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The Media Misses the Point on ‘Proxy War’


The Media Misses the Point on ‘Proxy War’

Gareth Porter

The term “proxy war” has experienced a new popularity in stories on the Middle East. Various news sources began using the term to describe the conflict in Yemen immediately, as if on cue, after Saudi Arabia launched its bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen on 25 March.


Deutsch’s definition makes it clear that proxy war involves the use of another country’s fighters rather than the direct use of force by the foreign power or powers. So it obvious that the Saudi bombing in Yemen, which has killed mostly civilians and used cluster bombs that have been outlawed by much of the world, is no proxy war but a straightforward external military aggression.

The United States of America is using the Saudi’s as the proxy here. It IS a proxy war. Mr Porter will not own up to the reality that the USA wages it.

This is why they are refueling Saudi aircraft.
This is why they are providing the Saudis with targets to hit.
This is why their Navy is intercepting vessels carrying Humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen.
This is why they continue to provide the Saudi’s with weapons including those cluster munitions.


Mr. Porter completely overlooks the reality that, what has now become a regional conflagration, is a US initiated consolidation of the spoils by the “victor” of the cold war, that quintessential conflict by proxy. Both the US and Soviets armed the region to the teeth and kept the sectarian cycle of hatred and violence at a slow boil by installing puppet strongmen to do their bidding, and in the process persecuting their traditional sectarian enemies.

We have what - 5000 years of recorded history now? - and nothing has changed except the efficiency of the killing.

Perhaps the next editorial concerning war by proxy should begin with the source and the meaning of “take out seven countries in five years.”