Friday, January 29, 2010

Saudi Arabia's Military Involvement in the Yemen Conflict

by Rannie Amiri
Global Research, January 29, 2010

".....Regardless of whether any tenable agreement is actually reached, it must be asked: what was accomplished by Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen? Militarily, nothing.

The more salient question is: what was the real message behind Saudi Arabia’s (fruitless) intervention?

Although it was purportedly to defend the “territorial integrity” of the Kingdom, even supporters of the Royal Family concede it was more to stem perceived encroaching Iranian influence at its doorstep. Yet that too is a spurious argument.

To date, there has been no convincing evidence of any significant material support provided to the Houthi rebels by the Iranian government. Claims of such have been found to be no more credible than those issued by Yemen’s government that Abdul Malek al-Houthi had been killed in the fighting (he appeared on video a few days later appearing quite healthy).

To understand the real motive behind the bombardment, one only needs to return to the primary demand of the Houthi rebels: an end to the ever-increasing socioeconomic marginalization and religious discrimination of the Zaidi community in Yemen.

This war was not just to aid the fledging Saleh regime in combating an enemy far less threatening to its existence than al-Qaeda, but to send a clear message to Saudi Arabia’s own citizens who suffer the same systemic and institutionalized discrimination as do the Zaidis. Namely, Shia Muslims, Ismaili Muslims, Sufi Muslims and any who dare challenge the authority of the House of al-Saud or the doctrines of the officially-sanctioned Wahabi school of thought.

Saudi Arabia’s own oil-rich Eastern Province has seen tensions with Saudi Shia Muslims escalate in recent months as the Wahabi religious establishment clamps down ever more harshly on the practice of their religion and liberties as citizens of the state.

The senseless war in Saada waged by the Saudi government was thus meant to send an unmistakable warning to any in the Kingdom who might espouse similar beliefs or demands as the Houthis: do so at your own peril.

One wonders, though, whether those on the Saudi side who advocated or supported such reckless interventionism were aware of this equally important admonition: military force never succeeds in quieting the quest of people striving to achieve their basic rights, freedoms, and dignity."

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