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The War inYemen: There’s More to the Story

Chronicle Guest View

May 23, 2019
By Dennis Lamb , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Dr. Isa Blumi is a Czech historian and Middle East scholar currently lecturing at the University of Stockholm. Those who would like a better understanding of the tragic war in Yemen are urged to read his recently published book titled Destroying Yemen: What Chaos Tells Us About the World or Google his name and listen to his explanation of what is happening in Yemen on YouTube.

According to Dr. Blumi, what is happening in Yemen is not an Iranian-Saudi proxy war but a brutal war of aggression by Yemen's neighboring states seeking to control Yemen's assets and supported in this endeavor by global forces, the Atlanticist empire (North America and Western Europe) and the IMF. Yemen has known oil reserves of 4 billion barrels and is believed to have vast offshore oil reserves. Saudi Arabia not only wants but needs control of these oil assets.

Vice President from 1994 to 2012, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, a Sunni, became acting president of Yemen in February 2012 when the Yemeni Arab Spring forced long time Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, a Zaydi Shiite, to step down and sign a power-transition deal brokered by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, all Sunni monarchies. Under the auspices of the GCC deal, Hadi, the only candidate in the presidential election that was held on 21 February, won with 100% of those who voted. As president, he then proposed and forcefully backed a plan to shift Yemen to a federal model of government that also reconfigured regional borders into six regions.

Blumi writes:

"To any rational observer, the idea of developing Yemen into six disproportionate regions with enormous autonomy was a blatant effort to benefit foreign interests and subdue the rebellious populations through poverty and administrative obscurity." [p.196].

"In the meantime, Yemen's oil wealth would be concentrated in a vast area named Hadhramawt and Saba'. It so happens, that configured in this way, both areas that contain much of Yemen's oil would also be the two least populated provinces. This would make bribing the few tens of thousands of eligible 'residents' with a tiny portion of the oil revenue (no longer flowing to the central state) both easy, but an enormous windfall for those hoping to steal South Arabia's wealth." [P.197]

This new federal system would not only cut people in western Yemen off from oil revenues, but the new regional borders would rob them of access to the sea, i.e. fishing and trade, isolating and impoverishing them further.

To the now politically sensitized opposition with an ideology based on anti-corruption that had fought almost a year to get rid of Saleh, Hadi's government was nothing more than a front for the GCC, the IMF and the USA to steal Yemen's wealth for themselves while impoverishing those living in western Yemen.

When Hadi dispensed with elections due in 2014 and declared an extension of his power beyond the two-year intermediary period originally set by the GCC and the United States, he became a dictator pawn of the Saudis in the eyes of the Houthis. Not only did the Houthis rise in anger, but many Sunnis living in Western Yemen joined them. If what Dr. Blumi and other analysts say is true, it's not an Iranian-Saudi proxy war, but a Saudi predatory grab for Yemen's oil with U.S. assistance.

Dennis Lamb, from Chelsea, Iowa, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its directorate of operations as a case officer and as an intelligence analyst. His viewpoint above is personal and not the views of his former employer. Comments: lambden@hotmail.com

 
 

 

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