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Yemen Is a Complicated and Unwinnable War. Trump Should Stay Out
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The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.

To this end, the US is to increase military support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies in a bid to overthrow the Houthis – a militarised Shia movement strong in northern Yemen – fighting alongside much of the Yemeni army, which remains loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

If ever there was a complicated and unwinnable war to keep out of, it is this one.

Despite Saudi allegations, there is little evidence that the Houthis get more than rhetorical support from Iran and this is far less than Saudi Arabia gets from the US and Britain. There is no sign that the Saudi-led air bombardment, which has been going on for two years, will decisively break the military stalemate. All that Saudi intervention has achieved so far is to bring Yemen close to all out famine. “Seven million Yemenis are ever closer to starvation,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen in an appeal for more aid this week.

But at the very moment that the UN is warning about the calamity facing Yemen, the US State Department has given permission for a resumption of the supply of precision guided weapons to Saudi Arabia. These sales were suspended last October by President Obama after Saudi aircraft bombed a funeral in the capital Sana’a, killing more than 100 mourners. Ever since Saudi Arabia started its bombing campaign in March 2015, the US has been refuelling its aircraft and has advisors in the Saudi operational headquarters. For the weapons sales to go ahead all that is needed is White House permission.

A bizarre element in Trump’s decision to take the offensive against Iran in Yemen is that the Iranians provide very little financial and military aid to the Houthis. Saudi propaganda, often echoed by the international media, speaks of the Houthis as “Iran-backed”, but Yemen is almost entirely cut off from the outside world by Saudi ground, air and sea forces.

Even food imports, on which Yemenis are wholly reliant, are more and more difficult to bring in through the half-wrecked port of Hodeida on the western coast.

The resumption of the supply of precision-guided munitions is not the first indication that the Trump administration sees Yemen as a good place to put into operation a more hawkish strategy in the region. On 29 January, days after he took office, Trump sent some 30 members of US Navy Seal Team 6, backed by helicopters, to attack an impoverished village called al Ghayil in al-Bayda province in southern Yemen. The purpose of the raid, according to the Pentagon, was intelligence-gathering – though it may well have been a failed attempt to kill or capture Qassim al Rimi, the head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Whatever the aim of the attack, it swiftly turned into a bloody fiasco, with as many 29 civilians in al Ghayil killed along with one Seal, Chief Petty Officer William Owens. The Pentagon’s explanation of what happened sounds very much like similar attempts to explain away civilian killed and wounded over the past half century in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The head of the US military’s central command, General Joseph Votel, told a Senate hearing that between four and 12 civilians might have died in the raid, adding that an “exhaustive after-action review” had not found incompetence, poor decision making or bad judgement.

For its part, the Trump administration tried to shut down any investigation into what had really happened at al Ghayil by saying that an inquiry would be an affront into the legacy of the fallen Seal, William Owens. This stance was swiftly criticised by the father of the dead man, Bill Owens, who said the government owed his son an inquiry. “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” he said.

In the event, the White House and the Pentagon have so far hidden fairly successfully from any real examination of the destruction of this remote Yemeni village, perhaps calculating that no independent journalist could make the dangerous journey to the site of the attack. But a lengthy on-the-spot report by Iona Craig, entitled “Death in al Ghayil” and appearing in the online investigative magazine The Intercept, convincingly rebuts the official version of events, little of which appears to be true.

Craig quotes surviving villagers as saying that the Seal team came under heavy fire from the beginning and attack helicopters were sent in. She writes: “In what seemed to be blind panic, the gunships bombarded the entire village, striking more than a dozen buildings, razing stone dwellings where families slept, and wiping out more than 120 goats, sheep and donkeys.” At least six women and 10 children were killed in their houses as projectiles tore through the straw and timber roofs or were mown down as they ran into the open.

The Trump administration says this was a “highly successful operation” and there had been an assault on a fortified compound – except that there are no such compounds in the village. Trump claimed that a “large amount of vital intelligence” had been obtained and the Pentagon released video footage seized in al Ghayil only to later admit that the footage had been around for 10 years and contained nothing new.

ORDER IT NOW

Ironically, the villagers who fought back against the Seal team actually belonged to the forces opposing the Houthis and the pro-Saleh forces and, on the night of the assault, “local armed tribesmen assumed the Houthis had arrived to capture their village”. It was only when they saw coloured laser lights coming from the weapons of the attacking force that they realised that they were fighting Americans. As the Seals retreated, with one dead and two seriously wounded, the MV-22 Osprey that was to extract them crash-landed and had to be destroyed by other US aircraft.

The Trump administration’s first counter-terrorism operation was a failure for the US and much worse for the Yemeni villagers who are dead, wounded, homeless and have seen their livestock, on which they depended for their livelihoods, all killed. But when Senator John McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the raid has been a failure he was promptly denounced by Trump who said that Owens “had died on a winning mission” and to debate its outcome would “only embolden the enemy”.

International media coverage tends to focus on the wars in Syria and Iraq, but in those countries Trump and the Pentagon are largely following the policies and plans of Obama.

It is in Yemen that new policies are beginning to emerge as the Trump administration carries out its first counter-terrorism operation against al Qaeda – if that was what it was – leading to the slaughter of civilians and a botched cover-up. Yemen may soon join Afghanistan and Iraq as wars in which the US wishes it had never got involved.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen 
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  1. What a fucking shame.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Won't this country ever learn?
    , @gustafus
    A Shame? A dead Muslim doesn't breed. ... or migrate.

    We better get our heads on straight or Western Civilization is DONE. You need to talk to the friends and family of someone drown in a cage in Iraq.....

    Dead Yemeni's a shame?...... Fuck NO it's not a shame.

    I hope he carpet bombs the peninsula

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  2. “Seven million Yemenis are ever closer to starvation,”

    A feature not a bug.

    I am a card carrying dues paying deplorable. I stand 100% with President Trump against the CIA. But this shit has to stop. This is the exact opposite of what he promised. Detente with Russia. If Trump is actually the author of U.S. foreign policy he has betrayed his voters. If “His” foreign policy is being dictated by others He must give us their names. And addresses and photographs.

    Read More
  3. Talha says:

    Wait a minute…so the details are that a team of 30 of the best trained and equipped men on earth went up against a village of goat-herders with Vietnam-Era weapons and stone-hut ‘fortifications’ and had to call in air support from two gunships that proceeded to go hog-wild on the village and its livestock? Really? I’m not even talking about the GPS aspect, drones, etc.

    If a person took themselves seriously, how could they walk around with their head upright after participating in something so lopsided? I imagine it would feel about the same as after having defeated a ten-year old on a school playground while wielding a sledgehammer. Possibly why suicides have topped the number of soldiers actually killed in theater:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/nation/2014/10/31/suicide-deaths-us-military-war-study/18261185/

    Refuse to be part of the meat-grinder – don’t enlist until Sam changes his whack addiction to killing brown people:

    And if you care for the souls of your sons, don’t let your boys sign up for this madness – they’ll give them all the salutes and fancy burial rituals and that’s not going to hide the cavity he put into his own skull and it’s not going to fix his shattered soul.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    If a person took themselves seriously, how could they walk around with their head upright after participating in something so lopsided?
     
    Same crap ( a vicious slaughter) as what the Brits did in Omdurman in 1898 and Mussolini did in Ethiopia back in the '30s to name just two examples that occurred in the area.

    And to think that there are those who believe that "those people" are the the enemy and that the west is civilized.

    Is there any hope?


    I imagine it would feel about the same as after having defeated a ten-year old on a school playground while wielding a sledgehammer. Possibly why suicides have topped the number of soldiers actually killed in theater:
     
    Amen. And those it doesn't kill it probably drives mad, like the drunk Commie policeman Georgi Markov wrote about in his "The Truth That Killed."
  4. gustafus says:

    IF 7 million Yemenis are close to starvation… THAT IS A GOOD THING. We don’t need to waste bombs on em.

    I want genocide… sorry… I’m a racist of the worst kind…. I hiss at Muslim women in big cities… I run my finger across my throat at their kids.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.

    I WANT THEM ALL TO DIE…. and I don’t want to wait for hand to hand combat.

    So, bomb em, starve em, shoot em…. just get rid of em ALL OF EM

    Read More
    • Replies: @krollchem
    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.
    , @jacques sheete
    Who is the enemy?

    just get rid of em ALL OF EM

     

    Sick narcissist, but typical, too, of the wretches who run us and the sniveling wannabee tough guys who supprt them.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.
     
    What was it doing there? I didn't know Abu Ghraib had swimming pools.
  5. gustafus says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    What a fucking shame.

    A Shame? A dead Muslim doesn’t breed. … or migrate.

    We better get our heads on straight or Western Civilization is DONE. You need to talk to the friends and family of someone drown in a cage in Iraq…..

    Dead Yemeni’s a shame?…… Fuck NO it’s not a shame.

    I hope he carpet bombs the peninsula

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    I hope he carpet bombs the peninsula
     
    You probably won't have to wait long. I bet his trigger finger's itching as we speak.

    PS: Carpet bombing people who are no threat, and even those who may be, is for decadent morons. But at least "we're" consistent.

  6. Yemen has been a mess since the days when the British were trying to pacify Aden. The country hasn’t had a stable government since the time of Ahmad the Devil, and his government barely qualified for that description:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_bin_Yahya

    Maybe we should find his heir and install him as ruler. It’s hard to imagine how that could be worse than what Yemen has now.

    Read More
  7. The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen.

    What a G-D dumbass. Not that it comes as a surprise.

    Read More
  8. @Talha
    Wait a minute...so the details are that a team of 30 of the best trained and equipped men on earth went up against a village of goat-herders with Vietnam-Era weapons and stone-hut 'fortifications' and had to call in air support from two gunships that proceeded to go hog-wild on the village and its livestock? Really? I'm not even talking about the GPS aspect, drones, etc.

    If a person took themselves seriously, how could they walk around with their head upright after participating in something so lopsided? I imagine it would feel about the same as after having defeated a ten-year old on a school playground while wielding a sledgehammer. Possibly why suicides have topped the number of soldiers actually killed in theater:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/nation/2014/10/31/suicide-deaths-us-military-war-study/18261185/

    Refuse to be part of the meat-grinder - don't enlist until Sam changes his whack addiction to killing brown people:
    https://youtu.be/OO18F4aKGzQ?t=3m01s

    And if you care for the souls of your sons, don't let your boys sign up for this madness - they'll give them all the salutes and fancy burial rituals and that's not going to hide the cavity he put into his own skull and it's not going to fix his shattered soul.

    Peace.

    If a person took themselves seriously, how could they walk around with their head upright after participating in something so lopsided?

    Same crap ( a vicious slaughter) as what the Brits did in Omdurman in 1898 and Mussolini did in Ethiopia back in the ’30s to name just two examples that occurred in the area.

    And to think that there are those who believe that “those people” are the the enemy and that the west is civilized.

    Is there any hope?

    I imagine it would feel about the same as after having defeated a ten-year old on a school playground while wielding a sledgehammer. Possibly why suicides have topped the number of soldiers actually killed in theater:

    Amen. And those it doesn’t kill it probably drives mad, like the drunk Commie policeman Georgi Markov wrote about in his “The Truth That Killed.”

    Read More
  9. @gustafus
    A Shame? A dead Muslim doesn't breed. ... or migrate.

    We better get our heads on straight or Western Civilization is DONE. You need to talk to the friends and family of someone drown in a cage in Iraq.....

    Dead Yemeni's a shame?...... Fuck NO it's not a shame.

    I hope he carpet bombs the peninsula

    I hope he carpet bombs the peninsula

    You probably won’t have to wait long. I bet his trigger finger’s itching as we speak.

    PS: Carpet bombing people who are no threat, and even those who may be, is for decadent morons. But at least “we’re” consistent.

    Read More
  10. krollchem says:
    @gustafus
    IF 7 million Yemenis are close to starvation... THAT IS A GOOD THING. We don't need to waste bombs on em.

    I want genocide... sorry... I'm a racist of the worst kind.... I hiss at Muslim women in big cities... I run my finger across my throat at their kids.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.

    I WANT THEM ALL TO DIE.... and I don't want to wait for hand to hand combat.

    So, bomb em, starve em, shoot em.... just get rid of em ALL OF EM

    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.
     
    Actually, he is thinking logically. Just not in the way modern humans are; his is more like medieval logic. What he needs is to get enlightened a bit.
    , @jacques sheete
    The attitude is not only sick, but common and an indication of how lost our society is.

    I find it interesting that people with that attitude remain clueless about the ramifications of what they advocate. Cheering on the worst amongst us will inevitably come back to bite us, and in many ways, already has.

    A person has to be pretty obtuse to let some goofy politician select his enemies for him and to advocate placing murderous power in their hands. Anyone with half a brain can see that such abuse of power often doesn't stop with its use against external enemies.

    While the rest of the world is moving on, the US is still wallowing in late 19th century attitudes.

  11. No doubt the Trump Government regards this as the necessary means to ensure the Saudis et al keep accepting dollars for oil. Commodities, especially petrol, are bought in dollars. If they ceased to be so, the US economy would collapse.
    US Federal Debt is about $20 trillion and the Balance of Trade Deficit is $0.5 trillion a year. Collapse is obviously close at hand, probably later this decade. Trump isn’t going to do anything to precipitate such a collapse – after all, his opponents are going to blame him for it.
    If the Saudis want their little war in the Yemen, then go ahead and aid them. It keeps them happy and still willing to accept petro-dollars.
    This is tough if you are a Yemeni. But the fate of small nations has always been decided by the great powers. It has always been thus. I don’t see Russia, China or other powers being bothered much by what is going on.

    Read More
  12. @krollchem
    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.

    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.

    Actually, he is thinking logically. Just not in the way modern humans are; his is more like medieval logic. What he needs is to get enlightened a bit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    What do you have against medieval logic? Why don't you learn a bit yourself: https://circulosemiotico.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/historyofformall00boch.pdf#page=173?
  13. The very last thing the USA needs to do is start yet another ruinous, counterproductive war against yet another of Israel’s enemies.

    But Trump is barely hanging on against the governmedia-industrial complex, and as a complete outsider with no political apparatus behind him, he simply has to play ball with the Powers That Be.

    I don’t like it any more than anyone else here does. I want Trump to remain true to the person he was when his campaign first took off. But the complex mentioned above, along with both major political parties and the notorious ‘deep state’, will destroy him without a second thought.

    If Trump’s supporters took to the streets in appreciable numbers, perhaps it might be different. But we have seen that they will be beaten (literally) without consequence, and with their every move — even their character and identity — deliberately misrepresented by the MSM.

    Who has a proposal for this state of affairs? Preferably one that is fairly realistic?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JBM
    You are so right and enlightening. Trump has no chance.
  14. @krollchem
    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.

    The attitude is not only sick, but common and an indication of how lost our society is.

    I find it interesting that people with that attitude remain clueless about the ramifications of what they advocate. Cheering on the worst amongst us will inevitably come back to bite us, and in many ways, already has.

    A person has to be pretty obtuse to let some goofy politician select his enemies for him and to advocate placing murderous power in their hands. Anyone with half a brain can see that such abuse of power often doesn’t stop with its use against external enemies.

    While the rest of the world is moving on, the US is still wallowing in late 19th century attitudes.

    Read More
  15. El Dato says:

    For its part, the Trump administration tried to shut down any investigation into what had really happened at al Ghayil by saying that an inquiry would be an affront into the legacy of the fallen Seal, William Owens.

    Flashbacks to Pat Tillman and stuff.

    I would like to see more “Saudi Arabia Support”. This is why Osama was hopping mad and decided to create a global franchise. After a year or two of boom-boom time, there might well be takeover of Saudi Arabia by a radical fundamentalist mob of the Sunni variant that will make Khomenei look like an avuncular uncle. And they will have nuke tech. Guaranteed Fun!

    I remember a flash animation of 2002 (http://www.idleworm.com/animation/gulf_war_game.shtml but hopefully no-one has flash in 2017) that prophesized the complete meltdown of the Middle East Situation in a Risk-Style “card game” (the author assumed this would all happen under Dubya 1). We are nearly there now.

    Read More
  16. virgile says:

    Is Trump succumbing to the Saudis’ promises of more US weapons purchase that will bring more jobs to Americans. Do Americans want jobs on Yemeni blood?
    Saudia Arabia is the creator of monsters feeding with the blood of innocents. Does Trump wants to follow Hillary’s path and continue be the Saudis’ accomplice in murders?

    Read More
  17. JBM says:
    @Kyle McKenna
    The very last thing the USA needs to do is start yet another ruinous, counterproductive war against yet another of Israel's enemies.

    But Trump is barely hanging on against the governmedia-industrial complex, and as a complete outsider with no political apparatus behind him, he simply has to play ball with the Powers That Be.

    I don't like it any more than anyone else here does. I want Trump to remain true to the person he was when his campaign first took off. But the complex mentioned above, along with both major political parties and the notorious 'deep state', will destroy him without a second thought.

    If Trump's supporters took to the streets in appreciable numbers, perhaps it might be different. But we have seen that they will be beaten (literally) without consequence, and with their every move -- even their character and identity -- deliberately misrepresented by the MSM.

    Who has a proposal for this state of affairs? Preferably one that is fairly realistic?

    You are so right and enlightening. Trump has no chance.

    Read More
  18. bob sykes says:

    At the moment, the US is in the process of transferring the remainder of the 82nd Airborne’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team to Kuwait. This is a force of some 4,200 to 4,400 men (depending on source), and it is supposed to support anti-ISIS operations in both Iraq and Syria. This brings total US ground troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Syria to almost 10,000. And, the US military wants to reinforce the 8,000 ground troops it has in Afghanistan.

    For all the anti-Iranian rhetoric coming out of Washington, the US is actually fighting as Iran’s ally in Iraq. Of course, it is also fighting against Iran in Syria. How many foreign policies does the US have, or does it have any? Disaster approaches.

    Read More
  19. Historian says:

    To this end, the US is to increase military support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies in a bid to overthrow the Houthis – a militarised Shia movement strong in northern Yemen

    In the 1980s, North Yemen was ruled by a freedom-loving military dictatorship, and South Yemen was oppressed by Godless Communists.

    Now South Yemen has the freedom-loving people, and North Yemen is controlled by Allah-worshipping terrorists.

    The situation in Yemen is a combination of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia. Those interventions were so much fun that we couldn’t resist joining another one!

    Read More
  20. It’s a real shame that the Thought Police have outlawed use of the story of Br’er Rabbit and the Tarbaby (“that’s rayciss!”) because I can think of no fable that applies as well.

    Read More
  21. Harriet says:

    Once more we have a greater expansion of Pentagon misery making worldwide. This is decreasing American national security and not increasing it. And shame on the overall passivity of us Americans by allowing this increased bloodshed to constantly occur in our names. It really disgusts me to be an American these days.

    Read More
  22. @gustafus
    IF 7 million Yemenis are close to starvation... THAT IS A GOOD THING. We don't need to waste bombs on em.

    I want genocide... sorry... I'm a racist of the worst kind.... I hiss at Muslim women in big cities... I run my finger across my throat at their kids.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.

    I WANT THEM ALL TO DIE.... and I don't want to wait for hand to hand combat.

    So, bomb em, starve em, shoot em.... just get rid of em ALL OF EM

    Who is the enemy?

    just get rid of em ALL OF EM

    Sick narcissist, but typical, too, of the wretches who run us and the sniveling wannabee tough guys who supprt them.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.

    What was it doing there? I didn’t know Abu Ghraib had swimming pools.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    To summarize...

    Some guy killed some other guy in an un-civilized manner. We need to teach them a lesson by wiping out anybody that resembles or is in continental proximity of that guy. That will teach them - some guys that presumably survive - not to be uncivilized.

    Hey JS, so tell me, which one of these big-bad survivors of that raid makes you want to curl up in the corner and recite the 'Litany of Fear'?
    http://www.aeriagloris.com/ThoughtsOfDune/litanyagainstfear.htm

    https://prod01-cdn07.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2017/03/IMG_4328-1488831920.jpg

    The barefoot 8 year-old or his little sister in the frilly dress? I think the dress - that's just too sinister, right? I think I just can't bear the thought of living while that little girl still breathes - too frightening - something about little kids living somewhere in abject poverty scares the hell outta me - you? Time to call up my imaginary friend Mr. Trumpalufagus so he can send his Big Birds to take care of business.

    Ah needz muh safe space to the Gulf of Aden!!!

    Peace...well, after the little-girl-in-big-bad-dress is gone anyway. Until then - waaaahoooo!:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcW_Ygs6hm0
  23. Talha says:
    @jacques sheete
    Who is the enemy?

    just get rid of em ALL OF EM

     

    Sick narcissist, but typical, too, of the wretches who run us and the sniveling wannabee tough guys who supprt them.

    I also know someone who died in a cage at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iraq.
     
    What was it doing there? I didn't know Abu Ghraib had swimming pools.

    To summarize…

    Some guy killed some other guy in an un-civilized manner. We need to teach them a lesson by wiping out anybody that resembles or is in continental proximity of that guy. That will teach them – some guys that presumably survive – not to be uncivilized.

    Hey JS, so tell me, which one of these big-bad survivors of that raid makes you want to curl up in the corner and recite the ‘Litany of Fear’?

    http://www.aeriagloris.com/ThoughtsOfDune/litanyagainstfear.htm

    The barefoot 8 year-old or his little sister in the frilly dress? I think the dress – that’s just too sinister, right? I think I just can’t bear the thought of living while that little girl still breathes – too frightening – something about little kids living somewhere in abject poverty scares the hell outta me – you? Time to call up my imaginary friend Mr. Trumpalufagus so he can send his Big Birds to take care of business.

    Ah needz muh safe space to the Gulf of Aden!!!

    Peace…well, after the little-girl-in-big-bad-dress is gone anyway. Until then – waaaahoooo!:

    Read More
  24. […] Patrick Cockburn explains why there is no winning for the US in Yemen. [Link] […]

    Read More
  25. […] Cockburn explains why there is no winning for the US in Yemen. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen […]

    Read More
  26. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    You are really sick. I suggest you spend a few years getting an education so you can learn to think logically.
     
    Actually, he is thinking logically. Just not in the way modern humans are; his is more like medieval logic. What he needs is to get enlightened a bit.

    What do you have against medieval logic? Why don’t you learn a bit yourself: https://circulosemiotico.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/historyofformall00boch.pdf#page=173?

    Read More
  27. TG says:

    I agree with much of your sentiments – and surely the United States has no strategic interest in Yemen whatsoever.

    But ‘complicated?’ I proposed that what’s going on in Yemen is simple.

    The Yemenis are having like 6-7 kids a pop at an early age.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Yemen

    The country is mostly arid, and they have literally run out of water. No it’s not unusually poor weather, it’s a rapidly growing population. And no, the Yemenis don’t have lots of kids because they are poor, they are poor because they are having more children than they can support. It is an iron law of development that prosperity only comes AFTER fertility rates have moderated, never before.

    Consider this again: people having more children than they can support. Isn’t this almost tautological? How can this possibly create wealth? Of course it can’t, and it doesn’t, and it isn’t. The Yemenis will remain crushed into brutal poverty, and this is pretty much guaranteed to preclude any sort of stable peaceful government. The foreign powers that are dropping bombs on Yemen are surely vile, but mostly they are taking the blame for something that would have happened anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey TG,

    The foreign powers that are dropping bombs on Yemen are surely vile, but mostly they are taking the blame for something that would have happened anyway.
     
    This is not the case. I know people that traveled to remote areas of Yemen to study Islam. All of them reported poverty and subsistence living, but nobody mentioned anything about a massive humanitarian crisis of starvation (that's one out of three Yemenis) until after the Saudis decided to intervene. This is pure and simple cause and effect. And yes, a dirt poor country already walking a fine line will slip that much more faster into chaos and famine once it's been pushed over.

    We aren't asking why they aren't prospering, we're asking why are they on the brink of starvation.

    Peace.

  28. Talha says:
    @TG
    I agree with much of your sentiments - and surely the United States has no strategic interest in Yemen whatsoever.

    But 'complicated?' I proposed that what's going on in Yemen is simple.

    The Yemenis are having like 6-7 kids a pop at an early age.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Yemen

    The country is mostly arid, and they have literally run out of water. No it's not unusually poor weather, it's a rapidly growing population. And no, the Yemenis don't have lots of kids because they are poor, they are poor because they are having more children than they can support. It is an iron law of development that prosperity only comes AFTER fertility rates have moderated, never before.

    Consider this again: people having more children than they can support. Isn't this almost tautological? How can this possibly create wealth? Of course it can't, and it doesn't, and it isn't. The Yemenis will remain crushed into brutal poverty, and this is pretty much guaranteed to preclude any sort of stable peaceful government. The foreign powers that are dropping bombs on Yemen are surely vile, but mostly they are taking the blame for something that would have happened anyway.

    Hey TG,

    The foreign powers that are dropping bombs on Yemen are surely vile, but mostly they are taking the blame for something that would have happened anyway.

    This is not the case. I know people that traveled to remote areas of Yemen to study Islam. All of them reported poverty and subsistence living, but nobody mentioned anything about a massive humanitarian crisis of starvation (that’s one out of three Yemenis) until after the Saudis decided to intervene. This is pure and simple cause and effect. And yes, a dirt poor country already walking a fine line will slip that much more faster into chaos and famine once it’s been pushed over.

    We aren’t asking why they aren’t prospering, we’re asking why are they on the brink of starvation.

    Peace.

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  29. Its an article written by Cockburn???? Oh…uh…er…..never mind! No serious response needed.

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  30. […] keep arming the Saudis is explained here. Trump’s de facto foray into Yemen is deconstructed here. Another critique can be read here. Hillary Clinton’s “achievements” in Yemen have […]

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  31. […] keep arming the Saudis is explained here. Trump’s de facto foray into Yemen is deconstructed here. Another critique can be read here. Hillary Clinton’s “achievements” in Yemen have […]

    Read More
  32. […] keep arming the Saudis is explained here. Trump’s de facto foray into Yemen is deconstructed here. Another critique can be read here. Hillary Clinton’s “achievements” in Yemen have […]

    Read More
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