(OpEdNews) Bomb Iran? Not now: bomb Yemen

From: Biniam Tekle <biniamt_at_dehai.org_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 05:14:05 -0400


OpEdNews Op Eds

4/8/2015 at 16:31:19

Bomb Iran? Not now: bomb Yemen

By Pepe Escobar

"Operation Decisive Storm" -- the Pentagon-style House of Saud
glorifying of its ghastly "Bomb Yemen" show -- could be summed up in a
single paragraph.

The wealthiest Arab nation -- the House of Saud petro-hacienda --
supported by other GCC petro-rackets and also the wealthy "West," has
launched an -- illegal -- bombing/war/kinetic operation against the
poorest Arab nation in the name of "democracy."

And this absurdity is just the beginning.

The EU's foreign policy chief, the innocuous as a stale cannoli
Federica Mogherini, seems to be mildly alarmed. She remarked that
Saudi bombing of hospitals and "deliberate targeting and destruction
of private homes, education facilities and basic infrastructure cannot
be tolerated."

Well, the EU tolerates exactly the same thing in Donbass perpetrated
by Kiev's goons -- so nothing will come out La Mogherini's feigned

The Red Cross and the Russian Federation, for their part, at least are
demanding a temporary ceasefire to allow for humanitarian relief.
Humanitarian relief is incompatible with the House of Saud's
bloodline. So after two weeks of Saudi "Shock and Awe," the current
toll of at least 560 Yemeni civilians dead (and counting), and 1,700
wounded -- dozens of them children -- is bound to increase.

Bab-el-Mandeb me, baby

Bomb Iran? Not now; the new normal is bomb Yemen. But still bomb Iran
might be back in a flash. Pentagon supremo Ash Carter confirmed last
week "all options are on the table" even if an Iran-P5+1 nuclear deal
is finally reached in June. So, for the record, the Pentagon is
affirming nuclear negotiations are just white noise unable to deter
the tantalizing prospect of yet another nice little Middle East war.

Needless to add, the so civilized "West" didn't even flinch when "our
bastards" the House of Saud invaded and started shockin' an'awin'
dirt-poor Yemen. No UN Security Council resolution. Not even a mandate
from the totally discredited Arab League. Who cares? After all, the
"Empire of Chaos" has done the same over and over again with total

Much hysteria has been raging on whether the Houthis are about to take
control of the Bab-el-Mandeb -- one of the key strategic global energy
chokepoints along with the Straits of Hormuz, and as crucial as the
Suez Canal. Nonsense. Whatever the House of Saud does, the not so
hidden "Empire of Chaos" agenda is never to lose control of the
Bab-el-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands.

This is part of what we could dub "Chokepointistan"; wars taking place
near or around energy bottlenecks, and always narrated in Global War
on Terror (GWOT) deceitful terminology. US Think Tankland is more
straightforward, carefully following US naval deployments. That's what
this is all about; an Orwellian "freedom of navigation" masquerading a
hardcore strategy of shutting out the geopolitical enemy -- be it
Iran, Russia, China or all of the above.

"Chokepointistan" is all over the place: just watch the war or
pre-positioning action in the Bab-el-Mandeb (with spillover effects
from Yemen to Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti); the Straits of
Hormuz (all about Iran); but also the strait of Malacca (all about
China), Panama (about Venezuela), the coming Nicaragua canal (about
China), the Korean Strait, the Taiwan Strait, the Kuril Islands, and
last but not least the Baltic Sea.

A Grand Armada Run Amok

Saudi intel knows the Houthis can't possibly control the Bab-el-Mandeb
-- not to mention Washington would never allow it. What freaks the
Saudis out is that the Houthi rebellion in Yemen -- supported by
Tehran -- may encourage bright rebellion ideas among the Shi'ite
majority in the eastern provinces in Saudi Arabia, where most of the
oil is.

And this where the Saudi excuse for war interfaces with the empire's
paranoia of preventing Iran, Russia and/or China from establishing a
possible strategic presence in Yemen, at the Bab-el-Mandeb,
overlooking the Gulf of Aden.

So we have once again Pentagon supremo Carter insisting, "The United
States supports Arab plans to create a unified military force to
counter growing security threats in the Middle East, and the Pentagon
will cooperate with it where US and Arab interests coincide."
Translation: we gave the green light for our bastards to maintain
"stability" in the Middle East.

Yet there's a spanner in the works; the possible Washington-Tehran
rapprochement, assuming a nuclear deal is reached. For the
self-described "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" Obama administration, the
nuclear deal will be their only foreign policy success. Moreover,
without Tehran there's no meaningful fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in

None of this mollifies the cosmically paranoid Saudis, who assembled
in a flash a Grand Armada Run Amok (GARA) -- 100 jet fighters, 150,000
soldiers -- respectfully described by US Think Tankland as a
"coalition" of 10 countries. Without even blinking at UN norms, the
Saudis instantly declared the whole of Yemen as a no-fly zone.

EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (L) and Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hold a press conference
(image by YouTube) DMCA

And along with routine bombing of residential complexes, the al-Mazraq
camp for the internally displaced in Hajjah, a dairy factory near
Hodeida, and other instances, came, what else, hardcore internal Saudi
repression, via a crackdown with tanks and indiscriminate shooting in
Awamiyah, in the eastern provinces; Shi'ites there can't even think of
organizing protests against the bloodbath in Yemen.

In a nutshell, this is the immensely wealthy, corrupt, medieval Saudi
regime busy at war against their own people. The usual hard-line
Wahhabi imams are busy working up anti-Shi'ite and anti-Iranian fever
everywhere; these are all "apostates" under the takfir doctrine, and
Iranians are lowly "Safawis" -- a quite pejorative reference to the
16th century Safavid dynasty. It's crucial to remember that Islamic
State treats Shi'tes and Iranians the exact same way. But forget about
any of this being reported by Western corporate media.

The General and the Sheikh

The House of Saud insists it wants to reinstall the
government-in-exile of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. Or,
as Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir glowingly put it,
"protect the legitimate government of the country."

Royally paid Saudi lobby hagiographers are once again frantically
spinning the Sunni versus Shi'ite sectarian narrative -- which totally
ignores the mind-boggling tribal/class complexity of Yemeni society.
In a nutshell, this laughable Saudi defense of democracy is paving the
way for a ground war; a long, bloody and horribly expensive ground

And it gets, as expected, even more absurd. Gen. Martin Dempsey,
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was recently asked during a
Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether he knew of "any major
Arab ally that embraces ISIL." His response: "I know major Arab allies
who fund them."

Translation: the US government not only does not sanction or punish
these "allies" (the real fun is to sanction Russia) but showers with
logistical and "non-lethal" support the "coalition" that is arguably
fighting the same Islamic State they are funding. No one is making
this up; this is how the endless war on terra remains the gift that
keeps on giving.

It gets even curioser and curioser when we have Dempsey on the same
page of Hezbollah's Sheikh Nasrallah. Inthis crucial speech, Sheikh
Nasrallah offers the most extensive and precise account of the origins
and ideology of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. And here he expands on Yemen, Saudi
Arabia and Iran.

So what we have is the "Empire of Chaos" "leading from behind" in the
war on Yemen and also de facto "leading from behind" in the fight
against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; the ones doing the heavy lifting are Iraqi
militias supported by Tehran. The hidden agenda is always -- what else
-- chaos; be it across "Syraq" or inside Yemen. With an extra bonus;
while Washington is engaged on striking a nuclear deal with Tehran, it
also turbo-charges an alliance against Tehran using the House of Saud.

Vietnam in the desert

The House of Saud badly wants Pakistan to take no prisoners, supplying
bomber jets, ships and lots of ground troops for their war. Riyadh
treats Islamabad as a vassal state. A joint session of the Pakistani
Parliament will decide what to do.

It's quite revealing to learn what happened when Pakistan's most
popular private TV channel assembled representatives of all major
political parties to explain where they stand. Soon they reached a
consensus; Pakistan should be neutral; act as mediator; and commit no
troops, unless there was a "tangible threat" to the two holy mosques
in Mecca and Medina, which is far from the case.

The House of Saud remains on overdrive, showering tons of cash over
Salafi and Deobandi preachers to bullhorn their war; that includes a
delegation of ulema visiting Riyadh. Support has already duly poured
from Pakistan-based hardcore groups that trained with al-Qaeda and
fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan; after all they are all funded
by Wahhabi fanatics.

Meanwhile, in the front lines, a real game-changer may be ahead, with
the Houthis already firing missiles across the border at Saudi oil
installations. Then all bets are off -- and the possibility that
long-range missiles have been pre-positioned becomes quite credible.

That scenario would mean a foreign intel agency luring the House of
Saud into its own Vietnam quagmire in Yemen, setting them up for a
barrage of missiles hitting their pumping stations and oil fields,
with catastrophic consequences for the global economy. It's crucial to
remember that the Grand Armada Run Amok (GARA) assembled by Riyadh
happens to account for no less than 32% of global oil production. This
cannot possibly end well.

Everyone in Yemen has an AK-47, not to mention RPGs and hand grenades.
The terrain is guerrilla heaven. History spells out at least 2,000
years of hardened tribes fighting foreign invaders. Most Yemenis hate
the House of Saud with a vengeance; a majority follows what the
Houthis announced in late February, that the House of Saud and the US
were planning to devastate Yemen.

The Houthi rebellion includes both Sunnis and Shi'ites -- thus totally
debunking the Saudi narrative. When they captured the Yemeni National
Security Bureau, which was basically a CIA station, the Houthis found
a wealth of secret documents that "compromised" Washington's Yemeni
chapter of the war on terra. As for the Saudi Army, it's a joke.
Besides, it employs a huge contingent of -- you guessed it -- Yemeni

"Operation Decisive Storm" -- yet another Pentagon-style illegal war
-- has already plunged Yemen into the twin plagues of civil war and
humanitarian disaster. The remains of al-Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP), and most of all ISIS/ISIL/Daesh (who hate the
Houthis and all Shi'ites with a vengeance) couldn't be happier. The
"Empire of Chaos" couldn't give a damn; the more widespread the chaos,
the better for the Pentagon-defined Long War (on terra).

Over five years ago I wrote that Yemen is the new Waziristan. Now it's
also heading towards the new Somalia. And soon it may become the House
of Saud's Vietnam.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His regular
column, "The Roving Eye," is widely read. He is an analyst for the
online news channel Real News, the roving correspondent for Asia
Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent
contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East
Asia. He argues that the world has become fragmented into "stans" --
we are now living an intestinal war, an undeclared global civil war.
He has published three books on geopolitics, including the
spectacularly-titled "Globalistan: How the Globalised World Is
Dissolving Into Liquid War".
His latest book is "Obama Does Globalistan."
Received on Thu Apr 09 2015 - 05:14:05 EDT

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