em·pire
ˈemˌpī(ə)r/
noun
an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

One group today has more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Following al Qaeda, ISIS Gains in Yemen thanks to US-Assisted Saudi Aggression

The US, in aiding the extremist Wahhabi-Sunni, Sharia-law regime of Saudi Arabia in its aggression against Yemen, has helped open the door for Saudi-supported al Qaeda to make tremendous gains there. And now, ISIS has been able to establish itself:

The Islamic State has declared its official presence in war-torn Yemen as the jihadists posted a video online, threating to “cut the throats” of Shiite [actually Zaidi] Houthi rebels.

ISIS stated:

“We have come to Yemen, with men hungry for your blood to avenge the Sunnis…”

Meanwhile, the Obama regime has again “insisted that the US will continue to endorse the Saudi war”. The US is providing material, political, and physical assistance to the Wahhabis, including re-arming and re-fueling them and providing ~20 US advisers to Saudi Arabia to select targets in Yemen to be attacked. (See articles.)

As an example of one such attack, the UN reports that on Wednesday, in a move with US fingerprints all over it as it was reminiscent of the US “double tap” terror-technique made notorious by Obama, Saudi militants “killed 40 civilians, including seven children,” when they “bombed a bridge then returned and bombed the bridge a second time as “civilians gather[ed] to help those injured by the first airstrikes”.

Blowing up bridges is itself a technique infamously employed in US aggressions.

Washington this week affirmed that it continues to refuel Saudi bombers, with an official stating, “We are still flying a tanker a day to be available if needed,” adding, apparently for clarification, “It’s like having a gas station in the sky.”

Noted commentator Sheldon Richmond reminds that “Iran has not been found shipping arms, but you won’t learn that from mainstream news accounts”. US intelligence states that the Houthis of Yemen are actually disregarding Iran’s advice in making a bid for control, and are not an Iranian proxy.

However, even if Iran were shipping arms to and/or directing the Houthis, the US is the world’s biggest arms dealer and empire. Adoption of a “we can do anything we want, but you can’t do anything” argument is spurious and naturally merits dismissal, except in one situation: when the group making the loony argument will, as George Carlin put it, “fucking bomb you“.

Reporter is a regular contributor to Washington’s Blog and Counter Currents, and writes professionally for the film industry. On Twitter with his UK-based colleague @_DirtyTruths.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Obama Urges Saudi Dictator Abdulaziz to Keep Attacking Yemen

Obama expressed his desire for Saudi dictator Abdulaziz to continue his illegal assault on Yemen, “pushing for a continuation of the war” and announcing, mafia-like, that “the job is not done”.

The dictator has complied, carrying out further attacks on the impoverished and starved country, with a Saudi Prince announcing that he will reward the terrorists physically carrying out the bombings with Bentleys, a brand of ultra-luxury automobile.

Further, Moon of Alabama (often cited by Glenn Greenwald) has found evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia is directly supplying al Qaeda in Yemen. Al Qaeda has made unprecedented gains there due to the the US-assisted Saudi assault. Moon notes that the terrorist group is not considered extreme by Saudi Arabia, which mandates, under pain of torture or death, a like ideology, and is already known for supporting al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Obama yesterday executed seven innocent people in Yemen with one of his “Hell Fire” devices (innocent if “innocent until proven guilty” still matters to anyone). Obama has been bombing Yemen throughout his time in power, one part of what the world’s most cited scholar, Noam Chomsky, has called “the most extreme campaign of terror of modern times”, Obama’s global execution-by-robot operation.

While US government and media continue to propagandize the population into passively accepting the US/Saudi/axis of dictators’ campaign against Yemen by dishonestly referring to the Houthis as an Iran “proxy”, US intelligence itself states unequivocally that the Houthis are not an Iran proxy (“It is wrong to think of the Houthis as a proxy force for Iran,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Huffington Post).

Indeed, Gellhorn Prize-winning journalist Gareth Porter re-confirms this, and documents that the Houthi are actually (as was pointed out this week at WB) “flush with American arms that may be worth as much as hundreds of millions of dollars”, which they took when they were able to hold, without contest, numerous military facilities that had, like much of the Middle East, been pumped full of US weaponry (the US is the world’s biggest arms dealer).

In reality, as Antiwar.com and others have noted, it is the Saudis who are a US proxy, illegally attacking an entirely domestic movement, as the US has done over and again around the world as it seeks to dominate.

@_DirtyTruths

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US Intelligence: Houthis are Not Iran Proxy

HuffPo reports that US intelligence says:

Iranian representatives discouraged Houthi rebels from taking the Yemeni capital…

Iran is not directing the rebels, who follow a different branch of Shiite Islam than Iran’s leaders and are believed to care more about corruption and the distribution of power in Yemen than the spread of Shiite influence across the Middle East.

“It remains our assessment that Iran does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, told The Huffington Post.

“It is wrong to think of the Houthis as a proxy force for Iran,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Huffington Post.

These judgements by US intelligence confirm a prior assessment by Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges, made over a week ago:

“Houthis are not Shiite [they are Zaidi], and it is totally incorrect to identify them as an Iranian proxy force.”

It is suspected that Iran has provided limited material support for the Houthis, but leaked US cables state that most intelligence believes the Houthis bought their weapons not from Iran but on the black market, a market largely stocked with US imports and weapons from state arsenals looted due to US aggression campaigns. Indeed, the US, the world’s biggest arms dealer, has, when it found doing so advantageous, provided lethal or material support both for Iran (illegally) and the Houthis themselves.

Though eight countries, including Russia, China, and India, are rescuing thousands of their nationals, as well as foreign nationals, including Americans, from the Yemen war-zone, the US still refuses to do so, ignoring lawsuits trying to force Obama to allow a rescue operation for the 3-4,000 Americans trapped there.

In theory, rescuing Americans is exactly the kind of thing our armed forces, which wouldn’t exist without us, are supposed to be used for, but in practice they are simply used by US elite sectors to expand US hegemony through violence and terror, such as by invading Iraq.

Instead of rescuing US citizens trapped in Yemen, the US has been rescuing Saudi bombers, refueling Saudi bombers, directing Saudi bomb-attacks from within and outside of Saudi Arabia, and re-arming Saudi Arabia with bombs and ammunition – all openly announced by US officials in public statements. Such behavior is standard operating procedure and unsurprising to people who seriously follow US actions.

Obama has been planting and detonating explosives in Yemen throughout his time in power, working to keep the former US-backed dictator, whom the Saudis are now trying to re-install, in place. A week after being awarded the Nobel “peace” prize, Obama planted a banned cluster bomb (an industrial version of the type the Boston Bombers attempted to improvise) in a Yemeni farmer’s market and detonated it, blasting shrapnel through and murdering 44 civilians, including at least 14 women, five of them pregnant, and 21 children. Whether Obama would have carried out this act of terrorism if it were his daughters and wife in the line of fire and shrapnel remains unanswered but predictable.

For its part, Saudi Arabia has stressed that its aggression against Yemen is in line with Wahhabi Sharia law, an ideology traditionally supported by the US and known for its brutality, particularly against women and civilians, though the US kills far more.

Indeed, with the US coordinating its targets, Saudi Arabia this weekend carried out a bombing that killed 46 civilians and zero armed forces, adding to thousands already killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The extremist Wahhabi/Sharia-law ideology is favored by groups such as the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS, the first two of which have been openly supported by the US, and the latter knowingly, though purportedly unintentionally, strengthened through US arming of terrorists in Syria.

Indeed, due to the Saudi-led axis-of-dictators’ campaign against Yemen, al Qaeda is making unprecedented gains in that country, a fact well known to the US and its Wahhabi proxy, Abdulaziz. The presence of the Houthi had been blocking al Qaeda from obtaining a foothold.

Historian and US-empire expert William Blum, in a recent interview, stressed that Washington simply acts to expand its empire, already the biggest in history. When that is understood, there is nothing confusing or contradictory about US policy.

US-based reporter and his UK-based colleague @_DirtyTruths.