them, but that is often hours later. Now I'm not advocating that b devote any more of his time to wading through spam and restore posts quicker and I certainly hope that b doesn't decide to block conversations on his site because the whole thing is too much hassle.

Nor do I believe b should go for some roster of volunteers to assist him. MoA is b's and the upshot of any such thing would be that some aides would feel a certain claim on policies which white ant b's ownership.
I dunno about others but I do spend quite a chunk of cash on the faux anonymity usenet, file, vpn and torrent servers and indexers.That is without considering subscriptions to foreign policy dot com or other sites which provide some info that aren't a piece of huge corporate propagandizing.
If MoA had a reliable source of income which was provided by those of us who could (i) afford it but (ii) did not attach strings to their subscription then perhaps b could consider either changing or employing a local to where he is to rebuid the site to one which didn't have an arcane rule set.
Without getting into some type of measuring contest over who can afford what(where I would be forced to reach for a trusty pair of tweezers & a magnifying glass) and while also respecting that some may not be able to pay anything for a subscription but are still entitled to use all facilities without anyone else being the wiser, I reckon that it should be possible to enroll 100 readers at $15 per month which should provide b with sufficient moola to either employ a part time offsider or install a better more user friendly blog infrastructure.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 1 2018 8:30 utc | 64

I havent had much problem posting here since...
all of which is easy to do if one copies ones work before posting.
Posted by: Pft | Oct 31, 2018 6:36:15 PM | 28

Same here.
I've been aware of spam queue delays for a long time and it's several years since one of my comments has disappeared without a trace.
I always test a link in PREVIEW mode to make sure...
1. It works correctly.
2. It doesn't disrupt the page margins.

I can't (and don't) believe that anyone would go to the trouble of composing a tract/snippet, which could be read by everyone on Earth with a computer/device, without making a copy before posting it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 1 2018 8:56 utc | 65

i dont see how sourcing the weapons will explain why so many have been killed; they're being killed because the saudis, whose weapons are supplied largely by the united states, want to steal yemen's oil and don't care how many get killed because of that. the houthis are seeking weapons, because they don't want that to happen. both sides use these weapons on each other, the offenders and the defenders. i know which side my sympathies lie on; it's the one that isn't committing genocide.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 1 2018 9:02 utc | 66

my snippets are occasionally held in moderation but i've never lost one, here anyway, so i never bother making a copy first. i don't include many links, maybe that helps.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 1 2018 9:03 utc | 67

Aljazeera and CNN took an obvious pleasure as picturing one fanatically hyper-secretive Saudi supposed to be a "prosecutor" in his country(and who should be tried for crimes against humanity, given the number of executions he orders) as... the main suspect!!
You get an idea of how abysmal are the local PR capacities of the kingdom when you see the pics and videos that emerged yesterday and the fact the guy was sent without an advice of wearing Western clothes (that's reserved for the squad). I suspect the way he wears his keffieh (without aqel) might be related to Wahhabism and its prescriptions.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 1 2018 9:07 utc | 68

Jon @ 3
That’s a very important point you make ! worthy of much further discussion, but would dilute this focused topic . Raise it on an open thread and let’s deal with it, respect !

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 1 2018 9:17 utc | 69

Is 'craigsummers' on the Brown Noses/Bellingcrap payroll? He/she/they sound clueless enough to be members of that ultra-lighweight bunch of troughers. Crediting the same sort of 'reliable' (not!) sources too.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Nov 1 2018 9:54 utc | 70

Ian @ 63: Thanks for the article but I don't find it all that helpful. It would be much easier to say that patriotism and a sense of loyalty to the nation and what it stands for are lacking among Saudi military forces for the reason that a civil society as we might understand it does not exist in the Kingdom. It is not a country in the sense that we would understand most countries to be, with proper political and legal institutions established to recognise the people as sovereign and to uphold whatever rights and freedoms they have. The Kingdom exists as a fiefdom of a family and the people of Saudi Arabia are essentially its subjects in a slave state.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 1 2018 10:52 utc | 71

Access to moonofalabama forbidden (always for me [in Croydon, UK])when trying to link directly from Google Chrome homepage .. OK after search and link via search link.

Posted by: ThereisaGod | Nov 1 2018 10:53 utc | 72


i think the innards at moa have spawned a spunky bot(AI?), bug or feature,i dunno, whose patience has been pushed to the limit. i mean, can you imagine having to process this quantity of dreck 24/7?

it's a feisty, thick-skinned, but ultimately benevolent algorithm. think of it as a mascot named iglitch.

and while you're thinking about that, consider also a prerequisite use of the Preview button...'cause indeed it will give you a second chance to see if you've crossed your tees and dotted your i's, or if, perhaps, you've used a few too many words, or perhaps that, in fact, your comment is of absolutely no use whatsoever, to anyone, in which case you can abstain from posting it at all.

Posted by: john | Nov 1 2018 11:13 utc | 73

Thanks for this post ‘b’ as a suggestion why not keep this post right here top of the pile for a week or two ? It’s top priority ! It would forse people to break through the mental block that is a natural self protection, but is so so damaging. leave this here put your feet up take a well earned break.. while we all come to terms with the truth about ourselves and our society!!
So yanks are you guna vote for democrat mass murderers or Republican mass murderers ? Take to the street it’s called democracy !

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 1 2018 11:20 utc | 74

Pompous: "Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen."

b: "The sequentiality will of course not work. The Houthi and their allies will not stop their operations before the Saudi's end their bombing."

The weasel-words are these: "in all populated areas"

So even IF the Yemenis agree to that ceasefire, and even IF the Saudis "subsequently" agree to a ceasefire on those terms then the Saudis aren't actually required to, you know, cease firing.

They can continue with their air strikes so long as they refrain from bombing the crap out of the cities. And you can be very certain that if talks get underway then the very first demand that SecState Pompous will table is for all Yemeni forces to vacate the cities and go gather out in an open field somewhere.

Oh, yeah, and take one of these big ol' bullseyes, with you, free of charge.
Make sure you hold them up to the sky. Heck, sure, wave 'em about if you want.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 1 2018 11:22 utc | 75

craigsummers @33, "This is a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. ... The Houthi missile technology is coming directly from Iran which is providing weapons to the Houthis.

The Iran-backed and armed Houthis ousted the internationally-recognized Yemeni government in a military coup."

Ah yes ... the king of all talking points on Yemen. Your narrative has some very important omissions. His Presidential term expired after two years and Hadi unilaterally extended his term without an election before the Houthis launched their coup, as you call it. Hadi spends all of his time in a hotel in Riyadh giving official sanction to Saudi atrocities in Yemen. He was not a legitimate President then and he will never, under any circumstances govern Yemen again.

By king of all talking points, I mean the repetitive use of 'internationally recognized' and 'Iranian backed Houthis' because these ritualistic proclamations are meant to delegitimize the Houthis who are native born Yemenis and represent about half of the local population. The rebels in Syria were never called 'foreign backed' or 'Saudi backed' because we didn't want to delegitimize them, did we?

So stop with the mindless talking points.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 1 2018 12:43 utc | 76


Interesting. Frankly, the simplest solution for b is to eliminate comments. However , there is a reason such blogs are allowed to exist. Sun Yat Sen said know your enemy (as so many others). If no comments, one can not know the enemy.

One problem with a subscription format is it reduces anonymity, as you well know. Not that any of us are anonymous on the internet, but when you start providing CC info you just make the lack of anonymity more obvious, which inhibits discussion

B has his own reasons for maintaining his site. The PTB have their reasons for allowing it to exist. Does not mean they cooperate , just that there may be a symbiotic relationship. Frankly on his non Syria /Russian posts he is more mainstream than not.

I like the site as it is. Dont always agree with B , more often since his internet disruptions and subsequent US domestic/climate posts, but the commenters here seem more civil than elsewhere (some obvious astroturfers but thats ok) , and not as much censorship, so I say if its not broken, dont fix it.

Just my humble opinion

Posted by: Pft | Nov 1 2018 12:45 utc | 77

Is there any truth in this ? —-
There seems to be a lot of doubt about it but !! Who knows !

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 1 2018 13:16 utc | 78


Mouse Whisperer Matt-is is afraid of concentration camp starving infants in mass graves leaking out on his watch and being deposed to Nuremberg as a war criminal, then dying in prison. His feckless plea is below, even as US supports daily bombings of civilians.

Pride Befail Pomp-eo adopts the Began-yahoo tactic: "Disarm, recognize your masters, then we'll negotiate." Really disgusting:

"The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and [drone] strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen."

1. Lay down all heavy weapons and put under UN lock and key.

2. Agree to end resistance against Saudi Wahhabi form of Sunni government, as 2nd-class citizens under colonial rule.

3. SUBSEQUENTLY, then bombing (and genocidal blockade we must not speak of) will end by US-KSA coalition.

That doesn't sound like anyone who is afraid of Hou-thi artillery rockets! It sounds like the Gazan Protocols of Zi-on..

Posted by: Anton Worter | Nov 1 2018 13:31 utc | 79

@ian Really, are you even serious?
How about you run two neurones together and realise that hezbollah and the iraqi's hashd are the most disciplined and motivated army in the region and they are coincidentally arab. Maybe the saudi army is shit because they are nothing but mercenaries paid to commit the largest genocide of the 21 century!

Posted by: Occidentosis | Nov 1 2018 14:18 utc | 80

Christian @79

"......His Presidential term expired after two years and Hadi unilaterally extended his term without an election before the Houthis launched their coup, as you call it. Hadi spends all of his time in a hotel in Riyadh giving official sanction to Saudi atrocities in Yemen. He was not a legitimate President then and he will never, under any circumstances govern Yemen again....... 'Iranian backed Houthis' because these ritualistic proclamations are meant to delegitimize the Houthis"......"

So if elections are your main criteria for legitimacy, explain to me when Assad was re-elected - or even elected for the first time. Elections were never allowed by Assad, yet Russia, Hezbollah and Iran are "legally" fighting in Syria at the request of the "internationally recognized" government of Syria. How many times have I heard that talking point? The US and Turkey are in Syria "illegally". As far as the Houthis go, the opposition in Syria was massively delegitimized from the beginning ('terrorists') so you won't get any sympathy from me on that point either.

The UN did recognize the Hadi government as the legitimate government of Yemen (UN Resolution 2216). The Saudis are legally in Yemen at the request of the legitimate government of Yemen. Yemen is in the Saudi sphere of influence so it must be OK to bomb the hell out of Yemen if that serves their interests. Let's look at how Robert Parry, the award winning journalist, views the relation between Ukraine and Russia (The Danger of False Narrative

"........But the real narrative is that the United States and the European Union provoked this crisis by trying to take Ukraine out of its traditional sphere of influence, Russia, and put it in to a new association with the EU......."

Can you imagine the nerve of ethnic Ukrainians? Making a choice to build economic relations with the EU i.e., pretending they are a sovereign nation.

Posted by: craigsummers | Nov 1 2018 14:32 utc | 81

Mouse Whisperer Matt-is is afraid of concentration camp starving infants in mass graves leaking out on his watch and being deposed to Nuremberg as a war criminal, then dying in prison. His feckless plea is below, even as US supports daily bombings of civilians.

Pride Befail Pomp-eo adopts the Began-yahoo tactic: "Disarm, recognize your masters, then we'll negotiate."Posted by: Anton Worter | Nov 1, 2018 9:31:50 AM | 82

Brilliant. Ha,ha,ha! You see? All anyone has to do to prove that he or she is a real human being,
and NOT a sophisticated forum-creeping A.I. bot (as some paranoid poster had suggested somewhere)
is to communicate *ideas*. If the idea is there, the human being is there... and that's all she wrote!!!

...and Sanders the sheep dog bark-bark-barks at Pence's Rabbinical-Evangelicals circling the wagons for Trump's 'Titanic' State of the Union speech in January...

¡Ha,ha,ha! You do crack me up.
Uh.oh. as I have been called-out a suspected A.I. bot like you -
that you and I were manufactured in the very same Cozy Bear Factory.
But No! All it is is that: sometimes 0pposition to an organized atrocity
and outdated brutality such as the Yemen War make for strange bedfellows.

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 1 2018 15:44 utc | 82

one should consider the fact that there is a lot of news coming from
Saudi Arabia and Yemen in recent days, and a logically speaking,lot of it doesnt add up.

for instance
"Saudi-led coalition masses troops near Yemen's Hodeidah as pressure mounts to end war"

i'd take that phrase ""Saudi-led coalition" with a pinch of salt.

Saudis are pretty incompetent when it comes to fighting wars, so they leave everything to a motley crew of mercenaries (UK/US provide the air to air refuelling)
and i believe that most of those mercenaries come from countries like Colombia and North Africa. and in the latest (failed) escalation they are going to be relying on 10,000 or so soldiers from Sudan.

cant think help what the Sudanese could provide the Saudis, although they have probably got experience from fighting their own civil war.

Saudis spending $6 billion/month for 3 and half years
and the primary motivation of the people doing the fighting is taking home
big, fat wage packets.

this war was always going nowhere from day one, or thereabouts.

and right now, we are simultaneously experiencing 2 factors
#1 an escalation (or calls for an escalation) of the fighting
#2 sudden calls for a cease-fire within next 30 days

reason is that Saudis are about to be facing an crisis of their own , centered around his highness the Crown Prince,MBS

Posted by: chris | Nov 1 2018 15:50 utc | 83

In the opening lines of this post, b links to an article by Isa Blumi:

It is one of the better ones that I have come across in explaining some of the complications behind the war in Yemen. Many of those posting here would be well advised to read it and reflect on it before commenting.

Posted by: RJPJR | Nov 1 2018 15:51 utc | 84

@Debs @64

I have checked for alternatives to Typepad and found none that I like.

The only real one is to set up a server on my own and manage from there. I am able to that, but it would take a lot of my time to operate it. It would also be prone to being attacked and to attract lots of spam.

I could switch comments to Discus as Pat Lang has done to make moderation here a bit simpler, but Discus is a marketing company which twice lost its user database to hacking. I never comment at sites that run on that system.

There is no opt out for the spam system Typepad provides. Even if there were, its not a real alternative as comment spam is unfortunately a real problem. A lot gets deleted behind the scene and never reaches the comments here. The false positives that hang in the queue and need to get manually released are a problem but they are an unavoidable downside of the system.

Getting some volunteers to moderate would take time for me to manage them. I generally dislike to moderate or censor comments here. I only do it when commentators get too much out of the line of reasonability or disturbs the peace of the bar.

So for now expect no change.

I value your comments and I promise to become more disciplined in releasing the spam queue after I wake up and before I go to bet. But that's pretty much all I can do in this regard.

Posted by: b | Nov 1 2018 16:45 utc | 85

thanks b.. i tend to agree with pft @77... the system mostly works.. disqus.... i don’t like it either...

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2018 17:10 utc | 86

b @85--

Your efforts are never acknowledged enough!! Thanks ever so much! I agree about Discus; it has censored via technology in the past and refused to admit doing so when confronted. Like you, I won't use it to comment. Again, many thanks!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2018 17:14 utc | 87

@84 RJPJR...yes... the links b provides are often quite good... i don’t always read them so thanks for drawing my attention to the first one which is excellent..

debs about the 15$ a month... it is time for b to do another fundraiser..

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2018 17:22 utc | 88

@Debsisdead + B: Yeah, it truely is time to move this blog to a modern CMS IMHO. The glitches, bugs etc. are just too much now. From what i see B is a tech savvy person, so the move to a modern CMS, even FOSS and self hosted would be possible, and provide huge benefits for B and us barflies.
The MoA design could be migrated at least to some extented i guess. But maybe it would also be the chance for a new start. This site is now much more than it was concepted at the start. B has his own profile now, and MoA is not a forum for discussion of Billmon's postings anymore.
I guess many ppl that dont know about the history of this site are pushed away by the outdated design and tech. With a modern and responsive CMS, MoA and B could reach many more ppl, and spreading the truth to as many ppl as possible is what this site is about now, isnt it?
Someday the change has to come i guess. Even more because most ppl access the internet with Smartphones, and without a resposive CMS, this site is just not readeable without some hacks and tech knowledge.
Just my 2 cents..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Nov 1 2018 17:31 utc | 89

@89 dbep... i sure don’t see it the same as you..

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2018 17:36 utc | 90

Let's not forget Obama's role in Yemen:

St. Pete for Peace - The U.S. covert war on Yemen

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Nov 1 2018 17:43 utc | 91

@b | Nov 1, 2018 12:45:00 PM | 85

That is the most polite way I've heard someone say "quit your bitchin" evah.

You run my favorite stop on the internet highway.


Posted by: b4real | Nov 1 2018 17:49 utc | 92

@Guerrero I did not make any reference to the Yemeni election. I mentioned that Hadi's term had expired as per the terms of their constitution. Assad is the President of Syria as per the Syrian constitution, oh, and he was re-elected in 2014.

Recognition by the U.S, Saudi, and the UN does not make Hadi the legitimate President of Yemen, unlike Assad, Hadi is incapable of governing Yemen under any circumstances. Say what you want about Assad but at least he stayed in Damascus. Hadi hasn't spent more than a few days in Yemen since 2014, he spends it in Riyadh telling people like Nikki Haley that it's okay to blockade Yemen and if people starve, don't blame the Saudis.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 1 2018 18:04 utc | 93

RJPJR @ 84
Thanks, by now I should have realized that I needed to read b's links first!

If I follow through Mr. Blumi's argument, then the purpose of this war is to sufficiently degrade/destroy the Yemeni people so they will agree to relinquish their resources to global demand and to commit to economic seritude by the Western economic interests.

In fact, if all the Yemenis disappeared into a star-gate and left an unoccupied land, this would be the best outcome! This provides the clue to the persistence of the war and to its desired outcome.

In this scenario, the West is probably providing weapons to both sides of the conflict (which is why the blockade seems so ineffective.) Or else they are looking the other way as weapons are smuggled in. In either case, the West is facilitating the continuation of the war. When will the war end? The war will end when the people have been destroyed. It's not about religion. It's not about Iran.

The problem with scenario is that is makes too much sense...

Posted by: TheBAG | Nov 1 2018 18:17 utc | 94


Please use a shorter username here. Your 25 character name disrupts the page layout on some devices. A 10-15 character name also makes it easier for others to reply.

Posted by: b | Nov 1 2018 18:54 utc | 95

Iran has not supplied missiles to Yemen as their inventory of Scuds, Frog Luna and other Grad rocket artillery systems were purchased long ago.

Yemen was once believed to possess approximately 300 Scud missiles and Scud-variant ballistic missiles (Hwasong-6) purchased from North Korea with a longer range and reduced payload capacity.

North Yemen may have purchased up to 80 Tochka missiles (SS-21 Scarab).

The Frog-7 is predecessor to the Soviet SS-21 Scarab Frog-7b 9K52 9K21 Luna-M short range ballistic missile which are a

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 1 2018 19:12 utc | 96

Will this fact get published by BigLie Media since they're so outraged about Khashoggi's murder?

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2018 20:11 utc | 97


NO. The media are gatekeepers for Israel, so Israel and MbS will never be mentioned in the same breath by Jake Tapper, Wolf, Maddow and a long list of Zionist hypocrites who spin truth and point fingers at Trump's pathology of deception when they fail to report the UNBIASED truth and nothing but.

That being said, they did report this interesting theory today coming from Turkish authorities that I strongly suspected at the very beginning of the Khashoggi disappearance. Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi's body parts were dissolved in acid. They sure took their time to figure it out!

Posted by: Circe | Nov 1 2018 21:27 utc | 98

Occidentosis @ 80: Ian was serious about posting an article from the neocon Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum which, like Pipes himself, never fails to take swipes against Arab people when the opportunity arises.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 1 2018 22:24 utc | 99

ref: the outdated design and tech.
certainly a plus. i see nothing to change here. a lot of websites that have been adapted to tablets layout lately are bugging heavily on other platforms.

Posted by: mina | Nov 1 2018 22:45 utc | 100

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