Yemen

Why Does Obama Help the Saudis Murder Yemenis?

Obama wades further into Yemen.

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"The U.S. Navy … has dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt toward the waters off Yemen to join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the rebels," the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Thus does the Obama administration risk war with Iran while embracing the mischievous agendas of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Israel

Iran has not been found shipping arms, but you won't learn that from mainstream news accounts. Nor do the media ask why the United States and its allies—but not Iran—may intervene in Yemen.

The Tribune, like all mainstream news outlets, refers to "Iran-backed Shiite rebels"—that is, the autonomy-minded and long-burdened Houthis, who are portrayed without evidence as agents of the Islamic Republic. The media are mere conduits for Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab Gulf states, which have an interest in falsely portraying the turmoil in Yemen, long racked by civil war, as an instance of Iranian expansion. The Sunni Arab states don't want Shiite Persians playing a prominent role in the region and becoming friendlier with the United States, while Israel uses Iran to take the world's mind off the Jewish State's brutality against the Palestinians. All this goes on while the United States negotiates curbs on a nonexistent Iranian nuclear-weapons program—to Saudi and Israeli consternation.

While the media fill American minds with almost nonstop propaganda about Iran's ambitions, the U.S. intelligence agencies have their doubts. Why don't the media report this, considering that Obama has facilitated the Saudis' naval blockade against Yemen and its off-again/on-again bombing campaign? As a result of this war, Yemen suffers a humanitarian catastrophe, complete with refugees, food shortages, and the slaughter of civilians.

Fortifying doubts about Iranian backing of the Houthis, the Huffington Post, citing "American officials familiar with intelligence around the insurgent takeover," reports that "Iranian representatives discouraged Houthi rebels from taking the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last year" (emphasis added). This conflicts with the popular belief that the Houthis, who practice a Shiite offshoot that differs significantly from Iranian Shiism, moved on the capital under orders from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

"The newly disclosed information casts further doubt on claims that the rebels are a proxy group fighting on behalf of Iran," continue Huffington Post authors, Ali Watkins, Ryan Grim, and Akbar Shahid Ahmed, "suggesting that the link between Iran and the Yemeni Shiite group may not be as strong as congressional hawks and foreign powers urging U.S. intervention in Yemen have asserted." 

Do congressional hawks and foreign powers—that is, Israel and Saudi Arabia—care what the facts show? Facts have nothing to do with this. Iran is the bogeyman, so all troubles must be traced to its door. Nothing—especially the truth—can be allowed to stand in the way.

The article adds that "the revelation that the Houthis directly disobeyed Iran gives credibility to the White House's argument that Iran is not directing the rebels" (emphasis added). It quotes Bernadette Meehan, a National Security Council spokeswoman, who says, "It remains our assessment that Iran does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen."

To drive the point home, the authors quote a U.S. intelligence official: "It is wrong to think of the Houthis as a proxy force for Iran."

So why does Obama help the Saudis murder Yemenis?

Directing the Houthis and aiding them are two different things, of course, but Iranian support in the face of long-standing Saudi and U.S. intervention hardly seems remarkable. Reuters reported in December 2014 that "exactly how much support Iran has given the Houthis … has never been clear." Moreover, the ships "suspected" of carrying arms are probably part of Iran's anti-piracy patrol.

And let's face it: the U.S.-backed Saudi war creates opportunities for al-Qaeda in the Iraqi Peninsula and ISIS, which the Houthis oppose.

The United States risks unlimited war with Iran by interfering in a civil war on behalf of malign outsider objectives. [It's been droning Yemen since 2001.] By seeing the conflict through the Saudi and Israeli lens, Obama magnifies the human catastrophe. 

This piece originally appeared at Sheldon Richman's "Free Association" blog. 

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  1. What the fuck Richman? This is seriously fucking nonsensical.

    1. Sheldon doesn’t realize how abrasive he comes off, but there’s enough truth in his screeds to be worthwhile. For one thing, just as with all political schemers, the American, Israeli, Saudi, Egyptian, Syrian, and even Iranian political leaders are much better off, domestically, with each other in power. Like Castro being so much better off with the US embargo in place, or the NRA and Brady Bunch being so much more powerful with guns such a political football.

      I doubt there’s a single Saudi prince who wants to actually get rid of Israel, and I suspect there are very few Iranian Top.Men of that persuasion.

      Wha’s the point of having a powerful military that sits idle all the time? It’s just a nice fat target for budget busters. Got to use it, or at least make it seem like it will be necessary any moment now.

      That’s mostly what’s going on with the MidEast, and Sheldon knows it, he just doesn’t describe it very well.

      1. Sheldon doesn’t realize how abrasive he comes off

        I doubt that very much. His Chris Kyle/Adam Lanza comparison brought in a lot of web traffic. A lot. Probably more than any other article posted in 2015.

        But he destroyed his reputation in the process.

    2. I honestly feel like he was a step away from mentioning lizard people. Even for him, this is a bit much.

    3. I honestly feel like he was a step away from mentioning lizard people. Even for him, this is a bit much.

      1. So, two steps away then?

    4. Just heard pretty much the same message from Amy Goodman and some Rutgers professor on today’s Democracy Now broadcast on the local NPR station.

      Nice that they make it obvious they are working from the same script.

      1. I listen to Democracy Now a few nights a week. They are ok at diagnosing about two thirds of the problem. Their Prog cures on the other hand are to be avoided.

    5. Sheldon hates himself, and joooooooooos, and booooooooooosh, but loves him some muslim extremists.

  2. Why does Obama help The Saudis MURDER Yemenis?

    1. He has a hunger.
      A hunger for BLOOD!

    2. Because Obama is JUST LIKE ADAM LANZA.

      1. He lives in his mom’s basement?

    3. Because the Koch Brothers and libertarians don’t pay enough and complain about paying taxes. Duh.

  3. WTF?

    THE IRANIANS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THESE PEOPLE… “Directing the Houthis and aiding them are two different things, of course, but Iranian support in the face of long-standing Saudi and U.S. intervention hardly seems remarkable.”

    oh, so they are merely ‘aiding’ them

    REALLY, THOSE SHIPS AREN’T ABOUT AID, RATHER IT IS “Iran’s anti-piracy patrol.”

    *facepalm*

    1. It is Richman world. If you didn’t know better, you would think he is on the Iranian payroll.

      1. I can’t prove that he’s not.

        1. He should probably delete 25,000 emails just to be safe.

      2. You don’t get this kind of quality derp for pay, John. It only comes from pure conviction.

    2. While I’d be fine eschewing the entire Middle East, as things stand today, the Saudis are nominal quasi-allies, the Israelis (who seem irrelevant to this, by the way) are allies, and the Iranians are on the other side of a coldish war with the U.S. Why wouldn’t we be favoring the more allied states versus the one we no likee?

      One thing about the Middle East is, with the except of Israel, it seems like everyone supports and opposes everyone else. Money for ISIS, opposition to ISIS. And so on.

      1. “Why wouldn’t we be favoring the more allied states versus the one we no likee?”

        Because we have nothing to gain by waging war against Iran. And more than a little to lose.

        1. Again, I’m fine not playing at all, but if we simply can’t stop, we’re kind of stuck with the sides we’ve taken.

          1. “we’re kind of stuck with the sides we’ve taken”

            I wouldn’t be such a defeatist. Things are changing all the time in the region. This “stability” in the Middle East which Americans cling to so desperately is illusory. An uprising in Israel or Egypt or Saudi Arabia could change everything over night.

            1. I’m all for leaving altogether. What’s our interest there anymore? We’re not keeping things stable, that’s for sure.

        2. Because we have nothing to gain by waging war against Iran. And more than a little to lose.

          That would be true if Iran weren’t waging war on America.

          1. “That would be true if Iran weren’t waging war on America”

            Charmed life you must be leading if this is high up on your list of concerns.

            1. I…guess?

  4. I don’t know Sheldon. Why don’t you tell us why?

    Your could of cut out most the article, and said something along the lines of: “BFYTW.” It would of saved us all a lot of time. Now, if you want to take a stab at what our foreign policy in the ME is a logical manner that might be interesting. As is, the comments will shape more of the discussion than the article.

  5. OT:

    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04…..mpany.html

    1. Fake. SKANDUL.

    2. Why does a Canadian company need permission from the US to sell to a Russian company? That is ridiculous.

      1. You clearly know nothing of federalism. See, the federal government is supreme over the states, like Canada.

        1. You clearly know nothing of federalism.

          Must have missed that during orientation. But states controlling land seems to count.

          1. Maybe the U.S. states and Canadian provinces should secede and form a new nation together called, well, I don’t have a good name yet.

          2. Seriously, all of the limits on trade, limits on travel, etc. seem contrary to a free society. It’s even worse when the U.S. pressures other countries, including close allies like Canada, to do block trade.

    3. This is a huge story. Why has reason not done a write up on it yet?

  6. So, Iran does not support rebels. But, US risks total war intercepting Iranian weapon shipments to the rebels, who are not supported by Iran. And this is all due to Israel, who is obviously the reason Saudis are bombing Yemen. Because Saudis and Egyptians are directed by Israel, in a way Shiite rebels are not directed by Iran. And Israelis are jealous of Iran, who is totally getting friendly with United States, but if they get friendly then Israelis will not be able to oppress Palestinians, which as we all know is cause of everything bad everywhere.

    9/10, Richman. Needs “there is no difference between USS Theodore Roosevelt and Adam Lanza” to put it over the top.

    1. Nice. How about, “there is no difference between the USS Theodore Roosevelt and a Persian Gulf Pirate Ship”?

      1. Sweet Jumpin’ Jehosapath, Swiss. You think Richman would ever allow comparison between US and oppressed minority ships?

        Persian Gulf ‘Pirates’ only want better life and more freedom, whereas the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt has to sacrifice a Palestinian child every week or the ship will murderdrone their families, because Israel.

        1. How about “An Israeli Pirate Ship”?

          1. OK, now that sounds better! Redundant (being Israeli automatically makes it illegal) but it’s good to clarify matters.

      2. Theodore Roosevelt: worse than Adam Lanza?

      3. “there is no difference between the USS Theodore Roosevelt and a Persian Gulf Pirate Ship”?

        ………..named the USS Adam Lanza.

    2. You beat me to it.

    3. It’s like he over hears issues on the middle east, throw key phrases in a hat, and writes them down as he randomly picks them.

  7. I see no difference….oh never mind.

  8. The United States risks unlimited war with Iran by interfering in a civil war on behalf of malign outsider objectives. [It’s been droning Yemen since 2001.]

    If the Iranians are not shipping arms and the Houthi rebels are not Iranian Proxies, why is aiding the Saudis risking total war?

    This article doesn’t even make internal sense.

    1. Hey, you know who else risked total war due to Jewish plotting?

      1. Every nation on earth under control of the Illuminati?

      2. The casts of a number of reality TV shows?

      3. Egypt under the Pharoahs?

      4. The Phillistines?

      5. Mel Gibson during a routine traffic stop for suspicion of DUI?

      6. The Canaanites?

    2. “why is aiding the Saudis risking total war?”

      Escalating a conflict is always risky business.

      1. Which is why Iran should stop doing it.

        1. I already sent Iran an email requesting them to stop bombing Yemen. I suggested they might try bombing American hostages of ISIS instead.

          1. Cool story bro.

            1. Thanks. But almost anything is an improvement on the drivel you come up with. I mean, really, regurgitating Saudi Arabian propaganda leaflets… Have you no shame?

  9. So, apparently it would be better to help the Iranians help the Houthis to murder the Sunnis, who are, by the way, the majority of the population in Yemen.

    1. There is that. And there is also the fact that the US is evil for risking war with Iran by helping the Saudis, yet Iran would apparently be totally blameless for any resulting war.

      1. It would be a stretch to blame Iran for any war while it is Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen with US connivance.

        1. So Iran is blamless for going to war over US and Saudi involvement in Yemen? Really?

          1. “So Iran is blamless for going to war over US and Saudi involvement in Yemen? Really?”

            You want to blame Iran for what, exactly? I have to say I’m not following your thinking here. Some insurgents in Yemen take down a dictator, Saudi Arabia start bombing Yemen with US connivance, and you want to blame Iran for some war that may or may not break out over the issue at some point in the future?

            1. Iran can only go to war if it chooses to. No one is attacking Iran. If there is a war between the U.S. And Iran over Yemen, it will be because Iran choose to make war just as must as the U.S.

              1. “Iran can only go to war if it chooses to…”

                Seems silly to make such cut and dry declarations over events that haven’t even happened. Suffice to say that sometimes nations find themselves backed into wars. Why don’t we wait until the events actually happen and then we can get to important things like blaming Iran.

  10. Gee, I don’t know. Because he specifically (and in retrospect, somewhat embarrassingly) cited Yemen as a successful model for how to fight terrorism about four months before the country got overthrown by terrorists?

  11. Yes, apparently those Iranian ships were truly engaged in innocent anti-pirate operations:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2…..ked-by-us/

    I guess they (and I didn’t realize that cargo ships were useful in pirate interdiction) did such a good job of scaring away all those pirates, the Iranians decided they could go home.

      1. If so, better not send USS Enterprise in there. Because that’s how you get Borg.

    1. “multiple sources in the Pentagon…”

      Must be true if it’s what we want to hear.

  12. Anybody seen the Nobel Peace Prize committee recently?

  13. Why Does Obama Help the Saudis Murder Yemenis?

    I guess he got tired of doing it himself.

    1. Disposition Matrix says, “Reply hazy, try again later.”

        1. I think they had a custom 8-ball made. It’s red, white, and blue, and has custom answers like “Kill,” “Pardon,” “Sell,” and so on.

          1. “Pardon,”

            Sadly, the die was weighted to never land on this choice. An unfortunate oversight, I’m sure.

            1. It would explain Mark Rich.

  14. I wonder if Reason would stop printing Sheldon’s articles if we stopped commenting on them.

    1. They’re too absurd not to. Nick withers rings them because he thinks they are so stupid that they’re funny, or Sheldon just gives awesome blowjobs.

  15. Serious question: What does international law say about one nation enforcing a blockade against another nation with which it isn’t at war? I was recently reading about WWI and WWII and the laws regarding German submarine warfare and letting neutral ships sail to England, U.S. destroyers hunting U-boats before Germany declared war, etc. etc. seemed very subject to interpretation.

    1. Check the Geneva Conventions. I believe they mention blockades.

  16. I don’t look auhtors when I read an article, but as soon as I go to “Thus does the Obama administration risk war with Iran while embracing the mischievous agendas of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Israel” I knew who wrote it. Honestly, hows does Israel matter here? I’m starting to the Sheldon is actually Ahmadin…Ahmadine…that guy who was president of Iran.

    1. Gilligan.

  17. Random thoughts: ‘Self, I see Richman has a new column up. This should be fun.’

    Why Does Obama Help the Saudis Murder Yemenis?

    ‘Self, that is a good question, let us see where this goes.’

    …while Israel uses Iran to take the world’s mind off the Jewish State’s brutality against the Palestinians.

    *facepalm*

    “Self, accepting the premise of that quote, Obama would have to be in on the conspiracy. Unlikely.’

  18. Is it really that hard to find a columnist who is a passionate advocate for noninterventionism and yet NOT a pathetic shill for the repugnant government of Iran, Reason? Is that why you keep shoveling Sheldon’s shit on us?

    1. See my above comment on absurdity and blowjobs.

    2. “a passionate advocate for noninterventionism”

      Why do they have to be a passionate advocate for anything? I think a lot of people would be happy with a history buff. In fact, knowledge of history and level of emotion about said history seem to often be inversely related.

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  20. Sheldon Richman makes Adolf Hitler look like Bibi Netanyahu(I always thought bb’s name be a great fishing name…)

  21. Average Reason Reader: *Reads article* “Yes, I agree. US involvement in Yemen doesn’t seem to make a lot of sens…. wait, who wrote this?? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!!

    RICHMANNNNNNNN!!!!”

    1. He makes it easy to not like him.

    2. I see the pathetic whiners that comprise Richman’s limited fan-club have shown up to show off their extra chromosomes.

      1. I’m not a fan. I don’t agree with everything he says, but readers on here would say we should invade Poland if Sheldon Richman wrote a column saying we shouldn’t. The vitriol he gets is ridiculous. Not very “Reason”able.

    3. Because if it weren’t Richman, the grotesque anti-Semitic shit would be ok with all of us.

      1. Richman referred to Israel as “the Jewish State.” To me, that seems to be as close to an anti-semitic slur as he dares to get. Did you have something else in mind?

      2. Blaming the state of Israel for turmoil in the Middle East isn’t anti-semitism. I swear, you guys are like Al Sharpton with the race card when it comes to Israel.

        1. You are correct, blaming the Jewish State for the present situation in the middle-east is not anti-semitism. It is just plain stupid. Israel has not invaded its neighbors with the objective of Genocide, the Arab states have. Israeli’s don’t chant about waging genocide, certain others do. Israeli’s don’t deprive people of rights, Human or Political, based on race or religion, certain others do. Israeli armed forces target armed opponents hiding behind civilians, certain others hide behind civilians while targeting civilians. In Israel you are not punished for not being Jewish, in certain other places you are punished for not being a Muslim.

    4. Because even if Richman manages to stumble onto a truth, he’s bound to bury it in an ocean of horse shit.

  22. The turmoil in civil-war torn Yemen is not an instance of Iranian expansion.

    Lying sack of shit lies.

    1. Prove it, or STFU Tom Cotton.

  23. “the mischievous agendas of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Israel. ”

    Da Joos, so mischievous.

    ” The media are mere conduits for Israel…”

    Da Joos, controlling the media again.

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  27. So the article says that Iran is not involved in the Yemeni uprising, but US intervention risks war with Iran. How exactly does that work? It seems to me that if Iran was truly has nothing to do with this, then they would continue to have nothing to do with it.

    Maybe I just need a top man to explain it to me.

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