Saudi Money Well Spent

The Royals of Saudi Arabia spends record amounts of cash every year buying the best equipment the US has to offer…..plus their troops are sent to the US for advanced training or we send our troops to train the soldier of KSA….in other words they get the best the US has to offer in equipment and/or training.

If that is a true statement then how can we explain this kturn of events?

A 72 hour military operation in southern Najran Province of Saudi Arabia was carried out by Yemen’s Houthi movement with very little media coverage. Starting on early Thursday, a major operation raged, and by early Saturday the Houthis reported a major victory.

Three entire Saudi brigades in Najran were effectively wiped out. The reports suggest between 200 and 500 Saudi soldiers were killed, and thousands more captured. Saudi arms and armored vehicles were also taken in the fighting.

Offensives against the Saudis are rare, and usually much smaller. On Sunday, the Houthis released video footage related to the operation. They described the operation as involving a number of ambushes set up around the area, and luring the brigades into a trap.

The Houthis are bragging about this, and unsurprisingly so as this is a military victory like they haven’t seen in quite some time. The Saudis, interestingly, have not made any comments at all about the fight.

The lack of comments from the Saudis speaks volumes, however, as they aren’t even trying to spin this at all. US officials quoted Saturday tried to present the loss as a sign of desperation by the Houthis, an attempt to push advancing Saudis away from the border.

Perhaps the most interesting fact that hasn’t been addressed is that this fight was going on since at least early Thursday, so when the Saudis announced they were joining a partial ceasefire on Friday (of which Najran was not a part), they did so in the middle of this huge battle.

(antiwar.com)

I guess the Saudis need a protector after all.

This lack of military success by the Saudis could explain their statement about Iran…..

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tried to do some damage control on the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, and the ongoing war in Yemen. The focus ultimately was brought back to the Saudis’ favorite topic, Iran.

The prince warned that there is still a danger of escalation with Iran, and called on the world to unite with “strong and firm action” against Iran, saying Iran would otherwise threaten world interests.

The prince further predicted that if the world doesn’t stop Iran, oil supplies will be cut off and oil prices will hit levels “we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” a threat the Saudis have often used to convince the world to support their position.

(antiwar.com)

The region is seldom calm but I believe that it will get even more hyper….but it may depend on who wins the election in 2020. 

Just a thought.

Leran Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

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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”

COWARDS!

The armed conflict in Yemen has been raging and the Saudis have with their allies destroyed most of the country and displaced millions to the point of starvation with disease running rampant…..

Back in February I wrote that the Congress was about to do something bold to cease US support for the Saudis genocide of the Yemanis…..

In no place is congressional action more urgent than in Yemen, where approximately half of the population—nearly 14 million people—remain on the brink of starvation due to the war and the ensuing economic collapse in the country. Although congressional pressure caused the Trump administration to finally call for an end to the war last October and cut off U.S. refueling support in November, the United States remains intimately involved in the Saudi- and UAE-led military operations in the country.

 
The Congress passed the bill and it has gone to Trump for his veto….which he did (did the Saudis pay for that veto?).  Now the bill goes back to the Congress for an attempt at an override of the veto.
 
The M-IC will use all its muscle to see that the override attempt is a failure……Pompeo voiced his contempt for the bill…..
With the Senate planning this week to “process” President Trump’s veto of the War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the reins to try to defend US involvement in Yemen as in America’s best interest.

Pompeo’s argument centered on the idea that the US was obliged to help Saudi Arabia defend itself from retaliatory fights, now that the Saudis had launched a war and provoked that retaliation.

On top of that poor argument for an obligation, Pompeo relied on what the administration seems to believe is the most compelling argument, even if it is wholly based on a lie. He argued that the whole war was Iran’s fault, and not intervening would make Iran happy.

This was the argument Saudi Arabia successfully used to sucker the US into this war, though to be fair that didn’t take much effort. The Iran never had more than tentative links to the Shi’ite Houthi movement, and that they’re not even the same type of Shi’ites, was lost on the administration, and Pompeo seems to hope it will also be lost on the Senate.

Pompeo’s argument is effectively that the US has blundered so deeply into a foolish war they have to keep plugging away, and to the extent we can fool ourselves into thinking we’re somehow sticking it to Iran we might feel a little better about all the harm we’re doing to Yemen.
 
(antiwar.com)
The Saudi money is well spent……the COWARDS in the Senate has failed to override……
Calls to reassert Congressional authority over US war-making failed to muster enough votes to override President Trump’s veto of the Yemen War Powers resolution, which demanded Trump withdraw US involvement from the unauthorized war. The vote was 53-45, short of the two-thirds majority needed to override.

Opposition to the war was driven by the war crimes being committed by the US-backed Saudis, and the Saudi assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, which had some in Congress questioning the US backing them in a war.

The Trump Administration argued variously that Yemen didn’t count as a war, that Trump had unilateral authority on the war, and that the war in Yemen would be bad for Iran and therefore in America’s interests.

Though none of these arguments stood up to close scrutiny, the Republican leadership in the Senate broadly echoed them. Ultimately, this was still enough to keep the veto from being overridden.
 
(antiwar.com)
Time for the money the Saudis are spreading around like peanut butter come to light….and the cowards that accept the bribes step out of the shadows.
 
And those “bribes” turn into money cash in support of this war…..

Michael Knights, Ken Pollack, and Barbara Walter make an unpersuasive case that the U.S. should increase its support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen:

True peace in Yemen will remain elusive unless both sides accept that they have nothing to gain from more fighting. We are not there yet. To get there will require not cutting off U.S. support for Saudi Arabia but threatening to doube down on it unless the Houthis honor their commitments to the UN and are ready to disgorge most of their initial conquests. If Washington is serious about ending the war, it must come to terms with this uncomfortable fact.

The “fact” mentioned here is not a fact at all. It is an unfounded opinion offered in support of a truly reprehensible policy idea. Trying to get the Houthis to “disgorge most of their initial conquests” is what the Saudi coalition has been trying and failing to do for more than four years. Threatening to increase U.S. support to the coalition isn’t going to change this, and actually increasing U.S. military assistance to an indefensible war is an unacceptable option that would only serve to escalate and prolong the conflict.

 
The US support of the Saudi’s war is costing more than money.
 
It needs to cease!
 
Turn The Page!
 

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.

Democrats Will Be A Major Disappointment

A new year so why not start it off with a bang?

In just a very few hours the new Congress will be sworn in today and the work will begin.

It is no secret that I have been a critic of the Dems since Bubba Clinton was president…..and then his wife with her fake progressive stands……Clinton and the Clintonites have always been good at covering their “conservatism” by generating faux progressive policies…..and letting big business take over the party.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/27/how-clintonites-are-manufacturing-faux-progressive-congressional-campaigns/

Clintonites like MacCaskill, Webb, Kaine, etc…..they spout progressive but are no more progressive than Lindsey Graham….

2019 and one thing is for sure….The one thing a Dem can do is f*ck up a wet dream.

Dems already thumping their chest for 2020.

Like the hunt for the Dem to break out for 2020……who cares!

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/28/who-cares-which-democrat-comes-out-on-top/

Dems claim to be “progressives” and I just do not see it….they talk a mean game but when it comes down to the nut cutting they limp away in search of their spines.

They thump their chest about health care….they thump their chest about minimum wage……they thump their chest over race issues….they thump and they thump….it has been so for 30 years and yet these toads cannot get a thing done without checking in with their donors, their masters.

Then there are those so-called “liberal” groups…the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc etc etc…….they are media whores…they choose the topics that will get them the most air time on the MSM propaganda machine……these people were approached to endorse the bill…none would sign on…..

Let’s take Yemen…….a couple of “progressives” floated a bill that would take the US out of that fray….this is a good thing only the floated legislation is about as useful as a flaccid wanker.

But read more about these “progressive” tools……

The Senate vote this month to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen marked a historic break from a bipartisan embrace of a pro-war foreign policy, yet it was accomplished without strong backing from Washington’s liberal foreign policy infrastructure.

The resolution, co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., invokes the rights laid out in the War Powers Act of 1973 that assert Congress’s authority over war, and it was the result of many months of work by a coalition of progressive activists and anti-war lawmakers. The war is Saudi-led, but the U.S. has provided critical support, and an end to that support effectively means an end to the war.

https://theintercept.com/2018/12/23/yemen-war-resolution-vote-senate/

There was a time when I considered voting Democrat….and then Hillary ran and that fanciful idea was cleansed from my mind…..

The Dems have a majority but they have had it before and f*cked up a wet dream….what about this time……will they, the Dems, truly be a party of the people or will they return to the neoliberal bullsh*t they have embraced with the Clintons?

Unfortunately, Pelosi, Schumer and Hoyer are doing everything in their power to keep the progressive insurgency in check, and keep their neoliberal/corporate money machine in power.  Beyond the many moral and ethical problems with this, it’s just plain stupid politics.  About the only way Democrats could lose their 2018 momentum in 2020 is to return to the same old neoliberal, corporate-friendly policies that lost them the election in 2016.

They’re being supported by most of the mainstream media, many of the pundits who’ve been the architects of the Democratic Party’s precipitous decline over the last few decades, and a robust and well-funded neoliberal infrastructure composed of not-for-profits, many unions, foundations, and public interest groups, who’ve gone into overdrive on their anti-Bernie campaign. It was this neoliberal mafia that helped deliver the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, which in turn depressed turnout to the point that Trump was able to win the election with just over 26 percent of eligible voters.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/01/01/war-democratic-party-continues

Warren will run for president…..oh goody!  She is NO progressive….her rhetoric is good but actions say something different.  Not a good choice.