Are we in Yemen to protect the interests of the Bin Laden family?
Why are we helping the Saudis in their dastardly attack on Yemen, even though the Houthi rebels represent a movement that our founding fathers would have favored? (The Houthis are not terrorists, and they have espoused a belief in democracy.)
I think that the answer has something to do with the Bin Laden family.
The clan was originally Yemeni, not Saudi. In recent years, Tarek Bin Laden (Osama's brother -- they have the same father) has pursued an insanely massive construction project in the southern part of his home country, which happens to be Houthi territory.
Tarek wants to pull off a trick traditionally ascribed to the Deity: He wants to make it possible for people to walk across the Red Sea.
For that purpose, he proposes to build a suspension bridge. A really, really BIG bridge -- some 18 miles long. (At this writing, the world's longest suspension bridge is 2.5 miles long.) Bin Laden also wants to build two gargantuan cities on either side of the bridge.
Middle East Development LLC, the Dubai-based construction company controlled by a half-brother of Osama Bin Laden, will seek to raise about $190 billion to build two new cities in Djibouti and Yemen and a bridge linking them.
Here's where American interests converge with Bin Laden's master plan:
The new cities in Yemen and Djibouti are intended to attract manufacturing, technology and leisure ventures, and companies including Bechtel Group Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Ericsson AB have expressed interest in the project, according to Halabi.
The bridge, called the Bridge of the Horns, would connect Africa and the Middle East at their nearest point -- the Bab-el-Mandeb, or the Gate of Sorrow. Some say that this piece of real estate may be the very spot where Moses took his stroll.
I must emphasize that these cities will rise out of nothing. The photo to your right shows the location of the proposed African metropolis, which is to be called Noor City. Not long ago, the Bin Laden Group confidently predicted that Noor City would have 2.5 million residents by 2025 -- and that its Yemeni counterpart would have 4.5 million.
(Right now, the entire population of Djibouti is somewhere around half a million people.)
These cities are meant to provide low-tax (or no-tax) havens for mega-corporations and the filthy rich. As for the workers...well, I doubt that labor will have many rights. The developers have announced that they want Noor City to be "the Dubai of Africa." Since Dubai was built on slave labor (and many of the slaves were Palestinians), we can hazard a guess as to how Tarek Bin Laden's megaproject will proceed.
We should be glad that the civil war has impeded these plans. One Dubai is too much.
Now you know why we're helping the Saudis destroy Yemen's liberation movement. We're doing it for companies like Bechtel. We're doing it to help rich people avoid taxes. We're doing it to exploit the most vulnerable labor force in the world.