By Youssef Hindi, historian and author of Occident et Islam
An understanding of the current conflict in Yemen* and its consequences on a regional scale demands that we look at the history of the Middle East. Studying the confrontation between the regional powers also offers a key to understanding the future of this region. From a certain point of view, the Yemeni conflict tells us more about the regional geopolitical situation than it does about Yemen itself.
The current crisis in Yemen is a miniature version of the Middle Eastern geopolitical “chessboard”, with Saudi Arabia (led by Israel and the United States) opposing Iran and its allies, with Russia behind the scenes.
The main reason for the attack against Yemen by the NATO-style Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, is as follows: the Saudis want to bring Yemen back into the Atlanticist (pro-Zionist) fold, in the same way they did with Bahrain, where they crushed a popular uprising which had threatened the regime in place (the overthrow of the regime would not have been favourably viewed by America, which has a military base on the island).
Ever since the year 2000, Yemen saw a wave of civil unrest, which in 2011 then turned into a popular revolution, led by the Houthi organisation, Ansar Allah.
The US and Saudi Arabia are fighting against Ansar Allah, using weapons such as drones, but they also use Al-Qaida, whose presence in Yemen is no coincidence. Indeed, within the geopolitical framework of the Middle East, terrorism currently has two functions for the Atlanto-Zionist military coalition:
- First, it acts as a corrosive agent, destroying national boundaries, as in Iraq and Syria, rendering it difficult to geographically reconstruct a homogenous nation state. This is the case in Yemen, where Al-Qaida prevents the advance of the revolution led by Ansar Allah.
- Secondly, terrorism provides a pretext for Atlanto-Sionist coalitions to drive back Syrian government forces, which are fighting against Islamic State (ISIL), or to further weaken the Houthi rebellion in Yemen.
The Arab coaltion’s action is compatible with American geo-energy interests in the region, which largely explains why the West has remained silent regarding Saudi military aggression against Yemen, just as it did with the Bahrain massacre.
From the Saudi point of view, it is vital to prevent the success of the Yemeni revolution. There is a danger that the revolution could spread to the Saudi kingdom (already on the verge of collapse) not only because of internal power struggles within the Saudi royal family, but also because the fundamentally tribal nature of Saudi Arabia could resurface.
The Yemini revolution is a real threat for the Saudi royal family, which could go back to what it once was before it conquered Arabia: a mere tribe among many others. At this stage, we can already foresee the disintegration of Saudi Arabia into tribal sub-regions.
The two main rival powers in Yemen are Saudi Arabia and Iran, which supports Ansar Allah. Their confrontation fits into the Middle Eastern geopolitical configuration, and is closely linked to Syria, where the armed forces of Bashar Al-Assad (ally to Iran and Russia) are fighting againt ISIL with the help of Hezbollah. Iran is fighting directly against ISIL in Iraq.
As regards to ISIL, we must not underestimate the autonomy of this pseudo Islamic state which – within the framework of a plan to restructure the Middle East – could be turned against the Saudi regime from the north, thereby triggering the downfall of the House of Saud and the collapse of its regime.
The Saudis have definitely made advances in Yemen, but in doing so have dropped their guard. There is now a chance that Iran, via its support for Ansar Allah, could deal a severe blow to Saudi Arabia, the effect of which would redraw the map of Saudi Arabia and, consequently, shift the balance of power in the entire Middle East.
We are seeing an end-game between Iran and the Wahhabi gerontocracy, which will not emerge unscathed. This will make Israel nervous, as Saudi Arabia is an important strategic ally in their struggle against Iran. Israel even went so far as to threaten to supply nuclear weapons to its Saudi ally, and this was just a few weeks before Saudi Arabia – or one of its allies – dropped a neutron bomb on the Yemeni civilian population. This end-game between Iran and Saudi Arabia should, logically speaking, ultimately lead to a confrontation between Iran and Israel; Saudi Arabia, so far, has been an ally to Israel.
Following the collapse of the Saudi regime, we would see yet more conflict spread across the region; this would either be the consequence of a civil/tribal war or could trigger a conflict of this type within Saudia Arabia.
From Yemen to Syria, via Iraq, war is spreading. But an exclusively geopolitical interpretation does not allow us to grasp the deeper meaning of events, their outcome and their historical sense. If we are to attempt to make a geopolitical forecast, we must go back to the causes of instability in this part of the Muslim world.
The Oded Yinon Plan – Destroy Arab Nations for a Greater Israel
The American invasion of Afghanistan, followed by the war in Iraq in 2003, paved the way for a wave of terrorism which finished what the so-called “Arab Spring” started.
This destabilisation of the Arab world by war and terrorism is the result of the implementation of two plans: the “Bernard Lewis plan”, drafted between 1975 and 1978, and Oded Yinon’s “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”, which dates from 1982. These two plans form a single project which aims to subdivide the Muslim countries in general, and the Middle East in particular, into small ethnic-religious states.
The destruction of Arab nation-states is the prerequisite for their subsequent division, and the Lewis/Yinon plan envisages accomplishing this by triggering conflicts between the different religious and ethnic communities in the Arab world. Part of the plan is the ecnouragement of separatist movements and the creation of independent states, such as Kurdistan and Baluchistan.
The ultimate goal of the Yinon plan is the creation of “Greater Israel”, an Israel defined by biblical borders: from the Nile to the Euphrates. The expansion of Israel is possible only if surrounding states are destroyed and if there is the creation of a conflict zone, which would ultimately justify a war of territorial expansion, concealed under the guise of a defensive war and the need to stabilise the region.
Oded Yinon worked at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs and, in 1982, wrote “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”. After having analysed the situation in the Muslim world from Morocco to Afghanistan – taking care to identify the ethnic and religious lines of division in each state – Oded Yinon states the objectives for Israel. He starts with Palestine and writes :
“Failing to take steps towards the Arab population in the new territories, acquired in the course of a war forced upon us, is the major strategic error committed by Israel on the morning after the Six Day War. We could have saved ourselves all the bitter and dangerous conflict since then if we had given Jordan to the Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river. By doing that, we would have neutralized the Palestinian problem which we face today”.
Regarding the Sinai peninsula, Yinon writes that “recovering” the Sinai with its oil resources is a political priority for Israel which was obstructed by the Camp David peace agreement. He explains that the excuse for Israel to again occupy the Sinai must come from Egypt. I believe that, in the not too distant future, the presence of terrorist groups in the Sinai peninsula could provide this excuse. Yinon describes Egypt as a “corpse” and adds that the political aim of Israel is to exploit the “gulf” dividing Christians and Muslims in order to break Egypt into two distinct geographical regions.
Yinon states that the disintegration of Egypt would also, via a domino effect, provoke the disintegration of Libya and Sudan, together with other countries further away from Egypt. He then describes the plan for what he terms the “Eastern front”. He explains that the disintegration of Libya into five states would act as precedent for the whole Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arab peninsula. He writes that:
“The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target”.
Currently, Iraq no longer exists as a nation-state. The country is in chaos and is occupied by an artificial state: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Syria, which is just about managing to survive, faces a problem whose causes are obviously identical. Indeed, Yinon wrote that Syria should be divided in the following fashion:
“Along its coast there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbour, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today”.
Regarding Iraq, Yinon is unequivocal:
“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run, it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home, even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations, as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines, as in Syria during Ottoman times, is possible”.
By way of another example of this Israeli strategy, we will qoute Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and one of Israeli’s most renowned military experts:
“The best thing that could happen for Israeli interests in Iraq is the dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Haaretz, 02/06/1982).
According to Yinon, the plan for Jordan is as follows:
“Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run.”
As far as Israel is concerned, the Palestinian “problem” will be solved only by transferring the Palestinian population to Jordan (and the population in Gaza to Sinai), which will come about through the collapse of the Jordanian monarchy in favour of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood.
In this light, we can understand the reason for Israel’s systematic bombing (every 2 or 3 years) of the population in Gaza, the aim being to push the Palestinians towards Jordan or Sinai.
This aim appears clearly when Yinon writes:
“There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority.”
Oded Yinon adds that the density of the Jewish population in Israel must be reduced: what does this imply? It means the expulsion of the Palestinian population followed by the expansion of the Israeli territory beyond Jordan, in order to be able to disperse the Israeli population.
The New York Times, on 28th September 2013, published a new map of the Middle East, which corresponded to the Yinon plan. This map was entitled “How Five Countries Could Become Fourteen”.
Saudi Arabia – Close to Collapse
The Oded Yinon plan also recommended the disintegration of Saudi Arabia into tribal regions.
In this regard Yinon wrote:
“The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure”
The Saudi leaders seem to be unaware of this plan, while close to their borders they spread conflict, for which they will undoubtedly pay the price. By attempting to extinguish the fire of the Yemeni revolution, which could spread into Saudi Arabia, the Saudis are only making things worse and are thus precipitating the collapse of their own regime, already in ruins.
It goes without saying that the destabilisation of the Arabian peninsula would have severe consequences for the global economy, with enormous chain reactions, especially in Europe. The outbreak of war in Iraq was the first step to this great restructuring of the Middle East; from a historical perspective, this is just the logical continuation of the first restructuring that the region underwent following the First World War, in accordance with the Sykes-Picot secret agreements of June 1916, ratifying the talks in October 1915 between McMahon and Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca.
The current restructuring of the Middle East is the result not of pressure from the American oil lobby but that of the pro-Israeli lobby’s influence on American foreign policy (here I refer you all to The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, written by two American professors, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer).
We should add that Bernard Lewis (who holds Israeli, British and American passports) is at the heart of the American establishment and played an instrumental role in America’s decision to declare war against Iraq, as he persuaded the then Vice President, Dick Cheney, to publically support the war.
Iran – Conflict with Israel could trigger World War III
There remains, however, one regional power that has been untouched by this plan to restructure the Middle East, namely Iran. Iran has not been able to bring about regional stability but does act as its own fire-wall, limiting the expansion of what appears to be inevitable chaos.
Following – or even during – the disintegration of Saudi Arabia that could result from the Yemeni war, the confrontation between the two powers – Iran and Israel – could well lead to the involvement of the world’s military powers – the US and Russia together with their allies – in a conflict that will go well beyond just the Middle East.
For over a decade, the pro-Israeli lobby has been campaigning in the US for a war against Iran. By means of a subtle policy and with the help of Russia, the Iranian leaders (Ali Khamenei in particular) have managed to keep all threats at bay.
As an ally of Russia, Iran is sheltered from a direct attack by the US. Fully aware of this, Israel could, if necessary, force the hand of the US by unilaterally declaring war against Iran.
Any Iranian retaliation would strike directly at the heart of Israel; Iran not only possesses super-sonic missiles, which the Israeli “Iron Dome” air-defence system is not capable of intercepting, but also has at its disposal the Russian S-300 defensive missile system. In this scenario, the US would be forced to enter the war with their ally, and Russia would certainly intervene, leading to a conflict on a global scale.
The world should pay more attention to developments in Yemen and, more generally, to the Middle East as history has taught us that the fate of humanity is inextricably linked to this region. The Palestinian writer, Negib Azoury, a Christian, wrote in this regard:
“Two important phenomena are emerging at this moment in Asiatic Turkey. They are the awakening of the Arab Nation and the effort by Jews to reconstitute on a very large scale the ancient Kingdom of Israel… They are destined to fight each other continually until one of them triumphs.”
The whole world will undoubtedly soon see great upheaval. The geopolitical confrontation of the regional and world military powers in the Middle East and elsewhere, especially in Ukraine, is merely one of the visible effects of the fundamental shifts induced by underlying historical forces which have shaped the world for many centuries.
See also: Terrorism a Geopolitical Perspective
Article Translated from French
Source: Académie de Géopolitique de Paris