"Remember the Mason!" – US attacks Houthis in Yemen

Kit Knightly

Four days ago, after reports that Saudi Arabia had bombed a funeral in Yemen killing 140 mourners, America announced it would “review its support” for the Saudi-led coalition.

Three days ago the USS Mason, an American destroyer patrolling the Red Sea, was apparently fired upon from Yemen. It has gone unquestioned in the Western MSM that the Houthis were behind this attack, despite strong denials from the Houthis themselves.

Yesterday, all thoughts of “reviewing support” put aside, the Americans bombed three “radar sites” that they claim were a threat to their assets in the Red Sea.

Just like that, America is now an active player in the war on Yemen, when before they were simply selling weapons to the Saudis et al.

You might consider it strange that the Houthis, who have not fired on American ships ever before in the nearly 2 years of warfare in Yemen, suddenly decided – just as American support for Saudi Arabia was in question – to launch missiles at an American destroyer.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would the Houthis, who struggle to get any coverage in the Western press at all, let alone sympathetic coverage, launch an attack on America?”

You might consider it strange that the Houthis, already fighting a losing battle against a ribetter-equipped equipped enemy, might try and drag America into the war.

It’s not strange. Not in the least. It fits so well with the history of American military entanglements that one might even call it predictable, at this point.

There was the USS Maine, for example.

In 1898 the Cuban War for Independence was three years old, the revolutionaries (supplied and trained in America) were fighting to free Cuba from Spanish rule. The American press was full of exaggerated or made up stories of Spanish “atrocities”, and many in Washington were calling for war. However, President McKinley favored diplomacy. Then the USS Maine was (allegedly) maliciously and deliberately blown up by the Spanish, killing 258 American sailors. “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!” became a battle cry, and America declared war.

There has never been any evidence the Maine was attacked deliberately by the Spanish, and all historical investigations have pointed to an accidental sinking as a result of fire.

Or there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident – the casus belli behind the Vietnam war. When North Vietnamese torpedo boats engaged and attacked American destroyers. This act of aggression from North Vietnam pulled America into a war they would not leave for 10 long years.

Except of course, it literally never happened.
The pattern is set. There are enough articles about “false flags” on the internet to fill a whole library of books, there’s nothing more to add.

This is quite clearly another to file in the historical annals between the Reichstag Fire and Operation Northwoods.

That this should happen just as the Western press is waking up to what they now uniformly calling “the forgotten war”, is no coincidence.

In the Telegraph, Con Coughlin – a rather red-faced bombast, unfettered by petty reality, and in favor of starting a war with Russia – writes that the “forgotten war” is all Iran’s fault, and while Saudia Arabia might be killing practically every civilian that has died in the conflict, really it’s all down to Iran’s meddling.

The Guardian takes the tone that we (the West) should “do more”, and again references the mythic American reluctance to get involved. (yes, they are so totally without irony that they can actually claim America doesn’t want to be involved THE SAME DAY they launched missiles into Yemen). Despite some vague chastising of the UK/US, the Guardian agrees that Yemen is almost entirely Iran’s fault, that the Iranians are “exploiting and manipulating” Yemen to their own ends.

The Washington Post echoed that the US “must act” to pull Yemen back from collapse.

The focus, currently, is on the “humanitarian catastrophe”, and all decry the lack of negotiations…but that’s always the way it starts. Emotive language and made up statistics, the declaration that “something must be done”. Then, when the negotiations start the Houthis will either be presented with terms to which they simply cannot agree, or the Saudis will break the truce and the MSM will blame the Houthis and Iran anyway.

At that point the “something” which “must be done” becomes a military intervention…in order to stop the war and protect civilians.

The question becomes: Why? Why is the US suddenly committing more resources to a war in Yemen? Why are the press suddenly waking up to their “forgotten war”?

The Houthi rebels in Yemen are reportedly backed by Iran and Hezbollah (there’s no direct evidence this is true, but given the political make up of Yemen, it does seem likely). It’s possible that America sees increased assistance to the Arab coalition, and actual low-key interventions of their own, to be – in effect – the opening of a second front of their proxy war with Iran in Syria. It’s possible they want to encourage Iran and Hezbollah to expend more of their resources in Yemen, and thus weaken their presence in Syria.

Does the Clinton administration want to undo the Obama-backed Iran deal? Will the new President undermine and verbally attack Iran in the hopes of scuppering the treaty? The vague possibility of a Nuclear-armed Iran has been America’s excuse for building missile defense shields in Eastern Europe, being able to refresh this brazenly false alibi would make life a little easier at the Pentagon.

It’s possible that America is seeking to build itself a little hill of highground, having taken a lot of flak recently for their preposterously hypocritical stance of at once denouncing Russia and Syria as “war criminal”, and supporting Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen (including selling them bombs to drop on funerals).

It’s possible that they feel the need to insert themselves into Yemen to head off any Russian involvement there. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh made general overtures to Russia in a television interview six weeks ago. The last thing America would want is Russia to have access to naval bases on the Red Sea, and a Russian presence in Yemen would hinder any possibility of America putting boots on the ground there (hopefully, anyway).

Of course, it’s also possible that they need to fire off a few bombs so that they have an excuse to buy more. Fifth homes for ex-senators-turned-arms industry lobbyists don’t buy themselves.

When you’re a power-mad, institutionalised sociopath there doesn’t have to be a grand plan, or a big reason. That’s what makes them so dangerous.


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