Yemen & the Western Confrontation With Islam

The latest hotspot in the Muslim world, as is slowly becoming obvious to all, is Yemen. The problem is determining whether this is primarily a local issue having to do with, perhaps, resource misallocation or failure of the elite to share power with either A. “the people” or B. “those people” (of some distinct ethnic or religious identity). Whatever the causes of political strife in Yemen (which has been going on at least since Nasser’s day in the 1950s), the usual cast of busybody outsider is hastening to interfere. Thus, alas, whether the causes were mainly local or not at the outset, Yemen either now already is or soon will be the latest brushfire in the Western conflict with Islam.

While I would normally hesitate to quote the highly biased Zionist website DEBKA, its analysis of Yemen is very revealing of the Zionists’ ethnocentric perspective on the world. It is, according to DEBKA, of course all about Israel, or at least, that is what they would have us believe.

“The latest paroxysm of Yemen’s five-year war with the rebel Houthis has left more than 2,000 dead in less than a month and up to 150,000 homeless. Yemeni government troops are battling around 15,000 Iranian-armed and trained Houthi rebels dug into the northern Sadaa mountains on the Saudi Arabian border. Saudi air force bombers are pounding the rebels and the Egyptian air force and navy are ferrying ammunition to the Yemen army with US encouragement and funding.

This is the second war in less than a year in which US allies are pitted against Iran-backed forces. The first was Israel’s three-week campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which ended last January.

This strategically-located, poor Red Sea country, for years a critical stage for the war on Islamist extremists, has now become a key arena where the United States and Iran jockey for regional primacy. In that respect, the Yemen conflict compares in importance with the 2006 Lebanon War and the Gaza conflict. Its outcome will bear heavily on the relative strategic positions in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea regions of the US – as well as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and indirectly Israel too – vis-à-vis Iran.”

There are two obvious alternative reactions one might have to this analysis. The first is that it is true: Iran is opening a new front against the world (or at least against Israel). If that is the case, then the obvious questions that need answering include:

* What is there about the regime in power in Yemen that might justify giving it support?
* If support is justified, should that support be military or, perhaps, encouragement to expand democratic rights and broaden enfranchisement with an eye to bringing the disaffected Yemeni Shi’a into the political system?

The other obvious candidate reaction to this piece is that it represents what the Zionist party in Israel (i.e., those who believe in the elimination of the Palestinians in favor of a religious state and the expansion of the Israeli state and a policy of “security through strength” rather than living in peace with neighbors) want the West to believe. According to DEBKA, the Yemen conflict, like Gaza(!), is a war against Iranian influence, all part of one big “war on Islamist extremists.” Whether Sunnis or Shi’a, all Muslims who oppose Israel and all Muslims who accept Iranian aid to resolve local squabbles are part of a “war on Islamist extremists.” It is, no doubt, supposed to follow from this that we should be glad Israel exercises nuclear hegemony over the Mideast and that its settlers are rapidly stealing all the Palestinians’ land in the West Bank.

The West needs to take a hard look at what is occurring in Yemen before pouring gasoline on yet another Muslim fire. Whatever extremists (i.e., those favoring the use of force to achieve foreign policy goals) in Iran are up to in Yemen, it is very clear that extremists in Israel are exploiting the problems in Yemeni society to get Congress to open the spigots of military aid even wider.


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