Forum topic: Yemen - a pivotal war in the fight for influence in the Middle East

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Forum topic: Yemen - a pivotal war in the fight for influence in the Middle East
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Yemen - a pivotal war in the fight for influence in the Middle East. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

"Trump's incendiary

"Trump's incendiary recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - a totally stupid and unnecessary move which will mainly please his evangelical base - can only rebound on US imperialist interests."

I am not sure its right to say Trump's base is among evangelicals. It is true that Trump won the votes of most evangelicals in the general election against Clinton, but this doesn't make them his base. This seems to reflect a bit of a misunderstanding of populism in the US context, I think. I think the recognition of Jersusalem as the capital of Israel was something driven more by a desire for a political win, a fulfillment of a campaign promise and a desire to promote the image of a strong man able to do what he wants then fulfilling some evangelical wish list (even if it had the effect of giving them something they wanted). Pence is an evangelical and he is in the Trump administration in large part to control this part of the GOP electoral base, but Trump is no Pence. It should also be noted that the recognition of Jersusalem as the capital of Israel was supported by a much broader spectrum of the US bourgeoise, including Democrats like Chuck Shumer, Ben Cardin and the outspoken Alan Dershowitz. It was something driven as much by a certain "Zionist lobby" as it was by evangelical theology, but also by a desire by certain factions of the US bourgeoisie (across party lines) to assert its imperialist weight more forefully in the region after the perceived weakness of the Obama administration, which severely strained the US-Israel relationship.

Multi-fronted war and decomposition

To add even further to the woes of the peoples of Yemen a new front in the war has broken out - or, more to the point an already-existing example of centrifugal tendencies has been sharpened. A seperatist, secessionist force backed by the UAE, took government buildings, including its HQ, in Aden on Sunday. The government here is run from Saudi Arabia by President Hadi so this is, in effect, a fight between the Saudi-backed government and army in Aden against a separatist force backed by the UAE, which is a partner of the Saudi's in the war against the Yemeni Houtis!

The wealthy and expanding Emiratis, joined the Saudi coalition at the beginning of the war in March 2015 and has meanwhile been funding  and training separatist militias, increasing its influence in southern Yemen and also setting up parallel forms of repression alongside (and over) the Saudi-backed Hadi regime. No less than any of the other imperialist butchers in this war it has disappeared, tortured and abused many, including children according to HRW.

The UAE fprces are also, along with US special forces (who don't much trust the Saudis), going after a strongly entrenched al-Qaida (AQAP) and the recently built-up Isis (IS-Y). Until recently the former was running major ports and looting banks and ammunition with both carrying out constant attacks in the last couple of years.

In this further tendency of each for themselves in a nutshell, Aden is riven by armed groups and militias confronting one another and vying for power, including the "allies" of Saudi and the UAE while trying to cooperate elsewhere. The UAE has a strong interest in dominating (and may be seceding the south and splitting the country), the vital waterway of the Bab el-Mandab strait and has expanded its force and influence the Horn of Africa, East Africa and Libya. It is part of the confrontation with Iran.

It is still fighting the Houti forces and to this end is using mercenaries from Colombia, Panama, El Salvador and Chile but it is beginning to diverge from Saudi and its coalition.


Incidentally, regarding the article, there is some evidence that North Korea has provided the Houtis with missiles and missile technology.