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Western complicity in Yemen genocide met with media silence

By Finian Cunningham | RT | August 24, 2015

In the latest atrocity in Yemen, Saudi warplanes bombed a residential area, killing at least 65 people. Most of the victims are reported to be civilians from the Salah district of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city.

The apparent war crime committed has tragically become an almost daily occurrence during five months of relentless aerial bombardment of Yemen by a Western-backed coalition of foreign powers.

In recent days, there were similar air strikes on civilian centers in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida and the northern province of Saada. In the Hodeida strike, which killed several dock workers, the British charity Save the Children said it believed the attack was a deliberate bid by the Saudis to sabotage aid supplies to the civilian population.

Surely, this should be front page news, with CNN, the BBC and France 24, among other big Western media outlets, splashing it as their top story. The onus is on them because their governments are implicated in grave crimes. However, there has been no news coverage of the tragic events. Aside from some brief, vague reports of a generalized humanitarian crisis, there has been a wall of silence as to how the Western-backed Saudi-led coalition is pulverizing Yemeni civilians and creating the crisis. That suggests a deliberate blackout by Western media.

To date, the death toll in the country has reached near 4,500, according to the World Health Organization. This week, the United Nations put the total number of children who have been killed at 400. Yemeni sources say the civilian casualties are much higher, but can’t verify because of the widespread mayhem.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Food Program say the country is on the brink of cataclysmic famine, with over 50 percent of the 24 million population at immediate risk.

Yemen was already the Arab region’s poorest country even before the US-backed and Saudi-led military coalition began bombing on March 26. In just five months, the country is crumbling into a “Syria-level crisis,” according to the ICRC.

What’s happening in Yemen cannot be described as anything less than “foreign aggression” on a sovereign country, where civilians are being slaughtered by American-supplied “precision bombs” and F-16 fighter jets. The systematic starvation of people by denying them food, water and medical aid as a result of an air and sea blockade on the country adds to the barbarity. This is genocide by any legal definition of the word.

Despite the horror and complicity of Western governments in that horror, the Western news media avoid providing informative reports on the carnage in Yemen. When the media do give occasional brief reports, they routinely distort the nature of the violence as if it is being perpetrated by two warring sides: on the one hand, “Saudi coalition forces”; and on the other, “Iranian-backed Houthi rebels”.

Let’s quickly dispense with that self-serving distortion. The Houthi rebels are not Iranian-backed. How could they be when Yemen is blockaded by Saudi and American forces? The Houthis are in alliance with the Yemeni national army and other rebel groups, called Popular Committees. Earlier this year, the revolutionary front kicked out the US and Saudi-backed puppet-president Abded Rabbo Mansour Hadi, taking over much of the country’s territory, including the capital Sana’a.

That is why the Saudis and their Persian Gulf Arab dictator cronies, plus the Egyptian dictatorship of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, joined forces to bomb Yemen. They claim to be defending the “legitimate government of Yemen” represented by Hadi and his corrupt clique who are exiled in the Saudi capital Riyadh. No doubt the region’s dictatorships fear the spread of revolutionary contagion, as do the Western patrons of these despotic regimes.

Washington, along with Britain and France, is supporting the Saudi-led bombing coalition, not just politically and diplomatically, but with the supply of warplanes, missiles and logistics. The US has set up a fusion center in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of coordinating the Arab-piloted F-16s.

Germany is also implicated as, according to Der Spiegel, it is the fourth biggest arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, after France, Britain and Italy.

On the ground in Yemen, there are remnant supporters of the deposed Hadi regime. Clashes between these loyalists and the revolutionary forces have indeed contributed to the civilian death toll. But, again, Western media attempts at portraying the conflict as some kind of civil war are grossly misleading.

Among the pro-Hadi forces are troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Several Saudi and Emirati soldiers have been confirmed killed in recent battles in the southern areas around the port city of Aden, as well as in fire fights across Yemen’s northern border with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition has expanded its involvement in the ground war over the past month with the arrival of artillery and armored vehicles and up to 3,000 Saudi and UAE troops, according to the Financial Times.

Also among the pro-Hadi forces are Jihadist mercenaries from across the region that have been trafficked into Yemen by the Saudis, according to Yemeni civilian and military sources. This is the same strategy that the Saudis and the Persian Gulf Arab regimes have been using in Syria over the past four years to overthrow the Assad government, along with covert support from Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Western governments.

Western media have, of course, given copious coverage of the Syrian war, with false narratives about “moderate rebels” fighting against a “despotic regime”. Syria gets covered because Washington, London and Paris want to implement regime change there for strategic reasons to do with undermining Assad’s allies in Russia and Iran. Whereas in Yemen “regime re-installation” of a corrupt exiled clique doesn’t quite have the same story appeal. Therefore, the Western media just ignore Yemen.

The jihadists fighting in Yemen are linked to the Sunni extremists of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State network, specializing in suicide bomb attacks on mosques frequented by the Shia Houthis.

Washington and its Western allies are thus heavily involved in an illegal war of aggression against Yemen, prosecuted by Saudi Arabia and other Arab dictatorships working in collusion with Islamist terror networks. Adding “efficacy” to this state-sponsored terrorism is the humanitarian siege imposed on the population.

What is happening in Yemen is truly a heinous crime against humanity committed by Western governments. It is an unspeakable crime. And that is why the Western media will not dare talk about it. The Western media are obliged to ignore, obfuscate and distort the shocking truth of what their governments are committing in Yemen.

This makes the Western media just as complicit in the appalling criminality.

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Age of Imperial Wars

From Regional War, “Regime Change” to Global Warfare

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By Prof. James Petras | Global Research | August 22, 2015

2015 has become a year of living dangerously.

Wars are spreading across the globe.

Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity.

Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.

These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.

There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders. Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.

Now major nuclear powers face off in Europe and Asia: NATO versus Russia, US-Japan versus China. Will these streams of blood and wars converge into one radiated wilderness drained of its precious life blood?

Living Dangerously: The Rising Tide of Violent Conflicts

There is no question that wars and military threats have replaced diplomacy, negotiations and democratic elections as the principal means of resolving political conflicts. Throughout the present year (2015) wars have spread across borders and escalated in intensity.

The NATO allies, US, Turkey and the EU have openly attacked Syria with air strikes and ground troops. There are plans to occupy the northern sector of that ravaged country, creating what the Erdogan regime dubs a ‘buffer zone’ cleansed of its people and villages.

Under the pretext of ‘fighting ISIS’, the Turkish government is bombing Kurds (civilians and resistance fighters) and their Syrian allies. On Syria’s southern border, US Special Forces have accelerated and expanded operations from their bases in Jordan on behalf of the mercenary terrorists – funded by the monarchist Gulf States.

Over 4 million Syrians have fled their homes as refugees and over 200,000 have been killed since the US-EU-Turkey-Saudi-sponsored war against the secular Syrian government was launched four years ago.

Dozens of terrorist, mercenary and sectarian groups have carved up Syria into rival fiefdoms, pillaged its economic and cultural resources and reduced the economy by over ninety percent.

The US-EU-Turkish military intervention extends the war into Iraq, Lebanon and…. Turkey – attacking secular governments, ethnic minority groups and secular civil society.

The feudal, monarchist Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have invaded Yemen with tanks, launching air strikes against a country without any air defenses. Major cities and towns are devastated. Saudi ground troops and armored carriers are killing and wounding thousands – mostly civilians.  The brutal Saudi air and sea blockade of Yemen’s ports have led to a humanitarian crisis, as ten million Yemenis face starvation deliberately imposed by a grotesque and obscenely rich monarchy.

The Yemeni resistance fighters, driven out of the major cities, are preparing for prolonged guerrilla warfare against the Saudi monsters and their puppets. Their resistance has already spread across the frontiers of the absolutist Saudi dictatorship.

The brutal Israeli occupation troops, in collaboration with armed ‘settler’ colonists, have accelerated their violent seizure of Palestinian lands. They have stepped up the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Bedouins, Druze and Christian inhabitants replacing their communities with racist ‘Jews-only’ colonial settlements.

Daily assaults against the huge ‘concentration camps’ of Gaza accompany an armed blockade of land, air and water, preventing the reconstruction of the tens of thousands of homes, schools, hospital, factories and infrastructure, destroyed by last year’s Israeli blitzkrieg.

Israel’s continued annexation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory precludes any diplomatic process; colonial wars have been and continue to be Israel’s policy of choice in dealing with its Arab neighbors and captive populations.

Africa’s wars, resulting from earlier US-EU interventions, continue to ravage-the Continent. Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Libya are riven by bloody conflicts between US-EU backed regimes and armed Islamic and nationalist resistance movements.

Throughout North and Sub-Sahara Africa, US-EU backed regimes have provoked armed upheavals in Libya, Nigeria (Boko Harem), Egypt (ISIS, Moslem Brotherhood et al), Chad, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.

Imperial client Egyptian and Ethiopian dictators rule with iron fists – financed and armed by their EU and US sponsors.

Imperial wars rage throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Hundreds of experienced Baathist Iraqi military officers, who had been expelled or jailed and tortured by the US Occupation army, have now made common cause with Islamist fighters to form ISIS and effectively occupy a third of Iraq and a strategic swath of Syria.

There are daily bombings in Baghdad undermining its US client. Strategic advances by ISIS are forcing the US to resume and escalate its direct combat role

The US-Baghdad retreat and the defeat of the US-trained Iraqi military in the face of the Baathist-Islamist offensive is the opening salvo of a long-term, large-scale war in Iraq and Syria.  The Turkish air-war against the Kurds in Iraq will escalate the war in Northern Iraq and extend it into southeast Turkey.

Closer to ‘home’, the EU-US-backed coup (‘regime change’) in Kiev and the attempt to impose dictatorial-pro-West oligarchic rule in Ukraine have detonated a prolonged civil-national war devastating the country and pitting NATO’s proxies against Russian-backed allies in the Donbas.

US, England, Poland and other NATO powers are deeply committed to pushing war right up to Russia’s borders.

There is a new Cold War, with the imposition of wide-ranging US-EU economic sanctions against Russia and the organizing of major NATO military exercises on Russia’s doorsteps.  It is no surprise that these provocations are met with a major counter-response – the Russian military build-up. The NATO power grab in Ukraine, which first led to a local ethnic war, now escalates to a global confrontation and may move toward a nuclear confrontation as Russia absorbs hundreds of thousands of refugees from the slaughter in Ukraine.

The US puppet regime in Afghanistan has faced a major advance of the Taliban in all regions, including the capital, Kabul.

The Afghan war is intensifying and the US-backed Kabul regime is in retreat. US troops can scarcely advance beyond their bunkers.

As the Taliban military advances, its leaders demand total surrender of the Kabul puppets and the withdrawal of US troops. The US response will be a prolonged escalation of war.

Pakistan, bristling with US arms, faces a major conflict along its borders with India and permanent war in its semi-autonomous Northwest frontier states with Islamist and ethnic Pashtu guerrilla movements backed by mass regional political parties. These parties exercise de facto control over the Northwest region providing sanctuary and arms for Taliban militants operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Armed ethno-religious conflicts persist in western China, Myanmar and northern India. There are large-scale popular resistance movements in the militant northeast Thailand opposed to the current military-monarchist dictatorship in Bangkok.

In the 21st century, in South and Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, war and armed conflicts have become central in resolving ethnic, social, tribal and regional differences with central states: diplomacy and democratic elections have been rendered obsolete and inefficient.

Latin America – On the Verge

Burgeoning violent extra-parliamentary right-wing movements, intent on overthrowing or ‘impeaching’ elected center-left Latin American governments face major confrontations with the state and its mass supporters.

In Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil, US-backed opposition groups are engaged in violent demonstrations, directed toward ousting the elected regimes. In the case of Ecuador, ‘popular sectors’, including some indigenous leaders and sectors of the trade union movement, have called for an ‘uprising’ to oust President Correa.  They seem oblivious of the fact that the hard-right oligarchs who now control key offices in the three principal cities (Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca) will be the real beneficiaries of their ‘uprisings’.

The resurgent Right envisions violent ‘regime change’ as the first step toward ‘wiping the slate clean’ of a decade of social reforms, independent regional organizations and independent foreign policies.

Civil war’ may be too strong a word for the situation in Latin America at this time – but this is the direction which the US-backed opposition is heading. Faced with the mess and difficulty of dislodging incumbent regimes via elections, the US and its local proxies have opted for the choreography of street violence, sabotage, martial law and coups – to be followed by sanitized elections – with US-vetted candidates.

War and violence run rampant through Mexico and most of Central America. A US-backed military coup ousted the popularly elected, independent President Zelaya in Honduras. The ensuing US-proxy regime has murdered and jailed hundreds of pro-democracy dissidents and driven thousands to flee the violence.

The 1990’s US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ in El Salvador and Guatemala effectively blocked any agrarian reform and income redistribution that might have led to the rebuilding of their civil societies. This has led to over two decades of mass disaffection, the rise of armed ‘gangs’ numbering over 100,000 members and an average of six to ten thousand homicides a year with El Salvador becoming the ‘murder capital of the hemisphere’ on a per capita basis. The annual murder toll under the US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ now exceeds those killed each year during the civil war.

The real ‘carnage capital’ of the hemisphere is Mexico. Over 100,000 people have been murdered during the decade-long, US-backed ‘war on drugs’ – a war which has become a state-sponsored war on the Mexican people.

The internal war has allowed the Mexican government to privatize and sell the crown jewels of the national economy – the petroleum industry. While thousands of Mexicans are terrorized and slaughtered, the US and EU oil companies are curiously shielded from the drug lords. The same Mexican government, its police, officials and military, who collaborate with the drug lords in dividing up the billions of drug dollars, protect foreign oil companies and their executives. After all, narco-dollars are laundered by banks in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London to help fuel the speculation!

From Regional to Nuclear Wars

Regional and local wars spread under the shadow of a looming world war. The US moves its arms, planes, bases and operations to the Russian and Chinese borders.

Never have so many US troops and war planes been placed in so many strategic locations, often less than an hour drive from major Russian cities.

Not even during the height of the Cold War, did the US impose so many economic sanctions against Russian enterprises.

In Asia, Washington is organizing major trade, military and diplomatic treaties designed to exclude and undermine China’s growth as a trade competitor. It is engaged in provocative activities comparable to the boycott and blockade of Japan which led to the Second World War in Asia.

Open ‘warfare by proxy’ in Ukraine is perhaps the first salvo of the Third World War in Europe. The US-EU-sponsored coup in Kiev has led to the annexation of Western Ukraine. In response to the threat of violence toward the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea and the loss of its strategic naval base on the Black Sea, Russia annexed Crimea.

In the lead-up to the Second World War, Germany annexed Austria. In a similar manner the US-EU installed a puppet regime in Kiev by violent putsch as its own initial steps toward major power grabs in Central Asia. The military build-up includes the placement of major, forward offensive military bases in Poland.

Warsaw’s newly elected hard-right regime of President Andrzej Duda has demanded that Poland become NATO’s central military base of operation and the front line in a war against Russia.

Wars and More Wars and the Never-ending Torrents of Refugees

The US and EU imperial wars have devastated the lives and livelihoods of scores of millions of people in South Asia, North and Sub-Sahara Africa, Central America, Mexico, the Balkans and now Ukraine.

Four million Syrian refugees have joined millions of Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Yemeni, Somali, Libyan, Palestinian and Sudanese refugees fleeing US-EU bombs, drones and proxy mercenaries ravaging their countries.

Millions of war refugees escape toward safety in Western Europe, joining the millions of economic refugees who have fled free market destitution in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Balkans and other EU satellites.

Panic among the civilian population of Western Europe sets in as hundreds of thousands cross the Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Balkans.

Droves of refugees perish each day. Tens of thousands crowd detention centers. Local labor markets are saturated. Social services are overwhelmed.

The US builds walls and detention camps for the millions trying to escape the harsh consequences of imperial-centered free markets in Mexico, narco-terror and the fraudulent ‘peace accord’-induced violence in Central America.

As Western wars advance, the desperate refugees multiply. The poor and destitute clamber at the gates of the imperial heartland crying: ‘Your bombs and your destruction of our homelands have driven us here, now you must deal with us in your homeland’.

Fomenting class war between the refugees and ‘natives’ of the imperial West – may not be on the agenda . . . for now, but the future for ‘civil’ society in Europe and the US is bleak.

Meanwhile, more and even bigger wars are on the horizon and additional millions of civilians will be uprooted and face the choice of starving, fleeing with their families or fighting the empire. The ranks of seasoned and infuriated resistance fighters are swelling in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere.

The US and EU are becoming armed fortresses. US police deal with the marginalized citizenry as an occupying army, assaulting African-Americans, immigrants and dissidents – while looting poor communities . . . and protecting the rich…

Conclusion

War is everywhere and expanding: No continent or region, big or small, is free from the contagion of war.

Imperial wars have spawn local wars . . . igniting mass flights in a never-ending cycle. There are no real diplomatic success stories! There are no enduring, viable peace accords!

Some pundits may protest this analysis: They point to the recent US – Cuba rapprochement as a ‘success’.  They conveniently forget that the US is still subverting Cuba’s biggest trading partner, Venezuela; that Washington’s major regional proxies are demanding regime change among Cuba’s allies in Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia and that Washington is increasingly threatening Cuba’s alternative markets in Russia and China. The vision of the US flag flapping in the breeze outside its embassy in Havana does little to cover Washington’s iron fist threatening Cuba’s allies.

Others cite the US – Iran peace accord as a major ‘success’. They ignore that the US is backing the bloody Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the massacre of Shiite communities; that the US has provided Israel with a road map detailing Iran’s entire defense system and that the US [Israel] and EU are bombing Iran’s Syrian ally without mercy.

As for the US – Cuba and Iranian agreements– are they enduring and strategic or just tactical imperial moves preparing for even greater assaults?

The war epidemic is not receding.

War refugees are still fleeing; they have no homes or communities left.

Disorder and destruction are increasing, not decreasing; there is no rebuilding the shattered societies, not in Gaza, not in Fallujah, not in the Donbas, not in Guerrero, not in Aleppo.

Europe feels the tremors of a major conflagration.

Americans still believe that the two oceans will protect them. They are told that placing NATO missiles on Russia’s borders and stationing warships off China’s shores and building electrified walls and laying barbed wire along the Rio Grande will protect them. Such is their faith in their political leaders and propagandists.

What a packet of lies! Inter-continental missiles can ‘rain down’ on New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

It is time to wake up!

It is time to stop the US – EU headlong race to World War III!

Where to start? Libya has been irrevocably destroyed; it is too late there! Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are aflame. We are being plunged deeper into war while being told we are withdrawing! Ukraine sucks in more guns and more troops!

Can we really have peace with Iran if we cannot control our own government as it dances to the Israelis tune? And Israel insists on war – our waging war for them! As the Israeli war criminal General and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once told some worried American Zionists: “Trouble with the US? We lead them by the nose…!” 

Just look at the terrified families fleeing carnage in the Middle East or Mexico.

What is to be done?

When will we cut our losses and shake off the bonds of these war makers – foreign and domestic?

August 23, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN Says Continues to Wait for Saudi Arabia’s Aid to Yemen Pledged in April

Sputnik – 20.08.2015

While four out of five Yemenis require humanitarian assistance amid the airstrikes and ground fighting in the country, UN agencies have still not received the funding from Saudi Arabia of $274 million pledged in April, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council Wednesday.

O’Brien noted the humanitarian assistance alone cannot meet all the needs of an entire country with a population of 26 million people, and that the response plan will only be funded at 33 percent even once the funds from Saudi Arabia are received.

“The civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict. A shocking four of out five Yemenis require humanitarian assistance and nearly 1.5 million people are internally displaced… To date only 18 percent, some 282 million US dollars, of the $1.6 billion requested through the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan has been received. UN agencies have still not received the funding from Saudi Arabia of $274 million pledged in April,” O’Brien said in an open briefing.

Yemen has been engulfed in the military conflict between Houthis, the country’s main opposition faction, and government forces loyal to its president in exile.

A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been launching airstrikes on Yemeni areas under control of the Houthi militants since March under the request of the country’s president-in-exile.

The ongoing hostilities in Yemen have claimed the lives of at least 1,900 civilians and more than 4,000 have suffered injuries, according to the United Nations.

Some 21 million are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Nearly 400 kids killed in Yemen since late March: UNICEF

Press TV – August 19, 2015

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says around 400 children have been killed in Yemen since late March, when Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign against its impoverished neighbor.

In a report titled “Yemen: Childhood Under Threat”, the UNICEF said that as many as 398 children have been killed and nearly 600 others sustained injuries since March 26.

“Since the conflict escalated on 26 March 2015,” the report said, “Nearly three children are being killed every day and another five injured.”

The report also described Yemen as one of “the most terrifying places in the world to be a child,” stressing that almost 10 million children are in the dire need of humanitarian assistance.

“Overall, around 1.8 million children are likely to suffer from some form of malnutrition in Yemen in this year alone,” the reports said.

It said that 95 schools have been completely destroyed due to shelling or airstrikes by Saudi Arabia, and 305 other schools have been damaged since the end of March.

It said that almost 3,600 schools have been closed in the country, which has affected over 1.8 million children.

Julien Harneis, the representative for UNICEF in Yemen said, “This conflict is a particular tragedy for Yemeni children.”

“We urgently need funds so we can reach children in desperate need,” said Harneis, adding, “We cannot stand by and let children suffer the consequences of a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Saudi Arabia launched its aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in an effort to undermine Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The UN says the conflict in Yemen has killed more than 4,000 people, nearly half of them civilians, since late March. Local Yemeni sources, however, say the fatality figure is much higher.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

US expands support role in Saudi war on Yemen: Report

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Press TV – August 19, 2015

The United States has more than doubled the number of its military staff “providing intelligence, munitions and midair refueling” for Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on Yemen.

The number of so-called American advisors working at joint military operations centers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has risen from 20 to 45, The Los Angeles Times reports.

In addition, US warships have also helped enforce a naval blockade in the Gulf of Aden and southern Arabian Sea.

US officials stress the sea cordon is intended to prevent weapons shipments to Ansarullah fighters.

However, human rights groups say the blockade has hindered imports of basic commodities, including food and fuel, to the impoverished nation.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in an effort to undermine Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, whose fighters had forced the US-backed president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, into exile.

A US special operations team was deployed at al-Anad, the country’s largest airbase, to collect intelligence and launch drone strikes in southern Yemen, until it was driven out in March as Ansarullah fighters advanced.

American officials said last week that they will not deploy the team back to Yemen until Hadi, the fugitive former president, is restored to power.

The humanitarian situation has become critical in Yemen, with many international aid organizations seeking a safe passage into the country to supply medical and humanitarian supplies to the most affected people.

Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report that the Saudi airstrikes have mostly pounded populated areas with no identifiable military targets nearby, leaving a “bloody trail of civilian death.”

The onslaught has claimed more than 4,300 lives and forced more than 1.3 million others from their homes since March, according to United Nations agencies.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia Builds Naval Base on Occupied Yemeni Island

Al-Manar | August 17, 2015

Saudi Arabia has invaded and occupied Yemen’s strategic Island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean and is now building its biggest naval base there, Fars news agency reported.

“Hundreds of workers from Asian countries have been deployed by the Saudi navy to construct the kingdom’s naval base on the island,” Arabic-language Al-Ittihad news website quoted informed sources as saying on Sunday.

Socotra is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean; the largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95 percent of the landmass of the archipelago. Socotra is located between the continents of Asia and Africa.

Saudi Arabia is launching a wide-scale military campaign against Yemen and it has been striking the impoverished nation for the last 144 days to restore power to fugitive president Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,419 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

August 17, 2015 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia repeating Israel stance on JCPOA: Iran

Press TV – August 11, 2015

Iran has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s anger about Tehran’s recent nuclear agreement with the six world powers, saying the Arab kingdom is rehashing the Israeli regime’s stance against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, said on Tuesday that remarks by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a joint press conference with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Berlin on Monday showed that the JCPOA, which is aimed at ending an “unnecessary crisis,” has incurred the Saudi official’s “irrational wrath.”

“When the senior representative of a regional government is infuriated to such extent by the political settlement of issues in the region and at the international level, it leaves no doubt that he has chosen a life of problems and crisis,” she said.

She expressed regret that the Saudi minister’s remarks about the JCPOA were an “echo of the Zionist regime’s stance.”

The Saudi foreign minister on Monday claimed that despite the Vienna agreement between Iran and the six global powers in July, Iran would go ahead and manufacture nuclear weapons because Tehran has consistently refused to allow nuclear inspectors to visit some of its military sites.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 countries finalized the text of the nuclear agreement in Vienna.

Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has repeatedly stated that it has not and will not have a non-civilian nuclear program, irrespective of the JCPOA.

The UN Security Council on July 20 unanimously endorsed a draft resolution turning the JCPOA into international law. All 15 members of the UN body voted for the draft UN resolution in New York, setting the stage for the lifting of the Security Council sanctions against Iran.

Afkham further pointed to the Saudi foreign minister’s claims about Iran’s uranium enrichment activities, saying, “Such remarks indicate an incorrect comprehension of international relations and the competence of countries.”

In his joint press conference with the German foreign minister, Jubeir aslo claimed that Riyadh is closely monitoring Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Islamic State — New Tool of Washington

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 11.08.2015

A year has passed since the establishment of a rather peculiar state—the Islamic Caliphate. And today, a year later, its “founding fathers,” allies, enemies, objectives and tasks (which will define its further development) can be identified with precision.

Hardly anybody doubts today that the notorious al-Qaeda is responsible for the creation, nurturing and funding with dollars (supplied by the U.S. and their allies from the Persian Gulf region, headed by Saudi Arabia) of a terrorist organization the Islamic State. Al-Qaeda had already been suspected of being an “American mercenary.” That is why it is believed that al-Qaeda was behind the formation of a terrorist organization the Islamic State of Levant in Syria, whose objective was to oppose country’s President Bashar Assad, who, unlike Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen, had been legitimately elected and had never abandoned his country. The members of this organization were those same militants, who had undergone combat training conducted by American military advisors in the territory of Turkey and Jordan and had been supplied with the most advanced weapons. From time to time, in order to acquit themselves, Washington officials would admit that yes, indeed, there were instances when American weapons did not reach the intended people and fell into the wrong hands. However, it is an irrefutable fact that militants of the Islamic State of Levant were much better armed with American weapons as compared to the fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army (an organization, which is now almost completely forgotten).

Despite their high-tech armament, militants and terrorists failed to achieve considerable success, and this is why militants of the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq had to be relocated to the Syrian territory. It should be noted that the CIA spawned this organization during the U.S. occupation of Iraq with the objective of curbing the intentions of Tehran to gain full control over Iraq. Soon this organization, whose core consisted of the former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army and members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, became an influential force, capable of “showing teeth” to its overseas patrons to display their unwillingness to always dance to their tune. There was something about those former members of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (who, perhaps, still maintain their memberships): they were aware of their worth and were very skillful negotiators. After the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq seeped to the territory of Syria, they joined forces with the Islamic State of the Levant. Thus, a new organization was formed — the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which is led by none other than the Head of the Islamic State of IraqIbrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi.

Since the leader of ISIS is a very intriguing and nontrivial character, whose charisma affects all activities of this organization, it would be proper to share a few interesting facts about this individual. According to the official data of the United States Department of Defense, from February to December of 2004 Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi was detained and held as a suspect in Camp Bucca, the largest detention camp in Iraq. But according to the memoirs of the commander of the Camp, US Army Colonel Kenneth King, who remembers this person very well, he is “99 % sure” that the Iraqi prisoner left the Camp not in 2004, but only right before its closing, i.e., at the end of the summer of 2009. The Colonel remembers Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi because when leaving the Camp, he said to his guards, “See you in New York,” because he knew that the guards were from New York and served in the 306th Military Police Battalion.

An unidentified friend of Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi, who was also detained at the Camp, told Iraqi newspaper Al-Fourat about their life in the American Camp Bucca. Only two people were detained in one cell, which was more like a room of a campsite; their daily ration was the same as the ration of a US Army sergeant; they would regularly receive carefully selected fresh press; a TV in the cell was always on; cells were equipped with a powerful AC unit. They would spend a part of their day talking with American advisors, who tried to convert the detainees to their faith. Often pro-American Iraqi university professors would come to teach the prisoners international relations, politics, history and geography. In other words, those prisoners of the Camp, selected for the close cooperation with Americans, not only had to participate in an extensive “counterinsurgency program” from early morning to late evening, but were also trained by American advisors “for future collaborative business.” Perhaps this is why Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi was released only on the 5th year of his imprisonment, or rather “training.”

Truth be told, American advisors, who lack the knowledge of Arab morals and customs, used to make and still make many mistakes. One of the Arab sayings is that, “a Bedouin cannot be enslaved, he can only be killed.” And Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi, not a Bedouin, but an Arab (though a descendant of Bedouins) and a faithful follower of Islam, who after his liberation had at his disposal a powerful organization and plenty of money, started playing by his own rules.

It is peculiar that the interests of this Iraqi and of the Washington rulers still coincide, at least to some extent. It is also noteworthy that the borders of the proclaimed state (Caliphate) perfectly fit the borders of the “Sunni State,” outlined in the map elaborated by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters (at the order of the Pentagon), which was assigned the name the New Middle East. Militants did not immediately head for Baghdad, which is supposed to be the capital of the Caliphate, but took Mosul first, from which the Sunni army of Iraq quietly withdrew leaving behind most of its inventory. Newspaper Al-Mashriq reported that on the day right before the seizure of Mosul, 50 million dollars had been delivered to the city’s Central Bank from Baghdad. Was it a coincidence? Later newspapers wrote that militants acquired a total of 200 million dollars in the Mosul operation.

Simultaneously, by having engaged in battles against Kurds and having threatened Iraqi Kurdistan, militants did an invaluable favor to Washington. First of all, Kurds were then faced with a rather tangible threat, were forced to begin mobilization and had to throw their Peshmerga forces into the battle. Secondly, in the absence of any considerable assistance on the part of the rulers of Baghdad, who were themselves hanging by a thread, dependence of Erbil on the U.S. had increased even more. It is not surprising then that the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter promptly arrived in Kurdistan and held talks with the senior Kurdish leadership, not even having informed the central government of that. The day before, Ashton Carter defined the ground forces of the army of Kurdistan as “powerful and successful” and confirmed his eagerness to meet Barzani who, being the leader of the guerrilla movement, had been opposing the regime of Saddam Hussein for decades. It is no surprise either that the Pentagon intended to deploy American military units, including its elite special forces, in the territory of the autonomous Kurdish region. The Western mass media reported that military machinery, weapons and equipment would be delivered to Kurdistan to arm Kurdish groups countering jihadists of the Islamic State. All these actions were never coordinated with the Iraqi central government, which, as the facts suggest, was no longer viewed by Washington as a real power. By the way, neither such country as Iraq is at present in the Lt. Col. R. Peters’ map, nor its name is mentioned anywhere.

At the same time, unceasing clashes in the northern Iraq forced Turkish government to issue a permission to the US Air Force to use the Incirlik Air Base located in the eastern part of the country to launch air operations against the Islamic State in the territory of Syria. “We have endorsed the agreement pertaining to the Incirlik Air Base. The Base can start operating at any time. First of all, it will be used to target the IS’s facilities in Syria,” the agency quotes the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanju Bilgiç. And recently, the implementation of the agreement on the construction of the Turkey Stream pipeline, signed with Russia, has been considerably slowed down. Based on the opinion of a knowledgeable expert in the field of energy Efgan Nifti, statements made by the Russian party, in which the beginning and end dates of the construction of the gas pipeline were announced, were premature since not all contentious issues had been resolved. The expert stressed that the parties have to find common ground and ensure their interests are harmonized. Apparently, the slowing down of the pipeline construction process was also “accidental.”

So far it looks like the IS is acting in line with the Washington’s interests, and Islamist militants carry out tasks orchestrated by their oversees patrons. But that, as they say, can go on only until the IS matures. The Caliphate was proclaimed in the entire territory of the Arab world and, apparently, Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi is ploughing around in an attempt to find the most vulnerable “link in the chain.” Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi had realized a long time ago that he could not stake on Jordan, as Washington would not give it up. Therefore, he does not seem to show any particular interest in it, though, he would not mind stirring up “an Islamic wave” (and it would not be hard to accomplish) in this small neighboring state. But a solemn pledge to free both holy cities—Mecca and Medina—from the notorious House of Saud has already been made. And, having put all pieces of this crazy jigsaw together, we get a bizarre picture: Saudi Arabia, which played the first fiddle and had made major monetary contributions to support the creation of terrorist organizations (including IS) in Syria to fight President Bashar Assad now faces the risk of falling victim of its own brainchild!

However, these actions of the IS fit perfectly into the map of the New Middle East, in accordance with which, a number of new states controlled by the United States is supposed to emerge in the territory of Saudi Arabia. Besides, when the time of the “one” Saudi Arabia is long gone would there be anybody to recall that almost a trillion dollars, deposited into accounts of American banks, earlier belonged to Saudi citizens? The U.S. would only gain from such a development since, having deployed its military bases in the territory of 140 states worldwide and having put together a huge military budget, the world’s gendarme would be fully insured against claims made by any country. Thus, since the only good enemy is a dead enemy, total destruction of this state would solve all the problems. Such thinking pattern was vividly illustrated in the situation with Iraq.

There we have it: a new American “assistant” with a proven track record of the obedient fulfillment of all uncle Sam’s orders has emerged in the Middle East. And apparently (for the above reasons), militants of the IS and the IS itself will not be at risk of destruction in the near future, as long as they continue launching strikes against victims picked by Washington. And all these speculations and vague hints that the U.S. are presumably countering the IS just do not withstand any criticism because criticism is supported by numerous crying facts.

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US made willful decision to create ISIL: Ex-head of US Defense Intelligence Agency

Press TV – August 8, 2015

The former director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said that the rise of the ISIL terrorist group in Syria was a “willful decision” made by Washington.

An internal DIA study released recently shows Washington knew that the actions of “the West, (Persian) Gulf countries and Turkey” in Syria may create a Takfiri group like the ISIL.

Michael Flynn, the former head of the DIA, has described the study as important and confirmed its findings.

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV, he said he had studied a DIA memo in 2012 predicting the West’s backing of ISIL in Syria, adding it was very clear intelligence.

When the interviewer asked whether the administration turned a blind eye to his analysis, Flynn said, “I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.”

Asked if it was a willful decision to support an insurgency, he responded, “It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.”

He also said he had even argued against sponsoring foreign militants in Syria, noting the reason behind the rise of the ISIL was the US and its allies sponsoring terrorists in Syria to pressure Damascus.

Observers say that the US and its allies helped create and train the terrorist organizations to wreak havoc in Muslim countries.

The ISIL militants have seized large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq. They have been carrying out heinous crimes against all communities in both neighboring Arab states.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Flynn admitted that Washington was well aware of the chaos Iraq would face following its withdrawal in 2011.

US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since early August 2014. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.

Since late September 2014, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

August 8, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Does Bernie Sanders Want the Saudis to Exercise MORE Influence?

By Sam Husseini | August 6, 2015

My colleague Norman Solomon has a piece published today: “Bernie Sanders should stop ducking foreign policy” in which he writes:

“After a question about ‘the military establishment’ and ‘perpetual war’ from a man who identified himself as a veteran for peace at a recent town hall gathering in Iowa City, Sanders’ reply was tepid Democratic boilerplate. He blamed Republican hawks for getting the U.S. into Iraq. He called for progress against waste and cost overruns at the Pentagon. And he said that in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the U.S. government should act jointly with regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey. (‘Those countries are going to have to get their hands dirty, it cannot just be the United States alone.’)

“When pressed for details on military intervention, Sanders has indicated that his differences with the Barack Obama administration are quite minor. Like many Democrats, he supports U.S. air strikes in the Middle East, while asserting that only countries in the region should deploy ground forces there. Sanders shares the widespread view among members of Congress who don’t want boots on the ground but do want U.S. air power to keep dropping bombs and firing missiles.

“Sanders has also urged confronting Russian leader Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. (‘You totally isolate him politically, you totally isolate him economically,’ Sanders said on Fox News last year.) Closer to home, the Vermont senator has championed the $1.4 trillion half-century program for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 beleaguered fighter jets. The Air Force is planning to base F-35s at the commercial airport in Burlington, his state’s largest city.”

I had actually asked Sanders about the F-35 when he was at the Press Club in March of this year and he ducked the question. It was part of what the moderator asked as a two parter and Sanders replied to the other part of the question and simply ignored the question about his backing the F-35. I’ve listed all the questions I submitted below.

However, the aspect of foreign policy as articulated by Sanders that has grabbed me the most is his stance on ISIS — where he points to the Saudis being the solution. He’s said this repeatedly. In February with Wolf Blitzer on CNN: “this war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort.”

And in May, after the Saudi’s started bombing Yemen, also when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, Sanders correctly noted as a result of the Iraq invasion “we’ve destabilized the region, we’ve given rise to Al-Qaeda, ISIS.” But then says: “What we need now, and this is not easy stuff, I think the President is trying, you need to bring together an international coalition, Wolf, led by the Muslim countries themselves! Saudi Arabia is the third largest military budget in the world they’re going to have to get their hands dirty in this fight. We should be supporting, but at the end of the day this is fight over what Islam is about, the soul of Islam, we should support those countries taking on ISIS.”

What? Why should the U.S. be backing Saudi Arabia? You’d think that perhaps an alleged progressive like Sanders would say that we have to break our decades-long backing of the Saudis. But no, he wants to double down on it. They’re not “pulling their weight” — they’re not exercising enough influence in the region. The Saudis have pushed Wahabism and have been deforming Islam, which actually give rise to ISIS and Al Qaeda. It’s a little like Bernie Sanders saying that the Koch Brothers need to get more involved in U.S. politics, they need to “get their hands dirty.”

But if your point is to build up the next stage of the U.S. government’s horrific role in the Mideast, it kind of makes sense. The U.S. government helped ensure the Saudis would dominate the Arabian Peninsula. In return the Saudis invested funds from their oil wealth largely in the West instead of the region. They buy U.S. weapons to further solidify the “relationship” and to ensure their military dominance. The Saudis and other Gulf monarchies deformed the Arab uprisings, which turned oppressive but minimally populist regimes that were potential rivals into failed states.

Perhaps most horrifically, Sanders continued this line of argument in May — after the Saudis started bombing Yemen in March. As far as I can tell, he continues making the argument.

But why? Is there a domestic constituency called “Americans for Further Expanding Saudi Power”? Well, yes and no. It would obviously play well in the general public to say: “We’ve got to stop backing dictatorships like the Saudis.” There’s no affront to any sense of U.S. nationalism there. There would seem to be no affront to the domestic constituencies obsessed with Israeli domination of the region. But the Israeli-Saudi alliance means that there is. It feels to me that Sanders is knowingly or not — I don’t know who his foreign policy advisers are — telegraphing to the Israel fanatic crowd that he’s on board in terms of Israel’s geo-strategic interests in the region. And to the U.S. establishment generally. It’s noteworthy that he’s made the case on Wolf Blitzer’s program, since Blitzer has long been a leading pro-Israel luminary.

The U.S.-Saudi alliance has been one of the plagues that has devastated the Mideast. There’s nothing “progressive” about doubling down on it.

The following are the questions I submitted to the Sanders event at the National Press Club in March. Other than the question about the F-35, which Sanders didn’t respond to, none were asked:

* You’re fond of saying “Wars drain investment at home” — MLK referred to
this in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, the notion that wars drain the public treasury as a “facile” connection — and then listed several other reasons based on other moral grounds for opposing war. You rarely list other reasons for opposing war. Why is that?

* Why do you support the F-35 program?

* On Friday, CIA director John Brennan proposed a restructuring of the CIA to allegedly better confront current threats. Some former CIA analysts however charge that this restructuring will further politicize intelligence, so that “intelligence” will more likely come to “conclusions” that are politically convenient. Is this a growing threat?

* There’s apparently a gag order on acknowledging the Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal, even as many in the US and Israel have charged Iraq and now Iran with having a nuclear weapons program. Do you acknowledge Israel has a nuclear weapons program? Will you change decades-long US policy that refuses to acknowledge this?

* Last summer, the Senate passed a resolution by unanimous consent backing Israel’s “defending itself” from Gaza in the conflict that left about 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza dead. Do you regret not objecting to that resolution?

* Noted historian Alfred McCoy recently wrote: “Under Obama, drones have grown from a tactical Band-Aid in Afghanistan into a strategic weapon for the exercise of global power. From 2009 to 2015, the CIA and the U.S. Air Force deployed a drone armada of over 200 Predators and Reapers, launching 413 strikes in Pakistan alone, killing as many as 3,800 people. ” Are you for or against the drone assassination program?

* You recently said: “I find it remarkable that Saudi Arabia, which borders Iraq and is controlled by a multi-billion dollar family, is demanding that U.S. combat troops have ‘boots on the ground’ against ISIS. Where are the Saudi troops?…With the third largest military budget in the world and an army far larger than ISIS, the Saudi government must accept its full responsibility for stability in their own region of the world.” Are you really wanting the Saudi regime, which has been accused of fomenting violence through the Wahhabi sect, to play a greater role in the region? Will you break with the decades-old alliance with the authoritarian Saudi regime?

* What issues do you agree with some, like Ron Paul, who are associated with the right wing? (Trade? Civil liberties? Cutting military budget? Cutting corporate welfare? Ending bank bailouts?)

Osama “Sam” Husseini is the communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He’s also set up VotePact.org — which helps break out of the two party bind. He’s on twitter: @samhusseini

August 6, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran Accuses US of Already Backtracking on Nuclear Deal

Sputnik | August 4, 2015

Mere weeks after the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 nations was finalized, Tehran has already accused the United States of violating the agreement.

After months of negotiations, the Iran nuclear deal was finalized on July 14. Allowing the Islamic Republic to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the agreement was heralded by the Obama administration as a major success.

“History shows that America must lead not just with our might, but with our principles,” President Obama said in a speech. “It shows we are stronger not when we are alone, but when we bring the world together.”

But according to a new complaint filed with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran feels that the US has already breached its newfound pledge of comradery.

Filed by Iranian Ambassador and Resident Representative Reza Najafi, the complaint refers to statements made by White House press secretary Josh Earnest. These comments occurred during a news briefing on July 17, only three days after a deal was reached.

“The military option would remain on the table, but the fact is, that military option would be enhanced because we’d been spending the intervening number of years gathering significantly more detail about Iran’s nuclear program,” Earnest said.

Iran’s complaint calls Earnest’s statement, essentially threatening military use of force, a “material breach of the commitments just undertaken.”

During the news conference, Earnest went on to say that any future “targeting decisions” would be well informed, “based on the knowledge that has been gained in the intervening years through this inspections regime.”

The complaint points out that the nuclear agreement was never meant as a way for the United States to gain intelligence information through the International Atomic Energy Agency. The very mention of such an act could potentially destroy the trust necessary for international inspections to be carried out.

“Recalling the past instances, in which highly confidential information provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency inspectors had been leaked, posing a grave threat to the national security of Iran… it is absolutely essential and imperative for the Agency to take immediate and urgent action to reject such flagrant abuses…” the complaint reads.

Najafi includes his expectation that the IAEA “condemn categorically the July 17, 2015 statement by the White House Press Secretary.”

While the nuclear agreement is intended to foster the Islamic Republic’s peaceful development of nuclear energy, it has also heralded an uptick in Western aggression in the Middle East. On Tuesday, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman encourage US Senators to expand the Pentagon’s presence in the Persian Gulf.

Iran Nuclear Deal Boosts Saudi Demand for US Weapons Systems

“I think we are going to have to expand our regional military presence to reassure Israel and the Gulf States and to deter Iran,” Edelman said during a hearing on the regional impacts of the nuclear agreement.

Saudi Arabia has also begun bolstering its military capabilities, fearing the growing influence of its regional rival. According to former US Assistant Secretary Lawrence Korb, major US defense contractors have already increased weapons sales to Riyadh.

“The Saudis want the Patriot [air defense] missiles,” Korb told Sputnik on Tuesday. “The Saudis feel that with Iran now getting relief from sanctions… they [Iranians] are going to be more aggressive militarily.”

August 5, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Contributing to Conflict in Yemen

Sputnik – 01.08.2015

WASHINGTON — The United States’ weapons and logistical support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen signals that Washington is backing Riyadh’s goal to crush Houthi rebels despite UN calls for a political solution, experts told Sputnik on Friday.

The United States is providing intelligence and refueling support to enable a four-month-old Saudi-led air campaign against Houthi rebels and allied forces.

On Thursday, Washington decided to provide Riyadh with $500 million in ammunition to replenish stocks used up in the campaign.

“The Saudis want an extended war that leads to a Houthi defeat, and the United States is effectively backing that strategy with the arms deal,” Charles Schmitz, a specialist on Yemen at the Middle East Institute told Sputnik.

“The Saudis don’t want a political settlement; they want a Houthi surrender,” he added.

This week’s $500 million weapons deal, which includes ammunition, tracers, artillery shells and mines, is meant to resupply the Saudi military in its campaign against Houthi rebels, according to the State Department.

The sale was approved as Saudi Arabia has come under criticism for human rights abuses and violations of the international law of war by targeting and killing civilians in Yemen.

The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 1,900 civilians and has injured more than 4,000, according to the UN, while leaving 80 percent of the country in need of humanitarian assistance.

“The new sale by the United States of $500 million of munitions to Saudi Arabia is yet another example of how America is actually an active combatant in the Saudi war on the people of Yemen,” Haykal Bafana, Managing Director of Bafana Advisory, told Sputnik from Sana.

“Whether the US munitions are distributed by Riyadh for use by its Yemeni proxy forces or by the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] itself, the effect is similar: the United States is contributing actively to the deaths of more Yemenis,” Bafana added.

The multi-front war in Yemen pits Houthi rebels and loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s Sunni forces, tribes and south Yemen secessionists based in Aden.

Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and the ISIL have also taken advantage of the situation to strengthen their hold in Yemen.

Saudi trained Yemeni proxies loyal to former president Hadi have recently pushed Houthi forces from Aden as several humanitarian ceasefires and political talks have broken-down.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has delayed a pledge to provide $274 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen as the UN and Riyadh discuss the terms of the assistance, the UN’s humanitarian chief said this week.

August 1, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

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