“then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains”-Jesus
“Kurds have no friends but the mountains.”-Kurdish proverb
Most Americans are vaguely aware of a place called Yemen, but they probably think of it as just another stretch of sand full of violence. Yemen has been in the news lately because the Houthis, a mountain people who once ruled Yemen, got sick of the mess and moved on the capital city to oust the latest western-installed kleptocrat. Obama ordered US troop out of there, which his opponents labeled as pretty darn wussie of him. The Houthis had some success, which alarmed Saudi Arabia, because the Houthis are backed by Iran and the Saudi monarchy really fears Iran.
This fear and loathing goes beyond Sunni (Saudis) and Shia (Iranians) conflicts. It goes back hundreds, maybe thousands of years, because Iranians you see, are Persians, not Arabs. You may have heard of the Persian Empire? It was quite a big deal back in 400 BC and has resurrected now and then. Perhaps the Saudis are fearful that it is in resurrection mode now. So they sent an army (Saudi Arabia has an army?) to Yemen to sort things out. Saudi Arabia is a US ally and like all good US allies, has purchased scads of military hardware, which they park in warehouses until their monarchy, or the monarchy of their buddies in Bahrain, are threatened. Like now.
The news reports claim the Monarchy Coalition has taken the airport. They will probably take other chunks of real estate and according to western mentality, taking real estate equals victory. But think: US forces took Kabul in Afghanistan quickly (Yay US!) But then fought a nasty war for thirteen years-and lost that war, as had Russia and Great Britain previously. It seems you can’t beat people from the mountains.
You can’t beat people from the mountains, because they wisely flee to the mountains when bombers and tanks roll in. Only fools charge into tanks shouting, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Because the tanks will give you death. Mountain people flee to the mountains, hide in the crags which they know like the back of their hands and continue fighting.
I used to live in the Appalachian Mountains. There are people there who seldom come out of their remote “villages.” They are probably unaware that the economy crashed in 2008 and don’t care what’s going on in Yemen. But they would understand what is going on in Yemen, what went on in Afghanistan-they would understand the Kurdish proverb, “No friends but the mountains.” You can’t beat mountain people. Better try to reach some kind of agreement with them, something like, “We’ll leave you alone if you’ll leave us alone.” That might work.