"Arabs were getting very “modern” at that time. It’s important to remember that. You know why they stopped getting modern, and started getting interested in reactionary, Islamist repression?
Because the modernizing Arabs were all killed by the US, Britain, Israel, and the Saudis.
That was what happened in the North Yemen Civil War, from 1962-1967. After a coup, Nasser backed modernist Yemeni officers against the new Shia ruler. The Saudis might not have liked Shia, but they hated secularist, modernizing nationalists much more. At least the Northern Shia kings ruled by divine right and invoked Allah after their heretical fashion. That was much better, to the Saudi view, than a secular Yemen.
And the west agreed. To the Americans of that time, “secular” sounded a little bit commie. To the British, it sounded anti-colonial and unprofitable. To the Israelis, it raised the horrible specter of an Arab world ruled by effective 20th-century executives. States like that might become dangerous enemies, while an Arab world stuck in religious wars, dynastic feuds, and poverty sounded wonderful.
Why do you think the IDF has not attacked Islamic State or Jabhat Al Nusra even once?
So all the factions we call “The West” jumped in to destroy these Yemeni officers: British commandos and pilots, Israeli military advisors, CIA bagmen, NSA geeks, and mercenaries from all over the world.
That was the all-star lineup fighting “for Allah and the Emir,” as the idiots at Time Magazine enthused in a 1963 article.
And of course that lineup won easily, against a clique of officers and a half-trained Egyptian expeditionary force. Egypt lost something like 25,000 soldiers in Yemen; you don’t fight a British/Saudi/American/Israeli/Islamist/Royalist coalition like the one they were facing without losing big. After the Six-Day War in 1967, when it lost the Sinai, Egypt had no interest in bothering about Yemen and called its surviving troops home.
If you look at a control map of Northern Yemen in 1967, when the war ended with Egypt’s total defeat, you see that the Egyptian forces and their Yemeni allies still controlled some of the southern areas around Taiz (which was just taken by the Houthi last week), while the Royalists, the conservatives, controlled all of Saada Province and the north, the areas across from Najran.
So the Houthi, whose core strength perfectly maps the Royalists’ areas of control in 1967, draw their strength from these same conservative areas. As for the modernist, secular Yemenis, they’re just gone. Emigrated, or died, or saw their children seduced by the madrassi.
That scenario was repeated all over the Middle East during the Cold War, and it has a lot to do with how messed up the place is now. “For Allah and the Emir”; when Time ran that headline in 1963, that slogan sounded quaint and kind of touching. . . . It sounded like a nice alternative to Nasser, nationalism (and its much more dangerous corollary, nationalization) or, worse yet, Communism.
So the West put its weapons and its money in on the side of “Allah and the Emir” over and over again, against every single faction trying to make a modern, secular Arab world, whether on the Nasserite, Ba’athist, Socialist, Communist, or other model.
It worked very well . . . or badly, if you prefer."
"How Yemen's US-backed ex-dictator is tearing his country apart"
Normally, Iran could help by stirring up the Shiites who live around Saudi oil fields, but the nuclear negotiations removes that option for now. The big question is what the Saudis do when they finish their civilian-slaughtering bombing runs and the Houthis are still there.
"President Assad Interview with Charlie Rose-CBSNEWS [VIDEO]" Assad is the geopolitically hippest world leader - he is almost unique in stating exactly what is going on. In fact, his understanding of 'conspiracy theory' explains how he is still alive.
"Macedonia: Scenario of A Ukraine Style Protest Movement and Coup d’Etat?"
Tweet (Glenn Greenwald) (also):
"College senior who listened to Berkeley Prof John Yoo's pro-torture lecture correctly identifies him as a sociopath""Amid Inquiry, Menendez Finds Well of Support Among Jewish Leaders" When your big problem is being corrupted by Jewish billionaire money, the obvious solution is to pay for your legal fees with Jewish billionaire money.