Making war is a time honored trick by oppressive governments to divert their populations’ attention. From Peter Crowley at antiwar.com:
The excuse is Iran’s alleged support for the Houthis.
The rationalizer is Saudi Arabia.
The internal threat is both real and perceived socioeconomic change in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi regime’s survival mechanism has been to transmute social anxiety into heightened hostility and project it onto Iran.
The result has been the mass bombing and starvation of Yemen. With Iran, there is no sure win, while destroying Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, would be a relative cakewalk.
Problem solved: Saudi social discontent, which may well have caused a revolution, found an outlet in Yemeni mass death, famine and disease. The House of Saud survives.
With oil revenue reductions, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman faced a dilemma: how to maintain exorbitant Saudi royal wealth and the House of Saud’s survival? In 2016, he came up with the what is known as Vision 2030 to modernize Saudi society, at least in appearances. The U.S. media, always seeking an excuse to celebrate Saudi Arabia, salivated. Salman outlaid a social reform agenda to make Saudi Arabia a haven for investment and multinationals, including replacing most foreign workers with Saudis.
A primary goal would be to enact reform that would convince investors that Saudi Arabia did not treat women like movable furniture. Consequently, the first major photogenic, public relations reform allowed women to drive in Saudi Arabia. At last, Saudi Arabia has caught up with the lowest common global denominator for women’s rights! Yet recent jailed women activists in Saudi Arabia seem to suggest that improving women’s rights was more a public relations contrivance than a reality.
Nevertheless, women driving is seen by ultraconservative mullahs and much of the population of Saudi Arabia (though not the elite, who compose most interviewees referenced in popular Western media) as a dangerous change. Talk of social reform has been ongoing since Salman became chair of the Saudi Council for Economic and Development Affairs and Defense Minister in January 2015. Early on, the question became how to pacify one of the world’s most socially conservative societies’ – where women are overseen by male guardianship – response to allowing women to drive, opening movie theaters, cajoling Saudis to work and eliminating much of the country’s extensive welfare system.
To continue reading: Saudis Destroying Yemen To Distract Oppressed Population