Yemen: More Confusion Within Confusion

The war on Yemen by the Saudis and the UAE have been raging for years…..causing much devastation and death as well as a huge humanitarian crisis.

Recently I read some good news, at least I thought it was, about the UAE’s position in this war…..

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have finally learned what Washington will not: that armed interventions with ambiguous aims, unreliable allies, and no exit strategy are doomed to disaster.

Such interventions will rapidly deplete a nation of its blood and treasure while yielding an abundance of dangerous second- and third-order consequences. That’s why, after four years of fighting, the UAE announced that it is withdrawing a significant percentage of its forces from Yemen. It will now pursue a “peace first” strategy as opposed to a “military first” strategy.

The narrative around the UAE’s withdrawal from Yemen has been carefully managed in the American media with the help of some sympathetic Washington-based think-tanks. The shift in policy has been cast as a “mission accomplished” moment for the UAE. But the UAE is getting out of Yemen not because it is winning—or has won—but because the country’s leadership understands they cannot win. 

Why the UAE Cut Their Losses and Pulled Out of Yemen

So twenty days later I read that UAE is still involved and killing civilians in Yemen…..

An estimated 20,000 fighters involved in the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen split in half earlier this month, with half backed by the UAE and a separatist movement, and the other half Saudi-backed forces loyal to the Hadi government.

That fighting has raged, but the Saudis and UAE had talked of working something out. Thursday suggests the chances of a deal are shrinking, with the UAE getting directly involved in the fighting, and launching airstrikes against Saudi-backed government forces.

The UAE confirmed its involvement in the airstrikes, saying it was engaged in self defense of its forces, as well as civilians threatened by “terrorist militias,” and insisting it was in keeping with international law.

Yemen’s President Hadi, however, is angry with the “blatant aerial bombardment,” and is calling for the UN Security Council to hold a session. Hadi also called on the Saudis to directly intervene militarily against the UAE.

Saudi officials haven’t addressed that possibility, but historic closeness to the UAE makes it unlikely. Still, this could mean a third war-within-a-war for Yemen.

(antiwar.com)

As my grandmother use to say…..”Clear as mud”…..

Only thing to say about Yemen is that there is nothing good to say about the war on Yemen…

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Yemen–What Was The Point?

We all mostly know about the conflict raging between the Saudis and their allies and the Houthi minority in Yemen.  In other words it is basically a North versus South Yemen……and the that would return the nation to 1962.

The northern portion of Yemen was ruled by imams until a pro-Egyptian military coup took place in 1962. The junta proclaimed the Yemen Arab Republic, and after a civil war in which Egypt’s Nasser and the USSR supported the revolutionaries and King Saud of Saudi Arabia and King Hussein of Jordan supported the royalists, the royalists were finally defeated in mid-1969.

The southern port of Aden, strategically located at the opening of the Red Sea, was colonized by Britain in 1839, and by 1937, with an expansion of its territory, it was known as the Aden Protectorate. In the 1960s the Nationalist Liberation Front (NLF) fought against British rule, which led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen on Nov. 30, 1967. In 1979, under strong Soviet influence, the country became the only Marxist state in the Arab world.

The Republic of Yemen was established on May 22, 1990, when pro-Western Yemen and the Marxist Yemen Arab Republic merged after 300 years of separation to form the new nation. The poverty and decline in Soviet economic support in the south was an important incentive for the merger. The new president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was elected by the parliaments of both countries.

And now it appears thanks to the involvement of the Saudis that the nation of Yemen may once again become two….the US backed conflict by the Saudis will once again divide Yemen into North and South Yemen…..back to the future?

Here we go again (shades of 1962)

Clashes in the port city of Aden between secessionists and loyalists of the internationally recognised president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, threaten to tip southern Yemen into a civil war within a civil war. Such a conflict would deepen what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and make a national political settlement harder to achieve. In the past, half-measures helped de-escalate simmering tensions in the south; today’s circumstances require robust diplomatic intervention from the UN, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to avoid the worst and help forge a durable solution.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/preventing-civil-war-within-civil-war-yemen

Image result for images of South Yemen

The Deeper Meaning in a Lost War

If Yemen splits (again) what was the last few decades all about?

Amazing no matter how much things change they stay the same.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Happened To Yemen?

WE have heard, usually on slow news days, about the war on Yemen by Saudi Arabia, UAE, US, et al…….small amount of info in the MSM about the humanitarian crisis (keep this silent we cannot have too many knowing the crisis we, the US, are helping to create)…….sadly civilians are still dying from war and then from hunger and disease but you know some mythic border crisis is far more important than people dying at our hands whether directly or indirectly.

A few in Congress have been trying to end our involvement with the Saudis and others over their crimes against the Yemeni people.

Last week the work began……

The newly minted House Foreign Affairs Committee’s first priority was to follow up on the Senate’s unprecedented passage of the war powers resolution on Yemen last December that positively influenced ceasefire negotiations in Sweden. It did so by marking up Congressmen Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mark Pocan’s (D-WI) (along with 68 bipartisan colleagues) war powers resolution on Yemen. The committee reported the resolution favorably out of committee this week, and there may be a floor vote by the end of February.

Senators Sanders (I-VT), Lee (R-UT), and Murphy (D-CT) have also reintroduced their war powers resolution, setting up another Senate vote to send the legislation to the president’s desk. Should the resolution pass both chambers as it is likely to do, it will set up a confrontation with Trump. He will have to decide whether to listen to the will of Congress in asserting its constitutional authority over matters of war or side with the Saudi and Emirati governments, whose support his administration views as essential to pursuing its primary goal of military confrontation with Iran.

https://lobelog.com/congress-poised-to-move-forward-with-bold-agenda-on-yemen/

Good for it is time to end this damn involvement in the Saudis push to be the head cheese in the Middle East………

Congress is seeking to trim presidential war powers in Yemen. Unfortunately, the Republican Party leadership continues to defend unrestrained executive authority. Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan used procedural legerdemain to block a vote on Washington’s support for Saudi Arabia’s murderous assault on Yemen.

Contrary to Trump administration claims, memorialized in an atrocious op-ed under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s name, not everything in the world is about Iran. The conflict in Yemen continues decades of internal strife. Saudi Arabia’s invasion internationalized a decade-long domestic fight. Riyadh’s hubris gave Tehran an opportunity to bleed the Saudis militarily.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/its-time-end-us-support-saudi-war-yemen-39062

Looks like we have a deal to drop our support for the Saudis rape and destruction of Yemen.

Now the question is….if a bill hits Trumps desk because of his awe and envy of the Saudis wealth will he veto the bill making it his first veto, which should be easy for Trump for “veto” only has 4 letters in it……

the House of Representatives issued a stinging rebuke of the White House’s holding pattern in support of the Saudi coalition in Yemen. The vote was the culmination of multiple years of efforts by realists on Capitol Hill and their allies. House Joint Resolution 37 demands the removal U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within a month unless: Congress authorizes a later date, or issues a declaration of war, or specifically authorizes military force. The vote was not close: 248-177.

“The vote today is a step toward more sensible U.S. policy in Yemen and the Middle East, a welcome admonishment of Saudi Arabia, and an overdue assertion of nearly-dormant war powers. In each of those senses, though, more is needed,” says Benjamin H. Friedman of Defense Priorities.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/will-yemen-be-trump%E2%80%99s-first-veto-44597

We will see which is more important….people’s lives or the Saudis monetary influence….my money is on the dollars.

Yemen Of A New Year

Another year and still more from the Saudi war on Yemen.

The Saudis are killing civilians with impunity….help cause a humanitarian crisis in the first degree and help cause a pandemic among the surviving children of Yemen….and the famine that seems to have no solution.

But with all that out of the way….what else could possibly be a news story about this conflict?

The famine story has gotten worse as the donated food has been stolen…..

Day after day Nabil al-Hakimi, a humanitarian official in Taiz, one of Yemen’s largest cities, went to work feeling he had a “mountain” on his shoulders. Billions of dollars in food and other foreign aid was coming into his war-ravaged homeland, but millions of Yemenis were still living a step away from famine.

Reports of organizational disarray and out-and-out thievery streamed in to him this spring and summer from around Taiz — 5,000 sacks of rice doled out without record of where they’d gone . . . 705 food baskets looted from a welfare agency’s warehouses . . . 110 sacks of grain pillaged from trucks trying to make their way through the craggy northern highlands overlooking the city.

Food donations, it was clear, were being snatched from the starving.

https://apnews.com/bcf4e7595b554029bcd372cb129c49ab

This story does not necessarily mean the the Saudis are behind these thefts….but we could say that without their war on Yemen and the food would not have been needed thus not stolen……

One of the disgusting things about modern warfare….is the use of child soldiers…..speaking of them….the Saudis are recruiting child soldiers in Sudan……

While Saudi Arabia is already awash in allegations of war crimes against children in Yemen, there are always more reports emerging. Over the weekend, the focus is on the large number of child soldiers fighting for the Saudi-led coalition, and the Saudi kingdom’s efforts to recruit such children.

The offensive against the vital aid port of Hodeidah rested heavily on a large influx of Sudanese troops fighting for the Saudi-led coalition. Sudanese soldiers say that a lot of the fighters sent were children, however, with estimates of at least 20 percent under the age of 18, and as many as 40% in some units.

This was possible because Saudi Arabia put a lot of money into recruitment in the desperately impoverished Darfur region, offering as much as $10,000 to families who agreed to enlist their children to go fight in Yemen. By all indications, many did.

While Sudanese troops confirmed that this was common in Yemen, Saudi Arabia issued a statement of blanket denial, saying that they’d never recruited Sudanese children nor paid Sudan at all, and that Sudan was only in the war “in the interest of regional peace.”

(antiwar.com)

There is NO excuse for the use of child soldiers……others have faced war crimes charges because of the use of child soldiers…..it is time for the Saudis to face the charges as well.

The world has protected these barbaric slugs long enough….time for the world to step up and make Saudi Arabia accountable for the crimes they are embracing.

Death Comes To Yemen

***Once again I apologize for the length of this post but all the information is there and needs to be read….there is more to this situation than the 30 seconds it gets in the news***

There has been a lot of back and forth about the Saudi led war on the Arabian country of Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East…..not many natural resources to covet…..if so then why try to bomb them into extinction?

The oldest reason around these days….religion.

It is the age old shia/sunni divide……Saudi is mainly Sunni and Yemen mainly Shia…..but if you are not sure of the conflict……

Hope that was helpful…..but I want to post on the massive amounts of deaths this war has created…..

More and more Westerners are starting to realize just how brutal this war is on the civilian population of Yemen…..the bus attack that killed many school children ….so along those lines  I want to talk about these and other deaths…..

In a week there have been about 123 deaths…..(an exact total is damn near impossible thanx to the Saudi onslaught)…….

According to the UN refugee agency, some 1,500 civilian casualties were inflicted in Yemen from August through October. Broken down, the agency says this is an average of 123 casualties per week.

This large number of casualties is unsurprising, as throughout that period the Saudi-backed invasion forces have been attacking heavily populated areas, and Saudi airstrikes kill civilians several times a week.

Civilian casualties are an ongoing problem throughout the war in Yemen, and the UN’s report came with a call for both sides to “do more” to protect civilians during the fighting. That they named both sides was likely necessary to prevent the Saudis from reacting furiously.

(antiwar.com)

Since the beginning of this conflict the civilians have been the targets (or so it appears)…….

In Yemen, a place where things couldn’t get worse, things have gotten worse.

85,000 children under the age of five may have died during the war in Yemen, according to the international charitable group Save the Children.  This figure was arrived at using data gathered by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  Save the Children’s November 20 press release states that the children died from “extreme hunger and disease.”  Saudi Arabia’s naval blockade of Yemen’s port of Hodeidah is a huge factor in Yemen’s catastrophic food shortage.

Haven’t we already read this story?  It has been only a month since the New York Times ran a series of photos of Yemen’s dead and dying.  The lead photo is of a 7-year-old Yemeni girl, Amal Hussain, in a state of advanced starvation.  Amal has died since the photo appeared.

(look at the photos if your stomach can take it)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/06/yemen-85000-dead-kids/

Should peace on the Arabian Peninsula be given a chance?

In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have better success. The Huthis arrived in Sweden on 4 December, with the internationally recognised government due to arrive the next day.

The talks in Sweden are preliminary consultations to set the stage for eventual negotiations. Griffiths hopes that the two sides will agree on some basic confidence-building measures, including prisoner swaps, the reopening of Sanaa airport and perhaps an agreement to stabilise Hodeida, as well as a broad roadmap for future talks. The two Yemeni delegations – representatives of the Huthi Ansar Allah movement and of the government of Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi – are not scheduled to meet face-to-face on this occasion; instead, the UN will shuttle between them. But given that every round of talks has collapsed – the last meaningful negotiations took place in Kuwait more than two years ago – even these limited goals may prove to be a stretch.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/yemen-giving-peace-chance

The Congress is set to vote on the US involvement in the war on Yemen……

This week, the Senate will be holding floor debates on a resolution which challenges the legality of the US war in Yemen under the War Powers Act. The bipartisan bill would require the US to withdraw support for the Saudi-led conflict. The vote is expected some time this week.

A number of senators have expressed growing support for the bill in recent weeks, seeing it as a rebuke of the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This has meant testimony to the Senate so far has centered on the murder, not the war.

The State Department has insisted that the administration intends to continue the war, spinning it as part of regional efforts against Iran. This is the Saudi narrative of the war, based on the other side being Shi’ites.

Speaking in the United Arab Emirates, State Dept. official Tim Lenderking pushed for the US to continue supporting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, saying that withdrawing from the war would send “a wrong message.”

(antiwar.com)

A group that I have some dealings with has issued a call for action in Yemen after the Congressional vote……

The U.S. Congress is notoriously reluctant to take tough decisions on matters of war and peace, which makes the Senate’s 29 November vote on the conflict in Yemen all the more remarkable.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/six-steps-make-most-us-senates-yemen-vote

And now the Brookings Institute has issued a paper on the possibilities after a Saudi withdrawal…….

Pressure is mounting on Saudi Arabia to pull out of Yemen. The Pentagon announced on November 9 that it would stop aerial refueling of Saudi planes conducting operations in Yemen, ending assistance that began under President Obama in 2015, when Riyadh first began its bombing campaign. Last week, the Senate broke with the White House voted 63 to 37 to advance a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war. Democrats in the House of Representatives have promised to use their impending majority to end U.S. support for the Saudi war. So far, the president himself remains unconvinced and loyal to his Saudi friends, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both called for a ceasefire, suggesting the administration position on the Yemen war may be softening.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/12/05/yemen-after-a-saudi-withdrawal-how-much-would-change/

My personal feelings are that the Saudis have enough Congress people in their pockets to head off any blow back about the death and destruction of Yemen and the crisis they have created because of some religious bullshit.

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/05/yemen-made-simple/

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/10/yemen-finally-the-media-has-noticed/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/01/yemen-the-war-best-forgotten/

Why The Saudis Are The Threat

We all know that the Saudis are implicated in the death of Khashoggi…..most of the civilized world is condemning them for their action…..that is civilized that do not depend on Saudi cash for whatever reason…..

The president is waffling on the Saudis role…..this I expect since his first overseas trip was to suck up to the Saudis…..and then there is the secretary of state, Pompeo refusing to condemn but that should be expected from a person totally controlled by the M-IC…..then there is Mattis who at one point I did have some respect for but those ships have sailed off down the Potomac…..I am guessing that Mattis is securing his place with the M-IC once he abandons the ship of Trump…..

The Trump administration’s determination to maintain warm ties with the Saudi royal family came into clear focus this week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis showed up at the Senate.

Senators wanted to know more about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. support for Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.

Instead, Pompeo and Mattis kept pivoting to the threat posed by Iran.

A smile frozen on his face, Pompeo deflected a reporter’s question on why the CIA director had not appeared to brief senators on intelligence implicating Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in Khashoggi’s killing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pompeo-and-mattis-criticized-for-defending-us-alliance-with-saudi-arabia/2018/11/30/2bc22a84-f416-11e8-aeea-b85fd44449f5_story.html

But the big thing is that the Saudis like the Iranians will acquire nuclear weapons…….seriously!

The Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge. A front-page article by David Sanger and William Broad in the New York Times reviews some of the still-unresolved questions. The Saudi regime insists on producing its own nuclear fuel, which would be different from terms the United States has negotiated with some other states, including the United Arab Emirates, that have sought U.S. assistance in developing their nuclear programs. The Saudis have balked at comprehensive international inspections to detect any work on nuclear weapons. And Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has explicitly threatened to develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly in response to any similar development by Iran.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/why-saudi-arabia-will-acquire-nuclear-weapons-37197

Think about it!

A country with extreme religious beliefs that acquires nukes…..and I do not writing about Iran.  Keep in mind the majority of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudis….they are NO friends of the US….we are useful fools for their policies.

Yemen’s David To Saudi Goliath

Saudi Arabia has been in the news for about a month….their war with Yemen…well the Houthi tribesmen….has made news on many occasions….like the attack on the school bus killing children, their creation of a humanitarian crisis….let us not forget that the US is ass deep in the conflict as well….

But news comes out that calls into question just what our time and money has proved in Saudi.

We train their military….we provide some air cover….we are also fight AQAP at the same time the Saudis are destroying the poorest country in the Middle East….all the while the Houthis are the “bad guys”…..why?

I bring our involvement out because of something I read while most Americans are laser focused on who did what to whom in the midterms…..

Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement has managed to stave off an intense offensive against the vital aid port of Hodeidah on Tuesday. After several days of losses, they have stopped the Saudi-led forces’ advance just on the outskirts of the city itself.

Three coordinated offensives were being launched against the city, and it has trapped thousands of civilians within. The front-line of the fighting has gotten dangerously close to the main hospital in Hodeidah, threatening to further worsen the humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis also reported they’d halted an incursion by Saudi-backed forces into Yemen. The Saudis have not commented on any attempt to send fighters across the border so far, and all indications are that they continue to be focused on attacking the aid port.

Hodeidah is the port that imports 70% to 80% of all aid into Yemen, and the last such port under the Houthis’ control. Saudi forces have been attacking the area for weeks, and have cut off supply lines for the city, but so far have not taken the port over itself.

(antiwar.com)

After billions upon billions have been spent by the US as well as the Saudis and these people cannot dislodge a few Houthi tribesmen?

I question the sanity of our involvement….as should every thinking American.

Time for the question to be asked and an adequate answer be provided….

Lara Seligman interviews Sen. Chris Murphy on the need to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen:

FP: How much responsibility does the United States bear for the humanitarian disaster in Yemen?

CM: I think there is an American imprint on every single civilian death inside Yemen. We sell them the bombs, we help them with the targeting, we fuel their planes in mid-air, and we give them moral cover. So I don’t think there is any way around complete American culpability for the humanitarian nightmare that is happening there.

We also have made no meaningful effort at all to try to find a path to peace. The Trump administration has been totally AWOL on the political process. They have outsourced it to the U.N., and there is no sign that the U.N. is making any progress. It stands to reason the Saudis will never move until the United States commands them to move.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/our-responsibility-for-the-destruction-of-yemen/

As I have said many times…the US is ass deep in the blood of Yemen……

US-backed forces loyal to the Saudi and UAE governments continue to attack the main Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah Wednesday. While the city itself remains unbreached, ground troops have seized the main road leading into the city, even more tightly restricting flow to and from it.

****

Amid growing international calls to stop threatening the vital port, the Houthis’ leader issued a statement calling US calls for a ceasefire “hypocritical,” given US-backed forces have dramatically escalated their attacks since the call, and US support for those forces has not slowed.

(antiwar.com)

The time has come….do not let it slip away.