enlightening essay on the New Saudi initiative to regain or gain a leadership position amongst Arabs, by killing some Yemeni Houthi.
I don't like the initiative.
Here are some sentences from the article that stirred my interest, admiration, and ire, ire not at the author but at the Saudi and the US State Department field agents in Yemen, who are giving the president bad advice.
Saudi Arabia also is hoping that the use of force will gradually alter the internal balance of power in Yemen and compel the Houthi, who receive military, logistical, and intelligence support from Tehran, to come to the table for peace talks with the elected government and other Yemeni factions, including the Separatist Southern movement, the General People’s Congress headed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Saudi-backed Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Al-Islah).
There was in Yemen a general uprising of disgust at former president Saleh. The general population of rebels were at the point of deposing Saleh and prosecuting him for murder and theft.
The Saudi, in collaboration with the Americans, forced an agreement that gave Saleh total amnesty, an allowed him to leave the country with Five Billion Dollars of much needed Yemeni money.
The Saudi reached the agreement because it feared People Power. It fears its own people.
It was a mistake for the US to be associated with the deal. Much of the subsequent unrest in Yemen flows from that Deal. The Sasui and the US should apologize and make amends. Dropping bombs is a wrong approach.
Saudi Arabia also is hoping that the use of force will gradually alter the internal balance of power in Yemen and compel the Houthis, who receive military, logistical, and intelligence support from Tehran, to come to the table for peace talks with the elected government and other Yemeni factions, including the Separatist Southern movement, the General People’s Congress headed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Saudi-backed Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Al-Islah).
One way to get people to talk with one another reasonably is to talk with them reasonably. The Saudi are so filled with fear,-- fear that ISS will take over Mecca and Medina; fear that armed Salafi religions folks in Arabia who put them in power in the first place will throw them out of power; so afraid of Iran -- that discourse is impossible. A don't know what the US government does with that. I know what Obama would do if he didn't have other things to command his attention.
If it is true that Saleh is using his billions to buy Houthi support, that goes back to my earlier argument: he should not have been allowed to loot Yemen.
Yemen has been a thorn in the side of Saudi Arabia (and other Arab Gulf countries, including Oman) since the latter was founded in the 1930s. The threats of Marxism, populism, and recently, Islamist extremism with the rise of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have made Yemen a high Saudi national security risk.
Yemen has a mix of religious and political views. The Saudi have only one. Take your pick. I like the United States better than I like China: The US has many conflicting views ; China has only one view. Lots of differing views means more information comes in. More information is good, though confusing.
Saudi Arabia still enjoys a robust partnership with the United States against Iran, but the feeling in Riyadh and other Gulf capitals is that Washington has offered the Middle East to Tehran on a golden platter in return for a nuclear deal. It is a baseless and ridiculous conclusion, but that’s the perception in the region, which is now finding application in official policy.
That perception will be reinforced by the newly announced preliminary terms of the World-Iran deal. Most of the World is ecstatic; Republicans in Congress are sour.
Strong words from Foreign Policy. I look forward to the the reaction to the Iran Bomb proposal from the US congress, Israel, Egypt, the EU, China, Russia, TURPAC, and India.It certainly helps that Saudi Arabia is not alone in this conflict, with nine other nations joining the fight. Make no mistake about it, though: this is Saudi Arabia’s war, and the result could either make or break the Kingdom.
Houthi fighters on January 22, 2015, when the central government collapsed:
Houthi fighters pictured in today's Foreign Policy: