Crises – the Middle-East and a few hopefully useful pointers

The Saker

September 18, 2019

Crises – the Middle-East and a few hopefully useful pointers

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

The Middle-East is literally exploding: the Houthis have delivered an extremely effective blow against Saudi oil production which (so they claim) has now dropped by 50% before bouncing back; there are persistent rumors that Russian Su-35S and S-400 has threatened to shoot down Israeli aircraft attacking Syria; Lebanon has declared that it will defend itself against Israeli attacks; Hezbollah has been threatening to deliver crippling strikes on Israel and even Israeli officials; Turkey has purchased Russian air defenses and says that if the USA refuses to deliver their F-35S, then Turkey will consider Su-35s and even maybe Su-57’s.  Bibi Netanyahu tried to use Putin for his reelection campaign (well, he really is trying desperately to stay out of jail) but had to go home empty handed and, according to the JP, his mission was a failure.

Finally, and just to make sure that the crises are only limited to the Middle-East: the Polaks and the EU Court have successfully sued to try to force Russia to use the Ukie gas transit; the USA is invoking ancient treaties to threaten Venezuela; the UK is going to hell in a handbasket; Europe (well, Germany) can’t even get the Polaks to heel about North Stream 2 (well, they *are* heeling, of course, but to Uncle Shmuel, not Angela Merkel); India and Pakistan are threatening one another over Kashmir. Did I forget anything?

Oh yes, the DPRK is firing new missiles; the US wants to blame Iran for the Houthi attacks; China categorically rejects such accusations, while Russia continues to announce new revolutionary weapons built on new principles and plans to deploy the S-500 “Prometheus”, just to make sure the Empire does not get any stupid ideas about trying to strike Russia (or her allies which will begin purchasing the S-500 in 2021, according official sources).

I am sure I have forgotten plenty.  Really, the Empire is collapsing on all fronts and that, in turn, means the chances that the ignorant dimwits in the White House will do something very stupid, dramatically increase.

Yes, I know, Bolton was fired.  And I applaud that, but considering that I believe that Pompeo is even more delusional and evil than Bolton (not to mention fantastically arrogant!), that is hardly a reason to hope (I just read that Robert C. O’Brien will succeed Bolton; he used to be the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department; I wonder if that means even more kidnappings of Russian nationals worldwide…?).

There is so much to cover here that I will limit myself to a few points about the Middle-East which I think are important.

First, the partial destruction of the most important Saudi oil facilities is a HUGE embarrassment for the US.  Remember that the KSA is really the “center” of CENTCOM and even the reason for its existence (to “protect” Iran from the USSR and officially keep the Shah safe, but in reality this was also part of a major deal between the USA the KSA: “you accept payment only in dollars and we will protect you against everybody“).  Sure, there is a long list of western stooges to which a similar promise was made, including Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Manuel Noriega, Hosni Mubarak and many others; most are now dead, the rest in jail (iirc).  Now its the turn of the Saudis it seems: not only could the super-duper “better than the S-300” patriots not stop the Houthis, all of the combined might of CENTCOM failed too.

Second, I can only concur with ‘b’ at Moon of Alabama – the war is over for the KSA. Whether they realize it or not makes no difference.  Okay, it will make a difference in time, but in time only.  The Saudis and their AngloZionist patrons have three solutions:

  1. Continue pretty much like before: that is the definition of insanity if different results are expected.
  2. Escalate and strike Iran, following which the entire Middle-East will explode with dramatic consequences.
  3. Do what the US always does: declare victory and leave.

Obviously, the third option is the only sensible one, but who said that Bibi, Trump or MbS are sensible at all?  Tulsi Gabbard joined me in calling Trump somebody’s bitch, except I call him an Israeli bitch whereas Gabbard calls him a Saudi bitch.  Same difference!

There is, however, one restraining factor: if Trump ever strikes Iran he will become the “disposable President” for the Neocons: Iran will use the opportunity to strike Israel and Trump will be impeached for it (the Neocons are, after all, in total control of the DNC and many key committees in Congress).

So this will all boil down to Trump and whether he has the info and brains to realize that an attack on Iran will wreck his Presidency (which is already FUBARed enough and attacking Iran will make it official) and he will be both impeached and, obviously, never reelected.

Third, could the Houthis have done it themselves?  Absolutely yes. Iran did not have to strike directly, precisely because the Houthis were capable of doing it themselves. Check out this official exhibit of Houthi ballistic missiles and drones and see for yourself here and here.  Furthermore, the Houthis are becoming very similar to Hezbollah and they have clearly learned advanced missile and drone capabilities (from Iran, which is why the Israelis and the US are so angry).  Now I am not, repeat, NOT saying that Iran did not help or that this strike would have been as successful had Iran not provided intelligence, targeting, technical expertise, etc.  But if there is any evidence of direct Iranian involvement, let this “malevolent manatee” (which is how Fred Reed referred to Pompeo) show it to the world, and it better be better than the crap they showed for Skripal or the chemical false flags in Syria.

Fourth, what this means for the KSA and their AngloZionist patrons is that the Houthis can strike anywhere inside the KSA with total impunity.  And not only in the KSA.  Furthermore, I suspect that Iran can also hit every single oil or gas related facility in the Middle-East just like it can strike every US/CENTCOM/NATO/Israeli objective it wants.  Furthermore, in case of total war in the Middle-East, you can expect missiles raining down on US facilities not only from Yemen (Houthis) and Lebanon (Hezbollah) but also potentially from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fifth, it really does not matter where or what the US and/or Saudis and/or Israelis fire at Iran, the response will be the same, at least according to Professor Marandi: it will be massive and the oil and gas export capability of the entire Middle-East will be threatened.  There is no safe, cheap or effective way to strike Iran.  But do the folks in DC realize that?

Next, I want to offer a few points about the alleged interception of Israeli F-35 by Russian Su-35S over Syria.

First, we really don’t have the facts, so let’s wait a little.  Most stories about this come from one Arabic online paper.  Now, in the last 24 hours there was “sort of kinda” confirmation from Russia, but not from officials, and these reports were not so much giving factual details as gloating that Netanyahu walked away from Russia with nothing.

Second, my best guess is that this story is probably based on reality.  The Israelis have been behaving as if they did not care about the Russian presence in Syria: so they engage in airstrikes exclusively for PR purposes (remember, Bibi wants to avoid jail!) and the Russians probably complained and were ignored, and now they’ve had enough.

Third, the fact that the Jerusalem Post had to published a horrified article about this event conclusively proves that those who were trying to convince us that Russia and Israel were working hand in hand and that Putin was Bibi’s best friend were, well, full of crapola and their clickbait was just that: clickbait.

Fourth, there are those technology buffs who will always try to prove that the Su-35S is vastly superior to the F-35 and that this story is very credible and those who will explain that the F-35 is vastly superior to the Su-35S and that this story is pure invention.  The truth is that it is useless and meaningless to compare two advanced aircraft “in the abstract” or declare that one is so much better than the other.  Okay, yes, the Su-35S is superior in many aspects to the F-35, but most definitely not in all possible scenarios.  In fact, we would also need to know what other aircraft were in the air at the time – including AWACs, SEAD and EW – and we would need to find out exactly what role the Russian S-400s played (if any).  Generally, I urge you not to engage in a) “bean-counting” (only looking at quantities) or in b) making direct combat aircraft comparisons.  In the latter case, we would need to know what kind (and how much) of training the pilots got, what kind of weapons they had, what kind of sensors they used and how, and more generally, exactly how the Israelis decided to structure their attack and how the Russians decided to respond.  Finally, we would have to get some detail on sensor fusing, network-centric operations, datalinks, etc.  Since we know nothing about any of that, I recommend that we don’t dwell on aircraft/radar/missile X vs aircraft/radar/missile Y.  It’s just not worth it.

Fifth, there are already rumors about this being a false flag operation of the Israelis, the British, the KSA or the US.  Well, I sure can’t prove a negative, but I see no compelling reason to make such conclusions.  First, this is really bad news for the Empire and, second, the Houthis have done similar actions many times in the past and there is no reason to suspect that they could not have done what they did.  Still, it is also undeniable that any hike in oil prices benefits a lot of people (USA shale, Russia, the KSA, etc.).  Finally, there is always and by definition the risk of the Israelis and their Neocon allies pulling off some kind of false flag to finally trigger a US attack on Iran.  All these are, however, only indirect arguments, at least so far.  The fact that a false flag is possible does not mean it actually happened, let’s never forget that and never drop to premature or unfounded conclusions.

Sixth, let’s look at the targets themselves.  We are talking about oil facilities, huge ones, which under the logic of US/NATO/Israel (aka the “Axis of Kindness”) is most definitely classified as “regime support infrastructure” or something similar.  Furthermore, even under non Axis of Kindness logic, the laws of war allow strikes on infrastructures critical to the enemy’s military effort.  So while TV stations, embassies or medical factories are NOT legal targets, critical oil facilities are.  The ONLY stipulation is that the attacking side make an honest effort in selecting targets and munitions and try to avoid avoidable casualties.  As far as I know, the Saudis have mentioned zero victims.  Yes, that is unlikely, but that is how things stand for the time being. In this case, the Houthi strike was absolutely legitimate, especially considering the kind of genocidal devastation the Axis of Kindness and the KSA have unleashed against Yemen.

Lastly, I will venture a guess as to why the US and Saudi air defense were so useless: they probably never expected an attack from Yemen, at least not such a sophisticated one.  Most of the US/KSA air defenses are deployed to defend against an attack from Iran, from the northern direction.  The fact that this strike was so successful strongly suggest that it came from the south, from Yemen.

Conclusion: (Sept 18th, 1816Z)

I was about to conclude that according to RT, the Saudi Oil Minister has declared that the KSA “don’t know yet who is responsible” and that this was good news.  Then I saw this: “Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sponsoring oil-plant attack, says it ‘couldn’t have originated in Yemen“, also on RT.  Not good.  Not credible either.

For one thing, had it been Iran, the strike would have been far more massive and would have only been a part of a much bigger, full-scale, attack not only on Saudi oil facilities, but also on all crucial CENTCOM installations and forces.  There is no way the Iranians would have opened major hostilities (and these strikes were definitely described by the Saudis as “major”) just to wait for a massive US/KSA/Israeli retaliation.  The Iranians are most certainly not going to repeat Saddam Hussein’s crucial mistake and allow the US/CENTCOM/NATO/Israel/KSA the time needed to prepare for a massive attack on Iran.  I am monitoring various “indicators and warnings” which would suggest that the USA is up to no good, and so far I have noticed only one potentially worrying event: MSC Sealift and US transportation Command  has ordered a no-notice turbo activation of between 23 to 25 ships from the 46 ship Ready Reserve Force (RRF have to be 5-day ready).  This is an unprecedented number since 2003 and it could mean somebody just taking precautions or someone is getting twitchy. But the timing is usually September, but not in this number (more about this here).  But please keep in mind that such indicators cannot be considered in isolation from other facts. Should there be more, I will do my best to report them on the blog.

The fact that US/KSA air defenses performed so miserably does not mean that the USA is totally clueless about ‘whodunit’. There are a lot of other sensors and systems (including in space) which will detect a missile launch (especially a ballistic missile!) and there are some radar modes which allow for long-range detection but not necessarily capable of track-while-scan or of long-range engagements.  Furthermore, you can also monitor data signals and general telemetry, and since the US has immense databases with the “signature” signals from all sorts of enemy hardware, they also probably could accurately assess which type of systems were used.  Just in this case, just as in the case of MH-17, the Pentagon knows exactly ‘whodunit’.  Ditto for the Russians who have a lot of SIGINT/FISINT in the Middle-East (and in space).

But in the last days of the Empire, facts don’t really matter.  What matters is whatever is seen as politically expedient by the folks in the White House and in Israel.  My biggest hope is that Trump finds out the truth about the strikes and that he has enough brains left to understand that should he strike Iran he will lose the election and will probably even be impeached to boot.

Let’s hope that his narcissistic instincts will save our long-suffering planet!

The Saker

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الأخبار: السعودية انقذونا، اليمن انتصرنا

اليمن يهزّ عالم البترودولار

يرتفع التوتر في المنطقة، في ضوء التصعيد الكلامي من كل الأطراف. وفيما كانت الرياض تكثّف جهودها، التي لم تقنع كثيرين، لوضع إيران في دائرة الاتهام بهجوم «أرامكو»، وبالتالي استدراج ردّ عسكري أميركي، كان دونالد ترامب يؤكد للجميع أن رأيه لم يتغيّر، وأن الحرب في آخر خياراته، مكتفياً بالردود الدبلوماسية والعقوبات، كما أكد أمس، فيما كشف وزير خارجيته من السعودية عن مسعى لإنشاء تحالف يضمّ أوروبيين وعرباً لـ«ردع إيران»

صور الأسلحة صحيحة والهجوم انطلق من 3 مواقع: مصدر عسكري يفنّد لـ«الأخبار» مؤتمر وزارة الدفاع السعودية

يرتفع التوتر في المنطقة، في ضوء التصعيد الكلامي من كل الأطراف. وفيما كانت الرياض تكثّف جهودها، التي لم تقنع كثيرين، لوضع إيران في دائرة الاتهام بهجوم «أرامكو»، وبالتالي استدراج ردّ عسكري أميركي، كان…

الأخبار

انتصرت صنعاء

فتح اليمنيون، بالأصالة عن أنفسهم وبالنيابة عن سائر مظلومي العالم، وبوصفهم أحد أضلاع المحور المقاوم، بتسديدتهم الدقيقة والصائبة شكلاً ومضموناً، الباب واسعاً على تغيير نوعي في معادلات المنطقة…

نجيب نصر الله

روسيا الرابح الأكبر

إذا كان ثمة رابح أكبر حتى الآن من سياسات إدارة دونالد ترامب العدوانية الحمقاء، فهو بلا شك روسيا. منذ وصول الرئيس الأميركي وفريقه إلى السلطة، حذر الكثير من الخبراء والمحللين من خطورة توجهاته في ميدان…

“AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS FAIL ALL THE TIME”: POMPEO’S VISIT TO SAUDI ARABIA TURNED INTO THEATER OF ABSURD

"Air Defense Systems Fail All the Time": Pompeo's Visit To Saudi Arabia Turned Into Theater Of Absurd

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On September 18th, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that it was just normal for the Patriot missile defense system to fail in repelling the recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.

“Look, anytime – we’ve seen air defense systems all around the world have mixed success.  Some of the finest in the world don’t always pick things up. We want to work to make sure that infrastructure and resources are put in place such that attacks like this would be less successful than this one appears to have been.  That’s certainly the case.”

He actually tried to paint the complete failure as something successful. He then, without being asked, moved on to defend the US move to leave the Iran Nuclear Deal, saying that if it didn’t Iran would’ve had missiles that could do that much earlier, and not 55 weeks from “now.”

“Fifty-five weeks from now, the whole world can sell exactly these missile systems, conventional missile systems to the Iranian Government unencumbered by any sanctions under the – 55 weeks, 55 weeks from now. Does anybody think that that was a genius idea to allow them to have the whole world be able to actually sell them missile systems?  They’d have more complex ones but for the sanctions we put in place that have prevented them from getting access to money, most importantly, but also parts, spare parts, information technology – all the things that go into building out production-level threats to the world.”

 

Of course, any other scenario than Iran being to blame is also completely unacceptable, Pompeo simply follows the narrative, any other reality is disregarded. After all, you can’t believe what Yemen’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) say.

“You say, “the Houthis said,” you should say, “the well-known, frequently lying Houthis have said the following.” This is important, because you ought not report them as if these are truth-tellers, as if these are people who aren’t completely under the boot of the Iranians, and who would not at the direction of the Iranians lay claim to attacks which they did not engage in, which clearly was the case here. So there you go.  Whenever you say “Houthis,” you should begin with “the well-known, frequently-known-to-lie Houthis.”  And then you can write whatever it is they say.  And you would have — that would be good reporting.”

Thank god Pompeo and Co. have never been known to lie.

Naturally, the questioning also went towards the way of how the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen would come to an end. Pompeo’s answer had absolutely nothing in relation to the question he was asked:

“I know you care deeply about that, good reporting.  Let me just try and close out.  So we also know that these are systems that the Iranians have not deployed anyplace else, that they have not deployed outside of their country, to the best of our knowledge.  We’ve not seen them deploy these types of UAV systems with the kinds of ranges and capabilities, nor have we seen them place these missiles where they could have done it.  We’ve seen no evidence that it came from Iraq.  It could well have traveled over Kuwait.  We’ve not seen that either.”

He praised the reporting, then commented on something separate.

He further claimed that Saudi Arabian citizens and also Americans who are in the Kingdom were at risk by the attack on oil infrastructure, despite there being not a single person harmed in it. Possibly, but unlikely, Iran has devised some sort of state-of-the-art UAV that can identify specifically US citizens or some sort of American-seeking missile.

And his attempts to praise the Patriot missile by saying that other systems also sometimes fail is also expected. But, of course, no mention is made that between 1999 and 2018, the US had repeatedly used unrealistic decoys that misrepresent the performance of its systems, making it appear much more capable than they actually are. This was presented in a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists [pdf].

Furthermore, the Kingdom and the US would like to present it as if the attack on the oil infrastructure is a separate incident, but the truth is that Ansar Allah has repeatedly attacked military parades, as well as other oil facilities throughout the war, despite Saudi Arabian defense systems being specifically pointed in Ansar Allah’s direction.

And going back to the question of the war ending, even the Sudanese children soldiers that the Saudi-led coalition used against the Houthis said it.

“If it weren’t for us the Houthis would’ve captured Riyadh by now.”

Essentially Saudi Arabia lost war in Yemen.The only reason Ansar Allah hasn’t completely defeated the Saudi-led intervention is its limited arsenal.

This is where a reason to justify the US completely entering the conflict needs to be created.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

الاستعمار العسكري المباشر هل يعود إلى المشرق…؟

سبتمبر 19, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

دول المشرق تستنجد مجدداً بالمستعمر الغربي لحماية أنظمتها السياسية من الانهيار بتدخلٍ عسكري مباشر ومكشوف يضاف الى سلسلة قواعده المنتشرة منذ سبعة عقود تقريباً في النقاط الاكثر استراتيجية في المنطقة.

هكذا حال كل المعادلات السياسية الضعيفة التي لا تؤمن الا بحراب المستعمر لحماية مشيخاتها وإماراتها وملكياتها وتتجاهل شعوبها بإفقار وتجهيل لا مثيل لهما في حركة التاريخ.

فمن يصدّق ان بلداناً غنية بمستوى الخليج لا تصنع شيئاً سوى احتراف السيطرة على مجتمعاتها بالدين والقمع وقليل من الذهب المنثور، لكن هذه الوسائل لم تعد تكفي، فلا بد اذاً من العودة الى الخدمات المباشرة للمستعمرين اصحاب المصلحة بالدفاع عن مستعمرات تكتنز معدلات قياسية من النفط والغاز والقدرة على استهلاك الصناعات الغربية والموقع الاستراتيجي.

إلا انّ هناك استثناءات على هذه المعادلة في سورية التي تقاتل دولتها ضدّ عودة الاستعمار المتسربل بأدوات إرهاب داخلية وعالمية وإقليمية.

وكذلك اليمن الثائر على استعمار سعودي خليجي يغطي الاستعمار الأميركي الفعلي، والعراق المجابه لاستعمارين مباشرين، الأميركي والتركي واعوانهما من تنظيمات ارهابية وعرقية.

اما إيران فلا تزال منذ اربعة عقود تتصدّى لحملات عسكرية واقتصادية تستهدف إعادة إخضاعها للمستعمرين.

لجهة تركيا فلا تنتمي الى تلك الاستثناءات لانها «تستضيف» على اراضيها قواعد نووية وعسكرية أميركية واخرى لحلف الناتو، على الرغم من تماسك دولتها وقوة جيشها، لكنها آثرت الاتكاء على خدمات المستعمرين بتبرير الانتماء الى حلف واحد في وجه العدو السوفياتي حينه.

للتوضيح فإن الاستعمار العسكري الغربي المباشر رحل عن المشرق محتفظاً بقواعد في معظم الخليج والاردن انما بأشكال مختلفة تقاطعت مع هيمنة اقتصادية كاملة، وهذه هي أهداف الاستعمار الباحث دوماً عن المصادر الاقتصادية المتنوعة.

لذلك بدت بلدان المشرق في السبعين سنة المنصرمة وكأنها مستقلة شكلاً تديرها شبكة من عائلات وقوى منتمية الى محور السياسة الغربية من دون أي نقاش ومع رجحان كبير لمحورها الأميركي.

هذا ما جعل الحماية الغربية المعنوية والمباشرة قادرة على إجهاض اي محاولات تغيير فعلية في المنطقة العربية.

لكن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي استولد فرصة تاريخية ليحاول الأميركيون إعادة تشكيل المشرق على نحو مستسلم غير قادر على إحداث اي تغيير لمدة طويلة.

فابتدأوا باحتلال افغانستان قافزين مباشرة من آسيا الوسطى الى المشرق باحتلال العراق في 2003 ولمزاعم تبين أنها كاذبة وادت الى مئات آلاف القتلى من دون ان تتجرأ قوة واحدة على انتقاد الأميركيين.

واستكمالاً لخطتهم حاولوا تدمير سورية بالارهاب وقواهم المباشرة والاسناد الاقليمي العربي بالتمويل والتركي بالتدريب والحدود والخدمات اللوجستية والاحتلال المباشر والاسرائيلي بالغارات الجوية.

إلا ان هذه المخططات لم تنجح في سورية والعراق فبدت الحرب على اليمن وسيلة اضافية وضرورية بموازاة خطة تقسيم العراق وإضعافه وسيلة اساسية لحماية البقرة الخليجية الحلوب من كامل الاتجاهات.

بدوره تصدّى اليمن المتواضع الإمكانات والكبير بتاريخه، لأوسع عدوان خليجي عربي أميركي غربي ناقلاً المعارك الى ميادين السعودية بإصابته عشرات المرات لمصافي نفطية ومطارات ومواقع عسكرية وإدارية.

ان مثل هذا القصف وضع الأنظمة الخليجية وتغطيتها الأميركية أمام حقائق مذهلة، فلا سورية سقطت ولا تمزقت وسورية لم تتفتت وتبين بوضوح أن دول الخليج عاجزة عن الدفاع عن انظمتها حتى امام القوى المتواضعة في اليمن، فكيف يكون حالها مع العراق او سورية، وانكشف ان مصر والاردن وباكستان تؤيد الخليج خطابياً لان مشاكلها الداخلية والخارجية لا تسمح لهم ارسال قوات اليه.

هناك قلق أميركي إضافي من احتمال انفجارات شعبية داخلية في الخليج قادرة على بناء تغيير فعلي في انظمته الحاكمة.

لقد تزامنت هذه التحليلات الخليجية الأميركية مع قصف يمني لمصافي بقيق وخريص اللتين تنتجان ستة ملايين برميل اي نصف الإنتاج السعودي النفطي المرتبط بالاقتصاد الغربي بشكل كامل. فوجدها الغرب الأميركي فرصة تاريخية جديدة يلعب بها على الضعف الخليجي بمحاولة رفع مستوى استفادته منه، والزعم انه عائد للدفاع عنه، وهذا يتطلب ارسالاً سريعاً لقوى برية وجوية وبحرية انما ليس بالأعداد الكبيرة لان الحروب اليوم تقتصد في البنى العسكرية البشرية لمصلحة استعمال آليات الحرب الحديثة والمتطورة التي تعتمد بشكل شبه كامل على الوسائل المادية المتطورة. لجهة أنظمة الخليج المذعورة فهي مستعدة للتغطية المادية والسياسية واستعمال فقه ديني تزعم انه إسلامي لتسهيل حركة هذا الاستعمار الجديد ولتوسيع مشروعه، اتهم الغرب الأميركي إيران بقصف المصفاتين على الرغم من ان خبراء عسكريين غربيين أكدوا ان الحصار على اليمن بمنع اي حركة بشرية بحراً وبراً، معتبرين ان خبراء إيرانيين علموا اليمنيين فنون صناعة المسيَّرات بما فيها المتطورة القادرة على اجتياز اكثر من الف كيلومتر وهذا هو التحليل العلمي الصحيح والذي يبرر لليمنيين الدفاع عن وطنهم في وجه أي عدوان خارجي.

من جهته، يستنجد هذا الخليج بالأميركيين عن طريق اثارة خوفهم على مصالحهم الاقتصادية عنده، او بالإيحاء من خطر تغييرات داخلية لن تكون بالطبع لصالح استمرار الهيمنة الغربية على دول الخليج وثرواتها.

يتبين بالمحصلة ان الأميركيين يبتعدون عن فكرة الحرب على إيران مع ميلهم لنشر قوات غربية في مواجهتها على السواحل السعودية والاماراتية استكمالاً لقواعدهم في الكويت والبحرين وقطر والاردن، فبهذه الطريقة يعود الاستعمار المباشر الى كامل جزيرة العرب بنفقات مرتفعة تتحمّل وزرها الدول المحتلة.

فهل لهذه القوات وظائف اكبر؟ يعرف البيت الأبيض انه لا يستطيع ممارسة هذا الدور الا في الخليج، فسورية طردت الاستعمار منذ سبعين عاماً وتواصل طرد ما تبقى منه، والعراق يتحضّر لإبعاده حالياً، واليمن ينجز مهامه التحريرية.

بناء على هذه المعطيات فإن عودة الاستعمار الغربي الى الخليج هي لمهمة وحيدة وهي منع أي تغير داخلي يؤدي الى تحرير ثروات الخليج من الحكام وتغطيته الغربية، ووضعها في خدمة تطوّر دول يصرُ الأميركيون على سحبها من القرون الوسطى.

Trump lacks power to use US military for S Arabia’s interests: Gabbard

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful US Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Wing Ding Dinner on August 9, 2019 in Clear Lake, Iowa. (Photo by AFP)

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful US Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Wing Ding Dinner on August 9, 2019 in Clear Lake, Iowa. (Photo by AFP)

 

Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:13PM

Congresswoman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has lashed out at President Donald Trump for his response to the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries, saying Trump lacks constitutional power to use the US military to serve Saudi interests.

“The Constitution does not give the president the power to unilaterally use our military for Saudi Arabia’s interests to go to war nor does it give him the power to do so without the express consent of Congress,” the 38-year-old member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii told The Hill on Tuesday.

“If I were president now, I would make very clear that we will not use our military to further the interests of Saudi Arabia or any other country,” she added.

Gabbard, who served in combat zones in Iraq as a member of the Hawaii National Guard between 2004 and 2005, went on to emphasize that there needs to be concrete evidence before the US takes any military action against Iran or any other country.

Gabbard accused the US president a day earlier of trying to “pimp out” the American military over the recent attack on Saudi oil refineries.

‘We shouldn’t attack anybody on behalf of S Arabia’

Also on Tuesday, Republican Senator Josh Hawley called on the Trump administration to exercise restraint following the attack and said the US should be mindful of protecting its own interests.

“We shouldn’t attack anybody on behalf of Saudi Arabia for Saudi Arabia’s national interests,” Hawley said during an appearance on Hill.TV.

Hawley argued that Washington should instead look to “preserve the security of the American people and the prosperity of our middle class.”

Saudi Aramco oil facilities came under a drone attack over the weekend and the strike knocked out more than half the kingdom’s production.

Yemen’s Houthi fighters have claimed responsibility for the attack, but the United States has rejected their claim with Trump saying that Iran appears to be responsible for the strike.

Following a briefing from his military and intelligence advisers at the White House on Monday, Trump was asked whether Iran was behind the attack, Trump said, “It’s certainly looking that way at this moment and we’ll let you know. As soon as we find out definitively we’ll let you know but it does look that way.”

A day earlier, Trump said the United States was “locked and loaded” for a possible response to the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

Trump said that Washington has a “reason to believe that we know” who is responsible for the attacks carried out against the kingdom’s key oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais on Saturday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the blame for the operation on Iran, claiming, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia” and that “there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

Tehran, however, dismissed the allegation, saying Washington seems to be shifting from a failed campaign of “maximum pressure” to one of “maximum lying” and “deceit” against the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that “US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory.”

Yemen said it used 10 drones for Saturday’s operation, which was one of their largest retaliatory attacks ever inside the kingdom.

The Yemeni army has said the raids were carried out on the back of an intelligence operation and in cooperation with “certain honorable and freedom-seeking individuals within Saudi Arabia.”

Source: Press TV

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Putin’s Multipolar Offer to Saudi Arabian Exceptionalism

Image result for Putin’s Multipolar Offer to Saudi Arabian Exceptionalism
Tim Kirby
September 18, 2019

Global Islamic Terrorism is universally recognized as today’s big threat and has been the justification for all sorts of changes, especially to life in the West after 9/11. The Islamic terrorists whom we are supposed to fear on a daily basis more or less believe in some form of Wahhabism, which grew up in and is spread from Saudi Arabia. Surprisingly the US and the Saudis have been and still are staunch allies. This makes little sense on the surface but Saudi exceptionalism extends to Russia as well. Russia and former parts of its territory have been some of the biggest victims of Wahhabism and still fight it to this day and yet President Putin just vowed to protect them from air threats via Russia’s top of the line equipment. So this raises the question by what logic would Russia want work with the Saudis who prop up the ideas that murder their citizens? The short answer is Multipolarity.

During the Cold War we saw two great powers with massive spheres of influence dividing the planet between themselves. This Bipolar (in the literal sense) structure forced everyone on America’s side to be Capitalist / Western-style Democratic and everyone on the USSR’s side to be Communist. So for every Communist revolution that succeeded Moscow’s sphere of influence grew while Washington’s shrank.

Now in the 21st century this dynamic is much different as the sole Hyperpower is fighting against any upstarts who challenge its status, which means that every nation that succumbs to the Washington status quo is a victory for Monopolarity, while any nation that begins to act on its own or under the influence of anyone besides the US/NATO/The West is a victory for Multipolarity.

This is why today, unlike during the Cold War Russia has a policy of being open to working with anyone who is willing to work with them regardless of ideology. Of course during the Cold War the US and the Soviet Union would work with countries outside their political theory of preference to some degree, but now Russia is free from the burdens of Communist ideology and is thus free to associate with anyone and Moscow is willing to work with anyone because any nation that rises up to a high level of sovereignty creates another crack in the monolith of Monopolarity.

This is why Moscow has been cooperating with Turkey who at times has been very aggressive towards them, shooting down a Russian planeforcing their way into Syria and working against Assad’s and Russia’s interests in the region, and opening Turkish Universities across parts of the Former USSR challenging Russian cultural influence. These all sound bad, but Moscow has a bigger fish to fry and the upstart Turks, despite being in NATO are beginning to push for a more powerful sovereign pro-Turkish foreign policy, which is bad for Russia in doses, but on the whole is a huge stride towards a Multipolar World that Russia so desperately needs.

And this is the logic that applies to the Saudis. True the Saudi Wahhabism and loud inaction in terms of containing Wahhabism have lead to the deaths of many Russian-speaking people the world over, but the Multipolar mission takes precedence, thus Putin offered the Saudis to buy Russian S-400 systems because “Our (Russian) air defenses can protect you, like they do Turkey and Iran” and that “These kinds of systems are capable of defending any kind of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia from any kind of attack.”

Syria and Turkey are both major Multipolar victories so perhaps in Putin’s words there is a hint that Saudi Arabia could jump on the Other World Order’s boat by buying these defense systems. The S-400s in question could be used to defend against a local neighbor, but we could suppose that a massive surface-to-air set up would best be used to defend against NATO, who is the only serious missile launching threat.

To an extent it is very possible that this offer by President Putin to the parties indirectly responsible for a great deal of suffering in Russia could actually be an invitation to the Multipolar World.

Saudi Arabia has been very much the exceptional Arab nation in the Middle East when it comes to NATO’s actions, but nothing lasts forever. The Saudis have oil and little means to defend it, while at the same time maintaining an ideology that has been demonized by the Mainstream Media for almost 20 years, prepping the West with a casus belli when the time comes. The fear of Monopolar aggression could force the Saudis to buy into team Multipolarity.

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Yemeni Killer Blow to House of Saud

Image result for Yemeni Killer Blow to House of Saud
Finian Cunningham
September 18, 2019

The Yemeni rebels’ drone blitz on the “nerve center” of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry was a devastating counter-offensive which potentially could end the four-year war in short order. What is even more catastrophic for the Saudi monarchy – especially the ambitious Crown Prince – is that the Houthi rebels have wielded the ultimate power to crash the kingdom’s oil economy.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) was the main architect of the disastrous Saudi war on Yemen. His military hard-man display was meant to consolidate his rise to power as heir to the Saudi throne. It was a calculation based on the blood of the Yemeni people. But now the war has gone from a callous game to a far-more dangerous threat to the House of Saud’s seat of power. If the Saudi oil economy is put at severe risk, then the lifeline for the monarchy is liable to be cut.

After last weekend’s spectacular air strike on the main oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia – northeast of the capital Riyadh, some 1,000 kms from Yemen – the Houthi military leadership is warning that more deeply-penetrating aerial attacks are on the way. The Yemeni rebels have demonstrated that nowhere in Saudi Arabia is safe.

Saudi air defenses and their multi-billion-dollar US Patriot anti-missile systems have been rendered useless against an-ever increasing arsenal of more sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated out of Yemen. UN experts reckon that the Houthis’ UAV-X drone has a range of up to 1,500 kms, which means that all of the Saudi oil infrastructure located in the Eastern Province near the Persian Gulf is a viable target.

Last weekend’s air strikes carried out with 10 drones, according to the Houthis, caused Saudi oil output to shut down by nearly half. The main target – the Abqaiq refinery – processes some 70 per cent of all Saudi crude destined for export. It is not clear when the processing plant can be restored to normal function. It may take weeks or even months. But if the Yemeni rebels can inflict that extent of damage in one air raid, it is not hard to foresee how the Saudi oil-dependent economy could conceivably be brought to a crippling standstill.

“The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us,” said a Houthi military spokesman following the drone strikes. The rebels also warned foreign workers in Saudi Arabia associated with the country’s oil industry to vacate.

The Yemenis have a gun to the House of Saud’s head. It must give the rebels great satisfaction to finally have the Saudi monarchy in their cross-hairs after four years of Yemen suffering relentless aerial bombardment and siege by the US-backed Saudi military. The Saudi-led war on its southern neighbor – the poorest country in the Arab region – was always an outrageous aggression under the guise of supporting the return of a corrupt crony who had been ousted by the Yemenis in early 2015. Up to 100,000 people have been killed – most of them from the indiscriminate bombing campaign by Saudi (and Emirati) warplanes supplied and armed by the US, Britain and France. Millions face starvation in what the UN calls the worst humanitarian crisis for many years.

The Saudi rulers, Western governments and media have tried to obscure the genocidal war on Yemen as a “proxy war” involving Iran, as if Tehran is the instigator of subverting Saudi Arabia from the south. Iran backs the Houthis politically, and perhaps also militarily more recently, but any involvement by Tehran is a reaction to the initial Western-backed Saudi aggression against Yemen.

Claims by US and Saudi officials that Iran is responsible for the latest air strikes on Saudi Arabia’s vital oil industry are more of the same obfuscation. Such muddying of the waters is an attempt to distract from the central point that the Houthis are retaliating with the legitimate right of self-defense after years of merciless slaughter inflicted on their people by the Western-backed Saudi coalition.

There’s another urgent reason for why the Saudi rulers and the US are trying to blame Iran for the latest drone attacks on the Saudi oil industry. If admitted that the air raids were carried out primarily by the Houthis – perhaps even with Iranian drone technology – then that admission points to the complete vulnerability of the Saudi oil economy and the very power structure of the monarchial rulers.

A hint of the trepidation being felt in Riyadh are reports that the latest air strikes have rattled stock markets for Saudi petrochemical companies. Worse, it is also reported that the attacks may delay the planned stock market listing of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company. Worse still, the valuation of the company may be slashed due to the perceived risk from further Yemeni air strikes.

The planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Aramco – whereby the Saudi state is selling a portion of the company to private investors – has been one of the most talked about events in recent years among international business. The IPO which is due to be launched next year has been called the “biggest-ever” stock market sell-off.

In an extensive interview with Bloomberg in October last year, the Saudi Crown Prince, MbS, boasted that it was the “biggest IPO in human history”. He claimed then that Aramco’s total valuation was worth $2 trillion. If the Saudis sell off a 5 per cent share in the company, they are expecting to raise $100 billion in cash. The Aramco IPO is central to MbS’ ambitious diversification master plan for the entire Saudi economy, known as Vision 2030. The capital raised from the Aramco sell-off is intended to catalyze private sector employment and technological innovation in the oil-dependent kingdom whose budget is unsustainably propping up government-sector jobs and welfare largesse to prevent the young population of Saudis rebelling against the sclerotic House of Saud.

After the Houthis’ devastating air attacks on the Saudi oil heartland – the crown jewels of the kingdom – potential investors are now reportedly looking warily at the future risk of Aramco. Valuation of the company in the aftermath of the Yemeni drone strikes has been slashed by some estimates to $300 billion – that’s down by 85 per cent from the previous aspired-for $2,000 billion. If that downgrade holds or worsens with future Houthi attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure, then the capital raised from an IPO could shrink from the $100 billion projected by the Crown Prince to $15 billion. In short, his Vision 2030 plan is down the pan.

It must be alarming to the young Saudi potentate that US President Donald Trump has begun to play down any retaliation against Iran, saying that he doesn’t want to be drawn into a war.

That means the Saudi monarchs are on their own and at the mercy of the Houthis and what they do next. The downfall of the scheming Crown Prince evokes a Shakespearian drama of treachery.

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