Wednesday evening Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States announced that Saudi Arabia had commenced military operations against the Ansarullah fighters of the Houthi movement in Yemen. The Saudi intervention was not unexpected. Over the last few weeks there were signs that the U.S. and the Saudi’s were preparing the ground for direct military intervention in Yemen in response to the Houthi’s seizing state power in January.
The appearance of a previously unknown ISIS element that was supposedly responsible for the massive bomb attack that killed over 130 people on Friday and the withdraw of U.S. personnel on Saturday were the clear signals that direct intervention by the Saudi’s was imminent.
And this week with the fall of al-Anad military base, the base where the U.S. military and CIA conducted its drone warfare in Yemen, to Ansarullah fighters and the capture of the port city of Aden where disposed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had fled, it was almost certain that the U.S. would the green light for its client states to intervene.
The Saudi Ambassador cloaked the role of Saudi Arabia within the fictitious context of another grand coalition, this time led by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the corrupt collection of authoritarian monarchies allied with the U.S. and the other Western colonial powers.
Ambassador Al-Jubeir announced that before launching operations in Yemen all of its allies were consulted. The meaning of that statement is that the U.S. was fully involved in the operation. Even though the Ambassador stressed that the U.S. was not directly involved in the military component of the assault, CNN reported that an interagency U.S. coordination team was in Saudi Arabia and that a U.S. official confirmed that the U.S. would be providing logistical and intelligence support for the operation.
And what was the justification for launching a military operation not sanction by the United Nations Security Council? According to the Saudi’s they have legitimate regional security concerns in Yemen. Their argument was that since they share a border with Yemen, the chaos that erupted over the last few months that culminated in what they characterize as a coup by the Houthi insurgency, forced them to intervene to establish order and defend by “all efforts” the legitimate government of President Hadi.
But this is becoming an old and tired justification for criminality in support of hegemony.
The intervention by the Saudi’s and the GCC continues the international lawlessness that the U.S. precipitated with its War on Terror over the last decade and a half. Violations of the UN Charter and international law modeled by the powerful states of the West has now become normalized resulting in an overall diminution of international law and morality over the last 15 years.
The double standard and hypocrisy of U.S. support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen and Western and U.S. condemnations of Russia’s regional security concerns in response to the right-wing coup in Ukraine will not be missed by most people.
And so the conflagration in the Middle East continues.
U.S. and Saudi geo-strategic interest in containing the influence of Iran has trumped international law and any concerns about the lives of the people of Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain. Militarism and war as first options has now become commonplace as instruments of statecraft in an international order in which power trumps morality and law is only applied to the powerless.
Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He is a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” (Counterpunch Books, 2014). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.AjamuBaraka.com