Third Day of Fierce Fighting in Yemen – Hopes for a peaceful settlement of Yemen's political crisis receded further on Wednesday as intensifying street battles between government security forces and opposition tribesmen moved into a third day, leaving at least two dozen people dead and turning part of the Yemeni capital, Sana, into a war zone. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Yemen is another one of those funny little countries we don't give a damn about. Oops!
Free-Market Analysis: Anglo-American reluctance to confront Yemen's madman leader is leading to a crisis. Jaw-jaw is rapidly giving way to civil war-war. Meanwhile, the Anglo-American axis, with soft words and softer deeds has refused to bring the situation to a head. It is as if they wish to provoke the hostilities now expanding. The ramifications are many and important (though unreported).
Yemen's destabilization can lead to problems with shipping of oil through the narrow reaches of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and thus much higher prices. (Presumably, this would be pleasurable to the Anglo-American elite, which counts some of its impossible fortune in petro-dollars.) More importantly, it could lead to the destabilization of Saudi Arabia (as it sits directly below Saudi Arabia) and this in turn, may destabilize the dollar-reserve currency.
For various reasons, then, the US has been no big fan of the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Instead of cutting off money and military supplies to the current regime, the US has issued vague warnings and gently counseled a sociopathic head of state to step down. Of course, when Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast refused to resign after winning a legitimate election, the French and UN drove a combined armored column to his house and physically removed him from his basement.
That is not, apparently, going to happen to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, or not now anyway, even though he controls little of his own capital city and is widely despised by millions of Yemenis. He is finished as a ruler, rejected even by much of his own tribe; but because the US and Britain, who have supported him throughout his murderous 30-year reign, have not placed a finger's-worth of pressure on him, he stays.
Not only does he stay, he fights. He has killed and wounded hundreds of peaceful protestors over three months of protests. His soldiers and guards (the ones left to him) have fired randomly into crowds, and played havoc with the Arabic international community, which has sought to ease a peaceful transition. Why doesn't the Anglo-American axis just push him out, as they are pushing out Gaddafi? Because there is no one yet to take his place. Apparently, his vice president, who has been proposed, is not acceptable. (Perhaps he is an honorable man.)
Like certain geographies, Saleh was and is a strategic person. The CIA and City of London had supposedly planned to build the next act of the phony "war on terror" around him. Warm-up drones have already been fired into the barren depths of Yemen to kill non-existent Al-Qaeda that are supposed to have "regrouped" in the area. They are said to have "missed." (Hard to kill something that is not there.)
In fact, the over-all youth revolution – especially in Yemen – is a deeply disturbing one to the West, but not for the advertised reasons. Perhaps the West will have to find another haven for the non-existent Al-Qaeda. The Southern parts of Somalia are likely to be tested for a dry run. Or perhaps the non-existent troops of Al-Qaeda can be seeded among the centrally-based pirates of Somalia. Rather than blowing them out of the water (only India has done so) Western powers have been jealously guarding these pirates like a precious resource (enemies being hard to come by) and should make use of them sooner or later.
Meanwhile, all is not lost in Yemen. If the Anglo-American elite is careful and lucky, Saleh may stick around long enough begin to destabilize shipping in the Red Sea. The famous Saudi oil fields may come in for attack. The longer the powers-that-be tolerate Saleh's brigandry, the more possibilities there are for oil prices to head back up. Yemen sits directly below Saudi Arabia.
For three months now, students and tribesmen have been attempting to peacefully overthrow President Saleh; they hoped he would sign an agreement and leave. He has refused, like Judas, three times. Now the violence is getting worse. The New York Times (in the article excerpted above) reports on the escalating tensions:
On Wednesday, opposition tribesmen controlled at least two ministries — trade and tourism — and a building that houses the state-run news agency, Saba. Many Yemenis fear the bloodshed could spiral into a broader war between supporters of Yemen's embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and tribesmen allied with the Ahmar family, whose house was at the center of the fighting.
And what is the point of bombing the Ahmar household? "Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Saleh accused the Ahmar family of trying to drag the country into civil war … The Ahmars are the leaders of Yemen's most powerful tribal confederation, known as Hashid. Hamid al-Ahmar, a telecom mogul, has long been a rival to the Yemeni president and is the most visible face of the political opposition that would inherit power if Mr. Saleh signs the agreement [to depart]."
The Times rehearses some of the options we mentioned above. The US, the Times reports, could "press for United Nations sanctions aimed at Mr. Saleh and his family members, who occupy key posts in Yemen's military and intelligence services." Why wasn't that done months ago? It took the French about a week to turn Laurent Gbagbo into an international pariah. And here's another warning: "On Sunday, the White House counterterrorism chief, John O. Brennan, warned the Yemeni president in a phone call that 'if he doesn't sign, we're going to have to consider possible other steps.'" Other steps! Saleh must be shaking.
The Times gets to the main point. "The United States and Yemen's Arab neighbors are deeply concerned that the worsening political stalemate is allowing Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch — one of the terrorist group's most dangerous and active affiliates — to operate more freely. Already, several provinces are outside the government's control …"
As with Soviet Union's late, unlamented Pravda, one has to read between the lines. In fact, there are no "neighbors" deeply concerned about the worsening "political stalemate." There is only Saudi Arabia and its pampered billionaire sheiks fearing that if either Bahrain or Yemen is "democratized," their fiefdom will be next. (And it will be, in our view.) The stakes are ludicrously high. As goes Saudi Arabia, so goes the dollar reserve currency. A destabilized fiat currency could be only months away.
Yes, the CIA ripped it! Poor boys. Even a Yale education doesn't help during a technology Reformation. A good idea to encourage meddlesome color revolutions? Not really. Foggy Bottom woke up the youth around the world and provided them with a most unusual and resolutely denied commodity … hope. It showed young people how to use social media to inform and agitate. Now the result: "Blowback."
Serbia, Tunisia and Egypt were all initial victories for one reason or another. But in the era of the Internet, triumphs can mutate inconveniently. Yemen's democratizing, and it will come, will be a setback; Bahrain's likely regime change will pose great difficulties; Saudi Arabia's regime change (whenever it occurs) will be an unmitigated, rolling disaster for Western elites. Oh, heads will roll, not just in Saudi Arabia but also at the CIA, MI6 and Mossad.
It is coming, in our view. It may facilitate a new global currency. (But surely the Anglosphere elite would have preferred another way?) Once Saleh is gone, the chances of Western intel finding someone as unreservedly murderous as Saleh, is slim-to-none; he is, after all, a true gem in the CIA's pantheon of psychopaths.
It is very difficult to create convenient regime change in the era of the Internet where a million eyes can see – and report – on high-level Western manipulations. Whatever the West is trying to do, the tribes-people of Yemen are well aware of and will counter as they see fit. The West, despite a trillion dollars and 150,000 troops, was not able to pacify Afghanistan. It will have no more luck in Yemen, which has a quasi-mountainous geography, and more guns per head than any almost any other country in the world. Each Yemeni tribesman is taught to defend himself as a youth.
There is no concept, presumably of civil society (as the Anglo-American elites conceive of it: impossible wealth for me, impoverished literacy for you) and this is presumably why the tribesmen of Yemen are not part of the "government" that the Times bemoans. The Times is wrong in any case. In the best of times Saleh was ignored, and these are not the best of times.
There is no doubt that the clouds of war are gathering. Western elites, as we have pointed out in a string of articles now, seem to have thrown up their collective hands and fallen back on brute force as their dominant social themes fail one by one. No doubt they still plot world government more fervently than ever, and yet, too, they seem engaged in some sort of holding action, hoping that generalized war will stave off the changes currently being forced by the Internet's Reformation. Their plans now seem to be confronted at most every pass. War (along with economic chaos) is an ever-more attractive tool.
In Afghanistan, the West's drones continue to drop bombs that murder women and children. And the apparently phony death of Osama bin Laden has allowed the US to ratchet up activities against Pakistan. Unrest in Pakistan is growing over the US illegal bombings. The Taliban are seemingly attacking everywhere, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Iraq, US diplos twist arms, trying desperately to keep soldiers in huge, brand-new bases. In Israel, politicians vow not to give up a sliver of territory and Hezbollah (just yesterday) vows war. In Iran, nuclear reactor work continues despite Western threats and further sanctions. War is surely in the offing.
In Syria, the bloodletting advances along with Western deprivations. In Libya, a civil war rages, abetted by Western bombing. In Somalia, Al-Shabaab (youth) wage a war against the UN. In the Ivory Coast and Ghana a regional war has begun now that Nicolas Sarkozy has destabilized the region by putting his puppet president in place. Sudan has been destabilized by its new North and South regions; yesterday the North made further military moves to annex territory. On and on. Egypt and Tunisia are by no means settled; unrest is growing once more. Europe is destabilizing as the elites continue to insist on their "austerity."
See a pattern, dear reader? There will be blood. Whose blood?