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Presence of Foreign Forces in Yemen Unjustifiable: Ansarullah

Al-Manar | December 12, 2018

Spokesman for Yemen’s revolutionary Ansarullah movement Mohammad Abdulsalam, who heads a delegation in the ongoing peace talks in Sweden, said the presence of foreign forces in the Arabian Peninsula country cannot be justified.

Speaking to the Arabic-language al-Masirah TV on Tuesday night, Abdulsalam said the foreign troops’ presence in Yemen is contrary to the country’s constitution and UN Security Council resolutions.

“The presence of foreign forces in Yemen is not justified as long as our approach is political settlement (of the crisis),” he said.

Yemen’s occupied areas are now controlled by foreigners such as British, Saudi and Emirati forces, not a group that calls itself “legitimate”, he added, referring to the Yemeni exiled government which claims legitimacy.

The Ansarullah spokesman went on to say that no party could demand the presence of foreign forces in Yemen.

Abdulsalam further said that in the UN-brokered peace talks in Stockholm, Sweden, the two sides have reached some agreements on ceasefire in some areas.

The talks opened Thursday on an upbeat note, with the warring sides agreeing to a broad prisoner swap, boosting hopes that the talks would not deteriorate into further violence as in the past.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led Coalition, in a bid to restore control to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is Riyadh’s ally.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured in the strikes launched by the coalition, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.

Some 8.4 million Yemenis are facing starvation as a result of the Saudi-led aggression, although the United Nations has warned that will probably rise to 14 million.

Three-quarters of impoverished Yemen’s population, or 22 million people, require aid.

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Yemen: Houthis Urge Transitional Gov’t With All Parties

teleSUR | December 10, 2018

The Houthi’s main negotiator, Mohammed Abdusalam, said Saturday that any political solution to the Saudi-led war on Yemen should start with outlining a transitional period with an exact timeframe that should include all political parties.

Abdusalam also said the city of Hodeidah should be declared a “neutral zone” and that the United Nations could play a role in managing the Sanaa airport. His comments were made in the context of U.N.-sponsored peace talks that seek to put an end to almost four years of conflict.

The Houthis control major population centers in Yemen, including the capital Sanaa and the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions of people. The Saudi coalition’s siege on the port this year has caused food and medicine shortages, leading to widespread cases of starvation.

“It (Hodeidah) should be a neutral zone apart from the conflict, and the military brigades that came from outside Hodeidah province should leave,” Abdusalam told Reuters.

Asked if Houthi forces would then withdraw from Hodeidah, Abdusalam said: “There will be no need for military presence there if battles stop … Hodeidah is an economic hub and it should stay that way for the sake of all Yemenis.”

“We have proposed to the U.N. to oversee the port and supervise its logistics… inspections, revenues, and all the technical issues,” he said.

It is unclear who will control the city if both forces leave but Yemen’s internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is sticking to its position that Hodeidah should be under its control.

On the issue of reopening the Sanaa airport, Abdusalam said the Houthis were open to the possibility of a U.N. role at the airport to secure an agreement to reopen it. The Houthis hold control of the airport, but Saudi-led forces have secured control of the airspace and have bombed the facility several times.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government has proposed reopening the Houthi-held airport in the capital Sanaa on condition planes are inspected in the airports of Aden or Sayun which are under its control, two government officials said Friday.

The Houthi delegation rejected the proposal but insist they are open to a U.N. role.

Many Yemeni factions are involved in the war that pits the Houthis against a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Yemen’s war and the ensuing economic collapse has left 15.9 million people, 53 percent of the population, facing “severe acute food insecurity.” According to a recently-published study by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the armed conflict has claimed the lives of over 50,000 people.

Humanitarian groups say peace is the only way of ending the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. The areas hit with extreme hunger are also the areas where there is active fighting.

No peace talks have been held since 2016, and the last attempt in Geneva in September failed when the Houthis did not attend [*]. These peace talks are due to last until Dec. 13.


* Saudi-backed delegates leave Yemen peace talks

Press TV – September 8, 2018

A delegation from Yemen’s former government has left UN-brokered talks in Geneva after representatives of the Houthi movement were prevented by Saudi Arabia from attending the negotiations.

“The government delegation is leaving today,” said an official from the Saudi-backed team on Saturday, referring to the former Yemeni administration. “There are no expectations the Houthis are coming,” he added.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told a news conference that the Houthis were “keen” to get to Geneva.

“They would have liked to get here. We didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” he said.

Ansarullah accused the Saudis of planning to strand the delegation in Djibouti, where their plane was to make a stop en route to Geneva.

The Saudis were “still refusing to give permission to an Omani plane” to land at the Yemeni capital Sana’a and take the delegation to Geneva, the movement said.

It posted a statement, saying the Houthis needed to “ensure the safety of the delegation” and require a guarantee that they would be allowed to return “smoothly” to Sana’a airport. … Full article

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Loophole in Bernie Sanders’ Yemen Bill Actually Allows Continued US Involvement in Yemen

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | December 3, 2018

Last week, many celebrated the advancement of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 54, which had been introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as a sign that the U.S. Congress was finally willing to act to reduce the U.S.’ culpability for the situation in Yemen, currently the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The bill, which will be voted on by the Senate this week, has been praised by many within the anti-war movement for its bid to “end” U.S. military involvement in Yemen. Passage of the bill would, however, do no such thing.

Much of the media coverage of the bill has noted that the resolution invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which prohibits the president from deploying U.S. troops into armed conflicts without congressional approval. Though that resolution has been ignored many times since its passage, particularly since the War on Terror began in 2001, SJR 54 has been promoted as a “progressive” effort to bring the U.S.’ military adventurism to heel at a time when Saudi Arabia — one of the two countries leading the war against Yemen – is under increased scrutiny.

Yet, the text of the bill itself reveals that SJR 54 invokes the War Powers Resolution in name only. Indeed, while the bill claims to be aimed at achieving “the removal of United State Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress,” it contains a major loophole that will allow the majority of U.S. troops in Yemen – if not all – to stay.

As the bill states, it will require the president to remove troops “except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al Qaeda or associated forces.” Notably though, the only U.S. troops “on the ground” in Yemen that are involved in “hostilities” (i.e., combat operations) are those that are allegedly involved in operations targeting Al Qaeda — operations that the U.S. frequently conducts jointly with the countries waging war against western Yemen, such as the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. troops deployed in Yemen to target Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also collaborate with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in “intelligence sharing,” “midair refueling,” and “overhead reconnaissance” for forces involved in counterterrorism operations that the U.S. is leading. This cooperation is what the very text of SJR 54 claims to want to end, but only in regard to the coalition’s war in western Yemen. However, the current text of the bill would allow all of this cooperation to continue, just not in areas where there are no claims of AQAP presence.

Thanks to the loophole in SJR 54, all that would need to change for the U.S. military’s assistance to the Saudi/UAE coalition to remain as is would be for either the Saudis, Emiratis or the U.S. to claim that there is an AQAP presence – however small – in an area they wish to target. Given that AQAP regularly collaborates with coalition forces elsewhere in Yemen, the coalition would only need move AQAP forces near a site in western Yemen that they wish to bomb in order for U.S. military involvement in its war against Yemen’s resistance to continue unimpeded.

Alternatively, either of those countries could supply “intelligence” that would seek to link Yemen’s resistance movement Ansarullah or the Houthis to AQAP, thus allowing U.S. involvement in the coalition’s war in Yemen to continue unchanged. This is a very likely scenario if SJR 54 is passed given that some top Trump administration officials have a history of providing false intelligence in order to justify aggressive policies and push for military intervention abroad. Furthermore, the Trump administration also has experience linking countries it doesn’t like to Al Qaeda without evidence in order to justify such policies. Thus, linking Yemen’s resistance movement to AQAP despite a lack of evidence is something the Trump administration would likely pursue were this bill to pass in its current form.

In addition, the Sanders-introduced bill will do nothing to stop the U.S.’ use of drone strikes that regularly kill scores of civilians in Yemen. Indeed, a recent investigation conducted by the Associated Press found that at least one-third of all Yemenis killed by U.S. drone strikes in Yemen were civilians, many of them children. Even though U.S. intelligence has regularly shown that the U.S. drone war in Yemen actually strengthens AQAP, this bill would do nothing to stop the U.S. military’s deadliest practice in Yemen, with a documented history of murdering civilians.

The bill’s failure to touch on the U.S. drone war in Yemen is unsurprising given that Bernie Sanders — who introduced SJR 54 — supported drone strikes and the controversial “kill lists” during the Obama administration. Furthermore, when asked on Meet the Press in 2015 if his foreign policy if elected President would involve the use of drones and Special Forces in military operations overseas, Sanders stated that it would involve “all of that and more.”

SJR 54 as mostly kabuki

Given the fact that SJR 54 provides a huge loophole that would prevent it from having the advertised effect, it seems that the measure is meant to serve other purposes, namely political, instead of its stated purpose of ending U.S. military involvement in Yemen. The bill appears to be little more than a PR stunt by Democrats and Democratic-aligned senators to distance themselves from Republicans.

This is supported by the fact that not a single Democrat in the Senate voted against the bill last week, while several Senate Democrats had voted against it earlier this year, setting up the case that only Republicans are against halting the U.S.-backed war in Yemen. Another suggestion that this is the case is how the media widely reported the vote as a “rebuke” of President Trump, as is the fact that 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, such as Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, co-sponsored this bill even though they both hold pro-war positions regarding another Middle Eastern country, Iran.

The “anti-war” credentials of Warren — as well as Bernie Sanders, who wrote SJR 54 — have long been questionable, particularly after they both backed James Mattis as Secretary of Defense even though he had led the U.S. assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, an attack that killed thousands of civilians and used chemical weapons that still cause birth defects in those born in Fallujah over a decade later.

Though the death of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi has been blamed for the change of heart of Senate Democrats and some Republicans, reporting from MintPress and others has shown that the “outrage” regarding Khashoggi’s death is not about “human rights” but about money and pushing Saudi Crown Prince to move forward with expensive weapons deals and the neoliberalization of Saudi state assets that he had tried to back away from. Viewing the situation from this lens, SJR 54 seems little more than a PR effort to cast Democrats as “anti-war” when they are just as beholden to the military-industrial complex as the Republicans.

Yet, most importantly, the toothless text of SJR 54 shows that relying on either of the corporate, war-loving political parties in the U.S. to end the country’s involvement in the war in Yemen is misguided, as such action if more likely to come about from sustained public pressure or grassroots activism than from politicians beholden to special interests such as the Saudi or weapons lobbies.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

December 4, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Pro-Israel groups attack Rand Paul for blocking $38 billion to Israel

If Americans Knew | November 27, 2018

Free Beacon reports that “pro-Israel groups in America are mobilizing against Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) for blocking the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel.”

Paul has placed a “block” on legislation to give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years – $23,000 per every Jewish Israeli family of four. This is the largest military aid package in U.S. history and amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second. A stack of $38 billion dollar bills would reach ten times beyond the international space station.

A block is a legislative procedure in which a senator calls on the floor leader not to move forward with a bill and indicates that the senator may filibuster against it.

Jewish News Syndicate reported last week that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had sent an action alert to its members calling on them to pressure Paul to remove his block on the bill, ‘‘S. 2497 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.’

Now, according to Free Beacon, a right-wing pro-Israel website, AIPAC has also been purchasing advertisements on Facebook attacking Paul “as the primary Senate force blocking the reauthorization of the U.S.-Israel security pact.”

AIPAC Facebook ad against Rand Paul

Another pro-Israel group, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), has also reportedly organized an email blitz to pressure Paul to remove his hold, and has “invested heavily” in ads in Kentucky targeting Rand’s constituents.

According to Free Beacon, “Paul, a proponent of ending U.S. aid across the globe, has had multiple confrontations with the pro-Israel community over the years as result of his views. Paul has sought to hold up U.S. aid to Israel multiple times over the years, creating friction between him and top U.S. pro-Israel lobbying shops.”

Yesterday CUFI sent an email to supporters around the country saying: “Sen. Rand Paul is blocking the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, S.2497. This bill is the cornerstone of U.S. support for Israel.”

In the message, CUFI calls Paul the “last obstacle to getting this bill signed into law.”

Free Beacon reports that Paul has also recently proposed suspending U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain over their attacks on what the Free Beacon calls “pro-Iran militants in Yemen.” Paul has long opposed U.S. support for the attacks on Yemen, which is on the brink of famine and has 50,000 dead.

Israel has long targeted Yemen as one of the countries that must be controlled in its quest for hegemony in the region.

November 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Yemeni Houthis halt missile strikes, offer wider ceasefire if Saudi-led coalition really wants peace

RT | November 18, 2018

After years of bloodshed, Yemen’s Houthi movement is urging the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to join a comprehensive ceasefire if it really “wants peace,” the leader of the rebel group Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said Sunday.

At the request of Martin Griffiths, the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, the group is stopping ballistic missile and drone attacks on the coalition countries.

Al-Houthi also stressed the rebels’ readiness to freeze military operations on all fronts in an effort to reach a “just and honorable” peace.

Earlier this week the UN official told the UN Security Council that Yemen’s warring parties had agreed to hold talks in Sweden “shortly.”

Yemen has been the scene of mass casualties and civilian suffering throughout the civil war, especially after the coalition intervention in 2015.

While much of the population remains on the brink of starvation, the nation has also endured a cholera outbreak and a severe lack of medical supplies.

According to recent estimates, around 56,000 people died in the conflict.

November 18, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Symbolic outrage? US senators seek to stop arms sales to Saudis… after killing Bahrain ban bill

A boy stands next to a house destroyed by an air strike in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen. © Reuters / Khaled Abdullah
RT | November 15, 2018

A newly proposed bill in the US Senate would suspend the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and block refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, as punishment for the death of a Washington Post columnist.

A group of senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018.” It was sponsored by three Democrats and two Republicans.

Menendez, who is the top Democrat on the committee, said that sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals introduced earlier on Thursday by the Trump administration were “not enough” to ensure a credible investigation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and pressure Riyadh into ending the war in Yemen.

“This legislation is an important way to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for various acts in Yemen as well as the death of Jamal Khashoggi,” said Graham.

“We are putting teeth behind these demands with regular oversight, sanctions and suspension of weapons sales and refueling support,” Menendez said.

The US currently supplies Saudi Arabia with billions of dollars’ worth of tanks, airplanes and ammunition, and offers in-flight refueling and other logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. Riyadh has waged war on its southern neighbor since March 2015, to overthrow the Houthi-led government, which Saudi Arabia accuses of being a proxy of Iran.

The bill introduced by Menendez and Graham would also impose US sanctions on anyone blocking humanitarian aid deliveries to Yemen, but also on anyone providing support to the Houthis.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in Turkey and was an outspoken critic of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkey quickly accused the Saudis of murdering Khashoggi, which Riyadh spent weeks denying until it eventually blamed it on a “fight” inside the consulate.

Earlier on Thursday, the Senate voted 77-21 to kill a proposal by Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to block US arms sales to Bahrain, another member of the Saudi coalition. Menendez led the opposition to Paul’s proposal, arguing that Bahrain is a “critical ally” of the US and hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and that the sale of multiple rocket launchers and missile systems had nothing to do with the war in Yemen.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

US using Khashoggi’s assassination to lessen influence of Muhammad bin Salman: Analyst

Press TV – November 15, 2018

American writer and academic James Petras says the United States is using journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination to create an environment that can lessen the influence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

James Petras, author and political commentator, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a report which says the US Senate is expected to vote on legislation aimed at punishing Saudi Arabia over its brutal war on Yemen as well as the murder of the Saudi dissident journalist at its consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday that the upper chamber could vote on the resolution within weeks prior to the end of the year.

Corker said that the legislation seeks to stop all assistance to the Kingdom, adding measures to end arms sales to Riyadh would also be discussed at the Senate.

Petras said that it’s “very clear that there is a great deal of indignation in the US about the behavior of the so-called crown prince in Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, who has been involved in a number of assassinations, including of someone very close to the US government, and a very prominent participant in the Washington Post.”

“Some observers think he was collaborating with the CIA on keeping them informed on the inside struggles inside Saudi Arabia, and that was one of the reasons that Prince Salman murdered him,” he added.

“Now the fact the US felt that the Saudis were undermining US operations in Saudi-underlined region. The Yemen invasion by the Saudis has been going on for three years. The US has supplied the Saudis with arms, advisors, and signing of a major agreement with the support of President Trump,” he noted.

“This is all part of the background. I think the feeling is with Khashoggi’s assassination that Washington can create an environment that can lessen the influence of Prince Salman,” he argued.

“And I think that his purge inside Saudi Arabia has caused too much instability. They think that the Yemen war can be used against him even though Washington has continued to support the Saudis in decimating the population,” the analyst said.

“So I think the Senate will be fighting the pro-Saudi element in the government, particularly President Trump. President Trump wants to punish the Saudis but not too much, maybe a slap in the wrist and perhaps creates countervailing powers,” he said.

“I don’t expect the US to force the Saudis to withdraw from Yemen. I think that that’s what they want, to open up some negotiations between the Saudis and the Houthis and the pro-Saudi Yemenites who have been operating on the periphery,” he observed.

Saudi Arabia has come under fierce criticism after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi, a prominent commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s crackdown on critical voices.

Crown Prince Salman is a prime suspect in the murder plot.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

President Trump’s Iran Policy – Is It ‘Normal’?

By Ron Paul | November 12, 2018

It’s not often that US Government officials are honest when they talk about our foreign policy. The unprovoked 2003 attack on Iraq was called a “liberation.” The 2011 US-led destruction of Libya was a “humanitarian intervention.” And so on.

So, in a way, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was refreshingly honest last week when, speaking about newly-imposed US sanctions, he told the BBC that the Iranian leadership “has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.” It was an honest admission that new US sanctions are designed to starve Iranians unless the Iranian leadership accepts US demands.

His statement also reveals the lengths to which the neocons are willing to go to get their “regime change” in Iran. Just like then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said it was “worth it” that half a million Iraqi children died because of our sanctions on that country, Pompeo is letting us know that a few million dead Iranians is also “worth it” if the government in Tehran can be overthrown.

The US Secretary of State has demanded that Iran “act like a normal country” or the US would continue its pressure until Iran’s economy crumbles. How twisted is US foreign policy that Washington considers it “normal” to impose sanctions specifically designed to make life miserable – or worse – for civilians!

Is it normal to threaten millions of people with starvation if their leaders refuse to bow down to US demands? Is the neoconservative obsession with regime change “normal” behavior? Is training and arming al-Qaeda in Syria to overthrow Assad “normal” behavior? If so, then perhaps Washington’s neocons have a point. As Iran is not imposing sanctions, is not invading its neighbors, is not threatening to starve millions of Americans unless Washington is “regime-changed,” perhaps Iran is not acting “normal.”

So what is normal?

The continued Saudi genocide in Yemen does not bother Washington a bit. In fact, Saudi aggression in Yemen is viewed as just another opportunity to strike out at Iran. By making phony claims that Yemen’s Houthis are “Iran-backed,” the US government justifies literally handing the Saudis the bombs to drop on Yemeni school busses while claiming it is fighting Iranian-backed terrorism! Is that “normal”?

Millions of Yemenis face starvation after three years of Saudi attacks have destroyed the economy and a Saudi blockade prohibits aid from reaching the suffering victims, but Secretary Pompeo recently blamed Yemeni starvation on, you guessed it: Iran!

And in a shocking display of cynicism, the US government is reportedly considering listing Yemen’s Houthis as a “terrorist” organization for the “crime” of fighting back against Saudi (and US) aggression. Labeling the Yemeni resistance a “terrorist” organization would effectively “legalize” the ongoing Saudi destruction of Yemen, as it could be justified as just another battle in the “war on terror.” It would also falsely identify the real culprits in the Yemen tragedy as Iran, which is repeatedly and falsely called the “number one sponsor of terrorism” by Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration neocons.

So yes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told one wicked truth last week. But before he demands that countries like Iran start acting “normal” or face starvation, perhaps he should look in the mirror. Are Pompeo and the neocons “normal”? I don’t think so.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | 9 Comments

Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi
Al-Manar | November 10, 2018

The Washington Post has published on Friday the first article of the head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi.

Houthi leader: We Want Peace for Yemen, But Saudi Airstrikes Must Stop

The continued escalation of attacks against the port city of Hodeida in Yemen by the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati coalition confirms that the American calls for a cease-fire are nothing but empty talk. The recent statements are trying to mislead the world. Saudi leaders are reckless and have no interest in diplomacy. The United States has the clout to bring an end to the conflict — but it has decided to protect a corrupt ally.

Any observer of the crimes committed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia — a campaign that has been accompanied by disinformation and a blockade of journalists trying to cover the war — can offer an account of the indiscriminate killing thousands of civilians, mostly through airstrikes. Their attacks have led to the greatest humanitarian crisis on earth.

The brutality of the Saudi regime was reflected in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And it can be seen in the military escalation and airstrikes in Hodeida and other cities, in defiance of all international warnings.

The blockade of the port city is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees. The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds, as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.

The United States wants to be viewed as an honest mediator — but it is in fact participating and sometimes leading the aggression on Yemen.

We are defending ourselves — but we don’t have warplanes like the ones that bomb Yemenis with banned ammunition. We can’t lift the blockade imposed on Yemeni imports and exports. We cannot cancel the air embargo and allow daily flights, or end the ban of importing basic commodities, medicines and medical equipment from any place other than the United Arab Emirates, as it is imposing on Yemeni business executives.

And the list goes on. These repressive practices are killing and destroying Yemen.

Yemen was not the one who declared the war in the first place. Even Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy to Yemen, said we were close to a power-sharing deal in 2015 that was disrupted by the coalition airstrikes. We are ready to stop the missiles if the Saudi-led coalition stops its airstrikes.

But the United States’ calling to stop the war on Yemen is nothing but a way to save face after the humiliation caused by Saudi Arabia and its spoiled leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has ignored Washington’s pleas to clarify Khashoggi’s murder.

Moreover, Trump and his administration clearly prefer to continue this devastating war because of the economic returns it produces — they drool over those arms sales profits.

We love peace — the kind of honorable peace defended by our revolution’s leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi. We are ready for peace, the peace of the brave. God willing, Yemenis will remain the callers of peace and lovers of peace.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Ansarullah rejects US mediation in efforts to resolve Yemen conflict

Press TV – October 31, 2018

The Houthi Ansarullah movement has opposed a US proposal for mediation in efforts to resolve the conflict in Yemen, holding Washington responsible for the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen.

Mohammed al-Bakhiiti, a member of Ansarullah’s Political Council, told Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam news network on Wednesday that peace would be restored to Yemen if the US ended its war on the impoverished country.

He also expressed his objection to any solution to the Yemen crisis that ignores the country’s independence and sovereignty.

On Tuesday, American officials called for a ceasefire in Yemen and demanded that the sides to the conflict come to the negotiating table within a month.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US had been watching the conflict “for long enough,” and that he believed Saudi Arabia and the UAE were ready for talks.

“We have got to move toward a peace effort here, and we can’t say we are going to do it sometime in the future,” he said. “We need to be doing this in the next 30 days.”

Mattis’ call was later echoed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who urged the coalition to stop airstrikes in Yemen’s populated areas, saying the “time is now for the cessation of hostilities.”

Bakhiti further stressed that Washington’s proposed solution for the Yemen conflict included dividing the country.

Mattis’ plan, supported by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is meant to achieve goals that have not been attained during the war on Yemen, he added.

The only solution to the crisis is intra-Yemeni talks and non-interference by foreign parties, the Houthi official said.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war against Yemen in an attempt to reinstall the country’s former Riyadh-allied regime and crush the Houthis.

The Western-backed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its stated goals, thanks to stiff resistance from Yemeni troops and allied Houthi fighters.

The offensive, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and led to famine as well as a cholera outbreak in the import-dependent state. Tens of thousands of people have also lost their lives in the conflict.

October 31, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen

By Rannie Amiri | CounterPunch | October 19, 2018

Those in the Western media too busy to be bothered trying to understand the complexities, intricacies and nuances of the Middle East often resort to concluding nearly all conflicts there are some kind of “proxy war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This is usually out of ignorance, reducing disputes to the lowest common dominator of Sunnis versus Shiites or to that between their two most prominent patron states. Often though there is deliberate obfuscation; there must be justification for a US ally to cause regional mayhem on the pretext of containing an enemy. The easiest and most convenient scapegoat has been Iran and efforts to contain its alleged expansionism by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and of course, Israel, go unchecked.

One of the most devastating and tragic episodes occurring in the Middle East today is in Yemen. But this is not a de facto proxy war its bankrollers hope we have all grown too weary of hearing to investigate further.

Despite the constant disclaimers by a lazy media, there is no proxy war in Yemen.

The war which has ravaged the Arab world’s poorest country since March 2015 is a Saudi-led, unilateral onslaught which has so devasted the nation, its economy, infrastructure and social services that malnutrition has become widespread and cholera epidemic.

Ostensibly, the Saudi-UAE military campaign was to oust Houthi-led rebels who unseated the deeply unpopular Saudi-backed puppet-president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in January 2015 (elected on a ballot in which he was the only candidate and who remained in power even after the expiration of a one-year mandate that had extended his term). The Houthis, a politico-religious group officially known as Ansarullah and named after their founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, initially formed in opposition to late Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Houthis generally belong to the Zaidi school in Islam, a branch of the larger Shiite sect. Branding the Houthis as “Iranian-backed Shiite rebels” as is now routine, makes for easy and convenient categorization of who the “bad guys” are in Western and Gulf media. But this is disingenuous. The inconvenient fact is Zaidis are generally closer to Sunni Islam than Shiite (and the longtime military, Saudi-backed dictator Saleh was Zaidi). More significantly, other than voicing solidarity with the Houthis, there has been no substantive evidence of Iranian military intervention or that of affiliated parties in Yemen. On the contrary, and starkly so, it has been the Saudi and Emirati governments’ inhumane bombing campaign which has been the most glaring example of foreign interference in the internal affairs of another country.

When a school-bus was struck during an air raid that killed 40 children, it was initially justified as a “legitimate military target” by the Saudi coalition before international outrage finally led to the conclusion it was otherwise. On the other hand, intermittent Houthi missiles launched at Saudi military installations and considered evidence of foreign military supply belie the Houthis as a legitimate, capable, battle-hardened fighting force. Apparently, the regime cannot fathom that despite daily attack, they have had the muster to retaliate and demonstrate offensive, rather than strictly defensive, capabilities.

Yemen is not a sectarian conflict or one of proxies, but a war stemming from the fallout of removing yet another Saudi-backed ruler from power.

Since 2015, at least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed, 22 million are now in need some form of relief (out of a total population of approximately 29 million) and eight million are malnourished. These numbers can only be expected to climb after evidence has shown Saudi Arabia is targeting food supplies.

The war waged in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allies and their wanton use of US and UK-supplied arms is everything short of a formal invasion. It is a one-sided, vicious military adventure which has rendered millions destitute and to date, has proven completely unsuccessful in fulfilling its stated objectives. The only proxies in this struggle are the victims of its war crimes; innocent men, women and children starved or killed, stand-ins for an apparition of a foreign power waiting to be found.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Guardian Watch – Freedland Remembers Yemen is a Thing

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 20, 2018

Jonathan Freedland has weighed in on the Khashoggi case. He’s outraged, of course. Because they all are. Every single voice in the mainstream world has suddenly realised just how appalled they are that Saudi Arabia does bad things.

They weren’t appalled a few weeks ago, when the Saudis blew up a bus full of school children.

But they are appalled now, because Mike Pompeo was told by the Turkish government, who were told by the Turkish secret service, that a reporter who may or may not be dead, might have been killed by a super-secret Saudi Arabian hit squad (who then died in a car accident). There are video and audio recordings to prove all of this but we’re not allowed to see them yet.

Freedland recounts these alleged gory details with po-faced prurience. Apparently, they might have used a chainsaw. But that’s not really what his article is about – his article is about attempting to claw back some credibility in the face of (perfectly justified) accusations of massive hypocrisy, and deeper questions about the motivations of the media and the agenda of the Deep State.

You see, Yemen is a thing.

It’s the poorest country in the Middle-East and it’s being systematically destroyed by its vastly richer neighbours, with the full backing and cooperation of NATO. In fact, we’re making a fortune out of it. Bombs are expensive, the Saudis need a lot of them, and you can only use them once. Ker-ching.

Domestically, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with a laughable track-record when it comes to human rights. This has been known for decades, it is talked about a lot. Barely a week goes by without some author, somewhere in the alternate media, writing up a story about the crimes of the House of Saud – either international or domestic. So why are we just now hearing about them in the mainstream?

When he was selling wars in Libya and Syria, did Freedland ever once suggest the “humanitarian bombing” of Riyadh?

Did he object to his paper selling ad space to promote the Muhammed bin Salman, “the great reformer”?

Did he boycott events or protest arms deals or in any way speak out?

Did he devote even a single one his columns to the war in Yemen?

People all over the world are asking: “Why are the Saudis suddenly the bad guys? Why can’t Jamal Khashoggi be brushed under the carpet as if he’s nothing but a burning bus full of children or a napalm-strewn wedding reception?”

It’s a question no one in the media has an answer for. They are aware of the contradiction though, and they are busily trying to get around it.

This is Freedland’s attempt:

I can understand the frustration of campaigners for Yemen that the death of one man has captured a global attention that has so rarely focused on the tens of thousands killed…But sometimes it takes the story of a single individual to break through. So it has proved with Khashoggi.

That’s it. A simple brush-off.

That’s the new narrative – nobody really realised just how bad the Saudis were until now. This is the big reveal. The “oh shit” moment. None of them had been on twitter, or read the alternate news or even looked at the comments BTL on their own articles. Yes, Yemen was there in the background but – through forces beyond everyone’s control – it just never broke through to the public consciousness. Oops.

He’s trying to imply that the news just sort of happens, like it’s an organic process beyond the control of the mere mortals writing the stories or filming the segments or thinking up the headlines.

That is patently absurd. We know how the media works, and it’s not some Jungian expression of the collective will. To suggest as much is insulting and ridiculous.

The news is a system by which a handful of mega-corporations distribute propaganda and manipulate public opinion. It is rigidly controlled. They push some issues to the front page and shovel others down the memory hole. When they need to, they make stuff up. Every headline is picked for a purpose, every omission deliberately made. Cogs turn and push the constantly-evolving agenda forward. There are no accidents, and the process is anything but organic.

It’s mechanical. And like all machines, it lacks a soul. There has been no grand awakening of the media conscience. There is no such thing.

There was a reason Yemen was banished to the far reaches of the press for four years. There was a reason the mainstream media were happy to white-wash the Saudi Arabians as they pummelled school buses and weddings with bombs British and American arms companies probably over-charged them for.

There’s a reason every big newspaper on both sides of the Atlantic was happy to serve as Muhammad bin Salman’s PR agency…. and there’s a reason they stopped. A real reason, that has nothing to do with Jamal Khashoggi.

We just don’t know what it is yet.


Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he’s forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

October 19, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment