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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

KSA and Israel; US Client States Have Their Priveleges

"The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has launched the country into a humanitarian crisis. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia has imposed a strict blockade on Yemen, which previously imported 90 percent of its food and medicine. According to UNICEF in May, the conflict has left 21 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, and more than 300,000 children under 5 at risk of severe malnutrition."

Amid continuous bipartisan hand-wringing regurgitation of Putin's international sin of annexing Crimea in 2014 and increased presence in Ukraine, increased bombing runs in Syria. All for the heinous act of supporting an ally who the US is actively trying to overthrow.

Still, few care to contrast the infinitely more brutal US supported civilian massacre in Yemen. 

The primary reason of course is to fight terrorism though ISIS and Al Queda of the Arabian Peninsula were non existent in the region in any real sense prior to US drone strikes beginning in earnest 2009-2010.

A New York Times Editorial lamenting America's 'complicity' in the Saudi onslaught of civilians in Yemen, and calling for suspension of weapons sales to the House of Saud, has got the pundits yapping and that's good. But where was this sane rational chorus call for 'control via withdrawal of support', during the 2014 Gaza invasion and civilian slaughter by Israel?

In that conflict, the NYT preferred to manufacture consent for Israel; Effectively, supporting and justifying the regime dropping the bombs. On a people under military occupation. Imagine the Nazis opening an air campaign on the Polish Resistance. 

When it comes to Israel's transgressions, zero shits are typically given about Palestinian civilian casualties.

Through this lens we can begin to see both the hypocrisy of the US media regarding "necessary wars" in Gaza and Yemen as two accounts of regional aggression by US allies and how this type of aggression wether Israeli or Saudi, is treated differently than Russian or Iranian "aggression".

In Yemen, the Saudis are our "imperfect" Arab allies. They are good because, with the help of American indifference (HRC weapons deals, UN Veto power, unified against a rising Iran), the Saudis  are probably the most obvious representation of  those "Muslim partners" politicians like to invoke as the solution to fighting ISIS.

Saudis get more opportunities to advance regional hegemony (see Yemen), the US gets a foothold in the radical Wahabee


 rest of the crazy and unpredictable (desiring self-determination); In Gaza, the Israelis. What makes the difference is the luxury to which we grant allowances for crimes against humanity to our 'western' allies, of which the House of Saud, is not. We are tight with the Saudis, but not so close as to have the US Congress cheering them on. 

Though similar in many ways, Gaza and Yemen are not alike. 

But the real reason, beyond even concerns of alleged Iranian influence via the Houthis is to thwart and undermine any authentic moves toward Arab Nationalism.

It is instructive to note the concern over Arab Nationalism is equally opposed by Saudi Arabia as it is by Israel.

Neither the House of Saud nor Likud Israeli regime is interested in neighboring with a regime dedicated the rights and concerns of its Arab non-Jewish population, but rather, the sublimation of those interests to Western concerns and business interests.

It is here then, that an overlapping of interests occurs between the three: Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States with the US continuing to tighten its grip over the Middle East.

Israel and KSI provide convenient sledgehammers on either end of the "Arab Israeli" ideological spectrum.

Military dictatorships have been the preferred option in the post-coup environment. In Argentina and Chile and Guatemala and most of Latin America, US backed death squads and authoritarian governments were the "go to" setup after the overthrow of the legitimate democratically elected government.

Turkey has reverted to this, as has Egypt. Client state governments can exist in any form so long as they perform their useful function to punish Arab resistance before it becomes another 'Arab Spring' and thereby "threatening" it's stability for the US and Western domination abroad.

KSI's slaughter of the Yemeni civilian population - an struggle pitting the region's most wealthy nation against its most vulnerable and impoverished - reminded me of another, another blockade, another humanitarian crisis, another chance for the United States to take a different road.

Gaza is to Israel what Yemen is to the Saudis - an isolated poor population carrying out violence in direct response to the violence carried out against them.

Recall Gaza the summer of 2014 during Israel's assault on the strip. The difference being Hama' mostly symbolic and strategically useless rocket attacks into Israel, adding another empty "threat" to which Israel could respond with disproportionate force behind the charade of self-defense.

With Israel demonstrating record levels of impunity across the two Obama terms, especially in Gaza - Operation/s Caste Lead, Pillar of Defense, the Mavri Mamara Flotilla Massacre, Netanyahu's public opposition to Iran nuclear deal, bicameral address of US Congress, efforts to sabotage deal behind the scenes. 

Caping it all off will likely be a $4-5 bn 10 year guaranteed weapons aid package for Israel, a state with free health care. This will put this aid beyond reach, a move Israel will not misinterpret.

Yet we must look to our ever more brazen "ally" to the west to see where all this impunity is likely to go. 

It is becoming clear, specifically with the latest Saudi Bombing of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital yesterday, a bombing, the Saudi Arabia is not left behind in regional brutality. The Doctors without borders strike killed 15 civilians. The shells, Made in the USA.

The fourth Doctors without Borders Hospital to be hit in 17-month conflict. Yet the US remains silent.

The Saudis recently elbowed their way onto the UN Human Rights Commission, instantly rendering it irrelevant. KSI also blatantly coerced the UN into removing Saudi Arabia - a move similar to what the US Congress did when Israel was threatened inclusion on the same report.

And with a looming Clinton presidency - HRC saw through historic arms sales to the Saudis and accepted 10's of millions from the House of Saud on behalf of The Clinton Foundation - it does' t take the mind of Seuss to imagine even more "special treatment" for our Saudi friend.

We are likely to see a newly emboldened KSI, patterned on Israeli impunity that has characterized the region for decades.

All with a stern condemnation followed by a wink and a nod from the State Department.