The recent attack on the refineries in Saudi Arabia has, predictably, aroused outrage in the leadership of that country and its patron the US. The Houthi rebels in Yemen that are fighting against the Saudi-backed government have claimed responsibility for the drone attack but that does not fit with the preferred narrative of the Saudis and the US who want to paint Iran as the villain in that region in order to isolate it even further.
Donald Trump has astonishingly said that he is waiting for to hear from Saudi Arabia as to what the US should do, which makes the US military look like a mercenary force and one wonders who is the dominant partner in that alliance. But back in 2014 when Barack Obama was president, Trump was saying something quite different.
#NostraDumbAss strikes again!
So, Saudi Arabia should have been fighting their own wars when Obama was president, but they are going to tell you when, where, and how to get into a war with Iran? h/t @DevinsFRoom https://t.co/9MBeGl9r2p pic.twitter.com/jpxnB5AvmJ
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 16, 2019
As is almost always the case, the US and its allies are quick to adopt the victim posture. Even though Saudi Arabia is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Yemen, it is the Houthis, fighting in their own country, that are deemed to be the aggressors. And even though Yemen is
tens of thousands of miles away from the US, the US military involvement in that horrendous war is seen as acceptable while any support given by Iran to Yemen, a nearby country, is seen as gross interference in the region.
It is clear that the drone attack has embarrassed Saudi Arabia by exposing how ineffective its military has been in waging its war against the Houthis. Despite bombing that country mercilessly, creating widespread misery and a massive humanitarian crisis for the population, in strictly military terms the Saudi effort has been a bust, unable to stop the growing influence of the Houthis.
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has the third largest military budget in the world ($70 billion), after the US ($716 billion) and China ($224 billion). So the failure of the US-Saudi alliance to defeat the Houthis shows how ineffective its efforts have been and one suspects that embarrassment at this exposure of their failure contributes to their anger and the desire to shift the blame to Iran, even though Iran ranks a mere 33rd ($6.3 billion), even below tiny countries like the Emirates and Oman.