Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Understanding the Saudi Attack on Yemen

George W. Bush kissing up to Saudi leaders

Obama bowing to Saudi leaders

I'm starting to get a handle on the Yemen story.  Other than U.S. drone attacks in the country, that have killed many innocents, I had not paid alot of attention to politics in Yemen.  But now all that has changed.  I've turned down a couple of media interviews about Yemen because I felt I didn't know enough to make any comments.  So I've been reading many articles and watching some videos so I can get my head around the issue.

I have a world map on my office door which frequently helps me understand what is going on. 

Yemen (in brown lower center of map) borders Saudi Arabia.  Even though a common border was delineated by the Taif Treaty in 1934 Saudi Arabia and Yemen have had continued conflict over the issue. (The Saudis took a bunch of land from Yemen around that time.) The possible oil reserves, civil war, and Saudi interventions in Yemeni politics have driven the conflict for much of the last century. While many of the confrontations have been relatively sporadic, in the late 1990’s a number of building tensions came to a head, resulting in violent conflict.

Saudi Arabia is a rabid Sunni fiefdom and they fund many of the fundamentalist terrorist sects (Wahhabism) currently waging war throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.  In spite of that the US still kisses the Saudi monarchy's cheeks because they have oil.

Iran, a Shia nation is the arch enemy of the Saudi kingdom.  The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation.To make it simple each side has their own influences with various countries in the region.  The Saudis biggest allies are the other monarchies like the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. Israel and Egypt have also joined the Saudis in this current attack on Yemen.

In Yemen there has been a struggle between Sunni (backed by Saudi Arabia and the US) and Shia (backed by Iran).  With Iraq increasingly leaning toward Iran, and Iran's ally Syria holding on for dear life against terrorists backed by Saudi Arabia and the U.S.-NATO war machine, the Saudi monarchy fears for their future - thus they are in attack mode.

Inside Saudi Arabia are legions of poor people, many whom are Shia, that get no benefit from the oil fortune amassed by the head-choppin monarchy.  They are presently in revolt as are people struggling for freedom against the monarchy in Bahrain where the US Navy Fifth Fleet is based.  

The Obama war team is helping the Saudis and their 'coalition' with intelligence and surveillance during this current bombing raid on Yemen.  That means the US Space Command, and many of their military satellites orbiting the planet, are working overtime to identify targets and direct the attacks.  The Saudis don't have that kind of space capability.  So you can say this is a proxy war -  another round of attacks against Iran that might just eventually land on Tehran's doorstep.

On March 24 Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made a speech on the Senate floor where he said, "Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue."

We know Israel wants Iran taken down.  So does Saudi Arabia and their fellow Sunni monarchies.  The US does as well but has to pretend it has 'exhausted all diplomatic measures' to create peace.  It appears that more war and chaos in the region is now in the cards.

The take down list that included Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria is now being expanded to include Yemen, Iran, Ukraine, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, and several African states.  Keep your eyes on the bouncing ball.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong to suggest that Oman, although a GCC member, is part of the Saudi led coaliton. In fact Oman has refused to join and has tried to broker talks between the Yemeni factions, Iran and the US. Oman traditionally enjoys strong relations with Iran. Obviously this has been well reported and would have been a very easy fact to check and is just one of several inaccuracies in this article.

6/18/15, 2:24 AM  

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