2015 March 30 Monday
American Support In Middle East Produces Failed States

Hayat Alvi points out the pattern. So is US support just a signal of imminent state failure or a cause?

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2011 “Arab Spring,” every regime that the United States has supported in Iraq, Yemen and Libya — including Saleh’s — has resulted in a failed state, with no rule of law and a collapsed economy.

I have to say in Yemen I'm rooting for the Houthi fighters. Since they are a variant of Shia they aren't going to ally with either the Islamic Caliphate or Saudi Arabia. So they can't be all bad.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 March 30 09:03 PM 

Wolf-Dog said at March 31, 2015 4:30 PM:

RP wrote: "I have to say in Yemen I'm rooting for the Houthi fighters. Since they are a variant of Shia they aren't going to ally with either the Islamic Caliphate or Saudi Arabia. So they can't be all bad."


This is incorrect because the Houtis are allies of Iran:

1) In this case the enemy of our enemy is not our friend; on the contrary, the current behavior of ISIS temporarily makes Iran look better, but given an opportunity, Iran also has the same ambition to take over Saudi Arabia not only to monopolize oil but also to gain control of the holy sites of Muslims and establish leadership in the Islamic world, which has always been the plan of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (who got overthrown by the Saudi-backed coup precisely for that reason) as well as Al Qaeda and more recently ISIS. In fact, the Shiite theocracy in Iran is competing against the Sunnis become the heir to the Caliphate. Temporarily giving an advantage to Iran can be an appropriate temporary measure to counter-balance ISIS,but in the long run this is not a long term solution, and it is not correct to say that "they can't be all that bad" as you formulated it.

2) In more concrete terms, it is widely reported in the media that Iran's plan appears to be to encircle Saudi Arabia from three directions (the third direction being Yemen), in an effort to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and take over the oil by means of a combination of revolutions and Iran's military might. As we speak, most oil fields of Saudi Arabia are in its eastern provinces that happen to be populated by the Shiite minority that would be sympathetic to Iran, and most of Iraq (minus Kurdistan) is at least partly under the control of Iran. But now, the Houtis in the South, who are allies of Iran, were attempting to take over the Aden straight in Yemen, as part of Iran's plan to control the Red Sea so that Iran can effectively decide who can get through the Suez Canal. This is why both Egypt and Pakistan have been sending their armies to defend the southern flank of Saudi Arabia. Although the Saudi Air Force is excellently equipped by the US, the Saudi troops on the ground are rather weak, and without help from Egypt and Pakistan, Iran can easily take over Saudi Arabia.

3) Separately, in the long run it is not absolutely guaranteed that the Sunnis and Shiites will never form an alliance against the West. Despite their enormous differences, at least during the Crusades the Iranian Shiites did work with the Sunnis, and as the war of civilizations escalates, it is possible that such an alliance will be formed in a few decades.

Jim said at April 1, 2015 4:58 AM:

Wolf Dog - Get a grip. It'l be a while before Persians march triumphantly into Peoria.

Joseph Moroco said at April 1, 2015 9:47 AM:

The lady's article should be filed under Plus ca change. Remember the fall of Saigon and how the NVA got to be one of the largest tank armies by capturing all the left behind US equipment? How did IS get its tanks? There be a lotsa US equipment out there.

We suck at foreign Policy. Time to bring the army, air force and navy home and pursue a Swiss style FP. As Jim said, the march into Peoria is not to be feared.

Of course, WD, if you can scare up some chickenhawks to form the Wolf Dog Independent Expeditionary Force to head over to Yemen and set things to rights, have at it.

Stephen said at April 1, 2015 3:01 PM:

I don't understand why there's so much hate for Iran. It's by far the most sophisticated, stable and homogeneous country in the region.

Oh wait, now I understand.

Wolf-Dog said at April 1, 2015 5:20 PM:

Stephen" There is a difference between the Iranian civilization and the current theocracy. Most Iranians are wonderful, but their government is not.

Yesterday an Iranian general said that the destruction of Iran is nonnegotiable and that the Saudi royal family will incur the fate of Saddam Hussein.


And this is happening during the nuclear negotiations.:)

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