Tag Archives: Yemen

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

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“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

250,000 Lives at Risk as US-Backed Saudi Coalition Begins Siege of Yemeni Port, by Middle East Monitor

Nothing good will come from this siege, and many innocent Yemenis will die. From the Middle East Monitor via theantimedia.org:

The Saudi-led coalition has launched an attack on Yemen’s port city Hudaydah, Al Jazeera reported today.

Air strikes began pounding Hudaydah, supporting a ground assault by the Yemeni government led by internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Houthi positions on the outskirts including Seham and Qazabah have been targeted already.

The Yemen National Army’s open source network on Telegram began referring to the attack as operation “golden victory.”

Early this morning, the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV channel reported targeting Saudi-led coalition warships in the Red Sea. Two missiles were used to attack the warships, causing damage to them. No other information on casualties was given.

The move comes as part of efforts to regain control of Hudaydah, Yemen’s most strategic port which serves as much as 80 per cent of aid for Yemenis in addition to its positioning in the Bab Al Mandeb strait, a vital maritime shipping route. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a member of the coalition, set yesterday as a deadline for the Houthis to withdraw from Hudaydah under UN-led negotiations or attack. Negotiations broke down and UN staff evacuated in fear of a lethal attack.

It is estimated that 250,000 lives will be impacted by the attack on Hudaydah, according to the United Nations. Without access to the civilians caught up in the crossfire there will be catastrophic humanitarian and infrastructure impacts, human rights groups have warned.

Weapons smuggling into Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition continues to accuse the Houthis of using the Hudaydah port to smuggle Iranian weapons, despite the coalition continually monitoring the Bab Al Mandeb strait which leads to the port. There has been no empirical evidence to suggest that the Houthis are receiving arms via the Hudaydah port. UN experts part of the Yemen panel, continue to question the accusation.

To continue reading: 250,000 Lives at Risk as US-Backed Saudi Coalition Begins Siege of Yemeni Port

Arms and Influence, How the Saudis Took Donald Trump for a Ride, by Ben Freeman and William Hartung

Why the Saudis usually get what the Saudis usually want…and have for over 70 years. From Ben Freeman and William Hartung at tomdispatch.com:

It’s another Trump affair — this time without the allegations of sexual harassment (and worse), the charges and counter-charges, the lawsuits, and all the rest. So it hasn’t gotten the sort of headlines that Stormy Daniels has garnered, but when it comes to influence, American foreign policy, and issues of peace and war, it couldn’t matter more or be a bigger story (or have more money or lobbyists involved in it). Think of it as the great love affair of the age of Trump, the one between The Donald and the Saudi royals. And if there’s any place to start laying out the story, it’s naturally at a wedding, in this case in a tragic ceremony that happened to take place in Yemen, not Washington.

On Sunday, April 22nd, planes from a Saudi Arabian-led coalition dropped two bombs on a wedding in Yemen. The groom was injured, the bride killed, along with at least 32 other civilians, many of them children.

In response, the Saudis didn’t admit fault or express condolences to the victim’s families. Instead, they emphasized that their “coalition continues to take all the precautionary and preventative measures” to avoid civilian casualties in Yemen. This disconnect between Saudi rhetoric and the realities on the ground isn’t an anomaly — it’s been the norm. For four years, the Saudis and their allies have been conducting airstrikes with reckless abandon there, contributing to a staggering civilian death toll that now reportedly tops 10,000.

The Saudis and their close ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have repeatedly reassured American policymakers that they’re doing everything imaginable to prevent civilian casualties, only to launch yet more airstrikes against civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, funerals, and marketplaces.

For example, last May when Donald Trump landed in Saudi Arabia on his first overseas visit as president, Saudi lobbyists distributed a “fact sheet” about the prodigious efforts of the country’s military to reduce civilian casualties in Yemen. Five days after Trump landed in Riyadh, however, an air strike killed 24 civilians at a Yemeni market. In December, such strikes killed more than 100 Yemeni civilians in 10 days. The Saudi response: condemningthe United Nations for its criticisms of such attacks and then offering yet more empty promises.

To continue reading: Arms and Influence, How the Saudis Took Donald Trump for a Ride

Yemeni Rebels Begin Attacking Saudi Oil Infrastructure: You Know What That Means, by Darius Shahtahmasebi

The Yemenis are taking the war to the Saudis. From Darius Shahtahmasebi at theantimedia.org:

The Houthi rebels in Yemen, officially known as Ansurallah, have vowed to intensify rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia’s critical oil infrastructure, warning that they are now manufacturing their own ballistic missiles to achieve those aims, the Financial Times reports.

The threat comes at a time when Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia have begun to increase. Just this Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s air defense system intercepted four ballistic missiles over the southwestern region of Jizan. The debris of those missiles reportedly killed one person. Just a week prior, two other missiles were launched at the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) facilities on the Red Sea.

At the beginning of April, the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center noted that the Houthis claimed to have carried out three separate rocket attacks on Aramco facilities in ten days, including an attack on a Saudi oil tanker, which suffered some damage and led to the intervention of a coalition naval vessel, which in turn repelled the attack.

The Houthis also unveiled their new Badr-1 surface-to-surface weapon system (a heavy artillery rocket system) approximately a week prior, which the rebels claimed they had used to attack Aramco facilities.

Mohammed al-Boukhaiti, a member of the Houthi political council, also told the Financial Times that these attacks were “only the beginning of the response” to the death of Houthi leader Saleh al-Samad, who was killed by Saudi air strikes in April.

“Yemenis will not pass on the death of Samad easily and they will do their best to take revenge for him,” Mr. Boukhaiti said.

Boukhaiti also dismissed allegations that Iran has supplied the Houthis with sophisticated missiles, claiming instead that the rebels have been developing and manufacturing their own rockets and drones.

“The Yemenis have added new systems for manufacturing missiles, so more missiles are targeting Saudi Arabia as a part of an escalation,” Mr. Boukhaiti also said.

To continue reading: Yemeni Rebels Begin Attacking Saudi Oil Infrastructure: You Know What That Means

Green Berets Are Now On The Ground Assisting The Saudi War On Yemen In “A Marked Escalation”, by Tyler Durden

The above is the most predictable headline of the year…so far. With the feckless Saudis unable to bomb Yemen into submission, it was only a matter of time before the Saudis’ BFF, the US, would start sending troops to Yemen to “help them out.” From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Once again a creeping, years’ long shadow war is expanding from indirect proxy intervention to direct engagement, complete with US “boots on the ground” where no American ground forces were previously thought to exist.

And it’s not Syria, or Libya, or central Africa where the now familiar pattern played out before, but in the Arabian peninsula where the Pentagon has long claimed to merely coordinate intelligence, refuel jets, and provide logistical support to the Saudis which have been bombing Yemen since March of 2015.

On Thursday The New York Times revealed for the first time that US special forces have been on the ground supporting Saudi coalition forces since late last year:

But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.

With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.

According to the report, the elite Army operators were sent to assist the Saudis starting in December, weeks after ballistic missiles fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels came close to directly hitting Riyadh’s international airport, though the Saudis claimed to have intercepted it – a claim which was subsequently cast into doubt by weapons experts.

At that point, a worried Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly renewed calls for the the United States to send ground troops in order to bolster Saudi-led operations aimed at rooting out the source of the sophisticated Yemeni missile attacks, which have occurred on multiple occasions over the past year of fighting.

Like all administrations going back to 2001, the White House is relying on the the 9/11-era Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) to give legal justification for its actions in the Arabian peninsula. But this time the target is not primarily al-Qaeda, ISIS, or Sunni Islamist militants, but Iran — which the Trump administration has repeatedly accused of supplying Yemen’s Shia Houthis with its ballistic missile arsenal.

To continue reading: Green Berets Are Now On The Ground Assisting The Saudi War On Yemen In “A Marked Escalation”

New Satellite Imagery Shows Shocking Yemen Devastation As Saudi Crown Prince Tours US, by Tyler Durden

Everybody’s rolling out the red carpet for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is, with US help, waging a horrific war in Yemen. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Saudi Arabia and other oil rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allied states like the UAE have long managed to escape the scrutiny of media and international human rights bodies thanks to their deep pockets and security relationship with the West. Their collective oil, weapons, and infrastructure investment interdependency with Britain and the US have generally translated into Western governments, media, and human rights organizations toeing the party line on the gulf sheikhdoms, content to (with a few sporadic exceptions) uncritically present them as some kind of “reform-minded” terror-fighting benevolent monarchies looking out for democratic interests and championing human rights.

This is currently being demonstrated more than ever during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) extensive and ongoing tour of the United States after a visit to the UK earlier this month. The kingdom’s heir apparent landed in Washington nearly two weeks ago and met with Trump and other high US officials before embarking on a multi-city tour across the United States.

 Last Tuesday MBS met with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Kissinger, Senator Chuck Schumer, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during a stop in New York City.  On Friday, he also met with the CEOs of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, James Gorman and Jamie Dimon.

He is scheduled to stop in Seattle and then California over the weekend, where he plans to strengthen ties with tech companies while meeting with Northwest business leaders.

Not unexpectedly, mainstream media and politicians have fawned over the 32-year old prince’s visit. Americans can even find a slick, nearly 100-page, ad-free magazine at their local supermarket newsstand which is entirely devoted to praising MBS and his “New Kingdom” (in the words of the magazine’s title), produced by the owner of the National Enquirer – American Media Inc.

To continue reading: New Satellite Imagery Shows Shocking Yemen Devastation As Saudi Crown Prince Tours US