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Yes, it's dangerous

Reader comment on item: "Saudia vs Iran in Yemen - Rights and Wrongs"
in response to reader comment: Yemen situation is extremely dangerous

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Apr 1, 2015 at 20:04

Hi, Prashant

I enjoyed your piece; but you got a little carried away with you rhetoric. You said,

Militias of one kind cannot contain the militias of other kinds. The only viable way to limit the power of Iran is to fight it with democracy and freedom.

Of course, militias can contain othe militias. It happens all the time. In fact, militas can even overwhelm professional soldiers -- as they did in Saigon 1975 and Mosul 2014, and now seem to be doing in Aden -- in every case, granted, with the help of professional soldiers. We did the same in Yorktown 1781, with help from the French.

As for democracy and freedom being a "viable way" to anything lasting, peaceful or stable, one does well to observe Libya and Egypt. Democracy in the Middle East, in fact (as well as just yesterday in Nigeria), is a sure-fire way to end up with religious repression. Democracy, at its best, is only able to allow the majority to rule. When the majority has been suckled since its youth on the notion of getting what it wants by violence (as Muhammed's followers got what they wanted), it can only lead to bullying and violence.

Other than that, what you said is true: The situation in Yemen is very dangerous; and I, frankly, don't think anything can be done to make it not so.

Daniel said one thing that you seem to have missed: that the struggle in Yemen is more tribal than sectarian. Until the latest news reports, I was impressed by the media hype into thinking this was another one of many "Sunni vs. Shi'a" conflicts; but now that crunch time has come around Aden, we see that 70% of the (mostly Sunni) armed forces in Yemen back the (Sunni) ex-President Saleh and his Old Guard. Saleh and his Houthi allies are currently getting help from the Iranians and Russians; but in the past, they have equally welcomed generous help from Saudi Arabia. This does not make the situation any less dangerous, but it does help put it into perspective.

I was intrigued earlier today, by a report on DEBKA that an Iranian naval squadron had set sail for the Bab al-Mandeb, where it could possibly do battle with Egyptian and other warships now patrolling the strait. This would indeed be serious, if true. As often is the case, however, this DEBKA "breaking story" has not yet been verified from other sources. Even if a squadron had debarked from an Iranian port, heading towards the Bab al-Mandab, it could, in fact, be on routine patrol against Somali pirates. There are many, many ships engaged in anti-piracy tasks off the coast of Yemen, including those of Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Italy, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Turkey. If one or more of these would suddenly turn and attack the Egyptian blockading force, this would provoke a serious incident; so, whether DEBKA has its facts straight or not, there is nonetheless real danger from this quarter. That said, I seriously doubt the DEBKA story.

In the discussion Daniel took part in, the Iranians were trying to portray the Saudi actions as "Muslim aggression against fellow Muslim -- stirred on, no doubt, by a Jewish-American conspiriacy". Daniel, on the other hand, portrayed it as "Iranian aggression against the Arab world", a line taken by the Saudis themselves. Neither position is entirely true or false. If we put aside provocative terms such as "aggression", however, we are simply presented with the fact that a conflict is happening; and that there isn't much either you or I can do about it.

My only take on the matter, is to (1) try to find out exactly what is happening, (2) compare this to what the Bible said would happen in the last days, and (3) reckon how advanced we are into those days at the moment. As of now, we are very close to the "perousia" or "coming" of Messiah -- perhaps 10 or 20 years, perhaps less. My main concern at the moment, seems to be watching my diet and activity regime so I will be alive when it happens. I will definitely meet Messiah some day soon, whether in this life or the next; but I don't know what his "perousia" entails. I have some ideas; that's all. Meanwhile, the situation in the Middle East is turbulent and getting more so.

Shalom shalom :-)


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