Yemen Peace Talks an Exercise in Futility

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December 10, 2018
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December 10, 2018

Yemen Peace Talks an Exercise in Futility

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Peace talks in Sweden by warring parties have virtually no chance of accomplishing anything other than a possible joint feel-good joint statement, signifying nothing.

US war rages in all post-9/11 theaters because Republicans and undemocratic Dems reject resolving them. Peace talks in Syria, Libya, and throughout the near half-century Israeli/Palestinian no-peace/peace process achieved nothing.

Yemeni talks are as farcical as others. Houthi and US-installed Yemeni regime representatives are meeting in Sweden – UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths acting as interlocutor for both sides.

Saying both sides are showing a “positive spirit” would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high – millions of Yemenis at risk of death from war, untreated diseases, and famine.

Hundreds of thousands already perished, the death toll mounting exponentially every day. Washington wants endless war, not peace. 

So do Britain, France, the Saudis and UAE. While talks are ongoing, SouthFront reported the following:

“On December 8, warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition carried out a series of airstrikes on the al-Rabsa roundabout in the center of the Houthi-held city of al-Hudaydah on the western coast of Yemen. (A)l-Masirah TV said that the coalition’s airstrikes killed six civilians and injured twelve others.

“Most of the victims of the criminal airstrikes on the al-Rabsa roundabout were children. Some of the bodies were shattered into pieces.”

The Saudis and UAE turned truth on its head, blaming Houthis for the massacre. Their warplanes continue terror-bombing throughout targeted parts of the country, mostly civilians harmed.

According to a Houthi source, the pro-Western Yemeni regime wants control over the port city of Hodeidah, a demand Houthis categorically reject.

Talks are in their fifth day. On Saturday, Griffiths put a brave face on certain failure, saying “(t)he parties are engaged in a serious and constructive way in discussing the details of confidence-building measures.”

“We hope we will achieve progress during this round of consultations.” A Houthi statement said “(t)here was a wide-ranging discussion…on the re-opening of Sanaa airport,” no progress reported, no details provided on what was discussed.

Houthis control northern Yemen, including Sanaa, its capital. The US-installed/Saudi-UAE supported regime controls southern parts of the country.

According to the UN, minor agreements alone are possible. Resolving major issues are another matter entirely, including about dealing with catastrophic humanitarian conditions in the country.

Talks are expected to continue through mid-December, longer if both sides agree. Chances of ending years of war are virtually nil.  

On Friday, senior Houthi official Abdul Malik al-Ajri proposed establishing a new government, “represent(ing) all of Yemen and to which all parties will hand over weapons.”

Asked about what role US-installed puppet president Hadi would play in the proposal, Ajri said his “role has ended.” He lacked legitimacy in the first place.

Houthis also reject Security Council Resolution 2261 (January 2016), calling on them to withdraw from areas they control, along with the so-called National Dialogue Conference outcome.

It was brokered by the UN and despotic Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regimes, Washington controlling the transfer of power from Ali Abdullah Saleh to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in November 2011 – one pro-Western despot replacing another.

Ajri called for “a new resolution in the UN Security Council” to address reality on the ground in Yemen.

As talks continue in Sweden, conflict rages with virtually no prospect for ending it because Washington’s imperial agenda depends on endless wars in all countries it attacked.

A Final Comment

Trump regime deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Gulf affairs Timothy Lenderking explained that DLT and hardliners running his geopolitical agenda have no intention of ending war in Yemen, saying:

“(W)e are strongly opposed to…withdraw(ing) from the conflict or discontinu(ing) our support” for the Saudis and UAE, adding:

Supporting them “is necessary.” Ending it would send “a wrong message.” Separately, Mike Pompeo said suspending or withdrawing support for Riyadh would cause “immense damage” to US interests.

In October, Pompeo and war secretary Mattis issued similar statements, saying it’s time to end war in Yemen “in the next 30 days.” Their comments were hollow.

Endless wars in multiple theaters is the disturbing reality of what US imperial rage is all about. 

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.