By Kevin Barrett
Saudis are bogged down in the quagmire in Yemen and this has raised comparisons with the American experience in Vietnam. The Saudis like the Americans in Vietnam initially gave these ridiculous estimates of how fast it would be over and how many of the enemy they were killing and so on.
They originally thought that they would only be fighting in Yemen for two weeks. And of course, it's many years later and they're still in the quagmire making absolutely no notable progress, very much like the Americans in Vietnam.
In both cases, these wars have inflicted horrific suffering on civilian populations. The official death toll in the Vietnam War I believe it's somewhere in the 3 million range of Vietnamese and 50,000 Americans. The real death toll is much higher among the Vietnamese probably 4 million plus some have estimated.
And this is of course because we have completely asymmetrical situation where a wealthy empire that can buy vast amounts of modern weapons and bombs is just bombing like crazy and killing all of these civilians on the ground.
Another comparison between Yemen and Vietnam is that in both cases, we had an empire, very, very wealthy aggressive empire, trying to extend its power versus local troops who were fighting for local self-determination whether it's the Vietnamese fighting for an independent Vietnam, or the Yemenis fighting for an independent Yemen.
And in both cases, these wars happened just as there was an economic shock around the world oil trade happening. The Vietnam War ended in the 1970s just as the US was forced to abandon the gold standard and instead adopted the Petro dollar standard to support the US dollar as the international reserve currency.
The economic shock around the US being unable to come up with enough gold to supply the demands for gold by people who wanted to trade in their dollars for gold especially the French was part of the reason that it became clear the US couldn't afford to continue trying to win in Vietnam.
Today we're seeing something similar, except now, it's the petrodollar standard that is collapsing as the US is being challenged geo-politically and economically by independent nations led by China, and, of course, Russia and Iran as well.
And finally, the real reason why both the Vietnam War, and the Saudi attack on Yemen have failed, is the lack of will to fight among the troops of the Empire, who don't really know what they're fighting for and if they did they wouldn't approve of it, as opposed to the local people fighting for self-determination who know exactly what they're fighting for.
And for that reason, Saudis are happy to bomb the Yemenis from high altitudes where they can't really hit targets precisely because they're afraid to lose their lives in a war that really means nothing to them, they're just mercenaries, and likewise American troops in Vietnam were notoriously unwilling to adopt the view that this war was very, very important and just instead the Americans in Vietnam, smoked a lot of marijuana and basically just tried to stay alive.
So, the Saudi quagmire in Yemen is very similar to the US quagmire in Vietnam and at some point the Saudis are going to have to do what the Americans did when the Americans had that kind of embarrassing evacuation from Saigon with helicopters dragging the last people off the roof clinging to the bottom of the helicopters. That's exactly what the Saudis and the Emiratis and their clients are eventually going to have to do in Yemen.
Kevin Barrett (pictured above) is an American author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies. He has been studying the events of 9/11 since late 2003. He recorded this article for Press TV website.
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