Monday, March 30, 2015

Are We Allied with Sunni Arab States Intent on Wiping Out Shiites?

The United Nations would like a word with you.

It's about that hopelessly scrambled mess of an air war now underway in the Middle East from Iraq to Syria and, now, Yemen.  It's the Yemeni business, our Saudi ally's air war in particular, that the UN wants you to know about.

It seems the Saudi air force pilots have been bombing a refugee camp.  These are the Knights of the Air supposedly taking the fight to rebel Houthi forces except that they're not too fussy who gets blown up.

In the late morning, the Mazraq camp in northern Yemeni province of Hajja – close to the border with Saudi Arabia – was bombed.

It is the latest hit on a civilian target since a Saudi-led coalition of eight nations began a bombing campaign last Thursday aiming to displace the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group from power.

The exact death toll is as yet unconfirmed, but the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is saying 45 people have been killed.

Issa, a resident of the camp, put the number of deaths at between 30-40.

Pablo Marco, Programme Manager for Middle East at Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF), told IRIN there were 29 dead on arrival and at least 34 injured in the hospital they run in the nearby town of Haradh.

What would you like to call it, collateral damage or just a mistake?  That question takes on a different colour when placed in the context of remarks made some time ago to Sir Richard Dearlove, the then head of Britain's MI6, by Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."

I think in anybody's books that's a pretty genocidal proclamation especially coming from a prominent Saudi prince and former fighter pilot.  It's one of those thoughts that sticks in your mind when you consider Saudi bombing strikes on Shia refugee camps.


Toby said...

Steven Harper has got us into the middle of a religious/civil war. We have no business being involved in a shooting war in the Middle East; all we can do is lose. Harper has done this for personal political reasons. Unfortunately, it will work.

I have no doubt that Harper's big dream is that a Canadian soldier or pilot will be captured by ISIS and executed on YouTube. That would guarantee Harper a massive majority. Canadians can be really stupid and vote with their emotions rather than intellect.

Steve said...

The Saudis empire and rule is one of the most horrific for human rights in history, let alone modern history.
History has a way of turning out bad for bad people. Maybe Yemen is the thread on their sweater.

Purple library guy said...

Mind you, half the population of Yemen is Sunni. Since the Houthi have lately been winning, on average those refugees are at least as likely to be Sunni as Shia (or mixed; brotherhood in desperation). To imply that something like this is the first strike of a war of genocide against the Shia is to give it too much intellectual credit.

The reality is that when people start bombing campaigns, some actual enemy targets get hit but there's always a whole lot of random "Got some bombs, gotta hit something".

The Mound of Sound said...

Apparently the Yemeni Shiite total 1/3rd of the population, not half. And, it's not the Yemeni Sunni who are out for genocide but the Saudi Sunnis.

Anyong said...

Toby.....your comment makes me want to vomit. You expressed my sentiment exactly which I don't want to really think we both are on the mark. Does he really think he is the King of Canada and he is the smartest person in the entire world?

Purple library guy said...

I didn't say anything about what portion was Shiite, and I wasn't trying for exact percentages in any case. My point was, once the Saudis start bombing indiscriminately they're going to be bombing the people on their own hypothetical "side" of the sectarian divide as much as they bomb their enemies. The only way they'd be able to genocide the Shiites would be to wipe out the whole population of Yemen. And refugees in particular don't always fly sectarian flags.

The Mound of Sound said...

You would almost think the Saudi pilots have been trained in Israel. One day they're bombing a refugee camp, the next they're destroying a dairy.