Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hard to believe that on October 9, 2009 it was announced that the recipient of that year’s Nobel Peace prize would be President Barack Obama for of all things, his promotion of a "new climate" in international relations, especially in reaching out to the Middle east and Muslim world.  In December he accepted the award and gave the world a lecture on war and peace with introducing what he referred to as the concept of “just war.”

Image result for yemen obama saudi
This was in my perception a glance into the future, one in which Obama’s peace prize was more a portent of the actions the likes of Henry Kissinger, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles G. Dawes, and Woodrow Wilson than Linus Pauling, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr.  What has been observed is that since this date, President Obama has been as bellicose if not more so than any president we have had in the modern era. Personally between he, Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson it is likely a tie.

Since then, the Obama Administration has re-introduced a U.S. foreign policy of manifest destiny under the guise of humanitarian intervention. His foreign policy of the “Just war” has put us in and/or extended us in to too many nations to count including but not limited to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Mali, Egypt and Yemen. The last is his most recent and newly deadly war game activity. The war in Yemen (what the Saudi and U.S. call a military intervention) started in 2015, when Saudi Arabia with the support and assistance of leading a coalition of the United Sates, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain decided to play with the civilian population of Yemen in an effort to influence the outcome of a new civil war in the small once divide nation. 


Obama’s policy in Yemen is par for the course.  Not only is it directionless and incoherent, it does not have any impact on securing or protecting the interest of the U.S. In 2008, the then senator from Illinois was incessantly complaining about how prior administrations were always messing and sticking their nose in the affairs of other nations, in particular those in the Middle East. It was a period in which Mr. Obama openly indicated his disdain for war, especially proxy wars. Now something has altered and what has arisen is what may be called an Obama Doctrine (the doctrine of Just war). It must be recalled that the current effort in Yemen is the direct result of the people of Yemen overthrowing a U.S. and Saudi-backed and established puppet government in 2014. 


InYemen, as elsewhere Obama has made use of U.S. military, might, hardware or personnel for reasons that have no political or pragmatic objective. The President is using his bully pulpit either via advising, troops on the ground, special forces, drones, airstrikes and/or arming select nations as a part of a tool box to fix things he considers broken which in fact were never broken to begin with.

His administration (and the United Kingdom) started its upkeep for the Saudi-led war just to show that they had the backs of the Royal House of Saud by basically giving carte blanc to do whatever they want even war crimes.  And if this was not bad enough, he just approved a $1.5 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, of which includes giving the Saudi’s more than 150 M1A2 Abrams battle tanks. Moreover, Obama’s backing has not waivered since it began in March 2015. What has come about since then has been the brutal bombing and slaughter of tens of thousands on Yemeni civilians, mostly women and children in what has long been considered the poorest country in the Middle East.


Although Washington relies mostly on Saudi Arabia to do its dirty work, it has its hands equally as deep in the muck. Not only do we continue to  supply the Saudi with weapons, we also play a significant role in providing intelligence and aerial refueling even while knowing the Saudi’s continue (in spite of international law) to unlawfully committee war crimes by bombing hospitals, schools, mosque,weddings and funerals among other sites. Now it has been determined the Obama administration is also supplying SaudiArabia with white phosphorus which can maim and kill by burning to the bone.  It is estimated that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded thus far and national infrastructure critically damaged or destroyed completely We have even employed special operations teams on the ground. What I find peculiar is that here we are fighting through direct assistance or proxies, against Houthis from the North, who practice a type of Shia Islam called Zaydi, who we know are at odds and been battling our KNOWN enemy - Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  And why, well to install a President who ran unopposed, yet still considered legitimate by the Saudi’s and Obama administration when Obama personally said that the Burundi elections were"not credible" when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term unopposed.

What makes this entire even stranger is that the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is a known affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood were instrumental in starting the protests that demanded an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three decade rule which in December 2011 resulted in a unelected national unity cabinet which eventually ended up via phony election placing Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as president. So in essence we have the Houthis whom the Saudi’s hate, for taking over Sanaa and running a unelected Presidentout of the country, a president aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood whose leadership is closely linked with Yemen’s Salafists, who together with al-Qaeda, have been in open confrontation with the revivalist Zaidy group we call the Houthis. Taking it one step further, if I know that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian offshoot in Gaza is Hamas, then what does that make the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Obama and Saudi Salafists are trying to install? I will tell you - a terrorist by definition of the U.S. State Department.


It is a very strange situation President Obama has gotten the U.S. involved in,
specifically as he expands on our involvement in the undeclared war in Yemen. If it continues to manifest as it appears, this may be forever a dark cloud over Obama’s legacy especially when we compare it to how he admonishes the Russians for their operations in concert with Syria in their fight against ISIS. Inordinate human rights organizations including the U.N. and Human Rights Watch has been very critical of the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia for the carnage occurring in Yemen. President Obama is basically allowing for the destruction and murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen and if this is so, the query remains if the broader U.S. policy goal in the country is really stability? For even the novice this cannot be the objective seeing present wide-ranging support for the Saudi’s is a clear incongruity with his rhetoric when he suggested it was the U.S. and world’s role to stop proxy wars in the Middle East.


For the pragmatic, Yemen cannot be considered as one of Obama’s foreign policy success stories, unless his foreign policy legacy is that his actions (or lack of action) has caused millions of Yemenis to exist on the brink of starvation and disease while we assisted their Yemen’s more affluent Saudi neighbors smashup a nation just because they wanted to pick on someone.

Does anyone else find this comical and sickening? Just a two years Obama was all out everywhere giving speeches and making statements to the effect that the war on terror in Yemen was proving to be a great success, with here a drone, there a drone, and everywhere a drone-drone. Yemen is not success and rather an example of feckless foreign policy and mission creep in the form of “I’m just gone do some shit and don’t have any idea or don’t give a fck about what happens after I start some shit foreign policy. What do I care, I’m just gone give the Saudi’s cluster bombs and out the other side of my neck complain that Syria is using cluster (barrel) bombs too.  So what if they have been banned under the guidance of international war, I got no problems if the Saudi’s commit war crimes with more than 40% of their air strikes in Yemen since the bombing campaign began targeting civilians – just as long as it isn’t Assad or Putin it is all good. 
Just this past week Sunni-dominated government (if you can call it that) in Yemen suspended peace talks with the Houthi rebels, because the Houthi demanded a new government that would include them in the governance of the country in which they live. However this was unacceptable to both Saudi Arabia and the United States. So far, the UN says that upwards of 7 million Yemeni are on the verge of starvation with more than 70 percent existing without access to safe drinking water. This folk is the Obama Doctrine, the doctrine of the just war and this is in my purview, why I say Obama done fcked up Yemen.

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