Breakthrough in Yemen Peace Talks? Hold the Cheers
Peace talks between Houthis and US-installed Yemeni regime representatives began on December 6 in Sweden.
Reports of a major breakthrough after a week of talks are way overblown. Rhetorical agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
Things entirely depend on the intentions of warring parties. Years of good faith Russian-spearheaded peace talks in Syria since 2012 failed to stop endless fighting.
Progress toward achieving conflict resolution is entirely from liberating ground operations, greatly aided by Russian airpower – not diplomacy accomplishing no major breakthrough. Agreements were reached and then breached straightaway by anti-government forces.
The same goes for Ukraine. The US-installed Kiev regime systematically breached Minsk I and II agreements after adopting them. War continues intermittently, ongoing since April 2014.
Thousands of Ukrainian forces are mobilized along the Donbass border. Russia intelligence indicates resumption of full-blown war is imminent. Months of good faith diplomacy earlier achieved nothing.
The same thing is true in all US war theaters because Washington rejects resolving conflicts it launched, including in Yemen.
The Saudis, UAE, Britain, France, and Israel are junior US partners in endless war begun by the Bush/Cheney regime in October 2001. Believing it can be resolved in days or weeks, even months, is pure fantasy.
Despite ongoing talks in Sweden, endless conflict in Yemen rages. Warring parties rhetorically agreed to cease fighting in and around the port city of Hodeidah.
What happens on the ground is another matter entirely. Fighting won’t stop most everywhere in Yemen until guns fall silent and cessation of hostilities is sustained – an objective nowhere near achieving.
Warring sides are working on a similar ceasefire for Saana, Yemen’s capital. According to AMN News, warring parties agreed to reopen its international airport – for how long remains to be seen.
Conflict continues in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere because Washington opposes resolution.
Because of international furor over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, majority bipartisan Senate members at odds with Trump regime hardliners over Yemen in response to what happened, and the body poised to adopt a nonbinding resolution to end US military support for the Saudis in the country, Rihadh perhaps wants to create the impression of willingness to compromise with Houthi fighters.
Maybe the Trump regime has the same or a similar aim until the furor over Khashoggi’s murder fades – all the while intending no change in US/Saudi relations.
The same goes for congressional Republicans and Dems – supporting all US wars of aggression overwhelmingly. Congressional funding of the Pentagon’s killing machine speaks for itself.
The Senate vote to end US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen is largely a diversionary tactic, a meaningless head fake.
Throughout the post-WW II era and earlier, Congress and the White House supported dirty business as usual with the kingdom. What’s going on now won’t change things.
If Republicans and Dems were serious about ending US military support for the Saudis, they’d approve veto-proof House and Senate legislation straightaway – any not just for what’s going on in Yemen. It would be for all regional wars where the kingdom is involved, notably in Syria.
Washington’s 17-year war in Yemen isn’t about to end over the killing of a journalist or anyone else. Yemen is US war. So are endless wars, related violence, and war-caused turmoil in all other war theaters in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
NATO, Britain, France, the Saudis, UAE and Israel partner in Washington’s wars – responsible for millions of casualties post-9/11 alone. US regimes call the shots on all major ongoing wars and their chaotic aftermaths.
While talks continue in Sweden, AMN News reported that “(f)or the second time this week, the Saudi coalition has launched a big assault along the Yemeni-Saudi border,” adding:
“Backed by heavy airstrikes, the Saudi coalition troops launched a powerful attack on the Houthi defenses at the strategic Qais Mountain, which overlooks much of the Yemeni border.”
Saudi warplanes continued terror-bombing Houthi positions while talks were ongoing in Sweden – belying the seriousness of conflict resolution efforts.
On Tuesday, AMN News said Saudi-led warplanes “launched over 50 airstrikes in the last two days…a significant increase” this month – including terror-bombing of Hodeidah, along with a “heavy ground assault” on the city and surrounding areas.
AMN News believes Riyadh aims to capture the port city before agreeing to a ceasefire – what it failed to do after months of fighting.
War in Yemen rages while talks went on in Sweden, concluding after seven days – at least for now.
Conflict resolution is nowhere in sight. Things agreed to verbally and in writing are meaningless as long as Washington wants endless war continued.
A Finan Comment
Spokesman for Yemeni armed forces allied with Houthi fighters, General Yahya Sari, said the Saudis and UAE escalated terror-bombing and ground operations on the last day of peace talks in Sweden, adding:
“The aggressor’s mercenaries continued to send reinforcements to Nihm, Razah, Baqam and the west coast, which confirms that they are planning to escalate, and that they are not serious about achieving peace for the Yemeni people.”
No conflict resolution breakthrough was achieved in Sweden. Reports suggesting otherwise ignore reality on the ground, along with longstanding US aims for Yemen, why endless war rages with no end of it in prospect.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”