Will We Let Trump Start World War III for Saudi Arabia and Israel?

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies

September 19, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – On Saturday, September 14th, two oil refineries and other oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia were hit and set ablaze by 18 drones and 7 cruise missiles, dramatically slashing Saudi Arabia’s oil production by half, from about ten million to five million barrels per day. On September 18, the Trump administration, blaming Iran, announced it was imposing more sanctions on Iran and voices close to Donald Trump are calling for military action. But this attack should lead to just the opposite response: urgent calls for an immediate end to the war in Yemen and an end to US economic warfare against Iran.

The question of the origin of the attack is still under dispute. The Houthi government in Yemen immediately took responsibility. This is not the first time the Houthis have brought the conflict directly onto Saudi soil as they resist the constant Saudi bombardment of Yemen. Last year, Saudi officials said they had intercepted more than 100 missiles fired from Yemen.

This is, however, the most spectacular and sophisticated attack to date. The Houthis claim they got help from within Saudi Arabia itself, stating that this operation “came after an accurate intelligence operation and advance monitoring and cooperation of honorable and free men within the Kingdom.”

This most likely refers to Shia Saudis in the Eastern Province, where the bulk of Saudi oil facilities are located. Shia Muslims, who make up an estimated 15-20 percent of the population in this Sunni-dominated country, have faced discrimination for decades and have a history of uprisings against the regime. So it is plausible that some members of the Shia community inside the kingdom may have provided intelligence or logistical support for the Houthi attack, or even helped Houthi forces to launch missiles or drones from inside Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, immediately blamed Iran, noting that that the air strikes hit the west and north-west sides of the oil facilities, not the the south side that faces toward Yemen. But Iran is not to the west or northwest either – it is to the northeast. In any case, which part of the facilities were hit does not necessarily have any bearing on which direction the missiles or drones were launched from. Iran strongly denies conducting the attack.

CNN reported that Saudi and US investigators claim “with very high probability” that the attack was launched from an Iranian base in Iran close to the border with Iraq, but that neither the U.S. nor Saudi Arabia has produced any evidence to support these claims.

But in the same report, CNN reported that missile fragments found at the scene appeared to be from Quds-1 missiles, an Iranian model that the Houthis unveiled in July under the slogan, “The Coming Period of Surprises,” and which they may have used in a strike on Abha Airport in southern Saudi Arabia in June.

Saudi Defence Ministry press briefing on Wednesday, September 18th, told the world’s press that the wreckage of missiles based on Iranian designs proves Iranian involvement in the attack, and that the cruise missiles flew from the north, but the Saudis could not yet give details of where they were launched from.

Also on Wednesday, President Trump announced that he has ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to “substantially” increase its sanctions against Iran. But existing U.S. sanctions already place such huge obstacles in the way of Iranian oil exports and imports of food, medicine and other consumer products that it is hard to imagine what further pain these new sanctions can possibly inflict on the besieged people of Iran.

U.S. allies have been slow to accept the U.S. claims that Iran launched the attack. Japan’s Defense Minister told reporters “we believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility.” The United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed frustration that the U.S. was so quick to point its finger at Iran.

Tragically, this is how U.S. administrations of both parties have responded to such incidents in recent years, seizing any pretext to demonize and threaten their enemies and keep the American public psychologically prepared for war.

If Iran provided the Houthis with weapons or logistical support for this attack, this would represent but a tiny fraction of the bottomless supply of weapons and logistical support that the U.S. and its European allies have provided to Saudi Arabia. In 2018 alone, the Saudi military budget was $67.6 billion, making it the world’s third-highest spender on weapons and military forces after the U.S. and China.

Under the laws of war, the Yemenis are perfectly entitled to defend themselves. That would include striking back at the oil facilities that produce the fuel for Saudi warplanes that have conducted over 17,000 air raids, dropping at least 50,000 mostly U.S.-made bombs and missiles, throughout more than four long years of war on Yemen. The resulting humanitarian crisis also kills a Yemeni child every 10 minutes from preventable diseases, starvation and malnutrition.

The Yemen Data Project has classified nearly a third of the Saudi air strikes as attacks on non-military sites, which ensure that a large proportion of at least 90,000 Yemenis reported killed in the war have been civilians. This makes the Saudi-led air campaign a flagrant and systematic war crime for which Saudi leaders and senior officials of every country in their “coalition” should be held criminally accountable.

That would include President Obama, who led the U.S. into the war in 2015, and President Trump, who has kept the U.S. in this coalition even as its systematic atrocities have been exposed and shocked the whole world.

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The Houthis’ newfound ability to strike back at the heart of Saudi Arabia could be a catalyst for peace, if the world can seize this opportunity to convince the Saudis and the Trump administration that their horrific, failed war is not worth the price they will have to pay to keep fighting it. But if we fail to seize this moment, it could instead be the prelude to a much wider war.

So, for the sake of the starving and dying people of Yemen and the people of Iran suffering under the “maximum pressure” of U.S. economic sanctions, as well as the future of our own country and the world, this is a pivotal moment.

If the U.S. military, or Israel or Saudi Arabia, had a viable plan to attack Iran without triggering a wider war, they would have done so long ago. We must tell TrumpCongressional leaders and all our elected representatives that we reject another war and that we understand how easily any U.S. attack on Iran could quickly spiral into an uncontainable and catastrophic regional or world war.

President Trump has said he is waiting for the Saudis to tell him who they hold responsible for these strikes, effectively placing the U.S. armed forces at the command of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has conducted U.S. foreign policy as a puppet of both Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, making a mockery of his “America First” political rhetoric. As Rep. Tulsi Gabbard quipped, “Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First.’”

Senator Bernie Sanders has issued a statement that Trump has no authorization from Congress for an attack on Iran and at least 14 other Members of Congress have made similar statements, including his fellow presidential candidates Senator Warren and Congresswoman Gabbard.

Congress already passed a War Powers Resolution to end U.S. complicity in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, but Trump vetoed it. The House has revived the resolution and attached it as an amendment to the FY2020 NDAA military budget bill. If the Senate agrees to keep that provision in the final bill, it will present Trump with a choice between ending the U.S. role in the war in Yemen or vetoing the entire 2020 U.S. military budget.

If Congress successfully reclaims its constitutional authority over the US role in this conflict, it could be a critical turning point in ending the state of permanent war that the U.S. has inflicted on itself and the world since 2001.

If Americans fail to speak out now, we may discover too late that our failure to rein in our venal, warmongering ruling class has led us to the brink of World War III. We hope this crisis will instead awaken the sleeping giant, the too silent majority of peace-loving Americans, to speak up decisively for peace and force Trump to put the interests and the will of the American people above those of his unscrupulous allies.

This article was originally published by “Information Clearing House“- 

Do you agree or disagree? Post your comment here

==See Also==

Trump & Iran: ‘Locked and loaded’

Will Trump take the neocon bait and set the Middle East on fire?

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Uncle Sam Scapegoats Iran

By Finian Cunningham

September 18, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  Following the devastating airstrikes on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, US Vice President Mike Pence flexed his tough-talking muscles, vowing that his country is “ready to defend our interests and allies… make no mistake about it.”

Don’t you think the assurance is a bit late? Saudi Arabia – a historic and key ally of Washington – had its entire oil production knocked out by 50 per cent last weekend when it came under aerial attack. Global markets were rattled over possible critical fuel shortages as the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil might not recover full production for weeks.

So, Pence’s stern words of being “ready to defend” certainly ring a bit hollow, if not rather farcical. If Washington was indeed on sentry duty for the Middle East, as it has appointed itself to do decades ago, why weren’t the airstrikes on Saudi Arabia’s vital oil industry intercepted to prevent the havoc wreaked?

We are not talking here about some remote oil field or installation. The infrastructure targeted for massive damage was at the very heart of Saudi’s oil industry. The Abqaiq refinery and processing plant is where up to 70 per cent of all Saudi crude is prepared for export. It is said to be the biggest crude oil processing plant in the world. And it is near to other vital refining and shipping facilities in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province adjacent to the Persian Gulf.

The Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the air raids last weekend, which also targeted a major oil field at Khurais, located in Eastern Province, not far from the Abqaiq processing plant. The Houthis said the blitz was conducted with 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The distance covered from Yemen is nearly 1,000 kms. It is thought that the Yemeni rebels have developed drones capable of reaching up to 1,500 kms. What’s more, they have threatened that all key Saudi oil infrastructure is vulnerable to future attacks.

Potentially, a new wave of airstrikes from Yemen using more sophisticated drone models could bring the Saudi rulers to their knees from their oil economy being decimated.

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What must be deeply troubling for the Saudis is that their lifeline oil economy seems to be defenceless – despite having spent hundreds of billions of dollars on US anti-missile systems. Months after Donald Trump took office in early 2017, recall how he boasted about the Saudis buying over $100 billion in Pentagon weaponry.

That’s why VP Mike Pence’s stirring words of “defending allies” sound ridiculous.

It also suggests that’s why US intelligence and military officials are hurriedly trying to blame Iran for carrying out the latest attacks. If the rag-tag Houthi rebels from war-torn Yemen can penetrate US-backed air defences to demolish Saudi oil infrastructure, then American anti-missile technology is more over-rated and much worse in practice than many had already suspected.

President Trump has been a little more circumspect about blaming Iran for the air assaults, but senior administration officials like Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have come out forcefully claiming that Iran is responsible. Iran denies any involvement and says that the US is “in denial” about the fact that the Yemenis are capable and entitled to defend themselves in a more-than-four-year military operation launched on their country by the US-backed Saudi military coalition in March 2015.

US intelligence and military sources are briefing American media outlets that the airstrikes were carried out with drones and cruise missiles fired from southwest Iran. No evidence has been presented, as usual from these anonymous and faceless US spooks; the only “evidence” so far are satellite images of the damaged oil installations. Those images are far from conclusive. The attacks could have come from the southerly direction of Yemen.

But here’s the thing. If drones and cruises missiles were launched from  Iran, as the US is claiming, then their flight path would have come within close range of the American Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters base in Bahrain which is near to Saudi’s Eastern Province and its oil infrastructure.

The US Fifth Fleet is responsible for “securing” the entire Middle East and in particular the strategically important Persian Gulf waterway where a third of all globally shipped oil is daily transported. It is the world’s premier chokepoint for oil trade.

Is it really plausible that a swarm of drones and cruise missiles allegedly transiting from Iran across the Gulf within a few hundred kilometres of the US Fifth Fleet – with all its warships, radar, satellite and detection technology bristling – were not detected in flight heading for Saudi Arabia?

If Iranian drones and missiles were detected then we can be sure US officials would be blaring the information, categorically pinpointing the incriminating evidence. As it is, American officials and their intelligence sources are so far peddling vague accusations against Iran based on dubious satellite images.

That suggests that Iran’s denials are credible and that the Houthis’ version of events is closer to the truth. They hit Saudi Arabia’s “crown jewels” and the Saudis’ supposed protector, the US, could do nothing about it.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by “Sputnik“- 

Do you agree or disagree? Post your comment here

==See Also==

Watch: Ray McGovern: Houthi Drone Strikes on Saudi Oil : “Pompeo is a true believer in the rapture.”

What Do You Think? MY YOUTUBE REPLIES TO: ‘Delusional! Edward Snowden Believes Europe Might Grant Him Asylum, Save Him From US!’

I thought more highly of Mr Snowden till now. Asylum in Europe? U can’t be serious. How fast can you say extradition back to US for treason, LMAO!

As far as your reader is concerned, we all perceive reality thru our own personal filters. If he’s biased against Russia to begin with, then living in the Kremlin would be a bad experience. There’s no pleasing some folk no matter what you say or how you reason, they just don’t see the light, choosing to stay mired in darkness. He is blind to the wonders around him, place him anywhere in the world and his negative world view will taint everything ugly. Poor guy, appreciate reality by cleaning your jaded eyes and be grateful!
Nice post Lada!! 🙂

Futurist Trendcast

I came across this video on YT.

I literally never post any comments under YT videos, but for the first time in years I was called to post one in response to someone else’s one-sided view, in order to clarify and tell the truth. I must say others started chiming in to support my comment and add their own, which is great. And I ended up replying to additional responses as well.

I also have to say that the vast majority of comments under that video are right on!

My comments are under this thread:

a2eoas17 hours ago (edited): The report says that Snowden considers Russia the safest country for him to be in. So he is not delusional, although he still seems to be under the disturbing impression that Russia is somehow an inferior choice.

CHECK IT OUT!

Blufor 401415 hours ago (edited) It is, I’m British…

View original post 1,034 more words

Quote of the day

To me, everything is a miracle. I never come across anything that is not a miracle; only miracles exist. Everything is such a surprise, it is so unbelievable! But if your eyes are closed, if your eyes are full of dust, if your mind is too knowledgeable, if you think you know all, then nothing is a miracle.

To know “I don’t know anything” makes everything a miracle. It depends on your inner state, it depends on you. And to live a life without miracles is not to live at all. You can have a million miracles every day, you are entitled to have them. But because you don’t know how to connect yourself with the miraculous, you are being cheated by stupid people.

Rajneesh