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Issue #1679      April 1, 2015

Invading Yemen

Criminality in support of hegemony

Last week Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, announced that Saudi Arabia had commenced military operations against the Ansarullah fighters of the Houthi movement in Yemen. The Saudi intervention was not unexpected. Over the last few weeks there were signs that the US and the Saudis were preparing the ground for direct military intervention in Yemen in response to the Houthis seizing state power in January.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States.

The appearance of a previously unknown ISIS element that was supposedly responsible for the massive bomb attack that killed over 130 people and the withdrawal of US personnel were the clear signals that direct intervention by the Saudis was imminent.

And last week with the fall of al-Anad military base, the base where the US military and CIA conducted its drone warfare in Yemen, to Ansarullah fighters and the capture of the port city of Aden where disposed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had fled, it was almost certain that the US would give the green light for its client states to intervene.

The Saudi Ambassador cloaked the role of Saudi Arabia within the fictitious context of another grand coalition, this time led by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the corrupt collection of authoritarian monarchies allied with the US and the other Western colonial powers.

Ambassador Al-Jubeir announced that before launching operations in Yemen all of its allies were consulted. The meaning of that statement is that the US was fully involved in the operation. Even though the Ambassador stressed that the US was not directly involved in the military component of the assault, CNN reported that an interagency US coordination team was in Saudi Arabia and that a US official confirmed that the US would be providing logistical and intelligence support for the operation.

And what was the justification for launching a military operation not sanction by the United Nations Security Council? According to the Saudis they have legitimate regional security concerns in Yemen. Their argument was that since they share a border with Yemen, the chaos that erupted over the last few months that culminated in what they characterise as a coup by the Houthi insurgency, forced them to intervene to establish order and defend by “all efforts” the legitimate government of President Hadi.

But this is becoming an old and tired justification for criminality in support of hegemony.

The intervention by the Saudis and the GCC continues the international lawlessness that the US precipitated with its War on Terror over the last decade and a half. Violations of the UN Charter and international law modelled by the powerful states of the West has now become normalised resulting in an overall diminution of international law and morality over the last 15 years.

The double standard and hypocrisy of US support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen and Western and US condemnations of Russia’s regional security concerns in response to the right-wing coup in Ukraine will not be missed by most people.

And so the conflagration in the Middle East continues.

US and Saudi geo-strategic interest in containing the influence of Iran has trumped international law and any concerns about the lives of the people of Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain. Militarism and war as first options has now become commonplace as instruments of statecraft in an international order in which power trumps morality and law is only applied to the powerless.

Information Clearing House

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