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How the West can stop the Houthis Escalation is not the answer

Pirates or resistance fighters? Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

Pirates or resistance fighters? Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images


January 12, 2024   6 mins

With armed Houthi rebels prowling the Red Sea, attacking cargo ships and holding crew at gunpoint, America and its allies appear to be preparing for war. When asked about potential strikes in Yemen earlier this week, the UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Watch this space.” Last night, any uncertainty about what this might mean evaporated as the US and UK launched military strikes in Yemen.

Today, as the dust settles, the global community cannot afford to let this threat escalate. The Houthi attacks, combined with the worsening Israel-Iran confrontation, have raised oil prices and forced 20% of the world’s container ships to avoid the Red Sea — instead taking the far longer route around the southern tip of Africa. Increased insurance rates and freight charges will soon be passed on to consumers. There is a clear need for international action to restore freedom of navigation — yet the West finds itself with few good options.

But before we go to war with the Houthis, or launch further strikes, it is probably a good idea to understand exactly who they are. “Houthi” is a derogatory name for Yemen’s Ansar Allah or Supporters of God movement, which was founded in the Nineties by Hussein al-Houthi and, since his death in 2004, led by his brother, Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Hussein was a gifted orator whose message found many listeners in Yemen’s neglected and impoverished northern Sa’dah province, where most inhabitants belong to the Zaydi branch of Shia Islam. The Houthi brothers called for a Zaydi religious revival, opposition to Yemen’s central government, and hatred of Israel. Their signature chant remains “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, God is Great”.

In 2011, when Arab Spring protests brought Yemen’s government down, the Houthis seized control of Sa’dah province. Then, in 2014, they joined forces with the deposed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to overthrow the internationally recognised transition government of Abdu Rabbu Hadi. With Saleh’s help, they advanced from their homeland in the north all the way to Aden in southern Yemen in just two months. Then the Houthis turned on Saleh and killed him. The United Nations condemned the Houthi’s coup and human rights violations, while also authorising the inspection of vessels bound for Yemen in order to confiscate weapons.

Today, the Houthis nominally control most of Yemen, where they have imposed a vicious police state — although much of the country is in fact ruled by local tribes and war lords. The multinational naval blockade has caused great suffering in a nation that imports most of its food, fuel and medicine, and rampant corruption in Houthi-controlled ports has made delivering foreign assistance difficult. Thousands of Yemenis have died from fighting, disease and malnutrition; millions have been made homeless and unemployed. The Yemeni people are not looking for another war.

Iran did not create the Houthis but, recognising them as fellow Shia Muslims, it has long provided the movement with funds, arms, training and advice. And for more than a decade, Iran has aggressively used the Houthis — along with other paramilitary proxy militias, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon — as a vehicle to expand its influence in the Arabian Peninsula and undermine its traditional rival Saudi Arabia.

Yet Washington also bears some responsibility for today’s Houthi crisis due to its failure to maintain its longstanding security partnership with Saudi Arabia. In 2015, the Saudis tried to prevent the Houthi takeover of Yemen. They had numerous reasons for doing so: they wanted to limit the smuggling of weapons, drugs and people across their southern border; they did not want al-Qaeda terrorists fleeing from Saudi Arabia to find a haven in Yemen; and they did not share the Houthi’s view that much of southern Saudi Arabia should belong to Yemen. Above all, the Saudis did not want Iran to expand its influence in Yemen.

The Saudi effort was largely confined to an air campaign which at various times relied on American weapons, refuelling and intelligence. Like all bombing campaigns, this resulted in civilian casualties — remember that more French civilians died on D-Day as a result of the pre-invasion allied bombardment than allied troops died on the Normandy beaches. While it seems unlikely that the Saudis spent expensive munitions deliberately targeting school buses, such incidents prompted harsh criticism of Riyadh, the termination of some US military assistance, and eventually the effective end to their campaign.

Washington’s tepid support for the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis caused the Saudis to doubt the credibility of US security commitments, especially when threats to cut off arms sales became almost routine. And American hesitancy to supply the Saudis with drone technology forced them to turn to Italy and China. When the Biden administration removed the Houthis from the list of designated terrorist groups and withdrew Patriot air defence systems from Saudi Arabia, the Saudis had even more reason to doubt America.

The Saudis soon found themselves in a difficult situation, wishing to devote financial resources to economic development rather than an endless war in Yemen. With Washington appearing to ignore their security concerns and facing persistent Houthi missile attacks, the Saudis changed course. In 2023, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, renewed diplomatic relations with Iran, reopened his country’s Embassy in Tehran after seven years and welcomed a series of high-level Iranian officials to Riyadh. The reconciliation between Tehran and Riyadh was brokered by Beijing, not Washington. Part of this process involved a ceasefire in Yemen which continues today.

It would have been much wiser for America to have supported Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when they were willing to commit their own troops to defeat the Houthis. Now, these two states benefit from a fragile peace with Iran and are not interested in a renewed confrontation with Iran’s proxies in Yemen. As a result, although the Saudis and Emiratis have a long history of cooperation with the US Navy, they have politely declined to join Operation Prosperity Guardian, the US-led attempt to protect Red Sea shipping. They are even less likely to participate in any offensive actions against the Houthis.

The broader problem is the emergence of a multipolar global order in which the United States is no longer the controlling superpower. In 1990, when America successfully led an international coalition to liberate Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion, Russia supported Operation Desert Storm, China remained neutral, Saudi Arabia underwrote the costs and Israel stayed on the sidelines. None of that is likely to happen today if the United States goes to war against the Houthis. Indeed, both Russia and China abstained from voting for Wednesday’s UN resolution demanding a ceasefire.

America’s hands have been also tied by the war in Gaza. By claiming that their attacks are made in support of the Palestinians, the Houthis have transformed themselves from pirates into resistance fighters. Much of the world agrees with them that Israel should withdraw its forces from Gaza, which has made forming a multinational coalition against them difficult: not wishing to be accused of supporting Netanyahu, the rest are happy to free ride.

Meanwhile, Tehran’s quest for regional hegemony is also influencing events in the Red Sea. Without Iranian missiles and drones, the Houthis’ attacks would be much less effective. However, dealing with Iran is a long-term problem. The immediate issue for the West is protecting commercial shipping in the Red Sea. There are no good solutions: doing nothing poses serious risks for global trade; taking offensive action against the Houthis risks igniting a larger war that could jeopardise Middle East oil production.

Most probably, the war in Gaza will end, and when it does, the Houthis’ justification for their attacks will evaporate. If they continue after the war is over, most nations will regard them as dangerous terrorists. Yet, once started, a war with the Houthis may not end quickly or easily. Before beginning another “as long as it takes” conflict, Washington should consider less risky options: expanding a formal convoy system such as the one used to protect Kuwaiti tankers during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) appears to be the least bad option, at least initially.

And with this, there is no reason why protecting freedom of navigation in the Red Sea should be the sole responsibility of the United States, Britain and a few willing partners. Most of the cargoes transiting the Suez Canal are bound for Europe and Asia, not the United States or Great Britain. Many nations, including China, Japan, Korea and Germany, do not want their trade disrupted by Houthi attacks on commercial shipping. Nor do they want their energy supplies disrupted by a large-scale war to eliminate the Houthis. They have very tangible interests in finding a peaceful solution to the Houthi problem.

Transforming Prosperity Guardian into a truly multinational operation would increase its effectiveness, reduce its costs for each participant and isolate the Houthis. Perhaps more important, it would demonstrate clearly that all options short of war had been tried and thus help to justify any offensive military action in the eyes of global public opinion.

But creating a more multinational operation is a political and economic problem, not a military one. Finding a solution is a job for creative diplomats, not admirals. Support for a more multinational operation need not involve sending ships: statements of public support condemning maritime terrorism would help, so would financial contributions and logistical support. The justification to emphasise is that the war in Gaza and piracy in the Red Sea are two different issues and that secure global trade is in everyone’s interest. Before we enter yet another easily expandable armed conflict, we should use diplomacy to convince the rest of the world of this.


David H. Rundell is a former chief of mission at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the author of Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads.


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David Lindsay
David Lindsay
6 months ago

Bomb what in Yemen? Even Afghanistan was developed by comparison. But we shall have at least 20 years in which to make this point. That was how long it took to lose in Afghanistan, and to do so in exactly the way that we had always predicted. These things always end exactly we had predicted. It should give us no pleasure.

The Houthis are now “rebels” against whom or what, exactly? They won the civil war, or at any rate the war against the foreign-backed former regime. And which of our ships have they sunk? But they will now. They never used to do this, they would no doubt rather be making money from controlling access to the Suez Canal, and they have fought a long war against IS and al-Qaeda, a war that is arguably still going on. There is no solution to this apart from a solution to Gaza, and thus to the Palestinian question as a whole. This would not be happening without that, and it is impossible to resolve apart from it.

What are we going to bomb in Yemen? And who is going to be asking that or anything else? Certainly not the people who have been briefed in recent hours at the Cabinet Office, which was until recently non-executive directed by Paula Vennells, nor will a Speaker who had been so briefed permit much, if any, such questioning.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

The stated aim is to bomb weapons storage and drone-launching facilities. This seems an incredibly pointless exercise and one journalists of the past would have had the credulity to question.

A drone can be brought to a launch site on the back of a small truck. A short road can be used to launch a drone. What exactly is a drone launch site in Yemen other than the last dirt strip they launched one from?

Ditto weapons storage. Yemen is a demolition site. The Houthis aren’t a central government agency and don’t have central warehouses with the Quds catalogued and neatly stored ready for use. Weapons are literally squirreled away across the country.

It’s clear that we have not got adequate inspections for shipping into Yemen as evidenced by the newer Iranian weapons being launched. Thanks to a lack of naval force for comprehensive inspections, most cargo into Yemen is not inspected. We have no idea what the rate of arms imports is to know if a strategic bombing campaign will make the slightest difference to the Houthi’s ability to attack Red Sea shipping.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Presumably the ‘arms’ are coming in via Hodeida so why haven’t ‘we’ blockaded the place?

Or do we instead wish to give the RAF some flying experience*! After all it is over a 3,000 mile round trip from Akrotiri to the Yemen and back.

(* Female pilots perhaps?)

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

It’s 3,000 km one way Charles.. what’s a mile btw?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

2336 km to Sana’a according to my source.

An Irish mile is 1.27 of a statue mile or 2.048 km.
Surely you’re old enough to remember that? Or weren’t you paying attention?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

You need to redo the maths Charlie, try furlongs per fortnight this time! Ha ha..

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The usual neocon response to any situation is to bomb first and ask questions afterwards. Most of those questions remain unanswered, in particular what the hell it is we are bombing.
But I’m sure such a keen military mind as Grant Shapps has all that under control.

D Walsh
D Walsh
6 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

Grant Shapps, if that is in fact his real name

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Both Grant Shapps and Anthony Blinken are Jews and therefore most unlikely to be regarded as entirely neutral by the majority of Arabs.

POSTED AT 18.22 and all too predictably immediately SIN BINNED.

HALLELUJAH! RESTORED AFTER A MERE 3 HOURS.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Reply denied!

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Grant Schnapps?

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

It’s one of his names.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Rocky Martiano

The answer to your question is ‘sand’ – see the target is unimportant, it’s the fact that the bomb factories are making money for the oligarchs that counts.. the greater the cost the bigger the profits.. Then ye might be able yo sell the Houthis some air defence kit as well? Even more profit!

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
6 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

David,
you ask “Bomb what in Yemen?”. When the Saudis asked themselves that question, the answer they came up with was to bomb the water treatment plants. That soon led to an increase in water-borne diseases, such as cholera. Indeed, not long before SARS-Cov-2 escaped from the lab, that cholera outbreak was the world’s foremost man-made health disaster.
P.S., I do not understand why you got so many downticks for asking a pertinent question but I bet I get more for providing an answer.

Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron
6 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

“they would no doubt rather be making money from controlling access to the Suez Canal”. That would be akin to the UK and France trying to charge shipping for transitting the Channel! There are conventions, accepted by most, on freedom of movement ar sea.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Your truth telling is, as you can see, unwelcome boost in this discussion. The point you fail to see is that it’s dropping bombs that count,not hitting anything in particular.. sand will suffice. Bomb dropping is big business and fortunes are to be made..

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
6 months ago

”the war in Gaza and piracy in the Red Sea are two different issues and that secure global trade is in everyone’s interest. Before we enter yet another easily expandable armed conflict, we should use diplomacy to convince the rest of the world of this.”

Haha… sure. To a Neo-Con the answer to everything is more war. The snag is the wars they ignite will not always behave properly – like Ukraine losing, and Gaza being flattened with weapons made in USA, and Given free to Israel to drop on Gaza.

You use diplomacy to prevent war – to stop war, but no.. this writer thinks the West can keep their wars going on and on – but others need to not be involved – diplomacy can keep them out. Too late for that.

Biden made BRICS into the Global spanning BRICS+ that very greatly exceeds the American GDP – by his insane war in Ukraine and the sanctions.

Biden is causing the entire Middle East to be on war footing by his giving Netanyahu free USA bombs and backing for this mad destruction of Gaza.

The rest of the world does not need your diplomacy, Biden does. Tell him to keep out of other’s business, tell him to stop warmongering – that is the diplomacy which is needed.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

I couldn’t agree more Simon – I just posted something similar before I saw your comment. Rundell’s piece is packed full of the usual Western assumptions – which never, ever go as far as to consider not stirring the pot in the first place.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago

I don’t agree with much of your post but thought it deserved an upvote since you highlight the perpetual war resulting from ignorant Western interventions.
You forgot the principal western stupidity. We have Iran sabre rattling in the Straits of Hormuz once again and the Houthi’s are causing shipping to take the long expensive route to Europe. Now expensive LNG exports from Qatar will rise in price just when demand is highest in Europe.
If only we could persuade Russia to ship cheap gas to Europe in um… a pipe our problems would be solved.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

What a good idea.. makes you wonder why no one thought of it before doesn’t it? Ah, saner times, saner people ran the asylum.. now, disastrously, the lunatics have taken over.

Jaden Johnson
Jaden Johnson
6 months ago

I read the article as being fairly emphatically in favour of diplomacy and against war. (See the last para.) This seems to have escaped you. But you believe what you want to believe, I guess…..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jaden Johnson

Diplomacy remains a US option for sure, but only the very last option after its endless wars fail.. Even then, slinking or running away is more the American way;
Then, just start another one! Easy! Loads of dosh to be made see?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Spot on.. the warmongering US and its vassals (let’s call them US+) are now incapable of considering any option apart from war, death and destruction.
Remember the Minsk accords were just to allow time for military build-up.. so much for Western diplomacy! No sane leader will ever trust US+ diplomacy again. Their word is their lie.. white man speak with forked tongue!
Thank God for BRICS+ ..there is some hope for the world to live in peace and presperity.. under US+ hegemony there is no hope.

Daniel P
Daniel P
6 months ago

Too late. It has started.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago

Some terrorists might be bribed or bombed into ending their terrorism, but motivated as they are by divine retribution, bribing or bombing the Houthi seems unlikely to dissuade them. Yet it is their intense burning desire for divine retribution that points to how this ends: defend the sea route so that their efforts and sacrifices are wasted. If their costly time consuming project is made pointless, their reason for carrying on with it ceases.

A Western bombing campaign of Houthi positions in Yemen has started. It might provide a short respite for shipping but at the cost of escalation, strained alliances, and several billion dollars. If it fails, Western hegemon will be further eroded and the door opened for more belligerents to attack Western interests. What else could those several billion dollars now being spent on an air war have bought?

US and UK naval ships are successfully protecting Red Sea shipping at the marginal extra cost of $5m per day and $1m per missile / drone downed. More could be done if more naval resource was deployed, and further safety could be afforded by convoying shipping. Governments are claiming this isn’t sustainable, yet it would cost only $2bn a year, and a commitment to do so for as long as it takes, to permanently reduce the Houthis from global shipping disruptors to minor irritants, and without any complex blowback. That seems a bargain compared to bombing Yemen, and frankly the entire reason for having a blue water navy. And at such a relatively low cost, eminently sustainable for the foreseeable.

We should not forget that the Royal Navy opened the world’s sea routes not by bombing every hostile shoreline, but by simply protecting enough shipping as to make piracy and violence at sea not worthwhile. Protecting trade was the Royal Navy’s main task, not making war. Our modern Western navies and their governments would do well to remember this. It turns out we do still need naval force in the “digital” 21st century.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Thank you Nell for a calm and reasoned addition to this writer’s unnecessary fatalism (as Unherd writer’s are wont to do). I might quibble with your employment of the old “escalation” bugaboo. Taking out a few hotspots in Yemen needn’t escalate into anything dire, anymore than the monthly extirpation of ISIS units in Syria, or the Bosnia bombing decades ago. Too is the cognitive dissonance that the victim of aggression can not or should not respond, which tends to neuter the innocent party in favor of the aggressor, which is untenable and leads to more aggression. Finally, much of this violence is rising (in my view) due to past failures by the civilized world – on account of our exquisite liberalism – to respond harshly to barbaric acts.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
6 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

And that same “exquisite liberalism’ insists on continuing to import the ‘barbarians’ into our own territories.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

On the contrary the so called ‘Barbary Pirates’ were only eliminated by the French occupation of Algeria in 1830.
Likewise direct military action had to be taken against the Trucial States in 1819/20 to beat them into submission and agree to the ‘General Maritime Treaty of 1820.
Additionally we went on to occupy ADEN in 1839 to secure the Red Sea.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Just because brute force worked in the past, against lightly armed pirates doesn’t mean…
A. Such methods will work today, nor
B. There wasn’t/ isn’t a better way.
The Houthis will stop when humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza.. thart perhaps might be a better way? ..not a great option if you’re a Satanist worshipping Moloch however, and now it seems those guys are calling the shots.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Their signature chant remains “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, God is Great”.
the assertion that The Houthis will stop when humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza seems a tad optimistic?

Charles Elliston
Charles Elliston
6 months ago

The pragmatic question is will the bombing achieve the stated aims or merely lead to further and unpredictable consequences? If a sequence of consistant bombing does not achieve desired results, what’s the next step?
Given the status of the US and UK in the eyes of the Houthis, both in their past support of the Saudis and their current failure to call for a cease fire in Gaza, it is perhaps a little bit more than provocative that these are the only countries to take direct action.
Some might observe that where human lives are at stake there is a reluctance to act, but where trade is affected…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

For sure, what’s the lives of a million or so brown-skinned Muslims matter.. who cares eh? But trade? ..that affects profits? ..of the super rich? Ah here, wait, now it’s becoming unacceptable!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

If you treat me the way you treated them I’m pretty sure I’d be of a like mind.. you can only rob, torture and murder a people for so long. After that, when you see your children blown to smithereens, your home flattened and you land stolen you kinda get a bit passed off for some reason.. I know, it’s hard to understand but there you are.. it seems to be the case!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Oh they absolutely would work IF they were pursued with the same level of force and brutality as they were in 1800s. What doesn’t work is the feel good ‘spreading democracy’ ‘nation building’ nonsense that America has popularized since the end of WWII. Say what you will about the Israelis, they still understand the concept of total warfare and are willing to do what’s necessary to destroy an adversary without mercy or malice. It’s high time we woke up to the fact that there are two good ways to fight a war. Either fight to win and do whatever it takes to win, or don’t fight the war in the first place.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I don’t disagree but two points arise..
1. When the war is waged mercilessly against defenceless civilians, 50% children the ‘enemy’ is slow to forget. A fair fight between two matched armies is ‘allowed’ and quickly forgotten eg Allies v Axis.
2. Winning the war is easy but winning the peace is very difficult; on this case utterly impossible.. the genii is out of the bottle, the World sees Satanyahu and his demons for what they are and do (and boast about).
GB is on the wrong side here, it is akin to supporting 1940s Germany in their ‘war’ against defenceless, innocent Jews! – If there’s a significant difference I cannot see it but then I tend to look at the facts (esp the death counts, victim types etc) and ignore the blatant lies and endless propaganda becoming more and more transparent by the day.
What an indelible mark of shame it will be if the ICJ finds Israeli guilty of genocide, ethnic cleansing and heinous war crimes since that will mean USUK+ will be guilty of the same by aiding and abetting it. In 100 years time British youth will still be asking the question: Why did we support the AshkaNAZIs? ..and help to murder tens of thousands of little children?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There was a fair election In Yemen and the possibility of peace looked good. However, the Houthis, a Shia Group protested and reignited a civil war. The Saudis have given land to Yemen. The Iranians have deliberately encouraged the Houthis to engage in civil war and robbed the Yemenis the best chance of peace for decades.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I won’t contest you. I’m not moralizing one way or the other. As far as I’m concerned, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reached the point where everybody on both sides bears some measure of guilt for what’s happening, and we’re past the point of win-win solutions and peaceful compromises. If these people are determined to fight each other over the same land until one or the other is eliminated, what can any outsider do? Should the UN try to go in and occupy all of Israel and Palestine? Can the UN do anything without US military backing? There’s nothing to be done but wait for the dust to settle and try to contain the war so it doesn’t expand and get a lot more people killed. Geopolitics seldom affords the luxury of moralizing over who is right and wrong. As often as not, doing the ‘right’ thing gets more people killed in the end.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

Edward Pellew knew what to do.
Bombardment of Algiers (1816) – Wikipedia
Conflict between Fivers and Sunnis have been going on for 1200 years. The difference is that the Fivers are attacking non Sunnis.
As Thomas Sowell said ” Unless defends civilisation one will get barbarism.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Good question re the opportunity costs, but ‘protecting trade’ is not the primary goal of the US here – never has been. They have, after all, been fully supportive of Israel as it went about bombing iranian ships over the last few years. it’s just another example of the grotesque hypocrisy of our overlords I’m afraid.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/israel-strikes-target-iranian-oil-bound-for-syria-11615492789?reflink=desktopwebshare_twitter

Worse than that the US & UK have now gone to war over what essentially amounts to the ‘outrage’ of having to suffer shipping delays of a couple of weeks. Remember that if and when any of ‘our’ ships get hit.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It is everything to do about trade. The civil war in the Yemen has been bubbling away for decades but as soon as ships need to reroute around South Africa threatening inflation in Europe and the US, forces are dispatched.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago

Disrupting or even closing global sea lanes is not some minor inconvenience, but will be a catastrophic shock to the world’s economy. China certainly doesn’t consider it so and is building formidable military capabilities to prevent its trade being held to ransom in a similar way.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Chinese ships are 100% unaffected by the Houthi blockade.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

A very unwelcome comment as you can see! Truthful, accurate, fair and reasonable? Yes, and all the more unwelcome for that! Does anyone remember the concept of ‘morals’? Justice? Proportionality? Decency? No? Yep I though that might be the case..

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Does anybody remember 1300 dead Israelis? Does anybody remember Hamas sought hand-to-hand combat with babies in daycare? Does anybody remember Hamas’ freedom rapists and butchers? Do Jewish lives matter? If Hamas can build 400 km of tunnels to hide in, why didn’t it build any bomb shelters for Palestinian civilians?

Does anybody remember that using human shields is a Hamas war crime? Does anybody remember that attacks on military targets are legal under the laws of war, regardless of how many human shields are deployed on the target?

Everything Hamas does is a war crime. Why do you support the war criminals?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Seems to make sense.. whether the Houthis have other options remains to be seen. Currently the Houthis stand alone in their attempt to force Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, to the utter shame of other countries capable of doing the same.. that may change if the ICJ has any modicum of justice.. those providing the cargo to fill those ships may stop doing so making the heroic Houthi effort unnecessary.. Until then I guess greed, sycophancy, dread of the US and geopolitics trumps humanitarianism.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What a prize berk you are! You support a bunch of fanatical misogynistic and Jew hating pirates over the West. How utterly typical of the masochistic leftist mind.

It seems the only intervention of which leftists do approve is to attempt to force Israel not to defend itself

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Uh, ad hominid? Not allowed old boy.. just not done! But just like a broken clock tells the correct time twice every 24 hours, even “fanatical, Jew hating, misogynistic pirates” as you call them can do the right thing, occasionally. USUK+ (the West) has been very happy to arm, train and support the most heinous of war criminals in the past, eg Al-Qaeda and ISIS.. and now equally heinous, indeed Satanic AshkaNAZI regime in Israel, as well as the world’s 2nd worst regime in Saudi Arabia since forever.
Are you one of those naive, gullible, one-trick people, suckers for propaganda, that never allows facts to cloud your thinking?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There’s nothing shameful about supporting the right of Israel to defend itself – and to deter other terrorist groups from attempting to destroy it. As for the South Africa charge of war crimes being brought to the ICJ – I hope it is speedily kicked into touch, otherwise it sets a dangerous precedent that nations cannot use as much force as they deem necessary to defeat aggressors without risking ridiculous accusations of war crimes and ‘genocide’.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

You don’t think that the alternative, ie allowing nations to commit genocide, war crimes, ethic cleaning and crimes against humanity would be ‘a dangerous precedent’? Are you serious?
So if the Houthis, to defend the right of Yemen to exist managed to carpet bomb Birmingham hospitals, churches, homes etc; and slaughter its civilians including tens of thousands of British kids would be okay would it.. or is that somehow different?

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Was there a military target in there somewhere? Does the UK military use every hospital, school, church and many kids’ bedrooms as military HQs, missile launch sites and weapons storage facilities? Nope, so your analogy fails.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

The US Navy as it currently exists was designed to fight the Soviets in WW3, not maintain freedom of the seas. A navy with that purpose would consist not of a handful of carrier groups capable of projecting tremendous power against an enemy, but many smaller, faster, cheaper ships that could be distributed around the world and respond quickly to various threats. The US could build a force like that, at the cost of being able to credibly protect distant allies in the event of a full scale conflict. Up until a decade or so ago, I’d have been all for a transition to that type of force, reasoning that the chance of great power conflict is remote. Today, though, the threat of great power conflict cannot be easily dismissed. A war with China/Russia would be impossible to win without the massive force projection capabilities of the carrier groups. I have no good solutions. Nations have to prioritize interests and I have to believe protecting Japan and others from being turned into de facto Chinese vassal states has to occupy a higher strategic priority than protecting the economies of Europe from high shipping costs.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Carrier Strike Group 2 including US Eisenhower carrier and three guided missile frigates is deployed in the US Fifth Fleet. The Fifth Fleet exists to patrol the seas of the Middle East. There is no planned strategic withdrawal of the Fifth Fleet for Asia or anywhere else.

Washington CSG is being sent from the Fifth Fleet to Japan to replace Reagan CSG, which is heading home. There will still only be one CSG forward positioned in Asia.

In fact, Ford CSG, included the largest warship ever built, is also heading to the Red Sea, currently in the Eastern Med., so if anything the US is choosing to protect its Middle Eastern interests.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

The last time the US had the chance to protect Japan I think it dropped two nuclear bombs and annihilated hundreds of thousand of Japanese civilians..
The last time the US came to Vietnam’s aid it managed to annihilate up to 3m Vietnamese, mainly civilians.
The last time the US came to Iraq’s aid it murdered a million innocent Iraqis.
God forbid the US ever comes to my aid!
As Henry Kissinger (respect, a great war criminal) said: to be an enemy of the US is very dangerous, to be an ally is fatal!

0 0
0 0
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Immediate consequence of US UK making Yemen a war zone is to make Western insurance of Red Sea shipping impossible. Only the Russians and Chinese can afford to go there now, even without escorts. That qualifies as shooting yourself in the foot.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  0 0

And USUK is very good at that.. anyone remember Iraq? Afghanistan? etc etc etc

Mrs R
Mrs R
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Unfortunately our leaders today are not remotely of the calibre of men that led us in the past. We are not in good hands.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

In West Africa, East Africa, Red Sea, Persian Gulf , Malay Peninsular and Indonesia the RN supressed piracy and slavery. Those peoples living by the oceans who did not undertake slavery and piracy were left alone. Those people who were subject to slavers and piracy thanked us.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

It seems to me that the Americans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. On the other hand, I have no idea why the Biden admin has been cozying up to Iran and its proxies. I don’t understand the logic at all. The U.S. doesn’t have to go to war against the Houthi’s. It can simply bomb them jnto oblivion.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The US already tried that, via Saudi Arabia and failed.. just like the Zionists they missed their target and merely annihilated innocent civilians, mainly children.
I love the way bombing a nation into oblivion is quite different to going to war with that nation. The American Way I guess.. 8m dead in the last 30 years and counting.. but of course all nice and cleanly done and in a good cause.. American hegemony! But it’s coming to an end, praise the Lord! Now maybe the world under BRICS++ will have peace, justice and prosperity at last?

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

 This article is full of Western assumptions and contentious statements.

That the Houthi’s targetting of ships is indiscriminate is not proven – the Russians & Chinese have not been attacked. John Helmer at DancesWithBears has noted that the ships so far targetted were all either boung for israel or were in part owned by Israeli interests. That the Houthis might understand the ownership structures of vessels that pass by in the seas by them just doesn’t occur to the likes of Rundell.

As for comments like Saudi wanted to defeat the Houthis because “they did not want al-Qaeda terrorists fleeing from Saudi Arabia to find a haven in Yemen.” one wonders if Rundell has been paying any attention at all. These Al-Qaeda terrorists have been fighting in Syria against the Iranian backed Syrian Government – fighting with massive support from the Saudis and US (see Operation Timber Sycamore). Hamas too were until recently supporting the Syrian ‘rebels’ – against Iranian interests.

Rundell is right to note that war and the tensions in West Asia (I’m trying not to use Middle East anymore) have recently been hugely calmed by the China brokered rapprochement between the Saudis and the Iranians.

But the only options considered by Rundell is the kind of ‘diplomacy’ that suits the West.  
[Edit: It now seems that the US & UK have, all too predictably, stomped right over Rundell’s proposed course of action.]

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

This might also be a good time to point out that the US have been supporting the israelis who have repeatedly bombed Iranian ships taking oil to the benighted people of Syria. Oil that they require because the US is illegally occupying the portions of Syria that produce their own oil. ‘Freedom of navigation’ my aris.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Yep, you got it! But surely you know all these rules, policies and regulations do not apply to the US.. Their job is to set the rules, not to comply with them!

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

We do have strict rules against murdering teenagers at dance parties, kidnapping grandmas, and torturing even Israeli children to death.
Or at least we did up until recently, as too many of our collegiate leftists agree with these tactics, or at least excuse them. And the punishments for obvious antisemitism now depend on “context.”
Israel is our ally, and so long as Jewish Americans maintain their political engagement with the Democrat party, it will remain so. However, Hamas’ barbarism revealed an exceptionally ugly antisemitic streak in the US, which I always suspected was very much present, among our left wing elites.
There are of course very few good options at this point – Obama’s administration left us with numerous overseas disasters, as well as affronted allies. But I fail to see how yet another half hearted stab at appeasement does anything other than delay a more or less inevitable war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

If so why is the murder of innocent Gazan children allowed, in their thousands! And why is the arrest, imprisonment without trial and torture of West Bank children allowed? And why is the bombing of civilian targets incl. hospitals, schools, mosques and Chritian churches allowed? And why is cutting off water, foo and medicines to wholly innocent civilians, including children, allowed?
To be anti Zionist is not at all anti-Semitic.. The vast majority of Zionists are AshkaNAZI not Semitic at all. By contrast the vast majority of Palestinians ARE Semitic, as are their Arab neighbours.
Furthermore, the majority of American Jews are utterly opposed to Israel’s 75 year long ethic cleansing of Palestinians, as are the majority of Jews all over the world. Playing the old antisemitic card is passé now I’m afraid as the genii is long since out of the bottle of that.
Satanyahu and his evil band of bloodthirsty degenerates are boasting about their war crimes and ethnic cleansing these days. Try and keep up..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Oops, not a popular contribution I’m afraid.
They can’t handle the truth, to quote the Jack Nicholson character.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Indeed,
Any article about this conflict which does not state clearly the fact that Houthis only target Israël linked ships is at the very least lying by omission.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Sounds about right to me.

Chris Whybrow
Chris Whybrow
6 months ago

I mean, we could just stop sending weapons to Israel and just negotiate in good faith with the Houthis. Seems to have worked for the Saudis.

The Saudi and UEA militaries completely suck, by the way.

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris Whybrow

“negotiate in good faith with the Houthis”

negotiate the End of the State of Israel and the extermination of all Jews in the Middle East?
I mean, that’s literally what they want.
Slightly antisemitic, maybe?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Gorka Sillero

You’re confused.. do try and look up a few facts will you?

Chris Hume
Chris Hume
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘Death to Israel and Curse the Jews’ is literally written on their flag.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris Whybrow

I don’t know.. like the Israelis they are really good at murdering civilians. Credit where it is due..

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
6 months ago

The Bab el Mandeb is not an issue of “freedom of navigation” – that principle applies on the high seas.
The Bab el Mandeb is a strait. Due to the many islands, there is no strip of high seas connecting the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea.
The principle that applies in straits is the right of innocent passage. The operative word is innocent. By attacking Yemen, the presence of the US, the UK and their allies is no longer innocent. Yemen is fully in its rights to block the straits to military and civilian ships with their flags, attack their navy ships, impound civilian ships, and inspect neutrals for contraband.

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
6 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

This is even more disingenuous that any of Thomas Fazi’s articles. Congratulations

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
6 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Really? Why doesn’t the UK stop Russian warships transiting the Dover Strait on that case?

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
6 months ago

To my knowledge, the Russian Navy has not shelled the UK.
Also, the UK has strenuously (if disingenuously) argued that the UK is not a co-belligerent with Ukraine, which the UK would have to argue. The UK cannot argue that Russia is an enemy of the UK, but at the same time claim that Russia has no right to attack UK naval vessels since the UK is neutral.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Sounds plausible.. a bit more so that it’s blind, evidence free rejection out of hand.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Diplodoctus
Isn’t a small, far-away war what embattled Prime Minister’s always reach for to revive their fortunes? Will Yemen be Sunak’s Falklands? “We will fight them on the beaches” if the Houti arrive in small boats.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I love it!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Another accurate, truthful and fair statement and for all those reasons most unwelcome to most Unherd readers who, sadly are largely bloodthirsty armchair warriors..

Dick Barrett
Dick Barrett
6 months ago

The Red Sea problem could be quickly solved if the Western powers agreed to the Houthi demands (which are independently justified) to stop sending arms to Israel. Do that and the Houthis have said they will stop.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
6 months ago
Reply to  Dick Barrett

Why should western governments take any notice of barbarians such as Houthi? It’s also doubtful they would stop even if they did comply. You can’t trust the word of terrorists.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

You can trust the word of civilised US, German and French though can’t you? eg Minsk2 ..paleface speak with forked tongue!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Dick Barrett

True, valid, reasonable, fair and unbalanced and for all those reasons, largely unwanted by the bloodthirsty armchair warriors on Unherd!

Friedrich Tellberg
Friedrich Tellberg
6 months ago

Thank you for this interesting essay. Much of the information is new to me and was not told or not brought to memory elsewhere.

Liam F
Liam F
6 months ago

Yes, agree. excellent article.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Sadly, much of it is also lies, distortions and glaring omissions of salient facts.. but we must make allowances I guess; he is American after all.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
6 months ago

“Yet Washington also … influence in Yemen.” <– How has this piece been written so idiotically it has this take but does not mention Jamal Khashoggi — a Saudi pro-terrorist polemicist killed (possibly extra-legally) for Saudi Arabia’s own security on what was it’s sovereign territory? The ridiculous response of the West to this act of self-preservation. That is why Saudi had any separation from the West, when Saudi acted in killing Kasshoggi it did so in even the West’s best interests.
Unless you want Saudi to go the way of Iran, then all such as Kasshoggi must be seen to be prophylactically quashed one way or another, as Khomeni would have better been handled than what happened.
What tolerance can not tolerate is intolerance.
Islam is the worst intolerance since Hitler.
It is no religion of peace.
It is a cult of thievery and murder.
Saudi should be supported for so long as they are content to not knowingly, militantly spread it outside their borders. The same as is communism, it is innervating enough to it’s victims as was open communism, that it is self limiting when not invigorated by evangelical expansionism.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
6 months ago

“Most probably, the war in Gaza will end, and when it does, the Houthis’ justification for their attacks will evaporate.” <– As justification for the Houthi’s attacks, it never existed.

Mark Melvin
Mark Melvin
6 months ago

The US disinterest in the Saudis may have been driven by MBS ordering that American journalist chopped up into small pieces. Biden certainly called them a rogue state. Perhaps that is why the US pulled back their assistance and left the Saudis to it alone. After all Yemen and the Houthis are their neighbours, not the US or UK’s. It all showed how totally incompetent the Saudis are. The US is damned any way here and I do wish the UK hadn’t joined in, except I am kind of also glad that we manned up for a change. God its a tricky situation.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Melvin

You can say “manned up” when you take on a rival that is a match.. attacking a ragtag bunch of poorly armed rebels is hardly “manning up”. When GB troops fight Russia in Ukraine I’ll take another look.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Barely a mention of WHY the Houthis are trying to sanction the Israeli regime until it allows vita, life-saving aid to enter Gaza..
Any civilized country, far from condemning the Houthis should be JOINING them in sanctioning the world’s most heinous war criminals who are clearly committing genocide under our noses! What the Houthis are doing is akin to sanctioning N¤z¡ Germany to force it to stop the holocaust! What the US, UK etc are doing is akin to bombing Great Britain for it’s effort to blockade the N¤z¡ because US German trade was adversely affected by that blockade!
Failure to sanction Israel is despicable but aiding an abetting it’s genocide is monstrous! The US and UK supplying bombs and war weapons to murder innocent children is itself a ear crime
The Houthis are the heroes in this. USUK is the villain; the Satanyahu regime the arch villain!

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Are these the same ‘heroic’ anti-genocidal Houthis whose civil war efforts have, directly or indirectly, led to nearly half a million Yemeni deaths. And they have such nice friends in Tehran, too.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Alan Tonkyn

Ah yes, “led to” ..just like the Hamas action “led to” the wanton murder of 30,000 innocent civilians half of them little children. “Led to” such a nice cleansing of conscience phrase.. ethnic cleansing more like!
Can you list the war crimes of Iran please and compare the deaths inflicted with the 8m or so US inflicted deaths all over the World..
The Houthis are not a nice bunch for sure, but I this case they’re the good guys.. and bad as they are they pale into insignificance compared to USUK and their proxies viz… ISIS, Alqaida et al.. the deaths in Yemen were prominently with USUK supplied WMD to the heinous regime in Saudi Arabia and aimed at defenceless civilians..

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

So the “how” is diplomacy? The author appears to be at odds with himself by first suggesting that the Houthis would quiet down if the fighting in Gaza ended, and then pivoting to “the war in Gaza and piracy in the Red Sea are two different issues.”
Pick one. These things are either related or they’re not.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The Houthi action in the Red Sea is no more pirate than the USUK action in the same place. One side wants aid to enter Gaza, the other wants genocide to continue..

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
6 months ago

We need to remind ourselves again of story of the Prince of Shechem and the rape of Dinah. Todays rabbis teach that it collective punishment is morally unacceptable. I disagree and I side with the sons of Jacob, Shimon and Levi. When a tribe or a group conspire to undermine your civilization as did the Shechemites, collective punishment is the only option left. Read the commentary which witnesses the opportunism and the immorality of the Shechemites. And know that the modern novel, The Red Tent, is salacious trash and rotten “midrash”.
There are no innocents in Gaza nor in Yemen. Just bomb them and be done with it.

Dick Barrett
Dick Barrett
6 months ago

This would embarrass a Nazi. Shame on you.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
6 months ago
Reply to  Dick Barrett

Nazis would never find defeating an enemy embarrassing, but then again, they were conquerors, not defenders.
I also fail to see the reasons why naked aggression against the US or our allies should be encouraged, excused, or ignored, which is why I found Obama’s foreign policy so mystifying.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

I think you’ll find 90% of the naked aggression is direct BY not at, the US and its genocidal allies.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
6 months ago
Reply to  Dick Barrett

An overly hyperbolic and hysterical reply, with no valid argument made to support your point of view. Clearly you are used to being in situations where any discussion that is critical of Hamas and the Palestinians is subjected to censorship.
What part of a country doing what’s necessary to defend itself against savagery do you not understand?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

I’m a little confused: you don’t say which are the savages? ..can we rely on death count as a valid measure or is 90% of that too nice a savagery to be counted? A quick check on US$ deaths suffered vs meted out shows a 97-1 ratio for the US killing machine.. only because it’s victims were/are poorly armed. In the case of Israel v Palestinians it’s similar for the same reason.
I guess, in your mind, a savage cannot be US or Zionist (who use nice clean WMD to massacre their victims).. instead they have to be non white and non Christian/Jew and of course dressed funny with a Kalashnikov.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Sick racism..

Charles Elliston
Charles Elliston
6 months ago

The world has moved on. History gives context and informs the present, it does not provide justification nor excuses the actions of the present.
If the Israeli government and the Israeli people wish to carry out slaughter in Gaza justified by its past history then it should do so.
I would suggest it does this alone, without the aid of people who do not share its history, nor the values expressed.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago

I’m of the opinion that the US should just let people deal with their own problems for a change. Almost none of the shipping passing through the Red Sea is going to or from the USA, yet the USA is expected to fix this problem. Why is that? What do the American people get out of shooting down hundred dollar drones with million dollar missiles and using even more expensive munitions to blow up clusters of tents in the desert?
I say let the Houthis shut down shipping for a few months. Maybe countries affected step up to the plate and protect their own interests instead of relying on another country’s taxpayers. Perhaps after a few months of economic pain, people who for some reason sympathize with these religious fanatics will maybe understand a little bit about how the Israelis feel and won’t be so cavalier in their support for Hamas and company. Europe, in particular, needs a reality check in the worst way.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

This would depend on how much, or rather how little, or own economic interests are dependent on Europe’s general economic health, which has been often shaky since WWI.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

All the “religious fanatics” are demanding is that aid be allowed into Gaza.. how difficult is that to solve?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Good point. The Chinese and other Asian countries won’t be too pleased, if transport of their goods to Europe is interrupted by Houthi missiles, and they have to go around Africa for the foreseeable future, which will inflate and delay their goods

Ken Bowman
Ken Bowman
6 months ago

As a UK citizen I am paying to help keep the Suez route open. This may greatly assist Maersk in maintaining its profitability (I caught a glimpse of the CEO on TV this evening). One of the results of our action may be increased terrorist attacks against the UK but not on Denmark. A lack of symmetry it seems.

Oliver Butt
Oliver Butt
6 months ago
Reply to  Ken Bowman

Not keeping the Red Sea open will increase, not diminish, the profits of Maersk because the longer the route the more shipping time is required and supply and demand shifts in shipping companies favour. Shipping companies will pass on the cost of insurance. Logically Maersk should be sending a contribution to the Houthis to keep the good work up.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Ken Bowman

Yep.. join the dots ..not the old imperial dots or delusionary dots or MIC/AIPAC/WEF dots.. the real dots.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago

So disheartening to watch our mental midget of a prime minister supporting the US in yet another middle east conflict. Apparently the ships of 50 nations are affected by the Houthi attacks – when will those nations put some skin in the game?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

They’re almost exclusively owned by or bound for Israel (and their close allies?) ..it’s a blockade to end the Israeli blockade of aid to Gaza.. The Houthis are on the right side of history in this.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Everyone always has to have a “side”; it’s so antedeluvian. What’s needed is a ceasefire and some consensus building.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago

Yes, what Biden has done is turn Ansar Allah’s limited actions against Netanyahu into broader conflict with what Washington can still mobilise of its ‘world order.’. And, potentially, a showdown between that ‘order’ and multi polar interests in which Washington can only enjoy Pyrrhic victories. Moscow and Beijing have only to watch. Even Tehran doesn’t have to do much more than watch the West unravel..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Indeed.. never interrupt your enemies when they are making mistakes!