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  • Ashok Dhillon

Attack on Saudi Arabia – Iran the U.S. Target (#99)


The drone attacks on some of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities were carried out by the Houthi rebels of Yemen (according to their own admission). The mainly Shia Muslim Houthi rebels, are fighting the majority Sunni government troops headed by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi and United Arab Emirate ‘Coalition’, which includes the United States, and possibly Israel.

The ‘Coalition’ has through their indiscriminate air strikes and bombings of the Houthi controlled parts of Yemen, created the worst humanitarian crisis in modern times according to the United Nations. And even though the Houthi’s have faced the combined might of the Saudi-led coalition that has entirely destroyed parts of Yemen, they have not given up but have continued to bring the fight - with primarily Shia Iran’s backing and support.

The United States, in particular Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have been unhesitating in blaming Iran for the attack, and have gone as far as to hint at retaliatory military strikes on Iran for the alleged affront of attacking Saudi Arabia, their ‘special friend’. It’s as if the attack was on the U.S. itself, and the minor issue of ‘evidence & proof’ is not necessary in their mind.

Considering the decades long partnership that the United States has had with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the majority Sunni Muslim countries in that region, which is almost all the countries (led by Saudi, in so many ways the centre of – and the leader of Sunni Islam), and their collective religious and political rivalry with the minority Shia Muslims, led by Iran (akin to the old Christian rivalry between the Catholics & the Protestants), it is not surprising that the U.S. position is - that an attack on Saudi Arabia is tantamount to an attack on the U.S. itself.

Of course, Trump’s shameless currying of favor with the Saudi Royal Family, particularly with the now infamous, globally ostracized Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS), for possible business opportunities after the Presidency, no doubt plays some part in his aggressive and as of yet unsubstantiated direct blame of Iran.

It is possible that Iran had something to do with the attack, even if indirectly. Iran does support the Houthi rebels of Yemen after all, but accusing it of the attacks, without real evidence, would be equivalent to blaming the U.S. for all the war-like actions of all its ‘allies’, which it supports unequivocally, like Israel for instance, which carries out pre-emptive attacks in other countries (like Syria) without any particular provocation. Therefore, for the Saudi attacks, investigations and evidence gathering need to be conducted by an independent international body.

Iran may support the Houthi rebels, but did it carry out the attacks directly? That is the question that needs to be answered after a thorough and independent investigation, before ‘Mr. Locked and Loaded’ Trump, declares war.

As most know around the World, Yemen has been in a devastating civil war that has all but destroyed the country, which was impoverished to begin with.

The war in Yemen has been the minority Houthi’s (Shia), backed by Shia-Iran, rebelling against the majority Sunnis that have ruled the country, backed by the Sunni-Saudi’s, and their Sunni coalition, in turn led, advised and armed by the United States.

The United States has been involved in Yemen for years, carrying out Special Forces operations and drone attacks in earlier efforts to root out Al Qaeda terrorists under the George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’. More lately, there have been other clandestine operations - targeted assassinations of ‘opposition’ clerics, politicians, etc., some together with other partners of the coalition - without much publicity.

And even more recently, there have been off-the-books operations and assassinations by American Ex-Special Forces and Navy Seals, as mercenaries to the government of the United Arab Emirates, and possibly others. (Source - BuzzFeed News, Article by Aram Roston, October 16, 2018).

The U.S.-led destruction of many countries in the Middle East is well known enough, but what is not that well known, or felt as reality (as Yemen is just another dysfunctional country in the strange and supposedly hostile World of Islamic countries, particularly to the Americans) is the human toll these misadventures in regime changes have taken over the decades, as Saddam Hussein was dethroned, then Bashar al-Assad of Syria, etc. and similarly in Yemen, where the U.S. is backing its friend and partner Saudi Arabia, to ensure Sunni rule in Yemen, regardless of the decades of persecution of the minorities, particularly the Houthi’s. These U.S.-led Middle Eastern wars have claimed Millions of civilian lives as casualties, and displaced Millions more from their shattered cities and countries, for a cruel life as neglected and despised refugees, seeking safety and shelter, and finding very little from a mostly uncaring and hostile World.

These are ordinary people caught-up in the war-games of the rich and powerful nations who constantly jockey for global positioning and power, whose own people feel none of the effects of the wars their leaders so readily justify and supply devastating lethal weapons and highly trained Special Forces ‘Advisers’.

Since the start of the war in Yemen, according to some estimates, some 56,000 Yemenis have been killed. Over 8 Million are on the brink of starvation and facing famine. And, over two thirds of the entire population is in desperate need of humanitarian aid, with over a Million that have Cholera. The conditions in Yemen are considered the ‘worst humanitarian crisis’.

Yet, to most Americans and the rest of the World these are mere numbers from just another war that they have little to do with. But they are wrong.

Apart from the direct involvement of the U.S. in Yemen for years through open, and clandestine operations, most of the arms and precision guided missiles and bombs are supplied by the U.S., as in one of the earliest of Trump’s decisions on becoming President, the reversal of Obama’s ban on the sale of $500 Million in arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which was narrowly passed by the Senate and more lethal arms flowed to Saudi Arabia even as it was carrying on an indiscriminate campaign of attacks and bombings, that even targeted schools and hospitals.

The U.S. also provides active advice and intensive training to the militaries and Special Forces of the Saudi coalition, and all its active members, and of course it’s small army of highly trained Special Forces mercenaries for hire to its ‘partners’.

In light of the years of misery, death and destruction meted out to the Yemenis, and the unrelieved siege that they are still under, by the Saudis and their coalition partners, including the U.S., is it a wonder that the Houthis have attacked Saudi Arabia, and with drones (the use of which was popularized by the U.S. itself in their wars all over the World and in Yemen). Not really.

But is it right of Trump and Pompeo to immediately blame Iran, the Houthi’s backer and supporter, without proof? Not really again, but it’s absolutely inevitable, because Iran has long been the real target for the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran is the only major country in the oil rich region which is still not under the direct control of the United States and its infamous coalitions, which are either just as hungry, for just as long, for Iran’s oil, like the United Kingdom, or are all Sunni Muslim countries, who for centuries are in a bitter religious feud with all Shia in the World. In particularly Iran, as it is the leader of Shia Muslims, which is the less than 20% minority in Islam. The U.S. long ago sided with the leader of the majority Sunnis, Saudi Arabia, whose oil was discovered by American Oil Companies, and who has been under the indirect control of U.S. influence since then. Anyone with oil that was not willing to be that directly under their influence became the enemy, like the ‘too independent Saddam’ of Iraq, and now it is Iran, the consistent next target.

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