yemen

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Not-So-Grand Chessboard

I thought this week I’d hit on a bunch of different geopolitical situations that could escalate in the near future.

Ukraine

Ukraine has been in the middle of low-energy civil war since the coup that took place in early 2014. It set the pro-EU, anti-Russian west against the Russian-speaking, breakaway west. Ukraine has always been a country trying to find an identity. Its borders have changed and so have its allegiances. At one time, it was part of Russia. For a long time in fact. It was called “Little Russia” for parts of the Middle Ages, and Russian leaders have always looked that it as part of Russian history.

The western area has felt more at home with the West. Parts of it were part of the Polish Kingdom, before breaking off and joining Great Russia in 1654 with the signing of the Treaty of Pereyaslav. The western region has more recently has tried to outlaw the Russian language in Ukraine, and in the past they called Russian-speakers “Cossaks”, much like the Poles did.

Currently, the war has been more of a cold one. With the eastern regions continuing to support Russia, with Moscow expanding its influence over the area. The Ukrainian government from Kiev, and the Neo-Nazi political party that the United States helped take over, has seen the army become “fatigued”, as most soldiers not on either extreme sides of the conflict. Much like the American Civil War, fighting your “brother” can become tiresome.

Germany vs Poland

An interesting development has come up in Poland. Poland has recently been controlled by a more right-wing, anti-EU party. Poland looks to gain back its national sovereignty from Brussels and the Neo-Liberals in Germany. It has refused to accept even one Muslim migrant, and thinks pretty highly of Donald Trump.

Poland’s refusal to play ball has lead Germany to support regime change. They have gone so far as to have the Germany Defense Minister call for support of the new “youth resistance” in Poland. This “resistance” has been linked to George Soros, and seems to be another “color revolution”. There have been a long history of these color revolutions in Europe, a few in Ukraine in the 2000s, before the successfully violent one in 2014.

Poland has pushed the envelope, looking to create its own “bloc” in Europe. This bloc would be built out of the “Three Seas Initiative”. The initiative aims to bring together three different blocs within Europe, offering national sovereignty and some breathing room from the over-bearing governance of the EU. Some are calling the bloc: “Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 2.0”. This does not sit well with Angela Merkel and her friends in Brussels.

The bloc would also be very anti-Russian, which would date back to the days of Communism.

Libya

The news out of Libya isn’t really news at all. The story here is that CNN has finally decided to cover the ongoing slave trade in the country. This was being reported on by actual journalists back as far as April of this year, maybe before. CNN took it’s time for a few reasons I’m sure.

During the revolt against Gaddafi, CNN took its talking points from the CIA-backed rebels on the ground. The rebels (the ones Hillary is so happy to take pictures with) made it clear that all black African migrants were really “mercenaries” brought in my Gaddafi to protect his regime. In reality, these migrants were brought in as workers by Gaddafi for development projects. But CNN ran with the “mercenary” term, giving the rebels the look of “freedom fighters” killing the evil mercenaries brought in by the evil dictator to stomp out any uprising.

These African migrants were hunted down and killed in large numbers. The ones that weren’t killed, are the slaves you seen CNN talking about today.

The whole war was based off a lie. A lie that Gaddafi was going to slaughter his citizens in the streets. A story that has been debunked ever since.

In a war that has been dubbed “Hillary’s War”, it was exposed by Wikileaks that Clinton knew about the targeting of migrants, but she was more than happy to ignore that to achieve her end goals.

The reason I believe that this is finally seeing the light of day is simple. The United States wants to expand its imperial footprint in Africa (something I covered in a previous episode), and what better way to sell that to the American people then to tell them there is an actual slave trade going on. CNN of course will make no connection between the trade and the US-backed forces, or that they peddled the narrative that provided cover for this disgusting practice.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has always been the butt of everyone’s joke. The country where a wheelbarrow worth of its currency buys you nothing. Where Bitcoin is at 13K apiece. Well, it seems like the corruption and economic criminality has finally caught up with President Mugabe.

This week, the military of the country took over the state radio & TV stations. It also put President Mugabe and his wife under house arrest. The military is not calling it a coup.

The president has been in power since 1980 and his now 93 years old. He is the oldest head of state on Earth, and planned to hand over power to his wife. As recently as today, Mugabe addressed the country on TV, surpising everyone by stating he was not stepping down.

The situation should be followed as it unfolds.

Iraq/Kurds

This week we also saw (maybe) the end of Kurdish autonomy in Iraq. Kurdistan’s Regional Government declared that they support a “United Iraq”, but them at odds with the more radical elements of the Kurdish population. Since this Iraq military’s takeover of Kirkuk, the Regional Government has lost all of it’s power. The politicians in charge seem to have made a deal with the central government of Baghdad. Iraq and its US backers wanted the selling of oil in the Kurdish region to flow through Baghdad, and that seems to have taken place. The idea of Kurdish independence in Iraq would seem to be dead.

Yemen

The situation in Yemen continues to get worse. Just this week the Saudi regime bombed the airport in the capital city of Sanaa, effectively shutting down another route for aid into the starving country.

Speaking of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Senator Chris Murphyspoke on the floor of Senate, calling out the US government for its role in the crimes taking place in the Middle East’s poorest nation:

Let’s hope maybe this brings some attention to the situation and guilt-trips a Congressmen or two to find their morals, if they have any.

Episode can be found here…The full episode archive can be found hereand on ITunes.

Sources

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The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Double Down in Afghanistan & The Forgotten Horror in Yemen

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First, let me apologize in advance for the recording of this episode. I am a little run down at the moment, so if I sound I bit out of it, it’s because I am.

In the episode, I go over my thoughts on Trump’s speech Monday on what his general told him his policy is going to be in Afghanistan. I break down the speech as I did in an earlier post this week. This was not the only esclation this week, as John “I love Nazis” McCain applauded “Mad Dog” Mattis’s promise to arm the government of Ukraine. I also hit on a few other stories, before updating you on the tragedy that continues to unfold in Yemen.

This week’s topics include:

Episode link here.

The full archive of the show can be found here.

 

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Episode Preview: The Voluntary Exchange Podcast – Week of 8/20/2017

Good morning!

Tomorrow I will be recording and posting this weeks episode of The Voluntary Exchange Podcast. This week has been light in geopolitical stories. This episode will focus on much of the same stories from last week. Of course, the bulk of the episode will be my breakdown of Trump’s speech on Afghanistan from Monday. I posted my initial thoughts on the speech earlier this week, so I’ll hit on these points again.

This week’s topics include:

I will still be offering to take listener requests for topics to discuss on future episodes. Anything can be requested, but I do like to focus more on war and locking people in cages than transgender bathrooms. Submit your suggestions in the comment section!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Scott Horton. He has his first book out on Amazon, “Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan”. If you don’t know Scott Horton, he is the editor of Antiwar.com, one of the founders of The Libertarian Institute, foreign policy Jedi, anarcho-capitalist, skateboard, and all around badass.

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Episode: Billy and The Boys

In this episode, I update you on India-China, North Korea and ask why no one on Facebook is sharing videos from Mosul, Iraq. I get domestic and discuss healthcare, Rand Paul’s good week, and the trans-ban.

episode link

Sources

China Adds Troops To India Border, Will Defend Sovereignty At “Whatever Cost”
Why Is the World Not Outraged at Mass Civilian Death in Mosul?
North Korea claims all of U.S. in strike range as Trump says China has done “nothing”
One in every 45 people in Yemen is expected to contract cholera, Red Cross says
Thousands of worshippers surge into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, 113 injured
Rand Paul Blocks DOD Authorization Until September
White House Sacks Top Iran Hawk Amid Ongoing Disagreements

The Podcast: Yemen

I have returned. Today I uploaded my first podcast episode since Donald Trump took office. However, this episode is all about Obama (and Hillary). In it, I try to break down the history of not only the conflict in Yemen, but the United States direct support for the Yemeni government and the Saudi Arabia bombing & blockade campaign.

For all the talk about how Russia is guilty for Assad’s crimes. The media is very quick to ignore America’s guilt in the crimes of Saleh, Hadi and Riyadh.

The podcast can be found here.

*EPISODE NOTE: I keep sourcing Patrick Cockburn as the author of an article I quote. The author is actually his brother, Andrew Cockburn. Both amazing journalists.

Links to some of my sources are below:

The Obama Doctrine

https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/12/04/crimes-in-yemen-militancy-regime-attacks-and-us-drones/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE31/010/2012/en/5c85d728-a9ab-4693-afe9-edecc2b8670e/mde310102012en.pdf/

Acceptable Losses

Next Stop: Yemen

The Saudis, Hillary, and the Destruction of Yemen

Wikileaks’ ‘Yemen Files’ Reveal Scope of US Involvement in Yemen War

Yemen: America’s Shame

US Military Has Overstayed It’s Welcome In Yemen

Yesterday the government of Yemen has decided to not allow any US “boots on the ground” moving forward. This takes place after a Navy Seal raid on Jan 29th that killed 14 “enemy combatants” along with dozens of cilivians and children. The raid was carried out with minor intelligence, continuing to provide extremist groups with more recruiting opportunities. 

The ban is not suprising for anyone who has followed the slaughter in Yemen bein carried out Saudi Arabia. The US has been carrying out its own black ops operation in the country for most of Obama’s years in office. The drone campaign in the rural part of the country helped Al Qaeda grow a foothold in the country. 

US officials have said this ban does not include the drone strikes, which is par the course for a Yemeni government that has no real power over not only it’s country, but the foreign powers fighting a proxy war within it.

Sources: 

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/02/07/yemen-withdraws-permission-for-us-ground-operations/
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/world/middleeast/yemen-special-operations-missions.html?_r=0&referer=

Saudi Warplanes Bomb School in Northern Yemen

As Antiwar.com points out, the Saudis don’t deny that at least 10 children were killed, only that the school was a Iranian training center. So like Israel in Gaza, the civilian deaths are just collateral damage and the fault of the someone else.

“They use civilian installations as the command and control centers of their organization,” he said. “Don’t focus on the technical details. This is a war. Collateral damage could happen, mistakes could happen. But we work in Yemen on behalf of the international community; we are in Yemen today because the fire is on our border. If we do nothing today, tomorrow all the area will be a failed state.”

This quote comes from Maj. General Ahmed Asseri, the spokesman for the coalition in the New York Times.

A great piece of news to read before dinner. That quote is the words of a madman, thinking he is involved in a war supported by the international community. For any readers who do not know, most Saudi airstrikes are coordinated with the United States.

Yemen Kicks Out US Officials

It’s official. Yemen in another country without a US embassy. The coup against the US-backed regime has been completed. The drone program and black ops deployed in the country for most of Obama’s presidency helped create the chaos we’ve seen unfold. Yemen will just be another country forced into waiting arms of Iran (and maybe Russia).

From Zerohedge:

Another US-friendly regime has folded completely, and after bumbling US foreign intervention in Libya and Egypt made the countries into terrorist breeding grounds where Americans are kidnapped on sight or worse, it is now Yemen’s turn: another country in the Middle East whose president until recently was backed by the US government, and which will now be nothing more than civilian casualty fodder for remote-controlled US drones.

  • YEMENI EMPLOYEES SAY US AMBASSADOR IN YEMEN INFORMS STAFF THE EMBASSY IS CLOSING DOWN COMPLETELY, AMBASSADOR TO LEAVE BY WEDNESDAY

For those Americans who are still on location, fear not: you are in good hands:

  • US TO ASK TURKEY OR ALGERIA TO LOOK AFTER ITS INTERESTS IN YEMEN WHILE THE EMBASSY IS CLOSED – YEMENI US EMBASSY EMPLOYEES

And now it’s time for Obama to discuss just how “isolated” Putin really is.

There Is A Coup Taking Place in Yemen

The Shia Houthi rebels from the northern tribal areas of Yemen have finally had their moment. Today they stormed the state-run media and surrounded the presidential palace in the capital city of Sana’a. While their presence in the capital city is nothing new, today marked the first time time the international (western) media took notice. The prime minister’s convoy was surrounded and a cease fire was arranged. The cease fire turned out to be sort lived. CNN confirmed the news early this afternoon on Twitter (#Yemen) and Bloomberg covered the story.

The geopolitical ramifications of this are interesting as AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) claim responsibility for the attacks in France. With a full on coup taking place in a gulf state that is historically supported by the Saudis and it’s allies (US), the threat of Iran taking the reign is worry for western imperialists. I’m sure Israel, the neo-con wing of the Republican party and rank-in-file western globalists will be demanding intervention to quell the revolt and bring “stability” back to the country quickly. The ongoing drone operations in Yemen will be ignored or seen as not “tough” enough as the threat of Islamist terrorism fills the news cycle.

The sell will be tricky, as this is secretarial conflict mixed with the endless proxy war between the Saudis & the Iranians. The Saudis will not take this lightly.

The Telegraph article linked above includes a history of the involved factions.

The Next Country To Get A Full Dose of American Intervention: Yemen.

Suicide Bombings in Yemen Kill 67 After Premier Quits

Suicide bombers targeting Yemen’s powerful Shi’ite Houthi group and an army camp killed at least 67 people in two separate attacks on Thursday, hours after a political crisis forced the new prime minister to step down.

At least 47 people were killed, including four children, when a suicide bomber detonated a belt packed with explosives at a Houthi checkpoint in the centre of the capital Sanaa where Houthi supporters were preparing to hold a rally.

Body parts were scattered across Tahrir Square and pools of blood formed on the asphalt after the blast, which also wounded at least 75 people.

In eastern Yemen, where the militant group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has waged repeated attacks on army installations and government facilities in recent months, at least 20 soldiers were killed in a suicide car bombing and gun attack on an army outpost, state news agency SABA reported.

The attacks occurred just hours after a showdown between the Houthis and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour forced Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, whose appointment on Tuesday under a power-sharing deal signed last month had angered Houthi leaders, to turn down the post.

The Houthis have emerged as Yemen’s main power brokers since their paramilitary forces seized the capital on Sept. 21, following weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

A policeman guarding a local bank near Tahrir Square in central Sanaa said a man apparently wearing a suicide belt approached the Houthi checkpoint. “He then exploded amidst the (Houthi) security and ordinary people nearby,” he told Reuters.

In Buroom, a coastal region of Hadramout province, a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives towards an army camp, while gunmen tried to storm the facility, a local official and witnesses said. The soldiers beat back the attackers, but SABA said 20 soldiers were killed and 13 were wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack, but the incidents mirror previous bombings carried out by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has targeted state institutions, including the armed forces, and which sees members of the minority Zaydi sect of Shi’ite Islam as heretics.

U.S. ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller condemned the Sanaa attack and urged Yemenis to implement the power-sharing accord, which aims to resolve a decade-long Houthi insurgency and pull the country out of a crisis precipitated by the 2011 uprising that forced veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

A southern secessionist movement and the AQAP onslaught on security forces has already stretched the resources of the impoverished country of 25 million and alarmed neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, and other conservative Gulf Arab states.

“The Yemeni people have lived with senseless violence for far too long and the recent increase in hostilities against innocent civilians only undermines the progress Yemen has made since the 2011 revolution,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement posted on its website. “Yemen’s challenges are political and therefore must be resolved through political solutions.”

Western and Gulf Arab countries are worried that instability in Yemen could strengthen al Qaeda and have supported a U.N.-backed political transition since 2012 led by Hadi meant to shepherd the country to stability after decades of autocracy.

PROTEST

A new Yemeni government is due to be appointed under a power-sharing accord signed last month aimed at bringing the Houthis into government. Once a new administration is nominated the Houthis are meant to withdraw their forces from the city, allowing the army and police to resume their duties.

The Houthis on Wednesday rejected Hadi’s nomination of bin Mubarak as prime minister, and bin Mubarak announced early on Thursday he had agreed not to take up the position.

Houthi followers had been preparing to demonstrate in Tahrir Square on Thursday to voice opposition to the nomination of bin Mubarak, previously the head of Hadi’s office, on the grounds that his selection had been imposed by Washington. The United States has denied the allegation.

The Houthis pushed ahead with the protest despite the attack, and thousands of supporters, some armed, converged on the square chanting slogans against the government and corruption.

“This terrorist attack would not deter us from holding this demonstration,” a local organizer told Reuters.

The Houthis said they had foiled another attack by two cars on the square earlier in the morning, destroying one vehicle, while attackers in a second car managed to escape.

On Wednesday evening Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi called for mass protests against “foreign interference” he said was behind the appointment of bin Mubarak.

“I assert that together with these marches tomorrow, God willing there will be important steps that will contribute to correcting this mistake, which is an unacceptable mistake,” Houthi said.

SABA said that Hadi accepted bin Mubarak’s decision to turn down the appointment and resumed consultations to agree on a new prime minister.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari, additional reporting by Mohammed Mukhashef; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by William Maclean and Dominic Evans)