Saudi Arabia Launches Air Assault on Yemen

by William Skink

Today Saudi Arabia started bombing targets in Yemen, undoubtedly with some level of US support.

Besides exporting oil, Saudi Arabia also exports Islamic extremism in the form of Wahhabism. That means America’s oil pals aren’t shy about demanding the occasional beheading of alleged witches and sorcerers because hey, that’s just how they roll.

Though Wahhabism adherents despise the Shiite sect of Islam, they are not opposed to going after Sunnis as well:

Since the foundation of the Wahhabi sect in the 18th C it has shown extreme hostility towards Sunnis. In fact Saudi Arabia emerged through a series brutal wars with non-Wahhabi Sunnis.

The plight of Shiites in Saudi Arabia is well known, but few know about the rampant discrimination against Sunnis. When the Wahhabi army of Abdelaziz ibn Saud invaded Mecca in 1924 scores of Sunni scholars were killed and Sunnis books burned. Through violence and intimidation the Wahhabis managed to destroy all other Islamic schools of thought in the occupied city.

Until today non-Wahhabi Sunnis are prohibited from giving sermons or lectures in any mosque in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabi preachers routinely insult and condemn Sunnis and their beliefs, but Sunnis are not allowed to even gently criticize Wahhabism. Anybody who dares to do so is fined, thrown in jail or tortured. Non-Wahhabi Sunni books, like classic collections of poetry praising the Prophet (pbuh), are banned and if found, confiscated.

In Yemen, some recent history for context would be helpful, so here’s a bit of background from Moon of Alabama:

In 2012 the U.S. and its Wahhabi Arabic Gulf allies expelled the longtime Yemeni president Saleh and replaced him with his vice president Hadi. There was some hope that Hadi would change the quarrel on the ground and the dysfunctional state but the unrest in the country kept growing and as the oil prices went down so went the Yemeni government.

Hadi could only beg the Saudis to finance him and in return had to fulfill their political demands. Meanwhile al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula kept growing in Yemen, U.S. drone strikes killed more and more tribe members in the south and deserved revenge and a southern independence movement added to the tumult. All this led to the rise of the Houthis (video, 45min).

The Houthis, allied with the former president Saleh and some parts of the dysfunctional Yemeni army, decided to take on the state. In 2014 they captured parts of the capitol Sanaa and expanded the territory they controlled. In January Hadi fled to Aden in the south. Many people belonging to the Houthi groups are Zaidi Shia. Their belief differs from Iranian 12er Shia belief and their religious rituals have more in common with Sunni rituals than with mainstream Shia. Yemen is in general not as sectarian as other gulf countries. Various variants of belief mix and often use the same mosques.

But Houthi, like many other Yemenis, despise the Saudis and their Wahhabism. It is mostly therefore that they are accused of being allied with Iran. While there are certainly some sympathies between Iran and the Houthi groups there is no evidence of outright support.

Ah, there we are, the great boogeyman, Iran. Keeping the propaganda pressure going gets really weird when you start to realize jihadist berserkers are supported by our allies, who behead witches, yet it’s Iran that must be perpetually demonized, sanctioned, and attacked with cyber assaults and assassinations of scientists.

One despicable craftsman of propaganda can be found regurgitated on the Missoulian’s opinion page, Rich Lowry. There is no end to the hilarity that ensues as this tool decries a diplomatic revolution:

The socialist government in France usually doesn’t have much in common with congressional Republicans, for whom both France and socialism tend to be anathema. But the French, according to a Wall Street Journal report, are taking the toughest line among the powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program and are alarmed by the Obama administration’s accommodating approach.

“Some U.S. officials,” the Journal writes, “privately believe France is seeking in part to maintain strong ties to Israel and to Arab countries deeply skeptical of Washington’s outreach to Tehran.”

When the Quai d’Orsay is more concerned than Foggy Bottom with maintaining warm ties to Israel, it is a sign of a world turned upside down.

Consider the bizarre confluence of the perhaps-imminent Iran agreement with the administration’s apoplexy over Bibi Netanyahu’s re-election in Israel. The Iran deal will nullify the half-dozen U.N. resolutions calling on Iran to halt all uranium enrichment, at the same time the administration is floating the idea of going along with a new effort to isolate Israel at the U.N., in effect for the offense of re-electing Bibi Netanyahu.

There are barely words for the perversity of this turnabout. It would be a step toward normalizing a rogue state and making a rogue state out of a normal country. It would be a rapprochement with a sworn enemy and a breach with a tried-and-true friend. It would be a diplomatic revolution in keeping with President Barack Obama’s purported realism that has little regard for either our deepest-held values or coldblooded interests.

This is just amazing stuff, and it get’s even better:

Israel holds free-and-fair elections in which Arabs can freely vote, even if Netanyahu made an ill-advised election-day comment about them turning out in droves; in country after country, Sunni and Shia forces kill and maim one another in a vicious fight for dominance by force. Israel builds settlements (mostly in areas that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal); Bashar al-Assad drops cluster bombs on people, and has reportedly returned to using chemical weapons.

It doesn’t take great discernment to see the differences. It takes only a modicum of perspective, which President Obama can’t muster as he sets about engineering a rupture with our only democratic ally in the Middle East.

Wow. Just wow. Where to start?

The racist state of Israel, armed with nukes, no longer even maintains the illusion of desiring a two-state solution. Israel has committed countless war crimes with the assurance that the US will always have its back at the UN. American citizens have been killed, like Rachel Corrie crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16th, 2003. American soldiers were slaughtered by Israeli war planes in the attack on the USS Liberty.

And just two days ago the Wall Street Journal reported on Israel’s spying on US negotiations with Iran:

Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks.

The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.

What nice friends we have.

While all this is very complicated and depressing to try and sort out, the US/Israel objective seems pretty straight forward: What can’t be controlled must be destroyed.

And so it goes.

  1. evdebs

    There was a report on Democracy Now yesterday on ethnic cleansing of Kurds and Sunnis by Iraqi Shi’ite militias in cities that had been liberated from ISIS control. ABC had a similar report. The rise of both ISIS and the Shi’ite militias have been a direct consequence of the invasion and occupation of Iraq by Bush/Cheney, spurred by the Likudist lobby (i.e., Perle, Abrams, Feith, Wolfowitz, Scheunemann, etc.) close to the administration.

    To further compound the problems, there was the installation of the incompetent Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister by Bush.

    From Wikipedia: In April 2006, amid mounting criticism of ineffective leadership and favoritism by Kurdish and Sunni Arab politicians in parliament, al-Jaafari was forced from power. On 22 April 2006, following close U.S. involvement in the selection of a new prime minister, al-Maliki’s name arose from the four that had been interviewed by the CIA on their connections to Iran (the others including Hussein al-Shahristani and Ali al-Adeeb). United States Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said that “[Maliki’s] reputation is as someone who is independent of Iran.” Early in his term, al-Maliki was criticized by some for alleged reluctance to tackle Shiite militias. In October 2006, he complained about an American raid against a Shiite militia leader because he said it had been conducted without his approval.

    • lizard19

      I see you have produced strings of words, yet nothing worth reading. great, thanks.

      Hillary/Shiva, 2016.

      thank you Boomers for the last few nails in the coffin.

      • The great weapon of the military-industrial-intelligence-terrorist complex state is TV, although radio does its part. Radio is for agitation, but TV is a babysitter. TV reared a nation of intellectual children, easily managed, even allowing them to have guns since they pose no threat to power. The MIITC then goes about its business, the TV lies about everything. It’s remarkable to watch as everything is done in the open and hardly anyone knows anything about it.

        It’s a remarkable accomplishment opinion management that terrorist states like Israel and Saudi Arabia function in the open while states merely trying to break away from the MIITC like Syria and Iran are hounded and demonized. Yemen is being bludgeoned back into line. But breaking the spell of the TV at this late stage is impossible. Solutions have to come from other power centers. The USA is a nation of zombies.

    • So if we had left 10K (occupation) in Iraq west we’d still have ISIS running across multiple borders?

      No, the blame lie in the lap of Obongo and the village idiots/code pinkos that enabled his election.

      We’re still in Germany, still in Japan, still in South Korea were peace remains stedfast.

      • steve kelly


        I think you missed a few.

        “II. More than 1000 US Bases and/or Military Installations

        The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide.

        In this regard, Hugh d’Andrade and Bob Wing’s 2002 Map 1 entitled “U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World, The Cost of ‘Permanent War’”, confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries.

        The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries.

        In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide.

        These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).

        Map 1. U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World. The Cost of «Permanent War» and Some Comparative Data”


        • Pick your poison Steve. You want to put up with some non-intrusive US imperialism or do you want the likes of murdering savages running ramped, their form of imperialism.

          • steve kelly

            The “pick(ing)” is done for us Swede, for both you and me. We can like it, or not, what does it matter? You may believe all roads lead to imperialism, this is where I think you and I fundamentally differ. I so do not accept the premise of your Hobson’s choice. Propaganda has taken its toll, and for that I am truly sorry.

          • “Non-intrusive US imperialism.” Really, Swede? Really?

            Look up “Iraq war deaths, Iraq war destruction, Iraq war refugees, and then complete your Google search with “oxymoron.”

            Good grief. I cannot imagine a more ignorant statement as that.

            • Big picture Mark. And we’re talking post intrusion.

              What do your books tell you about WW3 potential deaths? Can they exceed your dubious death tolls?

            • Got me on the books thing. I do read them.

              US military/industrial/imtelligence/terror complex is the threat to world peace. Are you somehow fantasizing that it is a force for peace? That is absurd.

              The Pentagon refuses to count bodies in its wars, and so others have stepped in and done so. For you to say those counts are dubious is hypocrisy in the extreme. You might have a case if the Pentagon made any attempt to assess its damage.

              And again, “non-intrusive imperialism” is the most ignorant statement I’ve ever seen from you, and I am aware of the breadth of my statement.,

              • So leaving an occupy force doesn’t promote peace? Last time I looked it worked every where it was tried.

                The Pentagon non-count refusal mean we much take liberal ideologues math?

              • Evidence, Swede. Just evidence. You should look at it now and then rather than rely on your stereotypes to guide you through life.

                Last time I Googled “promoting peace” I did not find, illegal invasions, massive killing, torture, refugees, assassinations, puppet regimes, terrorism.

                What search engine do you use anyway?

              • What ever engine I’d use it wouldn’t include the Lancet study funded by Soros.

              • Swede, you alwasy have us at a disadvantage, as you don’t read, are incurious, and operate on stereotypes. Mere information is of no use to you, and so you ignore it.

              • And Mark all the writings that you consume has a common ant-American theme.

              • steve kelly

                “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”

                Dwight D. Eisenhower

                Fascists do not confuse, they misuse and abuse.

              • Agreed Steve – Swede’s jibe was out of line, as if being “American” means you support your country in all activities, legal and illegal, sane, insane and monstrous.

      • lizard19

        you have no clue what is going on.

  2. steve kelly

    TV’s grip is not what it once was. Technology rules and stops for no one.

    Iran nukes bad, Russian-built nuke in Jordan good? Go figure.

    Chaos and atomization is the goal, not “nation-building” or peace. Not enough weapons sales.

  3. This post needs a musical theme song.

    • steve kelly

      Your submission? Nice! Punk-Pop isn’t my thing, but it’s got a great beat and you can dance to it, as they say. Liz and JC might want to run a theme contest, however, before picking The One.

    • JC

      If it’s going to be a contest from Clash songs, I’d have to toss in “Ivan Meets G.I. Joe”:

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