This post was published at George Webb
An interesting report on the official accounts for war-related spending in the U. S. is available here: Which is, of course, a massive under-estimate of the full cost of 2001-2017 wars to the U. S. taxpayers.
It is worth remembering that war-related expenditures are outside discretionary budgetary allocations (follow links here: And you can read more here: The problem, as I repeatedly pointed out, is that no one can tell us what exactly – aside from misery, failed states, collapsed economies, piles of dead bodies etc – did these expenditures achieve, or for that matter what did all the adventurous entanglements the U. S. got into in recent year deliver? In Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, in Pakistan and Sudan, in Ukraine, in Somalia and Egypt. The sole bright spot on the U. S. ‘policy horizon’ is Kurdistan. But the problem is, the U. S. has been quietly undermining its main ally in the Syria-Iraq-Turkey sub-region in recent years. In South China Seas, Beijing is fully running the show, as multi-billion U. S. hardware bobbles up and down the waves to no effect. In North Korea, a villain with a bucket of uranium is in charge, and Iran is standing strong. In its historical backyard of Latin America, the U. S. is now confronting growing Chinese influence, while losing allies.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
At least 48 Yemeni civilians have been killed by the Saudi Coalition in the last 24 hours, the Saba News Agency reported. “A total of 48 civilians, including women and children, were killed and wounded in 51 airstrikes launched by US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition using internationally banned weapons on several Yemeni provinces over the past few hours, military and security officials told Saba on Sunday,” the news agency reported.
The Saudi airstrikes were primarily concentrated on the northern part of the country, where the Houthis currently control several provinces. In addition to northern Yemen, the Saudi airstrikes were also targeted the western part of the country, including the Hodeidah Port that was finally reopened after being blockaded for several weeks.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.
Al Gore was pure. George W Bush was a monster. John Kerry was pure. Bush was still a monster. John McCain and Mitt Romney were monsters. Barack Obama was pure. Trump is pure. Hillary is a monster. Round and round it goes.
Reverse the labels, turn them upside down, inside out, and you arrive at the same dead-end alley at midnight: none of the big-time pols are pure. Far from it.
Yesterday I posted my article on some of the upsides and downsides of Trump. Today, let’s take just a brief small peek at Obama.
Obama was close to purity, ‘though some of his policies may have been wrong headed.’ Really?
The leftist Guardian (1/9/17): ‘In 2016, US special [military] operators could be found in 70% of the world’s nations, 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130% since the days of the Bush administration.’
‘…in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.’
‘As drone-warrior-in-chief, he [Obama] spread the use of drones outside the declared battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, mainly to Pakistan and Yemen. Obama authorized over 10 times more drone strikes than George W Bush, and automatically painted all males of military age in these regions as combatants, making them fair game for remote controlled killing.’
The champ of bombing. But ‘pure.’
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on December 18, 2017.
21st Century Wire says…
It’s important to point out first, that while Saudi Arabia bombing civilians in the resistance-held territory, al-Qaeda continues to flourish in other areas. Hence, al-Qaeda has become a de-facto ally and pawn of the Saudi Arabia-US-UK axis (that is until they get a little too strong and the U. S. steps-in to carry out some messy, high-profile, special operations).
In portions of southern Yemen, al-Qaeda members fight alongside Saudi-backed troops. Saudi Arabia and the U. A. E. employ local mercenaries to fight on their behalf. Interesting confab of mercenaries – all of who are presently allied with the USA in Yemen…
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 10, 2017.
Authored by Tom Luongo,
For months I’ve been telling you that the framework for a Middle East Peace Plan is in process.
Donald Trump dropped a nuclear bomb on the world the other day by announcing the U. S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ending more than 50 years of virtue-signaling over what is, in fact, fact.
And right after that announcement Trump told the Saudi Arabians to end the blockade against Yemen. And in less then a day Israelis went from cheering Trump’s name to being confused.
I spent a long time on the phone with a Jewish friend of mine who couldn’t understand what this was about. Saying he couldn’t understand why Trump did this when the Saudis had already done so much.
And he should have known better.
What have the Saudis done to this point that should absolve them of having to do more to right their wrongs. Mohammed bin Salman’s purge and gangster-esque shakedown of his rivals withing the royal family are a good start.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.
Submitted by South Front
More details have emerged concerning the reported December 3rd firing of a cruise missile by Yemeni Houthi rebels toward a nuclear power plant under construction in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The cruise missile has been identified as a ‘Soumar’ missile, an Iranian-modified version of the Soviet-made Kh-55 cruise missile. With an operational range of 2500 km, the Kh-55s are equipped with guidance systems that allow them to maintain an altitude lower than 110 meters from the ground, thereby avoiding radar detection.
Local Yemeni sources confirmed that the cruise missile did not hit the target, having crashed in the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf. The UAE stated that it possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind, adding that the nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi was well-protected, state news agency WAM reported on its Twitter account. The crash reasons are still unclear, but most likely it was a technical failure.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.
A new study in the New York Times suggests that Saudi Arabia’s state of the art defense system failed to intercept the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels which nearly hit Riyadh’s international airport on November 4th. The report contradicts the official claims of the Saudi and American governments, which both announced immediately after the incident that the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system had successfully intercepted the Houthi fired Scud.
The analysis, which utilized open-source material in the form of available video and social media photos of the aftermath of the attack, was conducted by a team of missile experts, and threatens to shake confidence in the US system, which is currently implemented by American allies around the world from South Korea and Taiwan to Turkey, Israel and Japan, among others.
And notably President Trump himself had announced while aboard Air Force One on the day following the attack, ‘Our system knocked the missile out of the air.’ Trump also emphasized the importance of demonstrable success of the systems and added, ‘That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.’
But The New York Times report begins with a flat contradiction of that claim:
The official story was clear: Saudi forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group last month at Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. It was a victory for the Saudis and for the United States, which supplied the Patriot missile defense system.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
After years of fighting, the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, has reportedly fallen under control of Houthi rebel fighters, according to media citing the Interior Ministry. The Iran-backed group has allegedly retaken the city after killing former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose death was just confirmed by a party official.
Al Arabiya quoted a source in Saleh’s General Peoples Congress as saying he was killed by sniper bullets. A Houthi video distributed on social media showed what appeared to be Saleh’s body, clad in grey clothes and being carried out on a red blanket. The side of his head bore a deep wound.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.
Fighters from Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement have blown up the house of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the centre of the capital Sanaa, residents reported, as Saleh’s current whereabouts remained unknown, Reuters reported. The attack came a day after Saleh said he was ready for a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition.
Saleh’s loyalists had lost ground on the sixth day of heavy urban combat with the Iran-aligned Houthis, his former allies in nearly three years of war with a Saudi-led military coalition. On Monday, the Houthis made gains against forces supporting the former president. According to witness reports in local media, there was intense fighting overnight, with explosions rocking the city into Monday morning.
The alliance between the Houthi rebels and former Saleh recently seemed to be on the verge of a split, after on Sunday, the former leader of the war-torn country formally renounced his alliance with the Houthis, pulling a “Hariri.” Saleh pledged to step up his fight with the Iranian-backed group, having re-aligned his forces with Saudi Arabia. In an earlier televised speech, Saleh said that he made the decision to cease fighting in the country, having asked Riyadh to stop attacks on Yemen in exchange for his support.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.
Two days after Israel reportedly destroyed an alleged Iranian airbase in the city of al-Qiswa near Damascus in Syria, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they fired a cruise missile toward the $20 bilion Barakh nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi in the UAE (which is still under construction) which “successfully hit its target”, the group’s television service said on its website Sunday, however without providing evidence.
The launch was in retaliation for the closing of sea and air ports, it said without offering evidence or providing further details. The statement quoted a Houthi leader who warned against continuing the blockade, ‘affirming Yemenis’ right to take sensitive steps.’
‘The missile force announces the launching of a winged cruise missile … toward the al-Barakah nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi,’ the website said. It gave no further details. The claim comes as the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition, celebrates its National Day.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.
21st Century Wire
Speculation has been rife over the past couple of years that Pakistan was clandestinely involved in the War on Yemen, but it turns out that it’s actually India which is the South Asian state playing a shadow role in this conflict.
Every now and then people are exposed to the thoroughly debunked fake news story that’s been circulating for the past couple of years claiming that Pakistan agreed to deploy its military forces to Yemen in support of the Saudi-led war on the country. Nothing of the sort ever happened because Islamabad refused to get directly involved in the war due to its sectarian implications and the quagmire-like risk that it entails, instead settling for a ‘compromise’ agreement to dispatch some of its forces to protect the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia in the event that they ever come under attack from Yemeni-based fighters.
Since the Houthi National Liberation Movement harbors no such sacrilegious intentions, the announcement was essentially a face-saving way for Pakistan to politely resist the joint Saudi-Emirati pressure to get tangled up in this conflict as a de-facto mercenary force while still symbolically showing that it doesn’t outright reject its historic partnership with these two Gulf States.
Nevertheless, it’s widely thought that this prudent decision dealt irreversible damage to Pakistani-Emirati relations, seeing as how the latter has been doing most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in that warzone, and as such, would prefer for Pakistanis to bear the brunt of the Houthis’ effective countermeasures than their own troops.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 29, 2017.
Toward the end of October, Brent crude prices crossed $60 per barrel for the first time in two years. They continued their ascent, peaking at around $64. Experts explained the spike with vague references to ‘geopolitical risk,’ without really detailing what those risks entailed. Such explanations are not wrong, but they are careless. A proper geopolitical risk assessment necessitates that we go beyond equivocal wording and develop an understanding of the relevant economic, political, and military factors.
Threats to Supply For weeks, developments in Saudi Arabia have been cited in commentary on oil markets. It all comes down to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran – a rivalry that plays out throughout the region, in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 27, 2017.
Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first two years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.
Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something lately demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi crown prince MBS published in the New York Times.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.
21st Century Wire says…
Why is Yemen not being described as a Holocaust. Why are the western governments and media refusing to use the H word when they use it so liberally to demonise target governnments or nations? Even Bana Alabed used it in her Tweets that were written for her by her mother, with western PR agencies as the ‘hidden hand’.
Former US Represenative at the UN in New York, Samantha Power, employed the H word regarding #Aleppo where US backed terrorists were the ones carrying out atrocities against Syrian civilians. Cynical use of the word to reinforce the US’ own whitewash of terrorism in Syria.
The same degree of terrorism is happening in Yemen, only now the H word is not employed because the US coalition wants to whitewash the daily war crimes committed by the Saudi coalition, supported & endorsed by the US, EU, UK and UN.
Call it what it is! Yemen is a Holocaust and it is being committed by our regimes in the west who are fully cognizant of their own criminality & that of their client state coalition which has been waging a genocidal war of aggression and attrition against the Yemeni people for more than 1000 days.
The following report from Randi Nord of Geopolitical Alerts debunks 10 of the mainstay myths that are being promulgated by the colonial media in the west to muddy the waters on Yemen and distract from the Saudi coalition ethnic cleansing-project reality:
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 20, 2017.
France’s invitation to beleaguered Lebanese premier Saad Hariri for him and his family to spend ‘a few days in Paris’ has been viewed as French President Emmanuel Macron stepping in with deft soft power to resolve tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Less charitably, what Macron is really doing is giving cynical cover to the Saudi rulers for their extraordinary acts of aggression towards Lebanon and their violation of that country’s sovereignty.
Two of Hariri’s children were left in Saudi capital Riyadh while he visited France over the weekend. Were they being used as hostages by the Saudis to ensure that Hariri maintains the Saudi spin on events? Certainly, the arrangement raises suspicions, but the French president sought instead to affect a ‘normal’ nothing-is-unusual appearance.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week publicly accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri in Riyadh against his will. Aoun said the Saudi rulers were violating international law by detaining Hariri and forcing his resignation as prime minister of Lebanon. Such acts were tantamount to aggression, said President Aoun.
Yet Macron has said nothing about Saudi interference. He has instead turned reality on its head by censuring Iran for regional ‘aggression’ and thereby backing Saudi claims that Iran is supplying ballistic missiles to Yemen. Iran swiftly condemned Macron for ‘stoking regional tensions’.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 20, 2017.
Yemenis Sit Between the Hammer and Anvil of US-backed Saudi Siege and Airstrikes
Sana’a (GPA)’ – ‘Yemeni forces launched a long-range ballistic missile at the King Khalid Airport in early November in retaliation for the Saudi-led war against Yemen. Days later, Saudi Arabia tightened their already-existing blockade. This impacts Yemeni life in a number of ways and puts millions of Yemenis on the brink of death.
Nearly 1,000 days ago, Saudi Arabia along with most of the Gulf Cooperation Council and backed by western allies launched a brutal war against Yemen to defeat a popular uprising and prop-up the Saudi puppet government of Mansur Hadi.
International observers estimate the death toll from Saudi airstrikes and military operations is about 5,000 but local estimates suggest that total is over 13,000.
The number of Yemenis killed by the ongoing siege is harder to calculate. Not long after beginning the war, the Saudi coalition imposed a land, sea, and air blockade’ – ‘effectively turning Yemen into an open-air prison.
Aid, which was already severely restricted, is now nonexistent. The previous measures put seven million Yemenis on the brink of famine, made 17 million food insecure, and triggered a globally unprecedented cholera outbreak infecting nearly 1 million and killing over 3,000 since April.
The Saudi measures in early November increased this existing blockade by closing Yemen’s few remaining lifelines including the Aden airport, Hodeidah port, and various land routes. The siege also restricts the flow of movement, and the Sana’a airport has been closed to commercial travel for years. (Saudi airstrikes attacked the Sana’a airport’s communication equipment last week just to ensure aid cannot enter.)
People living in Sana’a say the once bustling capital has become a ghost town as the prices of available goods have skyrocketed.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 19, 2017.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, in opening remarks to the Arab League today, declared that the kingdom ‘will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe’ while requesting that joint action be taken to stop Iranian “aggression” and attacks on Arab states.
Last weekend Saudi Arabia called an emergency session of the Arab League to address what it labeled “Iranian interference” after the bizarre series of events related to MBS’ aggressive internal purge, which included the detention of Lebanese ex-PM Hariri, left the kingdom in an unprecedented state of strife and uncertainty. The destabilizing events were precipitated by a November 4 attack claimed by Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, which the Saudis called a “violation” committed by Iran, though Iran denied that it had anything to do with the rare ballistic missile launch out of Yemen.
Arab foreign ministers from member states met at League headquarters in Cairo on Sunday and in predictable fashion blasted Iran and Hezbollah for sowing instability and discord within Arab countries, citing Iranian “aggression” and expanding influence. The meeting is only the 12th such emergency summit to be held since the Arab League’s founding in 1945 – a fact which hints at Saudi Arabia’s increased desperation to confront Hezbollah while also shifting blame from its own self-made crisis at home.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.
Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad.
A hundred years after the Balfour Declaration and all that followed, and 100 years after the Sykes-Picot agreement, and after all the setbacks and pitfalls that marked our Arab history. After watching with bitter feelings the bombing of Baghdad and the destruction of Nimrud, and the barbaric attacks on Aleppo, Palmyra, and Western collusion with some Arabs against Libya and Yemen. After all this, what are we doing?
Would the Arabs continue using the same methods they’ve been using, which proved to be useless, or would they reconsider all the mechanisms that have been followed to date, studying the situation and considering the methods used by their enemies to beat them and trying to use them to respond to these enemies?
After these calamities that plagued our Arab people in their villages and cities, which caused untold pain and unprecedented migration, is it not necessary to reconsider the intellectual system that governed our actions to this day, and the need to replace it with a system that is more useful?
At this stage in the history of our nation, we must have a serious stand, a candid and confident dialogue with history and a re-evaluation of everything we have written and done in the past decades. But before we can do this, the Arab elites must meet and regain their self-esteem and be at the center of the events, and provide the vision makes a difference in the course of events. Hence, regardless of the governmental situation in the various Arab countries, the Arab elites are invited today to communicate and discuss, and find the best ways to hold workshops in more than one place to arrive at the formulation of logical strategies for a better future for all Arabs and to resolve many topics long-debated on the subjects of identity, Arabism, Islam , and citizenship in all our Arab countries, in addition to the issue of youth and migration.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 14, 2017.
The Yemen Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions. Each is claiming to constitute the Yemen government. This is really a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthi forces control the capital Sana’a who are allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh backed by Saudi Arabia. They are opposed by Yemen’s Shiite rebels who are loyal to the religious government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden, supported by Iran.
To grasp what this is all about, one must understand Islam. Saudi Arabia in Sunni that boils down to a separation of church and state. They are fighting the Shiite forces of Iran, which believe that religion should control the state. Therefore, the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital was manufactured by Iran as if this should be any surprise given that Iran is their backer.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 14, 2017.