Is There a Way to Justify US Aggression Against Yemen?

Red Sea coast, Yemen (NEO) – The United States stands ready to take action in “self-defense,” which it claims is necessary and appropriate to address further threats – according to an announcement US President Barack Obama made in a letter to Congress referring to the situation in Yemen.

Attempts to legitimize America’s involvement in Yemen, which remains a crucial strategic focal point, have been made repeatedly by the US. After all, a military victory over Yemen would move forward a broader strategy allowing the US to contain China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, along with taking control over the most important Middle Eastern trade and energy routes.

The civil war in Yemen is the direct result of a classically engineered coup orchestrated by the US, which resulted in Shia rebels eventually waging war against the Yemeni President Mansour Hadi, who is being supported by the Sunni population and al-Qaeda militants. Just like Ukraine, Yemen has suffered two coups in short order, in 2011 and 2015. The first resulted in the toppling of the popular President Ali Abdullah Saleh , while the second removed Mansour Hadi from power.

As early as January 2015, it became apparent that the Houthis were capable of establishing control over the whole country. Back then, the President and the Houthis reached a preliminary ceasefire agreement and decided to revise the text of the constitution, transforming Yemen into a federal state giving all ethnic groups equal representation in the government, including the Houthis. However, this decision didn’t satisfy Washington, resulting in Hadi being demanded his resignation shortly after the agreement was signed, along with the members his government.

Shortly afterwards, the White House decided to put its “counter-terrorist operation” against Yemen-based al-Qaeda groups on hold, in a bid to counter the Houthis. That’s how the Obama administration got in the same boat with Yemeni Sunni tribes and the terrorists that Washington has allegedly been fighting over fifteen years, wasting more than 1.5 trillion dollars in the process.

In late March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against the Houthis, following an unofficial US request, but soon the fighting reached Saudi borders, while the situation in Yemen quickly deteriorated into a political and economic disaster.

The stakes in this war remain extremely high, since whoever controls Yemen, controls the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden, through which oil is being exported to Europe and Asia.

It’s no secret that Washington was content with 150,000 Saudi soldiers and 100’s of fighters being brought in to fight for Washington’s control over this major logistical artery of the Arabian Peninsula. The Saudi forces were assisted by 85 combat jets provided by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan.

The Saudi royal family is well aware of the fact that the Shia rebels may block both the Strait of Hormuz and and the Strait of Bab el Mandeb, putting the Kingdom in a very difficult position. However, since Saudi soldiers are hardly any good on the battlefield, the Riaydh-led coalition has been making one mistake after another resulting in a significant number of civilians killed.

Ultimately, the growing dissatisfaction of the international community with Riyadh’s war on Yemen could easily result in a demand to put an end to the Saudi military campaign in altogether, which was not a part of Washington’s plan.

The White House was quick to understand the fact that under present circumstances any zeal to publicly defend Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni conflict could result in a severe loss of credibility, that’s why Washington’s think tanks have decided to stage a provocation, similar to the Vietnam War-era Gulf of Tonkin incident, to grant the US a pretext for direct military aggression against Yemen.

As a result, at least twice in the past week anonymous sources  have claimed that Houthi fighters launched missiles in the direction of USS destroyer Mason, an accusation the Houthis themselves deny. A media campaign that followed these strikes was aimed at persuading the international community that this was the “Houthis response to the Saudi funeral attack in Sana’a, that resulted in 140 people killed and another 500 more injured.” It must be pointed out that provocateurs were carefully instructed by the Pentagon that the missiles should inflict no damage to the US destroyer and those instructions were carefully followed.

DestroyerAs a result, on Wednesday, after the second alleged attempt to hit the USS Mason, the Pentagon announced that it has the “official” right to “answer” those attacks with three Tomahawk cruise missiles launched against radar stations in Yemen. The targets for those strikes were chosen carefully since, though it’s clear that those radar stations had nothing to do with the alleged attacks against the US destroyer, they could potentially jeopardize upcoming US air strikes against Yemen.

The US president confirmed that he ordered airstrikes to be launched against Yemen, which allegedly constitutes the “proportional use of force to protect US troops and ships, as well as the freedom of navigation on this important sea route.”

How many more wars will the current US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate start before his term is over? At this rate of “peaceful activities,” he’s running the risk of leaving no countries left to invade for his warmongering successor – Hillary Clinton. Although, certainly, it would be handy for the Nobel Committee to prepare a new Peace Prize in advance for Hillary Clinton’s arrival.

This report prepared by Jean Perier for New Eastern Outlook.