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25 March 2015


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different clue

I don't here much MSM in general, but the NPR part of it that I hear ( and the BBC part as well) keep describing the Houthis as Iranian proxies. If that is so, how is it that Iran is able to get any support to them when it is hundreds of miles away with hostile Sunni forces blocking any overland or oversea delivery of anything from Iran to the Houthis? I note that no one on Public MSM has asked that question.

robt willmann

Rumors are going around that the Saudi "air force" has attacked some Houthi positions in Yemen. It is one thing for the Saudis to let the U.S. use their land for drone attacks on Yemen, but another thing altogether to start blasting Yemeni tribes directly. The Saudi ruling family, wallowing in its luxury, may have forgotten what the tribal code is.

The situation in Yemen, with its past and present players, can only be described as follows--


  The Beaver

Saudi Arabia launches airstrikes in Yemen



Saudi planes bombing Houthis in Yemen today:


Looks like Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen.
Supposedly tanks have crossed the border as well.

Dis gun b gud.

Charles I

The order of the msm news in the last ten days was

1)$500M in weapons kit and aid is unaccountable

2)100 U.S. forces withdrawn

3) President flees

New front opened.

But I did notice a drone strike killed 13 whatevr-ya-call'em in Afghanistan in the last 24 hour cycle and a whisper that its ixnay on the drawdown-nay there..

Charles I

pick your side and pipe down. The Saudis are our side for all seasons for all comers.


Saudi bombing kills civilians. Still, Iran isn't stupid enough to be directly drawn into this no matter what.


with all wars in middle-east stuck in stalemates, it was getting boring. Real nice of Saudis to attempt to warm things up a little bit. Even splendid if US also jump in the middle there (after all what is a war if the US is not involved in it in anyway).

disclaimer: I'm being totally sarcastic.


The US is giving intel and material aid to the Saudis, who are fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis; while in Tikrit, Iraq, the US is flying air strikes in support of the Iranian-backed militia against the ISIS. Clear as mud.
From the Guardian on the situation in Yemen.




Don't you think for one second that the timing of this US-coordinated(and in the coming weeks I'm sure we'll see creeping US involvement in this "Arab" military operation) action and the commencement of US military operations against IS-held Tikrit, within 24 hours of each other, are a coincidence.


"Iran isn't stupid enough to be directly drawn into this no matter what."

Won't keep them from blaming Iran anyway. So far, the headlines create ambiguity, which for that purposes may suffice.


Exhibit A
"Houthis say they have secured aid package from Iran"

=> Yemen's de-facto rulers, the Shia Houthi rebels, say they have secured an economic aid package from Iran.

A delegation of Houthis just returned from Iran and a spokesperson said Iran had pledged to expand Yemen's ports, help build power plants and provide Yemen with enough oil to last a year.



Exhibit B
"Iranian ship unloads 185 tons of weapons for Houthis at Saleef port"

=> An Iranian ship unloaded more than 180 tons of weapons and military equipment at a Houthi-controlled port in western Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Friday, quoting security sources.

The ship had docked at al-Saleef port northwest of the al-Hodeida province on Thursday, the sources said.

The Houthi militias reportedly closed the port and denied entrance to employees there. Al-Saleef port is considered the second most vital in Yemen.

The news follows last week’s economic partnership agreements between Iran and the Houthis, including a deal that promises a year’s worth of oil supply from Iran.
Yemen is torn by a power struggle between the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in the north, and the internationally-recognized President Abedrabbu Mansorur Hadi, who has set up a rival seat in the south with the backing of Sunni-led Gulf Arab states.


So, the harbour is closed off, but the unnamed security sources know just how much the Iranians supposedly deliver? Not 186 or 189 but 187 tons? Really?


Al Arabiyah is UAE based. Are they objective? The UAE are reportedly also involving themselves in Yemen.



What's true? Both? One or the other? Does it matter?

Will it not be spun to mean what people want it to mean anyway? Or do the Gulfies, since the Houthisa are Shia, see this as a threat from the Shia/Iran anyway, irrespective of the possibility that it isn't, because they're so paranoid about the Shia/Iran that they want to believe it?

And if the Houthis are not allied with Iran, will the Gulfies bombing them because, drive the Houthis in the arms of Iran anyway, because that's the only potential ally available? That'd be a self fulfilling prophecy confirming pre-existing prejudice.

It's sad that one has to be so cynical these days and assume as a working theiry that was the Gulfies tell about Iranian involvement is BS until verified.

Abu Sinan

Once again, Saudi inspired violence. The Houthis, and Zaidi revivalism in general, is in part a response to Saudi exported ultra-Salafiyah and takfiriyeen ideology. The Houthis are the only group in Yemen fighting AQAP and ISIL. This attack will directly give a boost to AQAP and ISIL. They have already said that they will take back Lahj.



People in Sanaa and the North are angry. People in Aden and the South are ecstatic. Yesterday the Houthis and Ali Abdallah Saleh military stood at the gates of Aden despite resistance. Now they have fled Aden.

This is just Day 1. I don't think the Saudis are going to leave it at 3 hours of airstrikes. There has been real damage done to Saleh's military. This makes him vulnerable to his current partners, the Houthis, who have been working with Saleh despite his 5 wars against them since 2004. If they smell blood they may well choose to deal with Saleh first before turning their attention back to the South.

The worry is that the Saudis will roll in tanks from Sharurah, and take the town of 'Ataq with its airstrip in Shabwa. They will move then to Marib and secure the strategic refinery/generator of Safer that provides electricity to the whole country. The Saudis see these areas as their borders. They have excellent relations with the tribes there. I do not believe they will countenance fighting the Houthis in their mountains - they would be massacred.

At this point I think we are seeing the emergence of an independent South. The cat is out of the bag. Southerners have been engaged in fratricide since at least 1986 but now they are united against the "Shia" Houthis and Saleh. Sectarianism was never an issue here until just a few months ago.

This will rip the country apart. The Saudis bear the most blame but the Iranians have been stirring this cauldron very successfully for a number of years. For the Saudis this is akin to the Americans fomenting regime change in Ukraine; its on their border and they can't afford to ignore it. And this all takes place within the regional framework of the greater Iranian-Gulf conflict.

The war will take few lives. 60% of Yemenis are food insecure. When the Yemeni Rial tanks those 60% will not be able to afford bread. They will die. Slowly. And quietly. In millions.

An utterly pointless avoidable debacle and the US must take much of the blame for the pointless drone programme that kept them interfering in a culture they know nothing of.



I said directly involved.

Charles I,

I am picking a side and it ain't the Saudi head choppers!


Martin J,

Have you read the Oden Yinon and Clean Break plans? So it is written, so it is done.

ex-PFC Chuck

Off topic but indicative of a dysfunctional world:

William R. Cumming

Yemen has more population than Saudi Arabia?

When did Brennan take over at CIA and was he the driver on President Obama's speech last September announcing YEMEN an outstanding success story for US MENA FP?


"Yemen has more population than Saudi Arabia?"

Yemen: 24,41 million
SA: 28,83 million



The "Saudi" number includes a few million Yemeni expats. pl



I am working on a Yemen post using Martin J's text as a basis. "Without consensus among the Yemeni people, any unilateral assertion of authority will not succeed." This is really comic. There has never been "consensus" among the Yemeni peoples on any subject. Why should that consensus exist now? American meddling in a culture or cultures it does not understand illustrates once again our ineptitude in world affairs and the deadly effect of the application of poly sci attitudes to world affairs. pl



I'm posting this again. These plans have not changed and the Saudis are also on the menu. Idiots.

All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi'ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the UAE, Shi'ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist South Yemen there is a sizable Shi'ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power.




China has other ideas



The way Wadi was elected president was hilarious IMO, and it's a story worth recounting:

There was one candidate, Wadi. How come the Houthi's felt the whole ting was a sham and revolted against it? They did, after all, have their chance to say 'yes' or 'yes'. How could they possibly find fault in that?


Needless to say, unlike these curmudgeonly Houthis, the US didn't quibble over the election result and immediately recognised Wadi as head of state. And Hillary Clinton congratulated the people of Yemen the "successful presidential election". And if that came along patronising, well, that's beause it was.

Even when one considers that by all accounts Yemenis are notoriously troublesome and cannot ever agree on anything, so that limiting choices is an expedient way to produce predictable outcomes - the whole thing is procedurally a little bit odd, as far as elections are concerned ... on the other hand, it's ... Yemen.


Pat, in case you missed it, yesterday's WH statement even more surreal.... https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/25/statement-nsc-spokesperson-bernadette-meehan-situation-yemen

so we're giving intel to a coalition of quaking monarchies in order to defend the "legitimate" elected Yemen gov't.... tilt. (etc. etc.)

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