26/12/17: U.S. Wars Budgets: More Lessons Never Learned

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.

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 48 Yemeni Civilians In 24 Hours

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.

The search for pure ideals in politics

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.

YEMEN: Will Saleh’s Death Precipitate US Direct Military Action in a War They Orchestrated?

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.

Trump Walks A Tightrope with Mideast Peace Plan

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.

More Details Emerge Of Yemeni Rebel Cruise Missile Launch On Abu Dhabi Nuclear Plant

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.

US-Supplied Defense System Failed To Intercept Houthi Missile Attack On Saudi Capital

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.

Houthi Rebels Take Over Yemen Capital After Killing Ex-President Saleh

GRAPHIC content
Images of what seems to be former President of #Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh dead . pic.twitter.com/6HEgVbOrZI
— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) December 4, 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.

Yemen Houthis Blow Up Ex-President Saleh’s House, Sparking Rumors Of His Death

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.

Yemen Rebels Claim They Fired Missile At Abu Dhabi Nuclear Plant

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.

India’s Secret Involvement in the War Against Yemen

Andrew Korybko
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.