June 23, 2019

WAHHABIST-IN-CHIEF:

Washington Has Become an Accomplice to Murder (DOUG BANDOW, June 20, 2019, American Conservative)

Tensions with Iran might be rising, but American forces are already are at war in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. is backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in their bloody conflict against Yemen, and the Trump administration is acting as PR agent and bodyguard for the two royal families.

The conflict violates American values and hurts U.S. interests. Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians have been killed with Washington's assistance. U.S. support for this murderous war of aggression may also be creating new terrorists who could target America in the future.

Modern Yemen was born in conflict some six decades ago. The territory included an independent kingdom and British colony. For a time, Egyptian and Saudi troops backed warring Yemeni regimes. The two Yemens became one in 1990 and Ali Abdullah Saleh was elected president. Yet Saudi Arabia continued to meddle, promoting intolerant Wahhabism, which further upset Yemen's internal balance. 

In 2004, Ansar Allah or Partisans of God, popularly known as the Houthis, rose against Saleh. The Houthis are dominated by Zaydi Shia (which differ theologically from Iranian Shia). When the Arab Spring washed over Yemen in 2011, Saleh was ousted. He then made common cause with his former enemies, the Houthis, and together they kicked out his successor, President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, four years later.

None of this had anything to do with Iran, which area specialists affirm exercised little influence over any Yemeni faction. And the Houthis had no designs against Saudi Arabia or America. They were focused on consolidating power against their domestic enemies.

However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened militarily in 2015 in hopes of returning Hadi to his presidential quarters in Sanaa. The war was expected to be a cakewalk, lasting just a few weeks.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi squeezed contributions from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan--that regime's notorious Janjaweed militia--as well as Qatar, before they turned against the latter. The "coalition" also enlisted Yemeni factions, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

As usual, Iran is on the right side here.

Posted by at June 23, 2019 6:35 PM

  

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