Persian Gulf: Local Powder Keg, Western Market Opportunity……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“In Yemen, “Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16″ in sorties in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, wrote the Times. U.S. arms manufacturers have opened up offices in several Arab capitals, and reportedly expect additional orders from regional countries for “thousands of American-made missiles, bombs and other weapons” to replenish “an arsenal that has been depleted over the past year,” according to The New York Times. In an earnings call leaked to The Intercept last month, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson stressed the company’s goals to increase international sales, particularly in the Middle East. “A lot of volatility, a lot of instability, a lot of things that are happening” in the Middle East are potential “growth areas”………….”

In 1979, after the mullahs and their temporary secular allies overthrew the Shah of Iran, they made a nearly-fateful decision. They canceled all pending weapons contracts with the United States (that was before the Hostage Crisis). The decision was partly driven by ‘revolutionary’ zeal, and based on the naive assumption that they were safe from external attack and that they could influence the region with their revolutionary message and rhetoric.
Next year Saddam Hussein did something that quickly disabused them of that rosy view. Saddam saw an opportunity in the turmoil within Iran and made his own fateful decision by invading southwestern Iran. That war disappointed all expert predictions as it lasted eight years and bankrupted Iraq to the extent that Saddam invaded Kuwait to loot its wealth. We all know that story is still unfolding in Iraq and across the region (and to some extent within Iranian political circles).
Suddenly our once peaceful Gulf looked quite menacing. Meanwhile, with the two Persian Gulf superpowers, Iran and Iraq, otherwise occupied, the smaller countries started building up their own arsenals, to supplement the American Umbrella. Now Saudi Arabia, UAE and other GCC states are major weapons markets for the West (and the East). The Iranian mullahs probably salivate at the quality and quantity of state-of-the-art Western weapons that their smaller neighbors to the south can get. Only the Israelis get better weapons than the GCC states, and that is certainly deliberate American policy.

The mullahs will probably have to keep on salivating: Western weapons are unlikely to be available to Iran any time soon. That is not all bad. They have managed to develop their own vast weapons industry, as well as a credible space program. Which means they have locally mastered the sciences and technology needed. For a country the size of Iran, it makes sense to focus on domestic production. Besides, they have not done so bad in terms of regional influence, even without F-15 and F-16 warplanes and shared Western intelligence.

I am tempted to assert that it would be better for the other Gulf states to develop their own weapons industries. But there may be a small problem with that. Where would the princes and potentates, and their families, get the huge amounts of money that the weapons bribes commissions provide?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Is Obama Trapped in the Saudi War on Southern Arabia? You Betcha……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“The Tuesday announcement of an end to Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, followed just a few hours later by more Saudi airstrikes on Yemen, has apparently not made the US bat an eye, and they are still pushing for a continuation of the war. “Obviously the job is not done,” White House officials said, saying they and their allies are “going to be doubling down” on the conflict. The US has been involved in a support role in Yemen, helping Saudi planes pick targets and assisting in the naval blockade which is causing humanitarian shortages……….”

The Saudis have used up a lot of American ammunition and bombs over the heads of the people of Yemen. They could not have done that so easily without a green light from the Obama administration. Nor without American intelligence and targeting, such as it has been in Yemen. And they would not have their ambassador in Washington become the main cheerleader for the war (sans pompoms).

Somehow the Saudis have got the United States to join their recent misadventure in Yemen. President Obama was starting o get a lot of lip from the usual Republican warmongers and jingoists in the Senate as well as complaints from some of the Persian Gulf potentates who had been urging him to get tougher and use the illusory “all options” against Iran. He joined the Yemen attack through American intelligence, targeting and most likely all other noncombat operations. He has also sent a naval task force from the Persian Gulf toward the Gulf of Aden.

Probably not very smart, considering the US has been unable to effectively push back Al Qaeda AQAP in Yemen, and the fact that the Houthis are the most effective enemies of AQAP. And the fact that the Saudis have apparently been careful to use American ordinance only against ‘others’ in Yemen, but not against AQAP.
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Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Weird Saudi War on Yemen: Reluctant Allies, a Ceasefire Prank………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“Saudi Arabia’s resumption of airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen on Wednesday, only hours after it abruptly declared a halt to most military operations, reflected the difficulty of finding a political solution to the crisis. It also showed the challenges facing the Obama administration as it increasingly relies on allies in the Middle East. Senior Saudi officials made clear on Wednesday that they had not formally declared an end to bombing………”

Saudi behavior in their war on Yemen is getting weirder almost by the day:

First, they demanded that former president General Hadi who has escaped from Sanaa then from Aden be reinstated. He presided over part of Yemen, his allies were quite corrupt, and he is not liked because he invited foreign bombings and invasion of his country. I have told them, nay fatwa-ed, in postings here that Hadi will never return to Sanaa (no matter how long he travels لا صنعاء ولو طال السفر ), most likely not even to Aden. Apparently they did not listen.

Second, they invited Turkey and Pakistan and Egypt to join the assault on Yemen. Only Egypt was partly amenable, and the humorless Kingdom of Jordan to a limited extent.

Third, this war is presumably led by new defense minister Prince Muhammad, son of King Salman, who is in his twenties. Highly unlikely that he is ‘leading’ or strategizing the campaign: he has been on the job only a few weeks. I’d bet the farm, if I had a farm, that he is being strongly advised by others, mainly foreigners, on strategy.

Fourth, they’ve spent a month bombing cities, infrastructure and military installations, killing many Yemenis and wounding more. Yet they claim they were doing it for the Yemeni people. They warned of an Iranian “presence” in Houthi Yemen, yet nobody could locate a single Iranian soldier or Revolutionary Guard or bricklayer anywhere in Yemen.

Fifth, the bombing campaign has failed. The Saudi king issued a decree inviting or authorizing the National Guard NG to join the battle. The NG is a ground force owned by Prince Meteb (Muteb if you will) bin Abdullah, who inherited it from his late father King Abdullah. Maybe they were setting him up for a medal.

Sixth, one day later they declared that their military strikes on Yemen have ended.

Seventh, within hours of the declaration of cessation of bombing they resumed bombing Yemen. Confusing moves by the confused; or maybe it was a prank.

Eighth, there are reasonably credible reports that other GCC states are in this adventure reluctantly. The United Arab Emirates, UAE, is reported to be unhappy about it. Oman has wisely refused to join this Wahhabi crusade. The other Gulf potentates are sort of barely in it, but it is really a Saudi-American operation.

Ninth, very important, they have no shortages of the best weapons that the western powers can manufacture and export. Can it tip the balance against the lightly-armed Houthis? Maybe it can, but the war is confined to one-sided aerial bombing………

And that is where it stands………..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Bentleys for Bombs: a Saudi Prince Treats his Pilots as Bounty Hunters……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, a nephew of the king, is into money. I mean really into it, not just through his Kingdom Holdings. Like most of them he believes he can buy it all with money, and maybe he is right. Immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11 he showed up in New York with a big cheque of several millions. He was doing fine until he opened his mouth about “Jews” and “Jewish” influence and how it affected the attacks. The mayor of New York correctly returned his cheque, possibly told him where to shove it. Later on, the prince initiated a lawsuit against Forbes Magazine for underestimating his true wealth by a few billion. It must be nice being a Saudi prince, provided you are also born with the mindset.

One month after their military onslaught against the Yemenis, he did it again, in typical Saudi royal fashion. He flashed money at their military men. Prince Al-Waleed tweeted that he was gifting 100 Bentleys to the one hundred Saudi pilots who bombed the hell out of Yemen. An obscene gesture from one of the richest Arab princes to reward the men who destroyed the poorest Arab country outside Africa. He treated the pilots like they were ‘bounty hunters’ of the Old West: essentially a bounty for killing and destroying a poor country. The prince quickly erased this offer from his Twitter account: either he was strongly advised against it or he realized there has been no victory yet. Or maybe he had not realized how much a Bentley costs. Most likely someone higher up than him thought the prince was trying to steal the limelight, or the thunder, from him.

I can’t imagine Al Sisi of Egypt or Erdogan of Turkey or Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan offering their pilots a Bentley each. Or affording such obscenity: bounty for killings. Maybe that is one reason they declined to join the war on Yemen. It is a rich man’s war against the poorest of Arabs.

And that is where it stands…..

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Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Tony Blair Visits Riyadh: is the Weasel Offering Free War Advice?……….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

Arab media report on Tony (the Weasel) Blair visiting the rich moneyed part of Middle East. Tony Blair, the consummate warmonger of our region, has landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is also visiting Bahrain, but that is only a footnote visit to a footnote dynasty. You never see him visit poorer Arab countries: Yemen or Sudan or Somalia or Gaza.

Tony must be up to ‘something’. He is as credible among Arab peoples as, say, Benedict Arnold has been in American history. Even though Arab princes and potentates seem to deal with him, actually hire him. So what is he cooking for the Saudi King, whom he reportedly has met with a large delegation? Is Tony trying to keep his useless job of “Middle East Quartet” bullshitter? Is he giving advice on how to achieve “victory” in Yemen?
One thing is certain: Tony Blair never diverges from what the oil princes and potentates like. His eyes are always on the wallet, since long before he kissed Gaddafi on the cheeks (no, the other ones) as he lobbied for J P Morgan Bank. That was just months before he rediscovered how evil and “dictatorial” Gaddafi was.
So what is the weasel up to these days?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Libya Massacre: Hezbollah Blasts ISIS and Others…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“Hezbollah denounced the new crime that was committed by the terrorist group of ISIL in Libya and that claimed dozens of innocent Ethiopian citizens, offering condolences to the families of the victims and those who experienced the agonies of that horrible massacre. In a statement, Hezbollah considered that the crime complements the series of tarnishing the image of Islam and the Muslims and persists on seeking the religious and the sectarian wars in order to serve the malicious plots of the intelligence services in a number of Arab and Western countries………….”

This is a common and now-increasing allegation among various Arab groups that Western powers are behind the growth of ISIS/ISIL. Many Arab opinionators, from a rainbow of ideologies, easily claim that ISIS was a creation of Western powers, or Israel, or even Iran. Some paranoid types on the Persian Gulf even claim the group was created by all of the above.
They overlook the simple fact that this murderous Caliphate emerged and was nurtured by Wahhabi ideology, Wahhabi volunteers, and Wahhabi oil money. And we all know where those three factors meet.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Hezbollah: Lebanese Shepherd Dog Beats Back IDF, LOL…….

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“The Israeli occupation army violated the Lebanese border eastern Kfar Shuba and attempted to capture a shepherd, according to Al-Manar reporter. The Zionist trial failed as the shepherd’s dog attacked the occupation soldiers…………”

This is the story according to Hezbollah network. It is also not the first time there have been reports of Israeli soldiers attempting to kidnap Lebanese shepherds along the border. It is not clear why they would want to kidnap a shepherd: maybe a built-in suspicion from the days before they were forced (by Hezbollah) to withdraw from South Lebanon. This is an annual event according to Lebanese media. Almost a tradition now.
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Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
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Genocide in Southern Arabia: Proxy War, Schmoxy War………

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“The fighting in Yemen risked escalating still further as American defence officials said the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, was steaming towards Yemeni waters potentially to intercept suspected Iranian arms shipments to the Houthi rebels. Since last week, the Pentagon has been voicing alarm about a convoy of ships bound for Yemen from Iran, suspicious that its aim is to resupply the rebels as they fight pro-government forces to try to seize control of the country. The Roosevelt, already in the Arabian Sea, will join other US Navy assets already in the Gulf of Aden ………Already seen to be fighting a proxy war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran now risk a more direct confrontation………….”

How can they say Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war? Saudi warplanes and missiles raining death and destruction everyday on Yemenis. This is not a proxy war: it is a direct Saudi war against Yemen, with a lot of help from Western allies………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

War on Yemen: Neither Shock Nor Awe, Allah Be Praised and Alhamdulillah……..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“The US Navy has sent two warships to Yemeni waters to conduct ‘maritime security operations.’ However, Washington denies they have been sent to intercept an alleged Iranian naval convoy carrying weapons for Houthi anti-government forces. The Pentagon said in a statement on Monday that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort cruiser USS Normandy have transited from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea on April 19. “Theodore Roosevelt and Normandy have joined other US forces conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea,” the statement reads………………”

They have called their air assault on Yemen Decisive Storm, a cheaper imitation of Desert Storm, what Americans usually call the Persian Gulf War. But this operation has been anything but decisive: early on I correctly called it Faltering Storm.

Don’t expect the Saudi King, or a gaggle of other Arab princes and potentates and kleptocrats in military garb to soon land on some battleship, with a huge sign behind them proclaiming: “Mission Accomplished. Alhamdulillah: Allah be Praised

There has been no Shock or Awe in the war on Yemen. What has happened was what was expected by anyone but the delusional attackers. It was always known that Yemen is no match for the best warplanes and missiles the West can manufacture and sell, nor for the best electronic and communications and tracking devices the West can sell. Almost nobody outside the delusional cities of Riyadh or Abu Dhabi or Doha expected the one-sided air war to achieve any goals, besides destruction of Yemen’s poor infrastructure. 

It has also been generally known that the attackers are no match for the Yemenis, Houthi and allies, on the ground. That the rugged land of Yemen could chew them up and spit them out. That is why they have been seeking paid mercenary forces from faraway poor places as cannon fodder.

It has been almost a month of bombing now, with the rich petro-princes throwing everything at the lightly armed Houthis and their allies. Whatever goal they had for their assault has not been achieved. The Houthis are as defiant as they were months ago, perhaps more now that their civilians have been murdered by the hundreds, perhaps by the thousands. The brotherly and sisterly attackers have no option now but to continue the bombing until some face-saving formula is offered or give up.

The Western powers are willing to resupply the weapons, provide more intelligence, send more warships, clamp more sanctions. All for a price. There is talk of American mid-air tankers feuling Saudi warplanes so that they can destroy more Yemeni homes faster. New ships are being sent to the Yemeni region, both American and Iranian. The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, no less, seems ready to join the Saudi bombing of Yemen. Which would put Mr. Obama even more squarely on the side of aggression. The bombings are becoming more ferocious, more insistent, more desperate.

A long war of attrition of the kind that invaders usually don’t win.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Obama Will OK Iran Nuclear Deal Review by Netanyahu………..

Shuwaikh-school1 RattleSnakeRidge Sharqeya-Baneen-15

KuwaitCox2

“Obama Will OK Congress Iran Deal Review. On Friday, President Obama called a bill which would allow Congress to review the terms of an Iran nuclear deal a “reasonable compromise” and said he planned to sign the bill. He said he feels it will not derail talks with Iran, though Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker and leading Democrat Ben Cardin have been tasked with making sure that the bill is not laced with “poison pills,” or amendments that might kill the Iran agreement…………..”

I, we all know (at least in the Middle East) that it will not be truly the US Congress that will really review and judge the Iran nuclear deal. It will almost certainly be the real boss who will effectively do so: Benyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel and Supreme Leader of the U.S. Congress (both houses, both parties).

Eventually, to approve the deal, Obama will have to go around the Congress. Otherwise, no deal: congress is bent on either tightening the blockade of Iran or waging another major war of choice against another Muslim country in the Middle East.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Multidisciplinary: Middle East, North Africa, Gulf, GCC, World, Cosmos…..