Tag Archives: Yemen

US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms, by Tyler Durden

Seventeen years after Al-Qaeda supposedly blew up the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, the US is cooperating with them in Yemen…as it did in Syria and Iraq. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Perhaps we could simply shrug our shoulders and say it’s better late than never for the mainstream media.

A new Associated Press report confirms what was long ago detailed by a number of independent investigative journalists, and even in some instances buried deep within sporadic mainstream reports of past years: the US-coalition in Yemen is actually cooperating with al-Qaeda terrorists in the campaign to dislodge Shia Houthi militants.

The AP report begins dramatically as follows:

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

And contrary to the normative response of US officials to such allegations, which as in the case of US support to jihadists in Syria typically runs something like “we didn’t know” while hiding behind a system of ‘plausible deniability’  in the case of Yemen officials involved have now admitted to the AP that coalition allies knowingly allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to survive and flourish. 

Somewhat surprising for the AP, its report underscores this with zero ambiguity, even illustrating for the reader the terrorists’ linkage to 9/11:

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

To continue reading: US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms

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US Supports Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen, by Kathy Kelly

Many Yemenis are being apprehended and disappear into United Arab Emirate-run facilities, never to be heard from again. From Kathy Kelly at antiwar.com:

“If they would just confirm to us that my brother is alive, if they would just let us see him, that’s all we want. But we can’t get anyone to give us any confirmation. My mother dies a hundred times every day. They don’t know what that is like.”

Witness Against Torture activists protest at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates on January 9, 2018. Photo credit: Witness Against Torture.

In July of 2018, an Amnesty International report entitled “God Knows If He’s Alive,” documented the plight of dozens of families in southern Yemen whose loved ones have been tortured, killed, or forcibly disappeared by Yemeni security forces reporting to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that, with vital US support, has been bombarding and blockading famine and disease-ravaged Yemen for three brutal years. The disappearances, and torture, can sadly be laid at the doorstep of the United States.

One testimonial after another echoes the sentiments of a woman whose husband has been held incommunicado for more than two years. “Shouldn’t they be given a trial?” she asked. “Why else are there courts? They shouldn’t be disappeared this way – not only are we unable to visit them, we don’t even know if they are dead or alive.”

The report describes bureaucratic farces in which families beg for information about their loved ones’ whereabouts from Yemeni prosecutors and prison officials, but the families’ pleas for information are routinely met with silence or intimidation.

The families are appealing to an unelected Yemeni exile government whose president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, (when “elected” president in 2012, he was the only candidate) generally resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The UAE has, so far, supported Hadi’s claim to govern Yemen. However, the Prosecutor General of Hadi’s government, as well as other officials, told Amnesty International the government of Yemen has no control over operations “spearheaded by the UAE and implemented by the Yemeni forces it backs.”

When months and years pass and families of people who are missing still have no news about their loved ones, some try to communicate unofficially with prison guards or with former detainees who have been released from various detention sites. They repeatedly hear stories about torture of detainees and rumors about prisoners who died in custody.

To continue reading: US Supports Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen

 

Middle East Alliances, Old and New, by Rebecca Gordon

A review of US policies and wars in the Middle East, and it’s not very pretty. From Rebecca Gordon at tomdispatch.com:

My father and I always had a tacit agreement: “We will never speak of That Part of the World.” He’d grown up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Norfolk, Virginia. His own father, a refugee from early-twentieth-century pogroms in what is now Ukraine, had been the president of his local Zionist organization. A liberal in most things (including his ardent opposition to both of the U.S. wars against Iraq), my father remained a Zionist to his dying day. We both knew that if we were ever to have a real conversation about Israel/Palestine, unforgivable things would be said.

As a child in the 1950s, I absorbed the ambient belief that the state of Israel had been created after World War II as an apology gift from the rest of the world to European Jews who had survived the Holocaust. I was raised to think that if the worst were to happen and Jews were once again to become targets of genocidal rage, my family could always emigrate to Israel, where we would be safe. As a young woman, I developed a different (and, in retrospect, silly) line on That Part of the World: there’s entirely too much sun there, and it’s made them all crazy.

It wasn’t until I’d reached my thirties that I began to pay serious attention to the region that is variously known as the Middle East, the Arab world, or the Greater Middle East and North Africa. And when I did, I discovered how deep my ignorance (like that of so many fellow Americans) really was and how much history, geography, and politics there is to try to understand. What follows is my attempt to get a handle on how the Trump presidency has affected U.S. policy and actions in That Part of the World.

Old Alliances…

The United States has a long-standing and deep alliance with Israel. During the Cold War, Washington viewed that country as its bulwark in the oil-rich region against both a rising pan-Arab nationalism and real or imagined Soviet encroachments. In fact, according to the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $134.7 billion current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding.”

To continue reading: Middle East Alliances, Old and New

 

Saudis Destroying Yemen To Distract Oppressed Population, by Peter Crowley

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

As World Rejoices Over Rescue of Thai Boys, Yemen’s Kids Are Forgotten, by Whitney Webb

Imagine if there had been 5,000 kids trapped in the cave in Thailand, and they had all died. That’s pretty much the reality in Yemen, to which the world pays a fraction of the attention it paid to the Thai soccer team. From Whitney Webb at theantimedia.org:

Thanks to a major international effort, a Thai youth soccer team has been successfully rescued from the cave where it has been trapped for nearly 15 days. The boys’ plight and the efforts to rescue them have captured the world’s attention for several days, dominating news headlines throughout much of the world. Ultimately, most of the boys were rescued thanks in large part to an international collaboration as divers from several countries united to save them. Indeed, the rescue team was composed of five foreign divers paired with five Thai Navy SEALs as well as a team of 70 support divers, 50 of whom were from other nations.

The successful rescue of the Thai youth team undoubtedly stands as a testament to how international collaboration stemming from international awareness – thanks in part to in-depth news coverage – can overcome impossible odds to save the lives of children and others in need. Yet, while the now-rescued Thai youth recover out of harm’s way, children elsewhere whose lives are also in danger cannot expect similar treatment.

This is particularly true for the tens of thousands of Yemeni children facing death from starvation, a preventable cholera outbreak, and a daily barrage of airstrikes among other threats posed by a Saudi-led war on the country. These children’s lives have become reduced to a grueling fight for survival as the Saudi-led coalition’s fight to dislodge the Houthi Ansar Allah government from power continues to target Yemen’s civilians in the most unconscionable of ways. Indeed, total war has been the coalition’s modus operandi since the conflict began in 2015 and the heavy toll it has exacted is clear.

To continue reading: As World Rejoices Over Rescue of Thai Boys, Yemen’s Kids Are Forgotten

Outrage, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

It seems like everybody is outraged by something out there, but all the outrage is invariably selective. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Yes, you have every right to be outraged at the disgraceful treatment of children on America’s borders. But that does not give you the right to NOT be outraged by what America has done and is today still doing to children in, just to name a few places, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Be outraged, but don’t make it an echo chamber issue. Because if you do, you, too, are in a cage.

So if you see the wives of former presidents speak out about the child separation policies, ask yourself where they get the moral authority to speak out on such issues, after their husbands have bombed the crap out of many countries, killing many many children in the process. And don’t let’s get started about Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State.

Presently in Yemen, 20 million people depend on humanitarian aid, and the US are helping Saudi Arabia et al bomb the only port left through which that aid can reach them, to smithereens. 8.5 million Yemenis are already starving, and some 3 million of them are children. Where is your outrage over that?

Where is the outrage over the American and international treatment of Julian Assange, who has been in the Ecuador embassy in London for six years today? Where is it?

Don’t get coaxed into selective outrage by your news media, who like nothing better than to tell you what to be outraged by, and what not. If you allow that to happen, you have lost your freedom and your independence. Ask why they tell you a certain story at the moment they tell it. Ask why they tell it the way they do.

Yes, it has come to this. Every single story you read or hear needs to be scrutinized. Because there’s an agenda behind all of them, left, right or middle. And because the media have figured out that constantly driving you from one selective outrage to another is very profitable for them. Critical thought is not.

Yes, there are sociopaths in the Trump administration. But that’s nothing new. There have been sociopaths in every administration. It’s how our political systems work. Sh*t floats to the top.

To continue reading: Outrage

“No Escape”: Don’t Expect A Yemeni Version Of The White Helmets, by Tyler Durden

Nobody caterwauls for innocent victims and dead children when they’re victims of a US ally’s war. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Have you noticed the almost complete lack of video footage showing the ongoing Arab and US coalition aerial bombardment of Yemen’s key port city of Al Hudaydah?

Reuters reports the following:

“People are scared. The warships are terrifying and warplanes are flying overhead all the time,” university student Amina, 22, who lives near the port, told Reuters by telephone.

“People are fleeing the city to the countryside, but for those with no relatives there or money, there is no escape.”

Don’t expect a Yemeni version of the “White Helmets” to emerge with high-tech cameras, slick new gear, and professional uniforms capturing Yemen’s starvation and slow death under US, Saudi, and UAE warplanes.

Smoke rises from Al Hudaydah city of Yemen after Saudi-led coalition air attack. Image source: Anadolu, Getty

Don’t expect prime time news broadcasts to feature images of emaciated Yemeni babies — easily located on social media channels in the thousands.

And yet he numbers are staggering, as Reuters reports further:

The United Nations says 22 million Yemenis need humanitarian aid, and the number at risk of starvation could more than double to more than 18 million by year end unless access improves.

No, there won’t be rebel leaders in Yemen beamed into CNN studios via Skype to detail the suffering of civilians under the brutal siege, because this isn’t Syria… it’s Yemen, where the US and its allies have not only imposed a full military blockade of land, air, and sea on an urban population of half a million people, but have also ensured a complete media blackout of on the ground footage and reporting.

As we noted in our initial coverage the complete media and humanitarian blockade on the contested port city of Al Hudaydah means confirmation of the rapidly unfolding events have been hard to come by, though we featured what’s purported to be some of the earliest social media footage of the assault, now in its second day.

To continue reading: “No Escape”: Don’t Expect A Yemeni Version Of The White Helmets