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Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

US Admits Yemen’s Houthis Aren’t an Iranian Proxy as the Death Toll Climbs – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2020

Now the United States has admitted that the Houthi’s are not an Iranian
proxy. Brian Cook the U.S. Special Representative for Iran stated
that “Iran does not speak for the Houthis, nor has the best interests of the
Yemeni people at heart.” Denise Natali, the Assistant Secretary of State for
Conflict and Stabilization Operations stated: “not
all Houthis support Iran.”

It is in the international community’s best interest to censor the war in Yemen, France, Italy, and the UK contributed and profited from this war as well as Germany, and Norway who both later stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia after public outrage. Each of these countries profited from the atrocities in Yemen while using the excuse that the Houthis were an Iranian proxy and stating that they were “combating Iranian aggression.”

Bending over for Saudi Arabia Sunni Wahhabis that attacked US. It makes sense in Washington and at McDonnell Douglas.

https://original.antiwar.com/Joziah_Thayer/2020/01/24/us-admits-the-houthis-arent-an-iranian-proxy-as-the-death-toll-in-yemen-breaks-100k/

The death toll in Yemen has reached 102,000 according to data released by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project in October of 2019. Since the war started in 2015, the United States government has maintained one steadfast talking point. The Houthis are an Iranian proxy in Yemen. Government officials and those in mainstream media have repeatedly regurgitated this talking point without ever providing evidence to back up this claim.

By repeatedly claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, it allows the United States government to try and justify what is happening in Yemen daily. All the United States has to do whenever a government official has to answer a question about the war in Yemen, is mention Iran. No matter how undefendable America’s involvement in the war in Yemen has become the excuse to justify the atrocities in Yemen never falter, its Iran’s fault.

Mainstream media parroted the government talking point that Iran was supporting the Houthis by endlessly calling the Houthis, “the Iranian backed Houthis” in articles and major news broadcast. As the war progressed and the death toll rose, the international community became numb to the violence in Yemen. The United Nations claimed that the death toll in Yemen was static at 10,000 for three straight years.

When international bodies such as the United Nations purposefully mislead the public with disinformation involving war, it highlights a strategy that has been a tactic of the Military-Industrial Complex since Vietnam. It is in the international community’s best interest to censor the war in Yemen, France, Italy, and the UK contributed and profited from this war as well as Germany, and Norway who both later stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia after public outrage. Each of these countries profited from the atrocities in Yemen while using the excuse that the Houthis were an Iranian proxy and stating that they were “combating Iranian aggression.”

Not only is there no direct evidence that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, but a lot of evidence to suggest that they aren’t. The Houthis do not adhere to one particular religion, although the majority center around the Zaydi branch of Islam. Iran built a theocratic nation on strict Twelve Imam Islam. The Houthis believe in social justice, anti-imperialism, nationalism, and federalism. Iran does not believe in these things, Iran is not a federation or a beacon of social justice, and in the Middle East, ideology is everything.

Yemen is a Sunni majority, with 75% of the citizens in Yemen Identifying as Sunni and 25% of the population identifying as Shi’ite. The Houthis have been a representation of this minority in Yemen since 1994 and remained an unarmed political movement until 2004. Zaydi led governments ruled over Yemen from the year 960 to 1962, and that is not a typo. This ideology is almost exclusive to Yemen and practiced for over one thousand years. The narrative push by the state department and talking-heads in media that the Houthis are a rebel group that sprouted up in 2014 due to funds and arms allegedly provided by Iran is negligent journalism and myopic diplomacy.

Why falsely claim that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy and use this as an excuse to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia as they bombarded Yemen for the last five years? Because the notion of the Houthis being an Iranian proxy fits the overall ongoing narrative that Iran is the bad guy and must be combated on all fronts. So even though there are active groups of ISIS and al-Qaeda in Yemen, these groups are only mentioned as an afterthought, with the Iranian backed Houthis being the main talking-point surrounding the war in Yemen.

Disinformation and different arrays of propaganda are used to confuse and mislead the public, especially when those spreading the propaganda are ashamed of their actions. The most recent data from Yemen estimates that 102,000 have been killed by direct violence in Yemen, not including those that have been died from malnutrition. Approximately 20,000 have been killed this year alone, making it the deadliest year in Yemen since the war started. Saudi Arabia targeted civilians over 8,000 times since they intervened in 2015. These war crimes were not carried out in a secretive way they were committed in the open for the world to see, and instead of standing up to Saudi Arabia for committing these atrocities in Yemen global powers like the US, UK, France, and Germany came together to supply Saudi Arabia with means to decimate Yemen.

Now the United States has admitted that the Houthi’s are not an Iranian proxy. Brian Cook the U.S. Special Representative for Iran stated that “Iran does not speak for the Houthis, nor has the best interests of the Yemeni people at heart.” Denise Natali, the Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations stated: “not all Houthis support Iran.”

Iran initially warned the Houthi’s not to take over Sanaa and to halt their coup attempt. Kate Kizer the policy director at Win Without War told the website The National Interest that “It’s about time the Trump administration woke up to the reality that the Houthis are not an Iranian proxy – something anyone who knows Yemen has known all along. The State Department’s sudden about-face on the Houthis completely undermines the administration’s arguments as to why fueling war crimes and the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in Yemen is justified.”

There has never been one direct link made between Iran and the Houthi’s in Yemen. The notion that Iran is backing the Houthi’s is always asserted but never proven. When appointed government officials make a statement like “Iran is arming the Houthi’s” the follow-up question should be, how is Iran arming the Houthis? Instead of asking for evidence to back up the government official’s statement, the statement is just accepted as fact. The press is supposed to be a check on governmental power, not the fodder for their propaganda cannons.

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Warparty Whores

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2020

ROLL CALL

WASHINGTON — Here’s how area members of Congress voted on major issues during the legislative week ending Jan. 10.

House

Asserting congressional control over war with Iran:

The House on Thursday voted 224-194 to require the administration to obtain advance congressional approval for military actions against Iran or its proxy forces except when there is an imminent threat to the United States, its armed forces or territories. The measure invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which asserts the power of Congress to declare war under Article I of the Constitution. The war-powers law has never been successfully used to end hostilities abroad.

Last year, the House and Senate invoked it to end America’s military involvement in Yemen’s civil war, but President Trump vetoed the measure. U.S.

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th Dist.: No. U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-15th Dist. :

No.

Kelly and Thompson are warparty water carriers. The funny part is “an imminent threat to the United States, its armed forces“. We have military bases covering the entire planet. Anything that happens can be contorted to represent a threat to armed forces or embassies.

Regulating cancer-linked “PFAS” chemicals: Voting 247-159, the House on Friday passed a bill (HR 535) that would give the Environmental Protection Agency one year to designate a class of chemicals known as “PFAS” for coverage by the federal Superfund law, which requires abandoned toxic sites to be cleaned up and imposes retroactive liability on those responsible for the pollution. The designation would require cleanup actions near scores of military bases and manufacturing sites throughout the United States where PFAS compounds have leached into groundwater and drinking water. The bill also would require the EPA to set standards for PFAS air emissions and levels in drinking water. PFAS are perfluoroalkyl and polyfl uoroalkyl substances included in firefighting foam used at airports and military installations and in nonstick cookware and some personal care and household products. The compounds have been linked to kidney, liver, testicular and pancreatic cancers; infertility; weakened immune systems and impaired childhood development. Kelly: No.

Thompson: No.

would require cleanup actions near scores of military bases

Kelly and Thompson are warparty water carriers. The US government is one of the worst polluters. Think US groundwater, cancer rates in Subic Bay or Middle East burn pits. It cares not for innocents nor it’s own soldiers.

— Voterama in Congress

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The USA Doubles Down On Its Saudi Allegiance | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2020

There is a great deal of wishful thinking that fantasises about US military defeat, but it is simply unrealistic if the USA actually opted for full scale invasion…

Disagree – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen!, Sudan…

Wait a minute – didn’t SA finance 9/11?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/usa-doubles-down-its-saudi-allegiance

 

For the United States to abandon proxy warfare and directly kill one of Iran’s most senior political figures has changed international politics in a fundamental way. It is a massive error. Its ramifications are profound and complex.

There is also a lesson to be learned here in that this morning there will be excitement and satisfaction in the palaces of Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Tehran. All of the political elites will see prospects for gain from the new fluidity. While for ordinary people in all those countries there is only the certainty of more conflict, death and economic loss, for the political elite, the arms manufacturers, the military and security services and allied interests, the hedge funds, speculators and oil companies, there are the sweet smells of cash and power.

Tehran will be pleased because the USA has just definitively lost Iraq. Iraq has a Shia majority and so naturally tends to ally with Iran. The only thing preventing that was the Arab nationalism of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Socialist Party. Bush and Blair were certainly fully informed that by destroying the Ba’ath system they were creating an Iranian/Iraqi nexus, but they decided that was containable. The “containment” consisted of a deliberate and profound push across the Middle East to oppose Shia influence in proxy wars everywhere.

This is the root cause of the disastrous war in Yemen, where the Zaidi-Shia would have been victorious long ago but for the sustained brutal aerial warfare on civilians carried out by the Western powers through Saudi Arabia. This anti-Shia western policy included the unwavering support for the Sunni Bahraini autocracy in the brutal suppression of its overwhelmingly Shia population. And of course it included the sustained and disastrous attempt to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria and replace it with pro-Saudi Sunni jihadists.

This switch in US foreign policy was known in the White House of 2007 as “the redirection”. It meant that Sunni jihadists like Al-Qaida and later al-Nusra were able to switch back to being valued allies of the United States. It redoubled the slavish tying of US foreign policy to Saudi interests. The axis was completed once Mohammad Bin Salman took control of Saudi Arabia. His predecessors had been coy about their de facto alliance with Israel. MBS felt no shyness about openly promoting Israeli interests, under the cloak of mutual alliance against Iran, calculating quite correctly that Arab street hatred of the Shia outweighed any solidarity with the Palestinians. Common enemies were easy for the USA/Saudi/Israeli alliance to identify; Iran, the Houthi, Assad and of course the Shia Hezbollah, the only military force to have given the Israelis a bloody nose. The Palestinians themselves are predominantly Sunni and their own Hamas was left friendless and isolated.

The principal difficulty of this policy for the USA of course is Iraq. Having imposed a rough democracy on Iraq, the governments were always likely to be Shia dominated and highly susceptible to Iranian influence. The USA had a continuing handle through dwindling occupying forces and through control of the process which produced the government. They also provided financial resources to partially restore the physical infrastructure the US and its allies had themselves destroyed, and of course to fund a near infinite pool of corruption.

That US influence was balanced by strong Iranian aligned militia forces who were an alternative source of strength to the government of Baghdad, and of course by the fact that the centre of Sunni tribal strength, the city of Falluja, had itself been obliterated by the United States, three times, in an act of genocide of Iraqi Sunni population.

Through all this the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi had until now tiptoed with great care. Pro-Iranian yet a long term American client, his government maintained a form of impartiality based on an open hand to accept massive bribes from anybody. That is now over. He is pro-Iranian now…

Nevertheless, Tel Aviv and Riyadh will also be celebrating today at the idea that their dream of the USA destroying their regional rival Iran, as Iraq and Libya were destroyed, is coming closer. The USA could do this. The impact of technology on modern warfare should not be underestimated. There is a great deal of wishful thinking that fantasises about US military defeat, but it is simply unrealistic if the USA actually opted for full scale invasion…

In the short term, Trump in this situation needs either to pull out troops from Iraq or massively to reinforce them. The UK does not have the latter option, having neither men nor money, and should remove its 1400 troops now. Whether the “triumph” of killing Suleimani gives Trump enough political cover for an early pullout – the wise move – I am unsure. 2020 is going to be a very dangerous year indeed.

*  *  *

Unlike his adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, Craig’s blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate. Subscriptions to keep Craig’s blog going are gratefully received.

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The Small But Brave Cadre of Conservative Anti-War Republicans – The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2019

424 are pro-war, pro-interventionism, anti-peace.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-brave-cadre-of-conservative-anti-war-republicans/

They didn’t put their finger to the political wind when it came to Syria and Yemen.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks to reporters, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A comparative case study has demonstrated that only one political party has a principled (albeit small) contingent of legislators who care more about ending U.S. intervention overseas than partisan positioning.

In February, the House of Representatives voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 37, which directed “the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” This, along with its complementary senate vote, was the first congressional invocation of the War Powers Act in the law’s history.

Then last month, the House voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 77, a resolution condemning “the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.” This vote was in opposition to President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Syrian-Turkish border.

 

Neither U.S. involvement in the Syrian Civil War, nor U.S. material support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen have been authorized by Congress, making them illegal American wars. The Trump administration opposed both resolutions, and stopping House Joint Resolution 37 was only the second veto of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Out of the House’s 435 members, only 11 voted to end both the war in Yemen and to draw down in Syria. They are Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, and Bill Posey of Florida.

Notice anything? They’re all Republicans. But that shouldn’t surprise you.

“There is a long and honorable tradition within the Republican Party of anti-interventionism, of nationalism, what’s sometimes called isolationism, which technically isn’t a friendly or accurate term,” explains historian Jeff Taylor, who chairs the Department of Political Science at Dordt University.

“Back to the Progressive Era, even before the rise of the modern conservative movement, you had an anti-establishment; I would call it a populist-nationalist movement within the Republican Party,” Taylor says. “Back then [it was] led by men such as Robert La Follette in the U.S. senate, and there were others . . . Hiram Johnson of California and William Borah of Idaho.”

“This was a tradition that had eloquent individuals who had fiercely held beliefs, and some of them had positions of power.”

Another example in this lineage is Ohio Senator Robert Taft who opposed U.S. entry into the NATO alliance and called the Korean War unconstitutional. Taft, son of the former president and a three-time national candidate in his own right, was so associated with the GOP and its Midwestern base that he was known as “Mr. Republican.”

In the modern era, this same spirit imbued the presidential campaigns of both Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul—the former in his fight against the Gulf War and George H.W. Bush’s aspirations towards a New World Order, and the latter in his opposition to the War on Terror and its resultant overseas regime changes.

Today, there is an 11-person cadre of Republican congressmen willing to put constitutional devotion, fiscal sanity, and ethical antipathy to feckless wars above political expediency…

Massie is correct. No Democrat voted to continue intervention in Yemen, and simultaneously no Democrat voted to defend withdrawing from northern Syria. Every member automatically took the inverse view of the Trump administration. Democratic opposition to war is partisan, not principled.

Hawaii representative and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of the Yemen resolution in February and did not vote on House Joint Resolution 77 regarding Syria. Her office did not return a request for comment to explain her absence. Gabbard has since introduced her own Syria withdrawal resolution.

Republican-turned-Independent representative from Michigan Justin Amash voted “Present” on both resolutions. Amash’s haughty attitude stems from his contention that such resolutions present a “false choice.” This did not prevent the congressman from calling President Trump a “fraud” for vetoing the same Yemen resolution he refused to support.

Both Republican voters and the broader peace movement ought to be proud that there is a resolute core of House members continuing the non-interventionist legacy of the Old Right. In the words of the late Justin Raimondo, it’s incumbent upon us to continue “reconstructing a conservative philosophy centered around liberty and the authentic American character, rather than a lust for power and an addiction to war.”

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The Saudis Get a Taste of Their Own Medicine – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 21, 2019

The Saudis would have been better off buying air defenses from the Russians, at a quarter of the US selling price.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/eric-margolis/the-saudis-get-a-taste-of-their-own-medicine/

By

Special for LewRockwell.com

The Mideast has its own variety of crazy humor.  The Saudis have been blasting and bombing wretched Yemen, one of this world’s poorest nations, since 2015.

These US-supported attacks and a naval blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia and its sidekick ally, the United Arab Emirates, have caused mass starvation.  No one knows how many Yemenis have died or are currently starving.  Estimates run from 250,000 to one million.

The black humor?  The Saudis just claimed they were victims of Iranian `aggression’ this past week after the kingdom’s leading oil treatment facility at Abqaiq was hit by a flight of armed drones or cruise missiles.  The usual American militarists, now led by State Secretary Mike Pompeo after the demented warmonger, John Bolton, was finally fired, are calling for military retaliation against Iran even though the attack was claimed by Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement.

This drama came at roughly the same time that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of US president Donald Trump, vowed to annex Palestine’s entire Jordan Valley if elected. Not a peep of protest came from the US, which recently blessed Netanyahu’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights while scourging Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, for annexing Crimea – a Russian possession for over 300 years.

I studied US photos of the damaged Saudi oil installations. Its oil tanks appear to be precisely hit at the same place. After the attack, the Saudis claimed half of their oil production was knocked out; but a day later, they vowed production would be resumed within a week. Parts of so-called drones were shown that appeared way beyond the technological capabilities of Yemen or even Iran. The missiles may have been supplied by Ukraine.

The Saudis, like their patron in Washington, have a poor record for truthfulness. Remember the Saudi denials about the murder of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi? More important, we have been waiting for more false flag attacks in the Gulf designed to justify a US attack on Iran.

The pattern of so-called drone attacks against the Saudi oil installations is just too neat and symmetrical. The Israelis have a strong interest in promoting a US-Saudi War. The attacks in Saudi came ironically right after the anniversary of 9/11 that plunged the US into war against large parts of the Muslim world.

As a long-time military observer, I find it very hard to believe that drones could be guided over such long distances and so accurately without aircraft or satellites to guide them.  In Yemen, which is just creeping into the 12th century, changing a flat tire is a major technological achievement.  To date, Iran’s missile arsenal has poor reliability and major guidance problems.

Adding to the questions, the Saudis have spent billions on US-made air defense systems.  They failed to protect the oil installations.  The Saudis would have been better off buying air defenses from the Russians, at a quarter of the US selling price.

Trump at least showed some wisdom by so far rejecting demands from the neocons that surround him to launch major attacks on Iran.  Blasting Iran would not serve much purpose and would expose US forces in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Somalia, and Syria to Iranian guerilla attacks.  Saudi oil installations – after what we saw last week – are vulnerable.

Attacking Iran, even if just from the air, risks a much wider Mideast war just as the Trump administration – which originally campaigned against ‘stupid’ Mideast wars – faces next year’s elections.  But the administration is under intense pressure from its pro-Israel base to go after Iran.

Bombing Iran’s oil infrastructure would be relatively easy and has been intensively planned since early 2002.  But what next?  So-called ‘regime change’ (Washington’s favorite euphemism for overthrowing disobedient foreign governments) rarely works as planned and can get the US into horribly messy situations.  The CIA overthrew Iran’s democratic government in 1953 and look where we are today.

Perhaps the attacks on Abqaiq may cause the reckless Saudi leaders to stop devastating Yemen and throttle back on their proxy war against Iran which has gone on since 1979.  But don’t count on it.

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Empire First – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/david-stockman/locked-and-loaded-on-behalf-of-empire-first/

By

David Stockman’s Contra Corner

American democracy and capitalist prosperity are dying on the vine of Empire. And this weekend’s drone attack on the largest oil processing facility on the planet is a graphic case of why. So is the related picture below.

The scene is of Yemenis burying a busload of children who were obliterated by American-made bombs delivered by American-made Saudi aircraft, which were being navigated to target by US command and control assets.

This particular cruel foray was just one of thousands of sorties launched by the Saudis since 2015, which have resulted in upwards of 100,000 civilian deaths in northern Yemen and the virtual destruction of its economy – meaning horrific outbreaks of starvation, cholera and other diseases have become commonplace.

The cost to the Yemenis in misery and human life is incalculable. Nor can the stain of these genocidal attacks on America’s moral stature be gainsaid. Yet Washington’s collaboration in this mayhem is not based on even a smidgen of national interest or homeland security.

To the contrary, the Houthi who took control of Yemen’s capital (Sana’a) and who dominate the population of northern Yemen, are a second cousin practitioner of the Shiite confession of Islam. Accordingly, they are aligned with the Shiite regime of Iran and have received modest aid and weapons from Tehran in support of their struggle for independence from the Saudi-supported government in exile and its alignment with a motley array of Sunni-jihadist, Muslim Brotherhood and other anti-Shiite factions in southern Yemen.

Of course, given the fact that Yemen was divided into two countries – North and South Yemen – for nearly three decades between the early 1960s and early 1990s, it’s obvious that no war, bloodshed or devastation is needed at all to solve the religious and ethnic enmities of that godforsaken armpit of the world. All that’s needed is re-partition.

It’s simple. Two countries. No war. No misery. No genocide.

And, in fact, back in 2015 Washington could have told the new Saudi King (Salman) in no uncertain terms to accept partition or “no tickie, no washie”. That is, don’t you dare use a single American supplied aircraft or bomb to carry out war against the Houthi of North Yemen – or we will cut off resupply of spare-parts and technical support to the Saudi military’s advanced American-made weaponry.

And without the latter, of course, Switzerland would soon become the new abode of the monarchy.

But Washington’s neocons were having none of letting the world go its own way and staying out of other people’s quarrels…

Yet that’s how the Empire rolls. The Persian Gulf is on the verge of an apocalyptic eruption that is absolutely not in the interest of any producer – Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar – that borders on its waters. But events may now overtake sanity because the one person who could reel in the impending catastrophe is busy tweeting proof that he is dangerously ignorant of the issues and stakes involved:

President Trump warned on Sunday that the US was “locked and loaded,” and prepared to strike when America and Saudi Arabia identified who was responsible.

“There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “But are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

On Monday, Mr. Trump tweeted a reminder of Iran’s behavior when it shot down a US drone in June, a strike that led the US to prepare a military strike against Iran. Mr. Trump called off the strike after having second thoughts.

“Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their ‘airspace’ when, in fact, it was nowhere close,” he said. “They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

No, POTUS, the real culprit is the War Party that has utterly mis-educated you on the Nuke Deal, the phony threat Iran allegedly poses to Homeland security and the impossible corner into which you have backed the government in Tehran.

You came to Washington to house-clean the Swamp and to put America First at the center of the nation’s failed foreign policy. What you are in danger of accomplishing is enabling the Empire Firsters to ignite a conflagration in the Persian Gulf that could bring the entire world economy to its knees.

And, by the way, ensure that you leave office in January 2021 with a likely berth in a place not nearly as commodious as Trump Tower.

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Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019

What is remarkable is that all of Washington’s warmongers are ready for
war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim
of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia
in 2015. It was the other way around.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove,

Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Bolton by proxy.

https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2019/09/16/will-trump-take-neocon-bait-and-attack-iran-over-saudi-strike/

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, “It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries…” Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington’s warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, “let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years.” True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they’ve created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran’s role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

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Sen. Graham Wants to Bomb Iran in Response to Houthi Attack on Saudi Oil – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2019

But then Graham, as a neocon fellow traveler, is enthusiastically in favor of Israel’s wars in the Middle East. If it takes a few lies to get things moving, so be it.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/graham-wants-bomb-iran-response-houthi-attack-saudi-oil/5689229

By Kurt Nimmo

Following the early morning attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing facility—the largest oil processing plant in the world—and a similar drone attack at the Khurais oil field on Saturday, the neocon senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, has called for attacking Iran.

Although the Houthis claimed responsibility for the crippling attack, there is little evidence who is actually responsible. It is just as likely the Saudis did this to 1) ramp up hostilities against their arch enemy, Shia Iran, 2) jack up the price of oil, and 3) in the process make the impending Aramco IPO more lucrative.

In addition, the Saudis fear the end of the illegal war on the people of Yemen negotiated by the US:

Zerohedge notes:

According to Reuters reports the drone attacks will impact up to 5 million bpd of oil production, which suggests that the price of oil—already severely depressed by the recent news that John Bolton is out, making de-escalation with Iran far more likely—is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday, just what the upcoming Aramco IPO desperately needs, which in turn has prompted some to wonder if the “Yemen” attack on Saudi Arabia wasn’t in fact orchestrated by Saudi interests. (Emphasis mine.)

Meanwhile, the corporate media, as should be expected, is placing the blame indirectly on Iran. From the beginning of the Saudi campaign to bomb the daylights out of Yemen, creating one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, the corporate media has stated as an indisputable fact the Houthis are an Iranian proxy doing the bidding of the mullahs in Tehran.

On the contrary, the Iranians have very little to do with supporting the Houthis, a fact rarely mentioned because it conflicts with the narrative that fallaciously states Iran is the most vicious terror state in the world (that designation is better suited for the United States and Israel).

Thomas Juneau, the assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and an analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defense, wrote for The Washington Post in 2016, “Tehran’s support for the Houthis is limited, and its influence in Yemen is marginal. It is simply inaccurate to claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies.”

Iran’s assistance “remains limited and far from sufficient to make more than a marginal difference to the balance of forces in Yemen, a country awash with weapons. There is, therefore, no supporting evidence to the claim that Iran has bought itself any significant measure of influence over Houthi decision-making.”

Graham sits on a number of committees—including the Foreign Relations Committee, and he is the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs—so it really isn’t possible he doesn’t know the oft-claimed accusation Iran controls the Houthis is little more than war propaganda…

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Saudi Attacks May Nudge US to ‘Go to War’ With Iran and Seize its Oil, Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Warns – Sputnik International

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

McCain, Bolton and the third stooge Pompeo.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201909151076808289-saudi-attacks-may-nudge-us-to-go-to-war-with-iran-and-seize-its-oil-megauploads-kim-dotcom-warns/

by

The Trump administration, which has long demonised Iran and been trying to choke off its oil exports, has blamed the latest attacks on Saudi oil processing facilities on the Islamic Republic, despite Yemeni Houthi rebels claiming responsibility. Iran rejects the accusations.

The United States will emerge as the “biggest beneficiary” of Saturday’s drone attacks that targeted a Saudi Aramco processing facility and oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia, internet tycoon Kim Dotcom has suggested.

The attacks are expected to trigger a jump in oil prices when markets reopen on Monday, given that Saudi Arabia has halted half its oil production – around five million barrels of crude per day, or around 5 percent of the world’s daily output.

The millionaire Megaupload founder, who is fighting extradition to the US on charges of fraud and online piracy, predicted the attacks would embolden the US – the largest oil producer – to “blame Iran, go to war, [and] take control of Iran’s oil which pays for the war.”

This scenario has partly come to pass already: although Yemen’s Houthi rebels acknowledged they were behind the strikes, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed there was “no evidence”  to believe the attacks came from Yemen and blamed Iran instead….

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When, If Ever, Can We Lay This Burden Down? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2019

Iran presents no clear or present danger to U.S. vital interests, but the Saudis and Israelis see Iran as a mortal enemy, and want the U.S. military rid them of the menace.

In how many of these are U.S. vital interests imperiled? And in how many are we facing potential wars on behalf of other nations, while they hold our coat and egg us on?

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2019/08/19/when-if-ever-can-we-lay-this-burden-down/

Friday, President Donald Trump met in New Jersey with his national security advisers and envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is negotiating with the Taliban to bring about peace, and a U.S. withdrawal from America’s longest war.

U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001, in a war that has cost 2,400 American lives.

Following the meeting, Trump tweeted, “Many on the opposite sides of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible!”

Some, however, want no deal; they are fighting for absolute power.

Saturday, a wedding in Kabul with a thousand guests was hit by a suicide bomber who, igniting his vest, massacred 63 people and wounded 200 in one of the greatest atrocities of the war. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Monday, 10 bombs exploded in restaurants and public squares in the eastern city of Jalalabad, wounding 66.

Trump is pressing Khalilzad to negotiate drawdowns of U.S. troop levels from the present 14,000, and to bring about a near-term end to U.S. involvement in a war that began after we overthrew the old Taliban regime for giving sanctuary to Osama bin Laden.

Is it too soon to ask: What have we gained from our longest war? Was all the blood and treasure invested worth it? And what does the future hold?

If the Taliban could not be defeated by an Afghan army, built up by the U.S. for a decade and backed by 100,000 U.S. troops in 2010-2011, then are the Taliban likely to give up the struggle when the U.S. is drawing down the last 14,000 troops and heading home?

The Taliban control more of the country than they have at any time since being overthrown in 2001. And time now seems to be on their side.

Why have they persevered, and prevailed in parts of the country?

Motivated by a fanatic faith, tribalism and nationalism, they have shown a willingness to die for a cause that seems more compelling to them than what the U.S.-backed Afghan government has on offer…

And Afghanistan is but one of the clashes and conflicts in which America is engaged.

Severe U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have failed to bring down the Nicholas Maduro regime in Caracas but have contributed to the immiseration of that people, 10% of whom have left the country. Trump now says he is considering a quarantine or blockade to force Maduro out.

Eight years after we helped to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is still mired in civil war, with its capital, Tripoli, under siege.

Yemen, among the world’s humanitarian disasters, has seen the UAE break with its Saudi interventionist allies, and secessionists split off southern Yemen from the Houthi-dominated north. Yet, still, Congress has been unable to force the Trump administration to end all support of the Saudi war.

Two thousand U.S. troops remain in Syria. The northern unit is deployed between our Syrian Kurd allies and the Turkish army. In the south, they are positioned to prevent Iran and Iranian-backed militias from creating a secure land bridge from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut.

In our confrontation with Iran, we have few allies…

Iran presents no clear or present danger to U.S. vital interests, but the Saudis and Israelis see Iran as a mortal enemy, and want the U.S. military rid them of the menace…

Around the world, America is involved in quarrels, clashes and confrontations with almost too many nations to count.

In how many of these are U.S. vital interests imperiled? And in how many are we facing potential wars on behalf of other nations, while they hold our coat and egg us on?

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