Did MBS Just Become the US Commander in Chief?
(September 16, 2019) — This feels like deja vu. Back in the early 1990s, during the first gulf war, our slogan was “No Blood for Oil.” Now Trump says the US is “locked and loaded,” prepared to carry out a military strike on Iran in retaliation for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, if the Saudi give the go-ahead.
The firing of John Bolton last week filled the world with a sense of renewed hope, but now Senator Lindsey Graham is taking Bolton’s place astop warmonger.His tweets over the weekend encouraged the U.S. to attack Iran’s oil refineries. Graham is not only a key senator on the foreign relations committee, he also is very close to Trump.
The best and only way for the US to help deescalate this precarious situation is to stop selling weapons to the Saudis to commit war crimes in Yemen. Send a message now to Senator Lindsey Graham telling him how dangerous his calls to war are, reminding him that the American people don’t want another war, and asking him to support the amendments to the NDAA to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and prevent a US war with Iran.
Rather than contributing to such incitement, Senator Graham should be reminding President Trump that according to the US constitution it is Congress, not the president (or Saudi Arabia), who has the right to declare war.
Whether the attack on the Saudi oil facilities was indeed carried out by drones operated by Houthi rebels as the Houthis have claimed, or by Iran (Iran denies this) is not even relevant.
THIS IS NOT OUR FIGHT and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is not the US commander in chief. US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen has already created a situation so severe that 11 million people in Yemen are on the brink of starvation and around a half-million people are already literally starving. Now, our support for the Saudis in Yemen could lead us into another bloody war for oil, a war with Iran, with results that could be even more devastating than the Iraq war.
Send a message now to Senator Lindsey Graham telling him that the American people have no appetite for another Middle East war. He must stop his incitement and support the amendments to the military funding bill (the NDAA) to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and prevent a US war with Iran.
The next 24 hours will be crucial in determining whether the US pursues de-escalation or another war for oil. John Bolton may be out, but others are stepping into his shoes to march towards military action. We have seen this before and we know the consequences. We can’t let it happen again.
Dear Lindsey Graham,
It doesn’t matter if the attack on the Saudi oil facilities was indeed carried out by Iran or by drones operated by Houthi rebels, THIS IS NOT OUR FIGHT and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is not the US commander in chief. Your tweets of “Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime’s back” and “it is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries” do not reflect the will or interests of the American people. All polls say American sentiment is opposed to US military strikes in Iran. A war with Iran would be disastrous for the entire region and for our own national security.
Please stop calling for US military strikes against Iran and instead support the amendments #339 to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and #270 to prevent a war with Iran to the NDAA.
US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen has already enabled a situation so severe that 11 million people in Yemen are right now on the brink of starvation and around a half-million people there are literally starving. Now, our support for the Saudis could be leading us into another bloody war for oil, a war with Iran, with results that could be even worse than the Iraq war.
Though invoking the war powers resolution, both chambers of Congress have demonstrated a firm desire to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This is the best way for us to de-escalate the situation in the Middle East and end our involvement in Saudi war crimes. We hope you have read the recent scathing UN report saying that the US, France, and Britain may all be complicit in war crimes for their role in supporting the Saudi/UAE-led war.
Now, with the must-pass NDAA and your role in negotiating the final version, you have the ability to get important foreign policy legislation through without a veto. It is critical that you make sure the Smith-Khanna Yemen War Powers Amendment #339 to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the Gaetz-Khanna Amendment #270 to prevent a war with Iran are included in the final version of the NDAA that lands on Trump’s desk.
John Bolton may be out, but you are stepping into his shoes as chief warmonger. We have been to war for oil before, we know the consequences, and we can’t let it happen again. Please stop calling for military strikes on Iran, and support the amendments to the NDAA to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and prevent a US war with Iran.
Ann, Ariel, Caroline, Carley, Clara, Jodie, Leonardo, Maya, Mark, Medea, Megan, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Rose, Teri, Tighe, and Zena
Other Actions You Can Take
Please also contact the four Democrats in Congress—Senator Jack Reed, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Adam Smith, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi—with the most influence over which amendments will be included in the final veto-proof version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Tell them to make sure the most important foreign policy amendments below get included in the final version that lands on Trump’s desk:
- #339 to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen;
- #270 to prevent a war with Iran;
- #419 to block Trump from executing 22 “emergency” arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE;
- #473 to impose a one-year prohibition on the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia and the UAE;
- #35 to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen
(August 18, 2019) — Despite the Saudis’ savage bombing campaign enabled by Washington, and a blockade also supported by the US and many NATO accomplices, the Houthis have been able to develop a game-changing offensive capability with drones and missiles designed in Iran and other members of the Axis of Resistance.
Today, Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:
Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a
massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia’s sprawling desert on
Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a “limited fire” in the second
such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.…
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.
Today’s attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:
The field’s distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis’ drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai’s busy international airport within their range.Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.
The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will.
The drones and missiles the Houthi use are copies of Iranian designs assembled in Yemen with the help of Hezbollah experts from Lebanon. Four days ago a Houthi delegation visited Iran. During the visit Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the first time publicly admitted that the Houthi have Iran’s support:
“I declare my support for the resistance of Yemen’s believing men and women … Yemen’s people… will establish a strong government,” state TV quoted Khamenei as saying in a meeting with the visiting chief negotiator of the Houthi movement Mohammed Abdul-Salam.Khamenei, who held talks for the first time in Tehran with a senior Houthi representative, also called for “strong resistance against the Saudi-led plots to divide Yemen”, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
“A unified and coherent Yemen with sovereign integrity should be endorsed. Given Yemen’s religious and ethnic diversity, protecting Yemen’s integrity requires domestic dialogue,” he said, TV reported.
BELOW: Houthi exhibition of modern missiles and drones being used to finally respond to the Saudis’ cowardly attack. The new weapons quickly changed the equation, not to mention the Houthis heroic resilience to genocidal assault by Ryadh and its supporters in Washington, London and other complicit NATO capitals.
The visit in Tehran proved that the Houthi are no longer an unrecognized, isolated movement:
Officials from Iran, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, exchanged views about political resolution of the protracted war in the Arabian Peninsula country.The meeting was held at the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran on Saturday with delegations from Iran, Ansarullah and the four European countries in attendance.
The delegates at the meeting explained
their respective governments’ views on the developments in Yemen, including
political and battlefield developments as well as the humanitarian situation in
The delegates stressed the need for an immediate end to the war and described political means as the ultimate solution to the crisis.
The war on Yemen that MbS started in March 2015 long proved to be unwinnable. Now it is definitely lost. Neither the U.S. nor the Europeans will come to the Saudis help. There are no technological means to reasonably protect against such attacks. Poor Yemen defeated rich Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi side will have to agree to political peace negotiations. The Yemeni demand for reparation payments will be eye watering. But the Saudis will have no alternative but to cough up whatever the Houthi demand.
The UAE was smart to pull out of Yemen during the last months. Its war aim was to gain control of the port of Aden. Its alliance with southern Yemen separatists who now control the city guarantees that. How long they will be able to hold on to it when Khamenei rejects a division of Yemen remains to be seen.
Today’s attack has an even larger dimension than marking the end of the war on Yemen. That Iran supplied drones with 1,500 kilometer reach to its allies in Yemen means that its allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have access to similar means.
Israel and Turkey will have to take that into consideration. U.S. bases along the Persian Gulf and in Afghanistan must likewise watch out. Iran has not only ballistic missiles to attack those bases but also drones against which U.S. missile and air defense systems are more or less useless. Only the UAE, which bought Russian Pantsir S-1 air defense systems on German MAN truck chassis (!), has some capabilities to take those drones down. The Pentagon would probably love to buy some of these.
It was the U.S. use of stealthy drones against Iran that gave it a chance to capture one and to analyze and clone it. Iran’s extensive drone program is indigenous and quite old but it benefited from technology the U.S. unintentionally provided.
All the wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East, against Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015), ended up with unintentionally making Iran and its allies stronger.
There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.