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Hypocrisy: US Policy in Ukraine and Yemen Civil Wars

  • Washington invents foreign policy as it goes, the only requirement being US geopolitical ambitions are served.
  • Where US is against a sovereign nation, it supports a coup d'etat.
  • Where the nation is a US-installed puppet regime, it is protected from civil uprisings with lethal force. Such is the case with Ukraine and Yemen.
  • Examines how Washington's behavior swings wildly on sovereign nation rights by comparing situations in these two countries.
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Interesting article from one of Russia's largest newspapers, Izvestia.   Link

By Maxim Kononenko. Translated for RI by Kristina Aleshknikova.  

Picture this: armed men from Lvov stage a bloody massacre in the centre of Kiev. The crowd is going to storm the Presidential Administration building. The President of Ukraine flees to the south of the country. A few hours later, Russian bombers transform the center of Kiev into ruins. You tried it? You can’t imagine this?

Nevertheless, this is exactly what is happening today in Yemen. The nature of any civil war is the same — one part of the population is against the “elected government”; the other part of the population, which is satisfied with the government, resists. You would expect the logical approach of the neighbors to always be the support of the incumbent government. However, such an approach seems typical only of old-fashioned countries like Russia. Modern civilized humanity always chooses for itself which side is going to play its villain.

Without the least reflection, without security councils or international conferences, without Angela Merkel, more than 10 countries got together, took note of the religious and ethnic dimensions, and flew off to bomb a sovereign state. In response to this blatant aggression, the U.S. officially granted the aggressor material and intelligence support.

The White House website had this to say: “The United States strongly condemns ongoing military actions taken by the Houthis against the elected government of Yemen. These actions have caused widespread instability and chaos that threaten the safety and well-being of all Yemeni citizens.”

I try to recall whether the White House said something like this about the carnage on the Maidan … but I can’t.

However, I suggest stopping the moralizing part of the column with that. Let us try and understand what danger all this could actually lead to. After all, before this week few of us here even knew where Yemen is.

Yemen — it is a piece of desert on the south-west of the Arabian peninsula, with 25 million inhabitants who have been fighting each other virtually non-stop for various reasons for 30 years already. Resources are scarce (there is oil but not much). There are a lot of people with the lowest living standards in the Arab world. There is no established form of government either — at one moment the country falls apart and the next it unites — and the population is half Shiite, half Sunni. The former president, who was displaced as a result of the “Arab Spring” in 2011, ruled for 32 years. Now there is a new, democratically elected one — they toppled him too. In general, it is an unruly and not very attractive place.

And you would have thought that it wouldn’t matter to the Arab countries exactly who rules this piece of desert. But here, you know, it is all about the location of this piece of desert. The most populated and habitable part of Yemen lies right at the entrance to the Red Sea. Consequently, it is namely Yemen that holds the key to the main supply route of Saudi oil through the Suez Canal. And here is the bad break: the Yemeni insurgents, who ousted the president — are Shiite. But the whole of the rest of the Arab world is Sunni. And in the region there is only one purely Shiite country, which moreover is not inhabited by Arabs. It is Iran.

Geographically, Iran is a long way from Yemen. But it is close to Saudi Arabia. They are located on the banks of one and the same Persian Gulf. And if in Iran they suddenly decide that the Saudis, who want to protect their main oil supply route, are bringing too much pressure to bear on their brother Shiites (and in this world, as we know, any war sooner or later becomes a religious one), then Iran might decide to bring pressure to bear on Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. And then this won’t seem unimportant to all mankind. Firstly, the Americans will inevitably intervene. Secondly, the Saudi regime does not look all that stable and is quite capable of collapsing in a conflict with Iran — all the more so because there are also Shiites in Saudi Arabia and they are living exactly where there is a lot of oil. If, suddenly, out of solidarity, they also decide to provide the Saudis with a bit of “Arab Spring,” they might succeed.

And if the Saudis fall, you can’t even imagine what will happen next in the destabilized region (crippled Iraq, warring Syria, ISIS).

But this, of course, is all theoretical. Because it is still absolutely unclear why Iran would interfere in this conflict. Iran is involved in direct consultations with the U.S. (despite Israel). It is possible that as a result of these discussions Iran will also need to transport a lot of oil through the Suez Canal. Shiite solidarity is of course a fine thing but, after all, the majority of Shiites live in Iran and are perfectly capable of showing solidarity to themselves. An environment of total chaos would make it much harder for Iran to complete the nuclear bomb — which they are certainly working on — than the status quo which currently exists.

Hence, the world really is standing on the brink of large-scale war. But without Iran this is more likely to be a short “anti-terrorist operation” rather than a war. Such an operation would, however, not solve the problem of ISIS, or the significant presence of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, or the problem of the adversarial relationship between the Shiites and Sunni in Yemen.

Therefore, on the basis of the above, I will risk the assumption that a major war won’t happen right now. But following everything that has happened in the world since 2001, I state with confidence — war is inevitable.

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