Yemen vs Saudi Arabia or Daood Vs Goliath

The duel of the century….. the House of Saud bullies its neighbor all in the name of religion……a silly premise to kill……no matter which religion it is…..

Our story begins with the Houthi rebels in Yemen attacking and winning skirmishes with the Yemeni military….the Houthis are Shia and the House of Saud decided that a Shia country next to the Holy sites of Islam was unacceptable……so the war began with the Saudis attacking Houthi positions…..after months of constant airstrikes the small country of Yemen looks in worse shape than Syria after 4 years of civil war.

The Yemeni people are hungry and thirsty and the war continues…..a humanitarian crisis is looming even worse than it is today.

The civilian deaths are mounting up and up…..it is so bad that Saudi Arabia has been brought up on charges in front of the UN…..but that went no where…..the Western countries are running cover for the House of Saud……

Source: Mapping the Yemen conflict | European Council on Foreign Relations

For those that would like to get more information on this conflict may I suggest the following……..

The following maps aim to illustrate distinct facets of the Yemen conflict, and illuminate some rarely discussed aspects of its ongoing civil war.

In a U-turn at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Western governments dropped plans Wednesday for an international inquiry into human rights violations by all parties in the war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians in the last six months.

The change of direction came as the Netherlands withdrew the draft of a resolution it had prepared with support from a group of mainly Western countries that instructed the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to send experts to Yemen to investigate the conduct of the war.

That proposal was a follow-up to recommendations by the commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who detailed in a report this month the heavy civilian loss of life inflicted not only by the relentless airstrikes of the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia but also by the indiscriminate shelling carried out by Houthi rebels.

Of course the US is doing what it always does….protect the Saudis at all costs……a usual suspect for denying the truth is McCain……..when asked about civilian deaths caused by the Saudis…….

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent the most time discussing the issue with me. But his answers were perplexing.

“They may be bombing civilians, which is actually not true,” McCain said, when asked about civilian casualties in Yemen.

“Civilians aren’t dying?” I asked.

“No, they’re not,” the senator replied. “Oh, I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed,” McCain continued, referring to the Shiite militia waging an insurgency against the Sunni government in Yemen.

Asked about the recent reports of Saudi forces bombing a wedding party in Yemen, McCain said, “I’m sure in wars terrible things happen and the Houthis however are an extremist group backed by the Iranians who are slaughtering Yemenis.”

Check out the other US politicians that will not say anything negative about the Saudis………Source: U.S. Senators Hem and Haw on Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Abuses

The Saudis are killing civilians at an alarming rate…….the most recent deaths were a wedding party…….

The death toll from a missile strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics have said, making it one of the deadliest attacks on civilians during the war and drawing strong condemnation from the UN secretary-general.

Residents said that two missiles tore through tents in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah, near the port of Al-Mokha. A local man affiliated with the Houthis – the Shia rebel group who are fighting the coalition – was holding his wedding reception.

A source at a hospital in Maqbana, where the casualties were taken, said on Tuesday that the death toll from the attack had risen to 131…….

There is no end in sight…..if things keep up this pace then Yemen will once again be divided into 2 separate states as it was in 1968-1990 when the two unified and became one state…Yemen.  (a little history never hurts)……

Shall we count the conflicts in the Middle East……sorry there is not enough time for that……there is NEVER enough time for the right thing in the Middle East.

Chuqs News 

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#airstrikes, #conflict-zones, #house-of-saud, #houthis, #military-2, #shia, #united-nations, #war

ISIS Strategy: K.I.S.S.

First are  you aware of what the acronym K.I.S.S. stand for?  In case it has eluded you…Keep It Simple,  Stupid!

That would be excellent advice to our policy makers.…..they have been all over the map with their assessment of the ISIS operation……they appear to be a dog chasing its tail……

This all started with a stutter step when Syria turned ugly…..and then there was a humanitarian effort for people trapped on a mountain…..escalated into airstrikes after the Iraqi army failed to live into its high marks that the admin was giving it…..then the US realized that we could not do it alone and we put together a coalition to hide our true intent……more airstrikes in Iraq and then expanded those into Syria….all the while ISIS kept getting stronger and expanding its control.

The whole time we, the public, were told that we had a plan and it was working well…..the problem was that No one could elucidate just what that plan was and how it was proceeding….other airstrikes were being effective while ISIS continued to expand….

Now the dialog is turning…….

The nation’s top military leader told Congress Thursday that the United States would consider dispatching a modest number of American forces to fight with Iraqi troops as they engage in more complex missions in the campaign against Islamic State militants.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Iraqi forces are doing a better job, but he said an effort to move into Mosul or to restore the border with Syria would require more complex operations.

There you have the beginning of the end of the BS that NO American ground forces will be used……

Sec. of Defense, Hagel to Congress……

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday the U.S.-led air war against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will intensify and that the American people must prepare for a long and difficult struggle.

Hagel defended the U.S. strategy during a House of Representatives hearing, saying, “As Iraqi forces build strength, the tempo and intensity of our coalition’s air campaign will accelerate in tandem.”

“A long and difficult struggle”….setting the stage……the perfect timing is amazing…….

And then the news from today……US will go after Assad…….

The Obama Administration today realized what everyone else has known for some time, that their strategy in the new ISIS war in simply not working. Unfortunately, they seem to be shifting toward even deeper escalation of the war, particularly in Syria.

Officials are now describing the “Iraq first, then Syria” strategy for destroying ISIS as “untenable,” and while continuing to present the war goal as the destruction of ISIS, they seem to be heading down the road of less direct conflict with them.

Interesting turn…..we must deal with Iraq first….the sectarian problems….the problem of ISIS…..and the need to keep an eye on Iran……and praying that the Iraqi military will stand up when needed.

Then we bite off the head of another worm with Syria…..Assad forces, Khorasan (SEAL team of AQ), al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, ISIS and Kurds that are about as dependable as a rattlesnake in heat…..

All the while this strategy is working itself out……we need to keep an eye on Lebanon, Turkey…..Jordan is hinting at problems….and then the bully of the neighbourhood, Israel…..all it will take is this group to do something stupid and all this strategy will go to crap and in a hurry.

At what point does this strategy start making sense?

Apparently I have missed it.

The more complexity built into the plan the more possible for a complete breakdown…….and this is where K.I.S.S. comes into play!  Maybe a better strategy would be to set small attainable goals before moving onto a total picture.

K.I.S.S.!

Chuq’s News 

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#airstrikes, #defense, #humanitarian, #military-2

Just How Important Is The Battle For Kobane?

Opinion from the desk of Chuq…… There has been much said and written about the battle for the Syrian town of Kobane……I have even heard the question ask …so how important is the town of Kobane?….it is a good question but I think most of the answers are not completely truthful……….

The NY Times wrote a piece explaining the importance of this fight…….

It’s a safe bet that most Americans had never heard of the town of Kobani, Syria, a few weeks ago. Now, however, a common school of thought seems to be, “As Kobani goes, so goes the war on ISIS.” In an editorial today, the New York Times declares that the fight for the town near the Turkish border has emerged as a crucial test of US strategy. “A setback in Kobani would show the fragility of the American plan and hand the Islamic State an important victory,” says the editorial. If ISIS wins there, it puts the group in position to cross into Turkey “and directly threaten a NATO ally, a move that could force the alliance to come to Turkey’s defense.”

I will admit that the battle is important for the media…..they can cover the war from the safety of Turkey and still get great pics for the evening news….they,  the media,. can interview people about the conflict without having to venture into a war zone…..makes good copy.  They can film airstrikes as they are taking place….again….good copy.

I have other thoughts on this situation.

Kobane is the perfect propaganda tool…….the reports of successful airstrikes

and the fighting toughness of the Kurds make a great tool to see this conflict as a success in the making.

Kobane can be used extensively to have the public fixate on a pending success while ISIS makes great advancements in Iraq especially in al-Anbar province……

Kobane is a diversion from the reality that Baghdad is in the cross hairs of ISIS….there have even been some artillery fire hitting the western outskirts of the capital..

ISIS,  if they win at Kobane,  is of NO threat to Turkey, contrary to popular belief.  Why?  Turkey has a substantial army, well-trained and equipped it would prove to be a solid obstacle….rather ISIS operates better in a region where there is chaos and instability….Turkey would be a poor choice of conflict.

Then there are the numerous “think tanks”….they send their “experts” out to give their analysis and most of it is just a reflection of the governments story line……they are acting as agents of the government’s propaganda machine.

For those that study propaganda techniques…Kobane is technique #11–saturation and #14– diversion….and it is working……….polls show that the American people are confident that this strategy is  good with the exception that they feel that ground troops will finally be needed to successfully rout ISIS from the Middle East…..but do not want them to be American.

Polls are taken almost daily and the government then adjusts its predictions and storyline that will be more in line with what the polls show.  This not something new….it has been used many times…..especially in 1991 then in 2003 and now today.

The answer to the original question is that it is important but not for the reasons the media would have you believe….its only importance is for the amount of propaganda that can be gleaned from it.

This battle will continue as long as either side can keep the message flowing.  This situation is nothing but the media and the government selling a bill of goods to the public.

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Chuqs News 

#airstrikes, #battle, #fight, #isis, #media, #propaganda, #war