I came to Iran this week to participate in a peace boat sailing from Iran to protest the Saudi bombing and blockade of Yemen. Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from the boat trip for logistical reasons; my frequent collaborator Tighe Barry of CodePink still plans to be on the boat, which as of this writing was expected to leave Monday morning local time.
So instead of writing about being on the boat, I figured I would write about how Saudi Arabia is apparently becoming the Israel of the Gulf countries: a habitual aggressor in its neighborhood, enabled in its aggression by the United States. Indeed, it could be argued that Saudi Arabia has become a more dangerous regional aggressor than Israel, because so far, at least, Saudi Arabia’s aggression in Yemen, like its aggression in Bahrain, has provoked a less vigorous international reaction, including in the United States, than Israel’s recent war in Gaza.
Like Israel’s recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia’s campaign is being widely judged a failure in a military sense, which means that, like Israel in Gaza and Lebanon, they have killed many human beings, including many civilians, for no clear military purpose:
Airstrikes on [former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah] Saleh’s residence and in the northern province of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, also reflected a desire by the Saudi-led coalition to salvage a military victory by killing opposition leaders after a six-week bombing campaign that analysts say has failed to meet most of its original goals.More than 1,400 people have been killed since March, when Saudi Arabia launched its aerial campaign against the Houthis, a Shiite movement that had taken control of Yemen’s capital and forced the government from power. The Houthis have weathered the onslaught and continued their advance.