Finally the Saudi princes had a chance to use their hundred billion dollars of weapons stockpiles. They chose Southern Arabia, or events chose Yemen for them.
Except that they used it in their usual shadow-dancing: they used the best Western weapons that money can buy, at a huge cost of prices and bribes, but they used them in yet another Arab country. A country that has not attacked them. This time the poorest Arab country outside Africa became the testing ground. Last time it was Bahrain, but that was a security operation. This one in Yemen became a genocidal massacre of people, destruction of cities and infrastructure and food supplies. A genocide against a whole country, even as the local Yemeni factions are killing each other, largely but predictably ignored by Western media. The remnants of Arab liberals, with keen trained eyes focused on Saudi, Qatari, and Emirati money, have largely ignored the attack on Yemen.
The Saudis harkened to the simpler days of Desert Storm, when the cause was clear: Saddam’s Baathist army had occupied a sovereign country and was trounced by an American-led Western coalition, with a few Arab brigades for window-dressing. Never original, they came up with Decisive Storm, which has proved anything but decisive. The ragtag Houthi tribals and their Yemeni army allies withstood the air assault and forced a ceasefire. The escaped former president of Yemen, General AbdRabuh Hadi (Bin Zombie) and his foreign minister and their corrupt Islah (Muslim Brotherhood) partners kept urging more war and a land invasion, into a war they had both escaped and would not fight. The Saudis may have even used the fateful motto “Mission Accomplished”, a la George W Bush in the early days of the Iraq War.
So, will the absolute repressive tribal non-elected Saudi and Qatari potentates force a democratic elected government on Yemen? Would that be through the reinstatement of the weakling General Hadi and his corrupt Islah (local Muslim Brotherhood) allies? Oddly, or maybe not, Islah is Arabic for Reform, but it was anything but reform). Both prospects are unlikely: there an Arab saying that “one can’t bestow what one doesn’t have : فاقد الشيئ لا يعطيه“. An excellent and appropriate saying in the rich Arab tradition. But the Middle East strives to be a little bit more Kafkaesque than the rest of the world.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum