Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2018

Yemen - Holding Hodeidah Is The Houthi's Last Chance

From last weeks MoA review:

The UAE and its mercenaries have renewed a large attack on Hodeidah. Should they capture it they will control all supplies to the Houthi areas. The Saudis and the UAE seem to use the 30 days Trump has given them for maximum gain.

The attack led by the United Arab Emirates has nearly achieved to surround Hodeidah. The city and its port are the only way left to provide food to some 20 million people living in the capital Sanaa and the northern highlands. Should Hodeidah fall, the Houthi and their allies will have to submit to the Saudis or see their people die of starvation.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which works in Hodeidah, notes:

There is now only one viable overland route from Hodeidah city to Sana'a, and a very high risk that further aerial or land attacks on roads or bridges could sever access roads between the cities entirely, cutting the last remaining supply route for food, fuel and medicine to many of the estimated 20 million Yemenis who depend on imports through Hodeidah to meet their basic needs.

Currently the Houthi try the same tactic that broke earlier UAE attempts to conquer Hodeidah (upper left). They cut the long UAE supply line coming from the south along the western coast over which the attacking force (red) is provided with food, fuel and ammunition. If the latest news is correct they achieved that in two places.


bigger
It is relatively easy to interrupt the logistic line for a few hours. It is far more difficult to hold the blocking positions. The landscape along the coast is flat and the UAE proxy forces have tanks, artillery and air support, all of which the Houthi lack. They are mountain infantry fighters and have no means to defend themselves on flat land. They will have to resort to constant surprise attacks in different locations along the supply line to keep the UAE forces off balance. They are somewhat successful (pics) with that. It is not known if they have the manpower and ammunition reserves to maintain such attacks for long.

From the very beginning of the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen the Saudi strategy was designed to starve the highlands into subjugation. Their air attacks were concentrated on water supplies, farms, agricultural factories, fishery and transport routes. They blocked smuggling routes and hindered humanitarian supplies. They took control of Yemen's central bank and willfully induced hyperinflation.

Some smuggled food still reaches the markets in Sanaa but it is now too expensive for most people to buy. The NRC remarks:

The Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), accounting for food, water, hygiene and cooking fuel needs was revised to YER 73,000 (USD 104) per month last week, reflecting increased costs of more than 40% since July this year. Inflation on the price of essential items, combined with the rapid depreciation of the Yemeni riyal and lack of access to income are among the key factors driving Yemen's worsening hunger crisis.

In a Washington Post op-ed the head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi writes:

The blockade of the port city is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees. The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds, as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.

The United States wants to be viewed as an honest mediator — but it is in fact participating and sometimes leading the aggression on Yemen.

Yesterday the U.S. announced that it would end its refueling of the Saudi planes that bomb Yemen. This means little. The Saudis have their own tanker fleet and by now enough experience to use it. The UAE planes fly from a base in Eritrea and need no refueling. U.S. intelligence support for the Saudis and the delivery of other war supplies continue. There are also U.S. troops on the ground who might well direct the Saudi/UAE attack.

The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the U.S. tactic of calling for a ceasefire in 30 days while intensifying the fight:

"... Taking into account that Washington is offering direct military support to the coalition units fighting in Yemen, the sincerity of the United States’ statements in favor of the soonest end of the active phase of the Yemeni conflict is called to question," the ministry said.

"So far, everything indicates that the US side is not planning to change its policy in Yemen and the parties to the armed confrontation in that country are still staking on settling the conflict by force," the ministry stressed.

To call for a ceasefire in 30 days and to end the refueling for Saudi planes are fig-leaf moves by the U.S. to distant itself from the willfully caused famine of millions of Yemenis. The U.S. has the leverage to make the Saudis and the UAE stop their attack on Hodeidah. Early October President Trump said himself that the Saudi rulers would not last two weeks without U.S. support. That wasn't an exaggeration.

If the Trump administration really wanted, the war on Yemen would stop tomorrow. Instead it considers naming the Houthi a terrorist organization. That step would be a major escalation that would make any peace talks much more difficult.

The Houthi attacks on the supply line of the attacking forces along the west coast are the last chance to prevent the fall of Hodeidah port, and the imminent famine of millions of people.

I wish them luck.

Posted by b on November 10, 2018 at 02:30 PM | Permalink

Comments

As you say, the US is making fig leaf moves. I take the US moves to mean that the US expects to successfully cut north Yemen supplies in the near future.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 10, 2018 2:40:30 PM | 1

It's looking grim for the Houthi's

But a possible positive sign is that the US has been advertised in various media to have ceased re-fuelling the Saudi aircraft.

That either means that the new Democrat-controlled house has sent internal messages to the White House, or that US thinks it is no longer needed, the Saudi's need no further help to win... I suspect the latter, and it's more mendacious virtue-signalling.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 10, 2018 2:45:17 PM | 2

The message that the usa would discontinue air-to-air refuelling of Saudi fighter planes goes through the Western MSM. For the first time, many readers are finally informed that the usa is actively involved in the war. That's maybe the only positive effect of it. Otherwise the genocide is going on unabated. It's hard to stomach.

Posted by: Pnyx | Nov 10, 2018 2:51:20 PM | 3

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

In the first place, the Washington creatures don't embarrass - any more than other models of Terminator.

I suggest that the decision not to refuel Saudi aircraft any more, and any other apparent softening, are simply because the Saudis are deemed to have virtually won. For PR reasons, it's good to play the good guys when there is nothing to gain by going on being horrible.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Nov 10, 2018 2:54:19 PM | 4

Another thing to note is that the former Soviet Union had significant military assets in what used to be South Yemen, before the collapse of the USSR, and then the unsuccessful merger or North/South Yemen.

The Russian Federation is not particularly sympathetic to the Houthi's.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 10, 2018 2:57:20 PM | 5

thanks b... clearly the world's attitude and the non existent leadership of the west is on display for all to see.. well, they have leadership that supports death, famine, starvation and stuff like that.. of this, the usa-uk can take pride in that... and they are good at selling propaganda 24/7 to an ignorant public.. but the fact remains.. the usa-uk and west are complicit in this atrocity..of that there is no mistake.. and of course they want the same for iran, by sanctioning and hoping to cut iran off from the world community.. the true terrorist states are easily defined in the actions of 2018, as it comes towards an ugly end..

thank god there are other countries showing some leadership.. it just isn't the usa or the uk and all the poodles at this point..

Posted by: james | Nov 10, 2018 2:58:10 PM | 6

Ant. 2

The Khashoggi tapes I think are also causing a few changes. Apparently Erdo has sent copies to the US and others so they know he is holding the goods. The latest bit the Turks have leaked is Khashoggi was sawed up alive

Posted by: Peter AU | Nov 10, 2018 3:29:45 PM | 7

Ant @ 6, Greece @ 8:

May I ask then what you expect the Russian Federation to do?

Do you expect the Russian Federation to go all over the world to fight wars on behalf of other nations attacked by the US and its allies? What good does that do if the RF's strength ends up being sapped in constantly mopping and cleaning up the mess its enemies make?

The Soviets learned a hard lesson maintaining forces and fighting in countries over several years that sapped their own strength.

Sometimes I wonder whether people who claim to support Russia, yet always want the Russians to defend this country and that country here, there and everywhere, really want the Russians to collapse through military over-stretch.

Diplomacy and preventing war in the first place is always preferable.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 10, 2018 3:36:50 PM | 8

b's report is all the more shocking as it comes on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the "War to end all wars".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 10, 2018 3:45:12 PM | 9

@8 (Greece)

Eh? So the de-stabilization of the Middle East has nothing to do with the illegal invasion of Iraq? Nothing to do with various Gulf and western countries eagerly financing and supplying terrorists to overthrow the democratic sovereign state of Syria? Nothing to do with the Saudi's/UAE smashing Yemen (quietly encouraged by the usual suspects)? Nothing to do with the insensate sanctions of Iran? Nothing to do with the constant carbuncle on the arse of the Middle East that is Israel / Palestine? Nothing to do with NATO destroying Libya?

It's all Russia's fault, is it? By not being the Soviet Union anymore?

All I was saying in my post, is that the Russian Federation doesn't have a dog in the Yemeni fight.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 10, 2018 3:49:39 PM | 10

World war 3 start tomorrow?

Excellent analysis is going to start 11/11: POPOV: UKRAINE IS PLANNING TO ATTACK DONETSK TOMORROW, ELECTION DAY https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/11/popov-ukraine-is-planning-to-attack-donetsk-tomorrow-election-day/

Thank you

Posted by: Gerald Nimsy | Nov 10, 2018 4:15:46 PM | 11

From the very beginning of the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen the Saudi strategy was designed to starve the highlands into subjugation. Their air attacks were concentrated on water supplies, farms, agricultural factories, fishery and transport routes. They blocked smuggling routes and hindered humanitarian supplies. They took control of Yemen's central bank and willfully induced hyperinflation.

Almost from the very beginning. Martha Mundy says the first three months of the war the attacks were focused on military targets and the switch to starvation strategy happened during the fourth month.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 10, 2018 4:53:36 PM | 12

Sustaining a policy of death via starvation sure does solidify trump's bona fides as war criminal.

10 - Yes, Jen, especially when you compare the RF's military budget with ours.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Nov 10, 2018 5:50:44 PM | 13

Yes, whenever anyone suggests Russia should take more responsibility to support resistance against the Hegemon globally, they of course mean that this should always involve maximum violence.

Posted by: paul | Nov 10, 2018 5:54:11 PM | 14

The massive scale of the homicide in Yemen may rival or even overtake the death toll of the Nazi genocide in the death camps. Which one plays Hitler, the US president or the Saudi crown prince?

Posted by: Stumpy | Nov 10, 2018 6:04:14 PM | 15

The UAE forces are, essentially British and US organised mercenaries most of them ex-military, some of them, I suspect, seconded and on furlough from their careers in their national armies. Then there will be the Israelis...
This is a re-run of the war against the Nasser supported nationalist government which in 1966 overthrew the "Houthi" Imamate, In those days the UK government, Israel and the mercenaries were all supporting the shia Royalists.
If the war ends a guerrilla war will begin. Poor Yemen so far from God and so close to Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 10, 2018 6:08:36 PM | 16

From Paveway IV on the "cessation" of US air refueling:

A nothing-burger as noted, but air support for Hodieda ops is (in large part) the UAE operating out of its Assab Airbase in Eritrea. No refueling needed. Long-range Saudi ops in Yemen are mostly out of convenience - Riyadh bases have full maintenance (American/French/UK contractors).
Saudi Arabia already has seven KE-3A tankers (old 707 derivative) and at six KC-30A tankers (A-330 derivative). The UAE has three KC-30As. There was simply no need to use them for Yemeni ops because the U.S. tankers were already there. There might have been some refueling, but it was probably used while ferrying aircraft to/from southwestern Saudi Arabia or Eritrea.
The U.S. has, and will continue to have, tankers in the air 24x7 somewhere around Assab, the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden. We refuel any other ally nation's aircraft on request. There is not a certain amount of fuel reserved for any ally nation or any mission - we simply make sure there is enough fuel in the air to fulfill all of our/their anticipated demand. The USAF can't even say how much fuel specifically went to how many Saudi/UAE or FUKUS aircraft involved in the Yemeni invasion. They don't care and have no reason to keep track of what mission the aircraft are on. If a Saudi or UAE jet is running low on fuel, we WILL refuel it no matter the current BS announcement.

Posted by: zakukommander | Nov 10, 2018 9:19:08 PM | 17

b writes, with a link to an article, that "..the Saudi strategy was designed to starve the highlands into subjugation."

That link goes to an interview presenting the most fundamental and compelling perspective on Yemen I have ever read. I saw it linked in the last Yemen thread by a commenter whom I very much wish to thank although I can't remember who it was - So Goes Hodeida, So Goes Yemen

It's an astonishing interview, a discussion between Alexander Cockburn and Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani, a person deeply credentialed in the contours of Yemen statehood. The root concept expressed is that the Houthi view the loss of Hodeidah as turning the geo-political moral advantage in their favor. I can only quote these words:

If the attack goes on, tens of thousands of people will die. The argument everyone makes is that, if the Houthis lose Hodeida, this will bring them to the table. This is far from the truth. They will lose Hodeida. They will no longer be operating the port and getting revenue from it. But they will continue fighting, so that the other side will not take Hodeida. Once the port of Hodeida closes, it will remain closed until the end of the war. The Houthis have been indicating that they are looking forward to Hodeida being closed, because it will make it impossible for the war to continue afterwards.

How so?

They think the humanitarian disaster that will come with closing Hodeida will force the Saudis to make peace, because there will be international pressure on them to bring this war to an end, to compromise by giving some concessions to the Houthis. So the Houthis feel that the best time to negotiate would be after Hodeida, and they are not concerned. They do not consider the loss of Hodeida to be a loss to them. To the contrary, it strengthens their negotiating position. The loss of revenue will be insignificant. Furthermore, as people starve, it could be much easier for them to recruit soldiers among the poor tribal youth.

Do you think their assumption is correct, that it would improve their negotiating position?

Actually, I think it would. I think that Emiratis know this as well.

The scale of this practicality leaves me awed - truly both shocked and awed. I feel without any standing to apply a moral lens in any way. It's simply beyond me to judge anything in this statement. And I don't even know if it would work.

But if it's realistic, then it shines an important light on the situation.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 10, 2018 9:41:37 PM | 18

How many actual Saudi citizens are boots on the ground?

Reminds me of the great movie the Dogs of War.

Posted by: steve | Nov 10, 2018 9:59:30 PM | 19

@ Grieved with the comment about political advantage of "losing" Hodeidah

There is an alignment of nations taking place behind the scenes, IMO. It has not coalesced yet but only needs a spark to do so.

I have commented before here that it may be in Houthi's benefit to close the Guardafui Channel if the genocide escalates.....It can be done without killing people and will throw a monkey wrench into the geopolitical works. Is it time for that to happen?

Ask the Houthi.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 10, 2018 10:10:37 PM | 20

In trying to understand the depths of Yemeni culture and hardihood, I returned to b's original link in the last Yemen thread to Professor Isa Blumi and his seminal view of the stakes at play in the fields of Yemen:

America’s favoured Kingdom, itself, is a financial wreck. Unable to find new sources of investment (even its once cherished ARAMCO can’t attract the foreign capital needed to keep the corrupt family afloat), an invasion and rapid sequestration of Yemen’s natural resources in underpopulated South Yemen was deemed a necessary gamble.

The problem here is that Yemenis despise the Saudi enterprise and have resisted this latest campaign to steal their country’s wealth most violently.
- Essay: Yemen’s destruction, a global catastrophe

I don't know the Yemeni, but I hear nothing but glowing words about them from good people who do know them. I would like to think that we are seeing here a people like a diamond, indestructible. If so, then I can understand better the Houthi view I quoted earlier. In fact, it has to be this way, for anything to make sense.

As Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani says in the Cockburn interview I cited at #21:

War by proxy between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates keeps erupting in Yemen every now and then. If this pattern continues, the countries will eventually clash directly.

And one day, all these powers will be enfeebled. And Yemen will stand free on its own, possessed of sovereign wealth that dazzles, but which even so is in turn eclipsed by its even richer history and culture and importance to humanity.

That is what I have come to hope.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 10, 2018 10:12:36 PM | 21

Grieved 21
Thanks for highlighting that aspect. From what I have read, that part of Yemen is very much a warrior culture, not as in creating empires but blood feuds and so forth. When attacked from the outside they drop the feuds for the duration. From what I can make of the culture, if cut off from supplies, available food will go to the fighters so they can continue fighting. Not as in thugs or gangs taking control of supplies, but as in if the fighters can't fight then all is lost. Perhaps my take on the culture is wrong, but what you have put up seems to back my thoughts.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 10, 2018 10:23:47 PM | 22

It will soon be November 11 where I am --

Anthem For Doomed Youth
by Wilfred Owen

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? 

Only the monstrous anger of the guns. 

Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
 
Can patter out their hasty orisons.

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
 
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; 

And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

(Poet Wilfred Owen was killed in combat on November 4, 1918.)

Posted by: AntiSpin | Nov 11, 2018 12:11:17 AM | 23

@Grieved on #21

This is probably the most accurate prediction of what will happen.
I've never known a grassroots resistance movement to suddenly start negotiating surrender once an important stronghold has fallen - strongholds are not a significant part of the architecture of guerrilla warfare.
I've also know of no resistance movement that suddenly folds because the population is starving.
All the examples of resistance wars that bear similarity to the one in Yemen show that starving the population strengthens the resistance forces. Likewise, the loss of key cities, ports and things deemed to be strongholds by those still stuck in the rigid outmoded mindset of conventional warfare have never led on to weakening a guerrilla force.
Based on these two intuitions, I'd predict that the Houthi are about to become are much more dangerous opponent.
Once more thing to consider is that it's usually at these key points that new forces enter into battle, once the Iranians and Russians realise that they can benefit geopoliticaly by supporting the Houthi they'll muster the political will and means to get weaponry, supplies and political assistance to them.

Posted by: Arch Angle | Nov 11, 2018 12:53:16 AM | 24

The scale of this practicality leaves me awed - truly both shocked and awed. I feel without any standing to apply a moral lens in any way. It's simply beyond me to judge anything in this statement. And I don't even know if it would work.
But if it's realistic, then it shines an important light on the situation.
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 10, 2018 9:41:37 PM | 21

As I commented the last time this link was posted, the Harpers article is US MSM - therefore anything it prints is untrustworthy. The picture it paints of the Houthis is how the US would like the Houthis to be seen, and therefore should be expected to be the most sinister smear that could be painted into the circumstances. If the Houthis appear cold and psychopathic from the article, that is because the US are psychopathic not because of the Houthis. It is smear, nothing else.

Some of the key points may be true, that is another matter, but we cannot know that unless we have direct knowledge. We should treat it with just as much scepsis as we would an interview with al Qaida claiming that Assad used chemical weapons.

Another important point is that the interviewee al Iryani states he was in Washington DC to meet with US officials, i.e. lobbying. It is also clear that he is anti-Houthi. The Harpers article is propaganda designed to achieve specific goals and to further specific interests. It is no more than that.

If you treat blatant propaganda as the ultimate truth, and a key to understanding the geopolitics, then you take the bait hook line and sinker.

Posted by: BM | Nov 11, 2018 1:36:41 AM | 25

It is a a tear in a human soul to watch innocents maimed and killed by imperialist attackers. That has happened many times before, but this time time it is our own Sauron in the white house that enables the killing by allowing the Saudi-Arabians (May God in his mercy slay them all) to commit genocide.... So I sit here as an accomplice something people were hanged for in Nuremberg.
I see

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 11, 2018 1:44:55 AM | 26

BM 29
The take on the Houthi's, the north Yemen people and culture I think is correct. They will not submit. They will be genocided by the US led coalition (fuck the saudi led coalition bullshit) unless another power steps in.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2018 1:49:29 AM | 27

interesting line of comments.
As OI see it it strategically is all about hitting the refueling aircraft. They are expensive, few and very slow. Downing say 10 - 15 would completely impede the Evil Empires way of imposing war on unsuspecting nations. I think some Nazi general, or WWI general had the same thoughts, hit the logistics and hit them hard.
Now you cant bomb Boeing in the US, without causing a hullabaloo, but you can surely misdirect or "accidentally" hit a refueling aircraft easily, why has no one done it? An Igla SA 24 Grinch would take them down, when doing their refueling shit, maybe taking a 3 for one.
The Houtis, who ever they are, are doing it the Giap way, obliterate the logistics of the superior war machine, and it will come to a halt. The mercenaries employed are low IQ sudanese and black African people wit no sense of technical know how. They can point a gun and that's it. We killed thousands in Namibia and Angola, desperate people conjoined into accepting a weapon and going to the front, and obligingly getting killed within minutes.
They are just people, given a gun and then thinking they are the king. Nothing is farther from the truth, a battlefield is highly complex and you only make a mistake once, it is usually final.
Then there is is the preposition of people defending their homes, now this is bloody murder on both sides, the defenders will not give an inch, (look up Okinawa) and the attackers will not budge either. We will end in a war of attrition or a nuclear one.
I never saw a nuclear war, but i seen the extremities of what people ar willing to do to defend their homes, and that is extreme.
I would do the same. I will never ever take up arms again, unless I or my country is attacked.

War is dying in a ditch in some place you cant pronounce, calling for your Mom. It is rarely televised.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 11, 2018 3:12:47 AM | 28

@ BM 29

I know little about Yemen myself and so don't know how true that depiction is likely to be. But I see nothing morally faulty about it. The invader owns 100% of the moral responsibility.

It's interesting that you imply you'd find the Houthis "cold and psychopathic" if they refused to surrender, if they kept fighting the way the article says, rather than place 100% of the moral onus on the aggressor.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 11, 2018 3:49:58 AM | 29

In Europe it is almost the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, exactly a century ago when the War to End All Wars ended. So, how did that work out?

Posted by: Quentin | Nov 11, 2018 4:23:32 AM | 30

Russ @ 33:

No, Abdul Ghani al Iryani portrays the Houthis as cold and psychopathic in that Harpers article. Let's take a closer look at Alexander Cockburn's interviewee, shall we?

This looks like the fellow:
https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/experts/view/abdul-ghani-al-iryani#bio

"Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani is president of the democracy organization TAWQ, vice president of the Yemen-based development think tank the Khobara Center, and an advisor to Human Rights Watch ...

... Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani is a political and development consultant as well as a political analyst and activist. He serves as president of TAWQ, a political NGO advocating for democracy, and vice president of the Khobara Center, a Sana-based think tank focusing on economic and development issues. He is also a member of the Middle East and North Africa advisory committee of Human Rights Watch."

Does this chap not smell like some Washington-funded faux activist type waiting in the wings for a new US-backed government in Yemen where he can take up a position as a "reformist" or "progressive liberal" economist? And where does he get his information about the Houthis willing to give up Hodeida so the war can be resolved more quickly?

For one whose religion forbids the consumption of pork, al Iryani sounds like he is talking hogwash.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11, 2018 4:32:51 AM | 31

Pentagon launched new classified operation to support Saudi coalition in Yemen

Even as the humanitarian crisis precipitated by Saudi Arabia’s more-than-three-year war in Yemen has deepened, the Pentagon earlier this year launched a new classified operation to support the kingdom’s military operations there, according to a Defense Department document that appears to have been posted online inadvertently.

The existence of the new classified operation, code-named Yukon Journey, was partially revealed in a Defense Department inspector general report posted online earlier this month...


It is unknown what this operation is or does but it likely means U.S. boots on the ground fighting Houthi and allies.

Posted by: b | Nov 11, 2018 5:20:49 AM | 32

Ant @ 6, Greece @ 8: May I ask then what you expect the Russian Federation to do?

Do you expect the Russian Federation to go all over the world to fight wars on behalf of other nations attacked by the US and its allies? What good does that do if the RF's strength ends up being sapped in constantly mopping and cleaning up the mess its enemies make?

The Soviets learned a hard lesson maintaining forces and fighting in countries over several years that sapped their own strength. collapse through military over-stretch. Diplomacy and preventing war in the first place is always preferable. Posted by: Jen | Nov 10, 2018 3:36:50 PM | 10

Jen, the problem is not Russian reluctance but target nation desperation where Russia is a last hope.

The only way I see to stop war is to enforce the rule that after the war[any war] is over, the political and military leadership of all groups involved in the war, be executed, without exception. You want war, you got war, but when its over you die to commemorate those who died defending your wish..

Posted by: snake | Nov 11, 2018 5:47:44 AM | 33

@ Jen

What does that have to do with the content of the predicted strategy? The worst one can say about it is that it may be optimistic about international pressure on the aggressors.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 11, 2018 5:59:33 AM | 34

Grieved and Jen,

i know it begins with an 'a'...

but it's Andrew Cockburn, not Alexander. Alexander passed away in 2012.

Posted by: john | Nov 11, 2018 6:19:02 AM | 35

Worth remembering; and certainly not off topic; 11:00 zulu; 11 - 11 - 1918; worth a rememberance, IMO.
It passed 1:12 minuts ago.
Toasted and likely forgotten...
It's what we do...

Posted by: V | Nov 11, 2018 7:13:18 AM | 36

"Do you expect the Russian Federation to go all over the world to fight wars on behalf of other nations attacked by the US and its allies?
*Diplomacy and preventing war* in the first place is always preferable."

Exactly. So in this spirit, Russia could have blocked the UNSC authorising military action in Yemen.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 11, 2018 7:57:10 AM | 37

in the meantime, ecuse me b for going of course, it is rather peculiar that the brilliant bbc production "threads" has gone off line. This as a mainstay of things to watch, I bet "the day after" will be next.
So the new Tory line of thought is directed by by Fakebook. and Fucktube and is censored in new ways. This video was available 2 years ago.
Go torrent.
The bullshitters are trying to shut you down.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Nov 11, 2018 8:03:03 AM | 38

over on the southfront.org website, the Houthis released a 30 minute video claiming to show the recent attacks on the Suadi supply lines. If the Houthis can consistently interrupt the supply lines over the next week or two the Saudi attack will be paralyzed and then forced to withdrawal. Ideally, the Houthis would want to sever the lines entirely (that would collapse the Saudi offensive in a matter of days). But the Houthis have focused on hit and run tactics to avoid the Saudi (& French/UK/US) airpower.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 11, 2018 8:26:35 AM | 39

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2018 1:49:29 AM | 31

I was addressing only the tone of the interview, which portrayed the Houthis in such a way designed to encourage the reader to believe that the Houthis are ruthless and mafia-like war-lords looking for power and profit from weapons deals and any advantage they can find, and don't care what happens to the civilians. I take strong exception to that claim, which is pure psy-op. It may even be true for all I know, but I am certainly not going to believe the first psychopathic liar who claims it is that way. The Houthis are the aggrieved party, and therefore no accusation or criticism can justifiably be levelled at them and their motives unless it is based on and backed up by evidence.

As to whether the Houthis will fight to the end it certainly appears likely they will. As to what their motivations in doing so will be, we have no right to make any presumption against them (except the presumption of innocence until proven guilty).

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11, 2018 4:32:51 AM | 35

Thanks for that Jen. Yes, he looks like he would love to see the aggressors win, just so long as he gets a job as political stooge in the aftermath.

It's interesting that you imply you'd find the Houthis "cold and psychopathic" if they refused to surrender
Posted by: Russ | Nov 11, 2018 3:49:58 AM | 33

That is not what I imply at all, that is the smear tactics of the article. The original comment by Grieved claims the article is good and offers insight. The article is not good it is fake news, psy-op, smear propaganda. It does not offer insight and understanding it offers deception and subterfuge.

Posted by: BM | Nov 11, 2018 8:50:58 AM | 40

After carefully viewing the Yemen Observer linked to in the article, I am more optimistic about the Houthi chances of winning this war. The Empire's mercenaries have one hell of a long and narrow supply line to defend. The Houthis are piercing it in many places. They are picking off many of the mercenaries' leaders and capturing so many weapons it could be said the Empire is supplying them with weapons. The Houthis even have drones. If they could block the road with damaged vehicles it would help. And if they could shoot down some imperial jets as Den Lille Abe suggested @32. The Houthis are brave and smart. I've been trying to think of another battle in history similar to this one but haven't found it yet.

Posted by: Chas | Nov 11, 2018 8:54:21 AM | 41

Grieved - thank you for posting the analysis even though it doesn't exactly fit the more black & white take we grow accustomed to in both the MSM and ultraleft reports.

When the Houthis took over the capital, they inherited the institutions of the Yemeni state. Actually, they managed to maintain a higher level of security and state presence in areas under their control than existed in areas nominally under the control of the internationally recognized government of Yemen, which made them popular for a while. However, their leadership, who are essentially feudal chieftains, squandered that political capital by focusing on restoring the aristocratic privileges of their caste, which had been abolished by the republican revolution in 1962. Therefore, they alienated the rest of society and deeply fractured the Yemeni state.
.....
On the Yemeni side, the war economy goes all the way to the top. Not so on the Saudi side, where profits from the war economy do not go all the way; those at the top are not interested, because the Yemen war is small-fry in the scheme of the Saudi armament program.
.....
Oh, there’s a lot of money in the hands of war merchants, commanders, politicians, and Houthi commanders. On the Houthi side, most of the state revenues are directed to the war effort, enriching a Houthi aristocracy. They don’t bother to pay salaries of teachers, doctors, and other government workers, or to supply the hospitals. On the side of the internationally recognized government, the Saudis are financing both the war effort and a corrupt elite.

So, there is a profiteering motive for continuation of the war on both sides of the conflict....hence, the loss of life takes secondary consideration.

Especially as Russia, Iran and the US seem disinterested in putting an end to the profiteering for the sake of saving lives.

The US doesn't support Saudi's aim of securing a port in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE doesn't support the Saudis and it is the UAE moreso than the Saudis propelling the conflict forward on the ground at this stage.

Grieved puts it well. The moral issues are severely clouded on all sides by the money, er I mean the geopolitics. Essentially, the starving are collateral damage in a class struggle obscured by religious (actually political sold to the people as religious) conflict.

Not as black & white as my surface skimming the propaganda (of both sides) implies.

Thanks for this.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 11, 2018 8:58:21 AM | 42

Do you expect the Russian Federation to go all over the world to fight wars on behalf of other nations attacked by the US and its allies?

What I would like to see is the Russians and the Chinese "carpet bombing" the beseiged areas with lots of food/necessities parcels with little parachutes, to relieve the suffering Yemenis. It would not be a breach of sovereignty, there should be no legal reason against it, it could save thousands of lives, it would be good for the international prestige of Russia and China, and it would be good for Russia and China geostrategically.

I would also like to see Russia and China putting maximal pressure on the Security Council, constantly calling meetings again and again, loudly shouting about the moral depravity of the West's position, and urgently firmly persistently demanding an end to the war of aggression. Consider the mis-use of the Security Council by the Hegemon to stop the Idlib attack or about fake chemical weapons allegations against Assad - if the West can do that, then certainly Russia and China can use similar pressure tactics in support of what is right. Now is the time to do it, more than ever.

Posted by: BM | Nov 11, 2018 9:06:31 AM | 43

BM @ 47, why is it do you think neither Russia nor China are responding as you wish they would? A joint effort for peace and humanitarian relief will benefit each country's standing in opposition to western imperialism.

Since we are wishin and hopin, I would hope to see the US join in with Russia and China to stop this catastrophe. This would seem a natural for the UNSC to resolve and would also help Trump optically at home with his "Russia problem".

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 11, 2018 9:23:39 AM | 44

@21 and 28,

I'm afraid that makes little sense. If the Houthi didn't care much for Hodeida they wouldn't have fought so hard to keep it. Both several months ago and again today. If they end up losing Hodeida then their fallback strategy may be the one Grieved described in 21. But I doubt seriously that would be their first choice. Especially seeing as how the media ignored them for 3 and a half years.

As for comment 28 regarding new forces entering the fray, I think Iran is already doing what it can. Russia is trying to develop its relations with KSA and would certainly hesitate to ruin it by backing the Houthi. Especially if their situation is hopeless. (I'm not being critical of Russia. It has to act in its own interests.)

The Houthi will continue fighting even if they lose Hodeida. But it will be a harder fight.

Posted by: lysander | Nov 11, 2018 9:42:17 AM | 45

KSA is trying, has been trying for 20 years, without much success, to prepare for, aka adapt to, the end of the Oil Age.

To be clear, theirs, not the FF age in general.

MBS is but a last move in that direction, and his 2030 plan is nothing more than an Nth position stance cum-plan re-hashing the same issues. E.g. Getting Saudis to perform ‘productive’ work, attracting foreign investment, ‘liberalising’ the society, upping the education of women, etc.

Naturally, many outside KSA see through all this pandering and are only interested in ripping off the KSA Royals. (Some succeed for a while, particularly ‘educ’ scams, then they just leave.)

As the crunch point gets closer, violence sets in:

> towards ‘illegitimate Royal / bad guy wealth’ - shakedown to fill the Gvmt. coffers, in mafia-family like fights, but ultimately to preserve the structure, which is why so many ‘agree’ or bow down

> nixing stipends, hand-downs, etc. for the ‘lowers’ to spend less, with a back-off and cancellation v. swift (E.g. VAT tax..)

> cracking down on dissenters, protestors, other nefarious, imprisonment + head chopping

> Yemen: -> expanding, coute que coute whatever it costs, the no. 1 Oil producer position, the wondrous, magic gush of black gold, by grabbing and exploiting close territory. That would be the Empty Quarter. Yemen refused co-operation.

http://vision2030.gov.sa/en

other links in 2nd post.


Posted by: Noirette | Nov 11, 2018 11:16:25 AM | 46

donkey @46:

So, there is a profiteering motive for continuation of the war on both sides of the conflict ...

donkey likes to make false equivalencies in his defense of the Empire. But his attempt to do so here fails because we know that the Saudis, with Western support, are the aggressors.

Every war has war profiteers on both sides - using that fact to make a false equivalency between the two sides is more than 'sloppy thinking' because donkey has made habit of finding false equivalencies that make the West look less bad than they are.

Grieved puts it well. The moral issues are severely clouded on all sides ...

Here, donkey uses Grieved unskeptical reaction to reinforce the propaganda. It makes no sense that Houthi's fight for Hodeida (as they are) if they believe that the loss of Hodeida gives them a strategic victory.

donkey ignores BM's cogent reply to Grieved @29:

... the interviewee al Iryani states he was in Washington DC to meet with US officials, i.e. lobbying. It is also clear that he is anti-Houthi. The Harpers article is propaganda designed to achieve specific goals and to further specific interests. It is no more than that.

If you treat blatant propaganda as the ultimate truth, and a key to understanding the geopolitics, then you take the bait hook line and sinker.

donkey @48:

Since we are wishin and hopin, I would hope to see the US join in with Russia and China to stop this catastrophe. This would seem a natural for the UNSC to resolve ...

More false equivalency. This statement pretends that US is as powerless as Russian and Chinese to stop the war. In fact, the US has been involved in the War via military support provided to the Saudis and is in a position to pressure the Saudis and UAE to end the war if they chose to do so. That's why b writes:

If the Trump administration really wanted, the war on Yemen would stop tomorrow.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11, 2018 1:15:23 PM | 48

@21 grieved, @BM and @jen - thanks for your comments and link from @21 article and for other posters comments on this topic too..

in general, i tend to agree with BMs views, although i share peter au's view on the houthis fighting to the death and not being psychopathic, but passionate about just how ugly the ksa/uae and western ideology is, pushing an agenda on them which includes murdering and starving innocent people.. they are the psychopaths clearly... if anyone thinks it is based on religion, they are sorely mistaken, especially these ksa/uae wahabbi goons... that the usa/uk and anyone else thinks they can profit off this madness is the opposite of what i think of religion..

i do agree with BM that russia could take a stand here and why don't they?

as for @41 passerby comment "Russia could have blocked the UNSC authorising military action in Yemen." well, that is bullshit.. there has been no UNSC authorizing military action in yemen and russia has certainly not signed onto it as you imply.. http://unscr.com/en/resolutions/2402

but i do continue to wonder why russia has not been more active on this.. i'm in agreement with BM and passerby concerning just why this is so...

thanks for the comments and links everyone..

Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2018 1:36:45 PM | 49

@53 jr... that is basically how i read donkey's comments too... bullshit essentially..

Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2018 1:37:54 PM | 50

John @ 39: Yes, thanks for the correction. I actually did check that Harpers article myself. D'oh!

BM @ 44 & others: I did a Google search on Khobara Center but got no responses. I tried Googling TAWQ and discovered an old National Yemen blog post dated 2011 on its founding. TAWQ was launched in the Sheba Hotel in the presence of various representatives of the country's business and political communities:
https://nationalyemen.com/2011/11/02/tawq-a-new-political-movement-starts-strong/

Does a credible grassroots political and cultural movement have its birth in a swanky Sana'a hotel with diplomats and politicians as its midwives?
http://shebahotel.com/facilities.htm

Also in response to your comment @ 47, I believe the Russians have offered to act as mediator in the Yemen conflict and have vetoed various UN resolutions which among others have targeted Iran over its supposed role in supplying the Houthis with weapons. This is in spite of the joint Saudi-US blockade of Yemen at all levels: sea, land, air. It is precisely this blockade that is not only creating the massive famine / starvation / health crisis in the country but is also preventing Russians, Chinese and all other nations from providing food and medical humanitarian aid.

Here are links to the most recent articles on Russia's role in the Yemen conflict, both by Samuel Ramani:
http://russiancouncil.ru/en/blogs/samuel-ramani-en/interview-with-yemens-ambassador-to-the-russian-federation-ahmed-alwah/
http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/77482

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11, 2018 4:27:05 PM | 51

I see the US backed and most likely led headchoppers are advancing in Hodeidah. They have taken a grain storage and the main hospital. A good chance that US special forces have been sent in to clear hard points in the defenses.

To date, the north Yemen forces have put up a coordinated, well planned and led defense yet we hear little about the military leadership. I think there was a rift for a short time between the military and the Houthi's when Saleh was killed but they seem to have come together again.

Re Russian involvement. In Ukraine and in Syria where Russia is involved, military action by the locals is subordinate to Russia's geo-political moves.
Houthi's killed Saleh because he was willing to negotiate with the Saudi's. They may also be too independent to subordinate their actions to Russian geo-political moves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 11, 2018 5:44:59 PM | 52

The Houthis are brave and smart. I've been trying to think of another battle in history similar to this one but haven't found it yet. Posted by: Chas | Nov 11, 2018 8:54:21 AM | 45

I was thinking that, in some ways, it resembles the USA Eighth Army attack towards the
Yalu River 25 November - 2 December 1950. General MacArthur intended to knock out the
(North) Korean lifeline, to put the population itself under threat of extermination by aerial bombardment, while posing an overly long extended south-to-north formal military assault.

Posted by: Guerrero | Nov 11, 2018 7:54:18 PM | 53

Regarding Yemen and that article at #21. Glancing at Andrew Cockburn's other articles in Harper's, I see someone largely sympathetic to the prevailing sentiment here at MoA. I see more of an ally than an enemy, especially as one who can be published in western thought.

Cockburn's context at least in the article seems to be much more that of the brutality of the west and its Saudi satrap than not. Reviewing it, I continue to find it enormously sympathetic to the Houthi and to Yemen. I think Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani is speaking of things I've never read anywhere else - although I'm no scholar on Yemen of course - and I think to refute his words one would have to refute his claims. He speaks in a worldly tone. As with all cynics and jaded people, one has to look past this to draw the meat out of what he says. For all this, honestly I can't see him as any kind of MSM smear agent.

I suggest that to dismiss this article because of its publisher, its author or its interviewee, without having one shred of countervailing fact or perspective, is a mistake. Conversely, to glean from it subtle currents of an ancient culture might be useful to understand how that culture does act and will act in this age.

The strength of Yemen implied so casually by Al-Iryani is that it has endured much for a long time and will continue to endure - suggesting inevitably that it cannot be destroyed. This fits completely with Isa Blumi, cited by b in the previous week, and linked again at #25 - who undoubtedly can be relied on for a good perspective on Yemen. I find very little distance between these two when it comes to the facts.

The takeaway I suggested - the light that shines on the situation, if true - was that the Houthi will never surrender, and starvation is not an issue. If true. And that, since the battle is to the end, starvation may hasten that end, but not in the way the Emiratis hope for.

I don't think it would be possible to destroy every one of the Houthi fighters, not in this day and age, not in this current political climate, not in this rapidly multi-polarizing world. Therefore, the Saudis cannot win. In fact they can only lose. The question is how will they lose?

Al-Iryani himself expresses the hope that in this post-Kasshoggi age, Saudi Arabia might even be smart enough regarding its own best interest to call it a day and withdraw.

I'll stand by the article as a valuable source, and defend it from the charge of being mere MSM smear.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2018 8:19:05 PM | 54

@57 jen... thanks for the link from riac... it is hard to read it in a detached way.. the houthis are painted as mad men and the ksa-uae, benevolent saints doing everything possible to resolve the instability... i find it hard to stomach and it leaves me questioning the source - riac... i know that sounds weird, but that is what i get from it.. of course the guy being interviewed - Ahmed al-Wahishi, was put in place by hadi... and as wikipedia notes - "Mansour Hadi was chosen as a president for a two-year transitional period on February 21, 2012, in an election in which he was the only candidate. His mandate was extended for another year in January 2014.[5] However, he remained in power after the expiration of his mandate.[6]" that is some shaky form of democracy as i see it.. meanwhile hadi is still holed up in the ksa capital living off the avails of mbs.. it reminds me of the lebanese leader and who is calling the shots - ksa, it would seem.. the guy writing the article - "Samuel Ramani, is a doctoral candidate at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, specializing in post-1991 Russian foreign policy and Russia’s relationship with the Middle East."

it just makes my head more confused reading it.. the guy writing the 2nd article, which gives a picture on south yemen - i thought yemen was yemen and that south and north joined? - is the same author - samuel ramani...

all in all, we are not being told a lot on the in's and outs of yemen...

Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2018 8:27:20 PM | 55

i posted before reading grieveds comments and i have to leave now.. back later..

Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2018 8:28:31 PM | 56

@49 lysander

I offer total respect to all your comments, everywhere. And now I ask you to consider this, as a soldier. The Houthi will fight for Hodeidah with every tactical power they possess, even as in the rear their strategic summaries are accumulating to say that, indeed, the loss of the port revenue is not crippling, but in fact the greater Hodeidah itself can never be taken, and so the war is stalled, and most importantly of all, the world at large may even be ready to sympathize with a humanitarian disaster of enormous scope - whose blame must be laid at the door of Saudi Arabia.

So what do you do, my friend lysander, when the order to pull back comes over the radio, and the word murmured among the lines is that actually this is okay - that actually command has figured out an even better way to destroy the enemy, so stay tuned?

This - our sources seem to suggest - may be what we are looking at on the Hodeidah battlefield.

~~

There is no difference in the heart that will fight and die to hold a position and the heart that will sacrifice territory for the larger ends. You know this. We are - perhaps - in this most poignant of moments. Each moment compels our love.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2018 11:14:11 PM | 57

It seems important to say that whatever happens at Hodeidah, we are only contemplating the possibilities. The future has not happened yet, and never will happen in advance of its time.

Also, a war is being fought. And so while the commanders may have their plans and hopes and provisional scenarios, the fates are also in play. So the situation is fluid. But good commanders will examine all contingencies and so should we. And this is all that I am offering in my advocacy for one wild suggestion from one un-provenanced article, based on an interview that equates to word of mouth.

And yet - what if it prevails?

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2018 11:37:12 PM | 58

@63 grieved... what was stated @21 and 28 made sense to me.. i ignored lysanders views as a consequence..

also for the record, i was very thankful for you sharing the article @21, so thank you again! i think BM raised some valid points, as did others, but i still think it was an interesting, informative article that i was thankful to read.. and yes @64 - we are only contemplating possibilities, as always as people far removed from where this is all happening.. we are trying to understand a culture and world we know very little about.. but, we tend to view it with the set of values we have, that might make it even harder to understand.. cheers and thanks for your many fine posts.. james

Posted by: james | Nov 12, 2018 2:29:09 AM | 59

@lysander #41

I doubt Iran is doing all it can to aid the Houthi, primarily because they've stood little to gain thus far. In any case there is little concrete evidence Iran is providing any assistance. However, my point is that Iran could weaponise the Houthi in response to the newest pressures exerted by US sanctions among others. Granted, the blockade would be difficult to break, but it would be a big opportunity to lose.

Posted by: Arch Angle | Nov 12, 2018 8:04:49 AM | 60

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2018 8:19:05 PM | 59:

I suggest that to dismiss this article because of its publisher, its author or its interviewee, without having one shred of countervailing fact or perspective, is a mistake. Conversely, to glean from it subtle currents of an ancient culture might be useful to understand how that culture does act and will act in this age.
But there is a a countervailing fact or perspective. I described this @53:
It makes no sense that Houthi's fight for Hodeida (as they are [doing!]) if they believe that the loss of Hodeida gives them a strategic victory.

Will the Houthi fight on if Hodeidah falls? I would expect so.

Do the Houthi look forward to the fall of Hodeidah and the death of tens of thousands of Houthis as a strategic victory? There is no reason to believe that to be true. It is an outlandish claim made by someone that has some connection to Washington.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 12, 2018 8:17:27 AM | 61

Nasrallah reminds the Yemeni that they are winning - Nasrallah to Yemenis: ‘US/Saudis have failed, victory closer than ever before’

As b pointed out in the previous piece on Yemen, Nasrallah confirms:

"If this possibility (i.e. the call for ending the war) is serious, then the aim of it will be to rescue the Saudis and Emiratis, more than it is about rescuing the Yemenis."

He speculates on the strange call by the US to end the war:

What is interesting though is that (the Americans) said (the war must end) within one month. Why one month? Why not now? Why not immediately?! This point also has the careful attention of our brothers in Yemen, or they must pay careful attention to it. It is as if the Americans are telling this Saudi-Emirati coalition: ‘You have one month. Organise your affairs, see what (military) equations you can secure, see what (military) achievements you can muster, (because) after one month the world will tell you to stop’.

He has a point. If indeed the US has realized the war will become a grave embarrassment, as b suggested, then this could be the call to the attackers to win the war now or at least to stake a position to end it, because the humanitarian cost will continue to mount regardless of whether they seize the port or not.

This would explain why the renewed and doubled-down attack is happening now, and also why there can simultaneously be a dawning Houthi understanding that although the US doesn't care about millions dead, the world itself will increasingly disapprove of this. And despite our cynicism regarding the US, the world's horror could amount to pressure on the US in public. At the least, the UN would have to act, and the US would be hard-pressed to veto such a thing publicly.

The US wants to distance itself from the Yemen genocide, and will throw the invaders under the bus if necessary. The Houthi will win at a smaller cost or a greater cost. They will hold Hodeidah if they can, but they will win anyway if they cannot. This stirring of consciousness of the world regarding Yemen has come not one moment too soon, and as psychohistorian pointed out up-thread, new alliances and positions are being formed in the world background.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 12, 2018 11:13:06 AM | 62

Almasdarnews is reporting that Saudi forces are continuing to make progress into Hodeidah city, this would indicate that the Saudi forces are still being resupplied by land and that the Houthis's attack on the supply lines have only slowed the advance and not stopped it entirely. However, house to house fighting is the worst sort of warfare and given the terrible performance of the Saudi mercenaries so far, I can't see them taking the city within any supposed "30 day deadline". I also saw the Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech encouraging the Houthis to continue their resistance, that the Saudi forces have failed and that victory was close.

It certainly looks like the Saudi's are banking on the battle for Hodeidah to be the climax of the war so they can publicly declare victory, officially turn everything over to their Yemen collaborators and hope the world goes back to ignoring Yemen while the war switches over into a anti-insurgence phase (which will still be the same old war, but now the Saudi's will just be assisting their allies instead of leading the assault). Given the KSA tendency to turn everything it touches into a bloodbath for everyone involved I doubt this will play out as they intend and the war will continue for another 2-3 years regardless of who holds the Port. The only things that could stop the war on Yemen sooner would be MBS getting replaced or if an even larger war breaks out that forces the Saudi to recall their troops (US/Israeli vs some combination of Iran/Syria/Russia/China). Even if the Saudi forces attacking Hodeidah are completely routed I doubt MBS would accept that and he'll continue the war. NOTE: people have been saying that Saudi Arabia is running out of money/Oil for almost 10 years now, even if they are running out of money it's clear that they still have more than enough to afford at least another 5-6 years of this level of conflict

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 12, 2018 12:35:36 PM | 63

Grieved

What does "throw the invaders under the bus" mean?

And why do you assume that the US MUST take such drastic measures to "distance itself from the Yemen genocide"?

Isn't it more likely that they will distance themselves without really pressuring the Saudis and Emeratis to end hostilities? As b notes, it's likely that we have already seen the full extent of US "distancing":blockquote>To call for a ceasefire in 30 days and to end the refueling for Saudi planes are fig-leaf moves by the U.S...

As b described in his previous post on Yemen, the US has called for the Houthis to stop fighting before the Saudis and Emeratis do. Such a plan is really no plan.

The killing of Khashoggi has made further US involvement in the Yemen war nearly impossible. But that doesn't mean that world consciousness has been stirred to the degree necessary for the Houthi to win the war, or even a reprieve of genocide, if Hodeidah falls. I doubt the Houthis will rely on such 'happy talk'.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

What the US call for a 30-days ceasefire does, along with the depiction of the Houthi leadership as war-loving and uncaring is allow the Saudis to blame the Houthis for the genocide that seems likely to occur if Hodeidah falls.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 12, 2018 1:01:34 PM | 64

@63 kadath.. thanks for your comments... there is no way the famine, starvation - murder of yemeni people can be blamed on anyone other then the agressors - ksa/uae... only an idiot would think the houthis are at fault.. it is their home... ksa can keep the elected president in a vote of one person running - for as long as they care.. demanding that he be kept in place as the only legitimate leader of yemen is complete bollocks..

Posted by: james | Nov 12, 2018 3:29:49 PM | 65

To call for a ceasefire in 30 days and to end the refueling for Saudi planes are fig-leaf moves by the U.S. to distant itself from the willfully caused famine of millions of Yemenis.
Distancing itself from the soon to be starvation siege may not be the Trump admin's main motive. Iran sanctions are now in and elections gone. Trump is secure from impeachment and the only thing the US congress and white house will agree on is war.
With Hodeidah taken, a truce can be called and the Zaydi left to starve, freeing up coalition of the killing assets for whatever moves are next on the Trump list.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 12, 2018 4:17:17 PM | 66

@66 peter au.. no matter what promo spin the west want to offer, the usa-uk and west are culpable in the starvation and destruction of yemen thru military force..

Posted by: james | Nov 13, 2018 5:37:58 PM | 67

@ james
First sentence was a quote from b's piece. Forgot the quotation marks.

the Khashoggi killing seems to have brought about a few changes. King Salman is now the front man in SA, meeting with foreign officials and so forth, MBS being moved back out of sight. The anti Trump crowd are also using it against Trump. Trump was always solidly in support of MBS so I guess he was important in Trumps plans.
The way the Saudi attack has advance makes me wonder if Trump has decided Hodeidah needs to be taken within a month and put US special forces into the fight to allow other plans to advance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 13, 2018 7:37:25 PM | 68

@68 peter au... thanks.. the question i ask is why is the usa intent on helping ksa in yemen? is this what friends do for friends - starve a nation? just like the war in syria - obama has a big responsibility for it.. trump has a responsibility for the war in yemen.. he is a warmonger thru and thru and this is made bare with his comment on having to protect the military industrial complex in light of kashoggis death and the responsibility mbs has in it...

i really don't know what trump thinks, but based on his energy on twitter, i think it doesn't amount to very much other then self serving interests... he is a terrible leader for the usa, in a long line of terrible leaders.. i think the usa deserves what they get for leaders too... their country has been taken over by neo cons and self serving reptiles who could give a rats ass about the welfare of innocent people in nearby or faraway lands... so, i don't really care what trumps thinks, and generally wouldn't believe much of what he has to say either..

Posted by: james | Nov 13, 2018 8:17:40 PM | 69

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