(photo above: 15 August 2016, Yemen, U.S. weapons, Saudi pilots)
Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The U.S.-Saudi-UAE “Operation Restoring Hope” has become their plan to bomb the food-supply route that the residents in the Shiite Houthi area of Yemen rely upon in order to receive food, and thereby for the U.S.-Saudi-UAE alliance to win their war against the Houthis — who are Shiites — and to take full control over Yemen, by forcing this Houthi population to either surrender to the Sauds’ strict Sunni rule, or else starve to death. Saudi Arabia, on occasion, bombs its own Shia areas; so, doing it in its neighbor Yemen is no stretch for them. However, the Shiites inside Saudi Arabia aren’t also being starved to death. Starving Shiites to death is something new for Saudi Arabia’s troops. And, therefore, the troops who have this assignment, seem to be, perhaps, squeamish about it; but, in any case, they evidently need some ‘moral’ guidance, in order to do it.
On July 10th, the owner of Saudi Arabia, the royal Saud family (by means of the Crown Prince), issued a proclamation providing absolution in advance for any bloodshed, torture, rape, or anything else, that their troops perpetrate in their “Operation Restoring Hope.” Now, whatever the troops of Saudi Arabia do, to conquer Yemen, has been officially approved in advance. These soldiers won’t need to fear any repercussions against themselves. Whatever they do, is officially okay — it’s been authorized in advance.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman al-Saud — who will inherit ownership of Saudi Arabia when the current King Salman al-Saud dies — issued the July 10th decree, and this decree will be presented here, in full.
For some reason, which the decree doesn’t state, this decree was viewed by Prince Salman to be necessary, in order for the U.S.-Saudi-UAE alliance to carry “Operation Restoring Hope” to a successful completion — victory. (“Restoring Hope” to the victors.) And, once victory is achieved, the royal Saud family, who are the world’s largest purchaser of U.S.-made weapons (other than the U.S. Department of Defense) and thus are the U.S. Government’s chief global ally, will control that adjoining country, too, no longer just control Saudi Arabia.
The seven royal families who own UAE are followers of the Sauds (the world’s richest family) and are also followers of the Sauds’ fundamentalist-Sunni form of Islam, which was founded in the 1700s by Muhammad ibn Wahhab and so is called “Wahhabism.” Outside Saudi Arabia, however, it’s called “Salafism.” (Egyptian clerics in the 1800s who agreed with what Wahhab wrote, started calling themselves “Salafists,” instead of “Wahhabists”; thus, the “Salafist movement” started.) U.S. military firms such as Lockheed Martin supply their products to both of those Wahhabist-Salafist nations’ markets, which means selling to the Sauds and to the seven Emirs or Kings in UAE. And, of course, America’s oil and gas corporations, and oilfield services firms such as Halliburton, likewise could increase those Wahhabist-Salafist (i.e., fundamentalist-Sunni) markets, by building oil-pipelines through conquered countries, etc.
This is the U.S. alliance to conquer Yemen. They all are at war against Shia Muslims, and especially against the most-Shia country, which is Iran. Of course, the Houthis, as Shia, support Iran and are rejected by the Sauds. So, this is a religious war, and not merely a war between nations, and also not merely a war between national economies or aristocracies.
The apartheid theocracy, the Jewish government in Israel, is, furthermore, allied with the U.S.; and, so, whereas the Sauds and UAE are at war against Shia Muslims, the Sauds and UAE aren’t at war against either Christians or Jews. Moreover, Israel isn’t participating in the alliance’s war to conquer Yemen. Israel has no interest in Yemen — neither to participate in controlling the land, nor to sell weapons to kill Houthis.
Terrorism, likewise, isn’t an issue in this war. Al Qaeda, which is exclusively a fundamentalist Sunni organization, is funded entirely by the U.S.-allied Muslim aristocracies, all of which are Sunni — none are Shia. Al Qaeda, and ISIS (an Al Qaeda spin-off) are entirely in the Sunni-controlled part of Yemen, none in the Houthi-controlled part, because Shia and fundamentalist-Sunni groups are enemies of one-another — never (except in Israel) allies of one-another.
Shia, furthermore, don’t participate in terrorism against Christian-majority countries, except, rarely, on occasions when those countries’ troops are (in order to protect Israel or the Sauds or other allies) fighting, or are stationed in, Muslim-majority countries. Virtually all of the Islamic terrorism that The West experiences, comes from America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies (these monarchies and their respective aristocracies), all of which are in a long war against Shia and especially against Iran after the fall of the U.S.-installed Shah occurred in 1979. The Shia faith is built upon rejection of monarchies; and, so, that overthrow of the U.S.-installed hereditary monarch, the Shah, in Shia Iran in 1979, frightened the Sunni monarchs and heightened their hatred against Shiites. The anti-Houthi war is a reflection of these monarchs’ fear of Shia.
Islamic terrorism, otherwise known as jihadism, is done entirely by fundamentalist Sunnis (Salafists and Wahhabists) except in Israel, where both fundamentalist Sunnis and fundamentalist Shia sometimes participate in it.
Therefore, the war against the Houthis in Yemen isn’t anti-terrorist: it has nothing to do with the U.S. alliance’s relationship to either Al Qaeda, ISIS, or any similar group, since those groups are part of the U.S. alliance’s war against Shia. Al Qaeda and ISIS both are strongly anti-Houthi. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia produces more suicide-bombers than any other country. And the bagman who picked up, in person, each one of the million-dollar-plus cash donations to Al Qaeda prior to 9/11, said, “without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing” of Al Qaeda; and he listed then some of the Saud Princes, such as Bandar, Salman (now King), Waleed, and Turki, from whom he had picked up such huge cash donations.
So: the alliance is to serve and protect the aristocracies, not to serve and protect their respective publics. The aristocracies determine the alliances; the publics do not. The publics are merely to be fooled, so as to pay taxes, and to fight (as “cannon fodder”) for their aristocracy, against the nations this aristocracy wants to conquer.
Thus, the pressures from the aristocracy are to get the public to support higher ‘defense’ spending (expenditures which benefit the billionaires) and lower domestic spending (expenditures which benefit the public). Getting the public to support increased ‘defense’ spending is achieved by demonizing certain ‘dictators’ while praising even real dictators who are allied with one’s own aristocracy. One’s allies are, for example, ‘the free world’, while one’s targets to be destroyed are ‘dictators’; and, so, that’s one way of fooling the public. Increasing the hate against ‘the enemy’, while praising ‘the allies’ (whomever endorses that hate), is part of this standard ancient aristocratic business-plan. Another part of this business-plan is advocating ‘small government’ and cutbacks in government-spending for health, education and welfare, in order for the government to be able to raise ‘defense’ expenditures (taxpayers’ subsidies to the aristocracy’s warfare-industries). And, if fooling the public about a given matter fails, then the government just ignores what the public wants (since none of these countries is actually a democracy). Getting the job done is all that really matters, if and when push comes to shove; and aristocrats know how to get the job done. It’s a team-effort, first on the part of each alliance, and then by each team (such as the PR team, the aerospace team, etc.) that each aristocracy which is in the alliance controls; and, ultimately, by each employee or other agent of each organization that’s within each team. They all are business-partners; and Operation Restoring Hope is just one of its many operations.
Shortly after Donald Trump became the U.S. President, he finalized a global all-time-record weapons-sale, which was to the Sauds, for $350 billion in U.S.-manufactured weapons. To Trump and official Washington, Shiite Iran is “the number one terrorist state” and that’s just about as false an assertion as is imaginable. In fact, Robert Mueller, James Comey, and the Sauds themselves (especially Prince Bandar), were crucially involved in originating that charge against Iran in order to shift blame away from the Sauds themselves, for the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist incident inside Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Government represents the U.S. aristocracy, not the U.S. public.
At the Deep State level, there are actually no political Parties, just the united aristocracy (and its agents), which encompasses both Parties; and, in effect, it’s comprised of both the U.S. and the Saudi aristocracies.
So: the war in Yemen is part of that U.S.-Saudi alliance. And, in order to clarify the context for Prince Salman’s July 10th edict regarding this portion of it, here is some of the important historical background:
Whereas Islam started as one faith in 610, the separation into Shia Islam and Sunni Islam started in 680, at the Battle of Karbala, where “Hussain (or Husayn) ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, along with many other prominent Muslims, not only disapproved of Yazid’s nomination for Caliph (or leader of Islam) but also declared it against the spirit of Islam (because only an imam or cleric, a scholar of Islam, should lead the faith).” Yazid was the first hereditary Caliph; and Hussain, on principle, rejected hereditary dynasties. This Battle was between supporters (Sunnis) of monarchies (hereditary caliphs, or “kings”), versus opponents (Shia) of monarchies. “Husain ibn Ali believed the appointment of Yazid as the heir of the Caliphate would lead to hereditary kingship, which was against the original political teachings of Islam. Therefore, he resolved to confront Yazid.”
Obviously, then, the Sauds, and the other hereditary monarchies in the Islamic world (all of whom are major importers of U.S. weapons), are frightened by Shia, and by Shiism itself — Shia belief. There also are many Sunni followers who reject monarchy (hereditary/dynastic rule), even though Sunni Islam itself doesn’t reject it. Unlike with Shiism, the rejection of monarchies isn’t part of the Sunni faith. Furthermore, in Sunni monarchic countries, the aristocracy are funding clerics who accept monarchies. Therefore, the split that was initiated in 680, escalated greatly after the 1979 Iranian revolution, which actually carried out a monarch’s defenestration — it therefore terrifies today’s Islamic monarchs. They are determined to conquer it. To protect their dynasties, for themselves and their descendants, they aim to destroy Iran and conquer all Shia.
Here’s what happened at that seminal event in 680:
Karbala became a defining moral story for Shias, and Sunni caliphs worried that the Shia Imams — the descendants of Husayn who were seen as the legitimate leaders of Muslims (Sunnis use the term “imam” for the men who lead prayers in mosques) — would use this massacre to capture public imagination and topple monarchs. This fear resulted in the further persecution and marginalization of Shias.
Kevin Barrett, a scholar of Islam, tells me, further, that the founder of Iran’s 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, didn’t reject only the Sunni acceptance of monarchies but also what Khomeini perceived to be the injustice of those Sunni monarchies, where the royal subjects are treated as intrinsically inferior beings. This injustice is, of course, part of monarchies, royalty, and all other forms of aristocracy. Consequently, Khomeini, and the Islamic republic that he created in 1979, raised, to the forefront, in a way that never had been done before, the Shiite threat that had been created against monarchs. This is a threat against the very same regimes that are the U.S. aristocracy’s key allies, and that now buy, more than ever before, the weapons which are made by the U.S. aristocracy’s firms such as General Dynamics and Boeing. The more fear that those monarchs have, the better are the profits of U.S. weapons-manufacturers. So, America’s aristocrats benefit from those Arab aristocrats’ increased fear of Shia. Whereas Israel is afraid of Iran for its being not U.S.-allied and therefore not following U.S. guidance against the Palestinians, America’s Sunni monarchs are afraid of post-1979 Iran for its having been born from a repudiation of monarchy itself. Iran thus is considered “an existential threat” by the rulers in both Israel and Saudi Arabia (and in the other Arab monarchies), and this causes them all to buy lots of U.S.-made weapons.
The Middle-Eastern conflicts are thus very profitable for America’s weapons-firms, because they fuel the biggest foreign market for American-made weaponry. And, of course, America’s oil companies also profit from the U.S. Government’s alliance with fundamentalist Sunnis against Shia.
So: the historical roots of the war in Yemen are deep. The origins go back to the founding of Shia Islam, and of Sunni Islam, in 680, and to the great intensification of that split, in 1979.
Therefore, even the U.S. (which claims to be a democracy) acknowledges that it supports monarchies in the Islamic world. It does so despite the fact that those monarchies (and their subordinate aristocrats including such people as the bin Ladens) are the main financial backers — the people who hire and pay, train and buy the arms for — Islamic terrorists such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, in order to placate their local clergy, who, as fundamentalist Sunnis, don’t consider non-believers (in their particular fundamentalist-Sunni faith) to be “people of God.” The aristocracy and the clergy thus jointly share power in these monarchic countries. (By contrast, in Shia countries, the aristocracy are less strong, because there is no monarch; and, thus, hereditary status — which is the basis of any aristocracy — is lacking in Shia countries.)
Here, then, is Prince Salman’s decree, in full:
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Pardons all Military men, Taking Part in Restoring Hope Operation, of Military, Disciplinary Penalties
Tuesday 1439/10/26 – 2018/07/10
Jeddah, Shawwal 26, 1439, Jul 10, 2018, SPA — In appreciation of the services of all military men, across the armed forces, taking part in the Operation Restoring Hope and due to the heroics and sacrifices they offer and his noble willingness to pay interest to whatsoever act they may bring pleasure and happiness into the military men and their families, and based on reports submitted by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a noble royal order pardoning all military men, who have taken part in the Operation Restoring Hope of their respective military and disciplinary penalties, in regard of some rules and disciplines.
This is authorization not only by the aristocracy (the monarchy), in a direct fashion, but also by the clergy, in an indirect fashion. The royal Saud family, specifically its King, is provided, by their clergy, the Wahhabist sect clergy, authorization to be the “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” of Islam, which empowers the Saudi King (or his assignee) to issue any decree he may wish. So, the country of Saudi Arabia is both an aristocracy and a theocracy. Neither can rule without the other. No member of the royal Saud family can be selected by the rest of the family to become the King, unless, in advance, the Wahhab clergy give their blessing to the person whom they select. Therefore, whereas the Saud family possess the power and authority of the government, the Wahhab clergy possess the veto-power over anyone whom the Saud family might choose; and, so, the ultimate power over Saudi Arabia is actually shared between the Saud family and their Wahhab clergy — not 100% possessed by the Saudi King. The ultimate moral authority in Saudi Arabia is the Wahhab clergy, and the ultimate legal authority in Saudi Arabia is the King.
The consequence of this new decree is therefore that any Saudi soldier who disobeys will not only be killed, for having violated the King’s command, but will be assigned, by the Wahhab clergy, to hell; and, so, in such an aristocratic-theocratic system, a Saudi soldier’s only possibility for salvation is obedience to the King. This system is being supported by the U.S. Government, even though the U.S. Government is not (technically, at least) subject also to the control by the Saud family and by its clergy. It’s the Saudi-American way, not only in this war, but ever since the formation in 1933 of what became the world’s largest energy-producing corporation, the Arabian-American Oil Company or Aramco — the fusion of the Saud family, and the Rockefeller family of America, specifically the Rockefellers’ Standard Oil of California (Chevron Corporation). That fusion of interests was also a fusion of aristocracies. It was like the fusion, in 1744, between the Saud family and the Wahhab clergy, except that this was international, between aristocracies, instead of intranational, between the aristocracy and the clergy.
Those are the alliances that are core to the war to conquer Yemen. It is also a war against Shia Islam, because the original sworn oath, between the fundamentalist-Sunni cleric Muhammad ibn Wahhab and the marauding desert-gangster Muhammad ibn Saud, entailed specifically an oath to destroy Shia. That oath in 1744 intensified the Sunni-Shia split; and the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 created, in the Muslim world, the equivalent of the Protestant-Catholic Thirty-Years War in Europe, which lasted from 1618-1648. The Houthis in Yemen are Shia, and therefore the Sauds’ war against Houthis, is also a part of the Wahhabists’ holy war.
This is the Saudi and American way, in international relations. Leadership is shared between the two main aristocracies — the aristocracy of the United States, and the aristocracy of Saudi Arabia. Other national aristocracies in the U.S.-Saudi alliance, such as the aristocracies of UAE, Israel, Europe, and Japan, are subordinate to that core alliance, the Saudi and American way. Different allies join in different wars that the core Saudi-American alliance wage. And, for example, when the U.S. and UK in 2003 invaded and conquered Iraq, the participants included only a few of the other European allies, and did not include any of the theocratic — either Jewish or Islamic — governments. It was entirely a conquest by the participating Christian countries, against Iraq. (Of course, after they won, what they had won wasn’t clear — only that they had won was clear. But military corporations in the victor countries clearly did win large no-bid contracts; and, so, aristocrats did win financially from that invasion, as customarily does happen from invasions.)
And this explains American policies in the Middle East: the Saudi-American way. Like any alliance, not all members participate together in a given war. For example, the fact that Poland, which is another U.S. ally, is not participating in the invasion of Yemen, doesn’t mean that Poland isn’t part of the U.S.-Saudi alliance. And, if there will be a World War III, then all members of the alliance will be actively engaged, on the same side of it (against Russia and any of its allies).
These alliances are purely between and against groups of aristocracies, not between and against publics, who are merely the subjects that those aristocracies rule over. This is the reason why any attempt to understand, for example, the war in Yemen, on the basis of ‘the war on terrorism’ or other such PR phrases that are directed to the concerns of the public, is fundamentally misdirected. One cannot understand international events by applying such bromides to them. Although those bromides are the standard ‘explanations’, they don’t actually explain anything — at least not honestly.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.