Everything is possible in Yemen, even peace
Everything is possible in Yemen, even peace, and it will not come because of the commiseration of the invaders in the face of the tragedy originated, but because of their desperation. That of getting bogged down in a war they thought was easy. A war in which they have suffocated, murdered and massacred the Yemeni civilian population. The bloody war that, despite their power and capitals, the House of Saud will lose.
Two weeks after the shocking attacks against Aramco, the Houthis carried out a new overwhelming action for the regime. “Victory of God”, the largest operation against Saudi Arabia.
- 1 The media disguise of the Saudi setbacks
- 2 Signs or false hope?
- 3 The Al Saudis do not comply
- 4 The fragile fortress
- 5 Defensive ineptitude exposed
- 6 The anachronistic monarchy
- 7 Mark Twain and the paradox of the victor
- 8 Attack on Yemen is against humanity
- 9 Everything is possible in Yemen, even peace
- 10 The Kingdom to come
- 11 See other articles
The media disguise of the Saudi setbacks
This is a series of maneuvers executed to the south of the kingdom’s domains by Yemeni forces, with the backing of Ansarollah (Telesur, 2019). As a result of the operations, hundreds of fighters were killed, and thousands of Saudi soldiers and Yemeni mercenaries were captured. Several military vehicles and a large quantity of weapons were seized.
Someone warned that maybe, who knows where, something must have happened. Riyadh pressed, as best it could, for the video not to be broadcast (Hispantv, 2019). In the audiovisual, provided by the Yemeni Armed Forces, the captured soldiers and mercenaries are shown.
Even so, the Yemeni penetrations were dry blows in the belly of almost five years of cannibalistic harassment. One of them, a thousand kilometers inside the Arab kingdom.
Signs or false hope?
Yemeni forces had previously carried out several attacks. They were carried out with domestic Qasef K-2 or Samad-3 drones and Badr-1 short-range ballistic missiles. And they hey attacked Saudi positions, military airfields and international airports (Abha and Najran) in the south of the country.
The operations clearly announced what was to come, but the signals were ignored in the royal palaces. Until what happened happened: the last fifteen days were pitted against five years of intense Saudi invasion. And it doesn’t look good the extended time frame taken by the ruffians to finish off Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has recently decreased the intensity and number of attacks (UN News, October 2019). It would appear that the door to negotiation is finally opening and that the ultra-conservative monarchy is assessing the possibility of appeasing the conflict.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) does not seem to be willing to continue battling in Yemen’s quicksand either. Especially after realizing that the Yemeni reprisals are serious. And that their glass towers are a target.
The Al Saudis do not comply
Three negotiation attempts were verified before, amid crossfire and mutual distrust. One, in Geneva, in June 2015. Another, in Kuwait, in 2016. And the one in Stockholm, which was signed in December 2018. The latter endures on paper, not so much, in reality.
The UN, in a May report, confirmed the fulfillment of commitments by Yemeni troops. These withdrew from three ports in the west of the country. This was not the case for the forces financed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
They have been sitting at the table. And those who lack political power on the ground (Hadi, Saudi Arabia, the United States and the UN) try to subject those who do have it (the Houthis) to their demands (Medina Gutierrez, 2018). No sit-in, of course, has led anywhere.
Dawn will dawn and we will see what recent events define. If the scions of the ruling house in Saudi Arabia were smart, they would soon sign peace with Yemen. But, it has been proven, they are not as smart as one might think.
The fragile fortress
The Al Saudis have held on to the throne for many decades, it is true. While the sand kingdoms of other absolutisms are crumbling around. But the virtue, more than its own, is foreign. Or rather, it was until last September 14.
The pillars of perpetuation lie, since 1945, on a surreptitiously public agreement signed aboard the aircraft carrier Quincey. As agreed between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the United States and Saudi Arabia exchanged military protection for oil.
It is now evident that the security provided by the United States to the Al Saudis inside is not so useful outside. They have shielded that house against the people and what is left of other castes. But little against the risks of the neighborhood.
On the other hand, it is very insecure for Saudi Arabia to go along with US regional plans or to make alliances with the Israelis. Wahhabism and Zionism, another dangerous issue. Forces that target not only Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria or Palestine, but above all Iran.
Defensive ineptitude exposed
The Yemenis confirmed an open secret. That the senile MIM-104 Patriot mobile air defense system was astonishingly effective in advertising spots and “pre-sales”, but disappointing when it came to real work. The system is the brainchild of U.S. powerhouses Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
88 systems deployed in the Arab kingdom failed to identify, track, much less repel, the attacking drones. And they left the Vision 2030 of the princeling Bin Salman groping in the dark.
To tell the truth, other prestigious actors joined in the display of defensive ineptitude. For example, the U.S. naval integrated combat system Aegis, of the RCA Corporation, also produced by Lockheed Martin.
Or the Swiss Oerlikon GDF systems, from a subsidiary of Rheinmetall-DeTec AG, the largest German arms manufacturer. And the batteries of the Shahine anti-aircraft system, a version of the French Crotale system.
For completeness, according to the serious Romanian military expert Valentin Vasilescu (September 2019): “The artillery section in the north of the refinery was the only one that fired at them (the drones), between the columns of the infrastructures. And part of the shells fell on the refinery.”
In other words, they contributed their grain of sand (or rather, lead) to the attack. That would explain why there were more than 27 fire outbreaks in one of the refineries alone.
The anachronistic monarchy
The war against Yemen, which the Saudis believed to be a neighborhood war, is shaking their house. Or, at least, it wears them out more than it is. The war, calculated for a few weeks, was quickly rescheduled for half a year.
Five years have passed and it is still a headache for the incompetent billionaires. Petrodollars do not buy them the longed-for and indispensable victories.
The opulent invaders, moreover, are penetrated and harmed by the invaded poor. Simple consequences of the regime’s bullying by the neighborhood,
Two realities inhabiting opposing worlds: the Houthis, so backward in the conception of the Arab kingdom. Which, however, match the times of resistance of the Yemenis. The Kingdom, despite the pomp, the gold and the huge investments in technology companies, which is still the suffocating monarchy of the past.
Mark Twain and the paradox of the victor
The Al Saudis cannot understand how a country with an economy almost forty times smaller has humiliated them in such a way. It has also made a fool of Bin Salman.
They did not count on the fortune of the Yemenis to own donkeys and camels in the rugged terrain where armored vehicles are a rarity. Ten or fifteen thousand dollar drones that do not detect the multi-million dollar integrated defense systems. Or three-thousand-dollar RPGs that blow up tanks costing between four and eight million dollars, depending on the version, for the indifferent case.
Mark Twain, in A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, employs “the possibly hurtful paradox of the victor destroyed by the weight of his dead vanquished.” He is quoted by John Steinbeck in There Once Was a War (1958), the masterful compendium of articles published by the future Nobel laureate in The New York Herald Tribune (originally, in 1943).
The day when Yemen falls dead is a long way off. Nor does it look like a defeated country. But the weight of the well-off catastrophe is destroying Saudi Arabia, the provocative country and until not so long ago the supposed winner. The chessboard of the war has changed.
Attack on Yemen is against humanity
Yemen (Al-Yaman, in Arabic), etymologically, may mean “blessings” or “prosperity”, or perhaps it alludes to “south”, as a cardinal point (from “yamin”, a Semitic word). I do not know, and as far as I know it is not known. Deciphering where the term “Yemen” comes from is as complex as guessing where the country is going.
Someday a peace agreement will be signed, and it will be difficult to establish how much the popular movement will have gained, with a country in disarray and a population with bitterness in its back. Cities more barren than the desert. Demolished infrastructures.
An obstacle course, with all that, preferable to the option of an occupied and “safe” homeland, as the invaders left the Libyan, Iraqi, Afghan and so many others.
The Yemenis lose a lot with this unacceptable war, with this unforgivable Saudi invasion. But much is also lost for humanity. The leaders and governments, who speak of justice in their stuffy speeches, show the infamy and negligence of which they are capable.
Yemen’s precious heritage is part of our collective past uprooted by Saudi ambition. We cannot forget it, we should not ignore it.
Everything is possible in Yemen, even peace
What is indisputable, from whatever perspective, is that the regime has lost the most meritorious weapon it had: the reputation of being powerful. On the contrary, it has exposed its most critical secret: its vulnerability.
These conditions, precisely, could bring the two states closer, even if only in the medium term, to the signing of a peace agreement. The Saudi bullies will have more and more to lose. So at the present juncture, anything is possible in Yemen, even peace.
The Kingdom to come
The world has had the certainty of what the Saudi majesties and their partners are in effect: a murderous spree. For the assassinations and internal purges, of course. But, above all, by the fury of the actions and massacres committed against the most defenseless Yemeni population.
May the Arab countrymen distinguish, among the other swindles, the junk kingdom that the future holds for them with another Al Saud as king. May they distinguish from now on that future piled up among the moldy Abrams tanks.
Or among the sleepy Patriot anti-aircraft batteries, the dangerous (for those who use it) THAAD anti-missile system. And hopefully it will be before there is not a single corner of the Kingdom that ignominy does not contain it.
Article revised and updated. Original publication: November 3, 2019. International channel portal: Hispantv.
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Serie: WAR AGAINTS YEMEN.