Why I admire the Emiratis
September 18, 2015 by Thomas Wictor
The plan to take back Yemen was brilliantly unorthodox. Instead of invading, the Coalition—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal, and Pakistan—would protect two pockets of resistance: Little Aden and Crater. In those cities, people held out against tens of thousands of besiegers: Houthis, soldiers loyal to former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, and militia of the Revolutionary Committee. Beginning March 26, 2015, the Coalition used air strikes and naval gunfire to support these two strategically important gateways to Yemen. At the same time, Saudis and Emiratis began training Yemenis to fight the way the British did in North Africa during World War II.
They were Yemenis who served in the Saudi armed forces and Yemenis trained by the UAE—army officers and tribal fighters. A very small contingent of UAE Presidential Guard were embedded with the Yemenis. Since the Presidential Guard is modeled on the US Marine Corps, the Emiratis would’ve deployed a Special Operations Team of fifteen men: three four-man fire teams, a captain, a radio operator, and a medic. Each fire team consists of a rifleman, a rifle grenadier, a light machine gunner, and an assistant light machine gunner-ammunition carrier.
While the Yemeni special operators organized the civilian and remaining military resistance, the Emirati Presidential Guard engaged in nine weeks of ground combat, taking on tens of thousands in Aden. The Emiratis were equipped with antitank guided missiles (ATGMs), which they used to destroy enemy formations, tanks, and positions. Pakistani and Saudi unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) served as spotters for naval gunfire. I’m certain that the Emiratis had a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) with them to direct air strikes as well.
The US military calls the UAE “Little Sparta,” after the ancient Greek city-state. Spartans belonged to a warrior culture that dominated after the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). The most famous battle that the Spartans fought was Thermopylae (August-September, 480 BC). Though the Spartans are usually given all the credit, it was actually 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans, and a few hundred others versus about 150,000 Persians. Thermopylae was a mountain pass, so the small force of Greeks was able to hold off the Persians for three days.
The overwhelming strength of the Persian army didn’t matter, since the men were forced into a bottleneck where the only thing that counted was fighting skill.
It’s likely that the UAE Presidential Guard is the most highly-trained unit in human history. Formed in late 2010, it’s been trained by the armed forces of almost every nation in the industrialized world. That’s why fifteen Guardsmen were able to fight upwards of 40,000 enemy for nine weeks. The Saudis resupplied the Guardsmen with air drops of missiles and ammunition.
You’re asking yourself, “Why the hell would the UAE send only fifteen Guardsmen to Aden?”
The answer’s obvious: Because only fifteen were needed.
By July of 2015, the Saudis and Emiratis had completed the training of Yemeni fighters for the ground operation. They were landed in Little Aden, Crater, and a temporary port that the Saudis built. These were fast-moving, hard-hitting assault troops equipped with mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), the Oshkosh M-ATV.
On July 14, 600 Yemenis in MRAPs broke out of Little Aden, and another 300 in MRAPs were ferried by Coalition naval vessels across the harbor to retake Aden International Airport. UAE and Saudi special operators armed with ATGMs accompanied them. The Coalition carried out 136 air strikes in support of the breakout, which took about a day and a half.
Once the Yemenis and Coalition special operators had cleared the way, a massive UAE armored formation left Aden on August 3. The next day more mechanized Yemeni infantry, tanks, and Saudi special operators entered from the al-Wadiya border post. All the ground troops headed for Marib, in preparation for the assault on Sana’a.
On September 7, 2015, Qatar sent 1000 special operators, 200 tanks, and 30 Apache helicopter gunships to Marib, and on September 12, the battle began.
A handful of UAE Presidential Guard fought tens of thousands in Aden for nine weeks. Today, this is what American writer Ali Gharib thinks is important.
For too long, anti-Muslim bigotry has gone unremarked upon by too many Americans…
The right is lost. But what can American liberals do? We have belatedly come to recognize this scourge; the time of tolerating the Marty Peretzes of the world among our own ranks has more or less passed. But too few of our intellectual and political leaders—even President Obama—consistently and directly take on the bigotries of the right.
Obama has raised the notion, at the United Nations, among other places, that the U.S. is not at war with Islam. These are welcome sentiments. After Ahmed Mohamed’s clock ordeal, President Obama tweeted, “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?” The invitation is a nice gesture—Mohamed accepted—but it does not go far enough.
George W. Bush remains the only sitting American president to have visited an American mosque; despite the pleas of leaders from the American Muslim community, Obama hasn’t ventured into a Muslim house of worship in the U.S. since assuming office.
I was interviewed by Ali Gharib. He’s a liar and a whiner, as his piece shows. “The right is lost,” he says, but then admits that right-winger George W. Bush is the only sitting president to have visited an American mosque. I’ll bet you any amount of money that Gharib doesn’t even know that the UAE Presidential Guard exists, or that about fifteen Guardsmen volunteered to go into Yemen and fight against inconceivable odds.
Gharib’s Muslim as Forever Victim operetta flops in the case of Ahmed Mohamed, who didn’t invent his own clock; he disassembled a really old Micronta alarm clock, put it in a pencil box, and took it to school.
My guess is that Mohamed did it in order to get in trouble so that he’d be famous, receive a lot of donations from idiots, and create another case of “Islamophobia.” These manufactured incidents are aversive conditioning designed to train law enforcement and the public to equate investigation of Muslims with bigotry. No sinister agenda there.
Today on Twitter a Yemeni who’d seemed perfectly rational suddenly went into a paroxysm of craziness about how the US had invaded Iraq in order to enslave Iraqis, and that we’d callously killed hundreds of thousands of “us.” He’s a Yemeni, not an Iraqi. And there’s a slight problem with his accusation: Guess who killed the overwhelming majority of Iraqis?
“There was no sectarian fighting before the US invaded!” the Yemeni said.
Well, that’s because Saddam Hussein used mass murder and torture to keep people in line. Let me tell you that as an American, for DECADES I heard Arabs say this: “All we want is a chance at freedom! Just give us a chance at freedom!”
The US provided that chance, at a cost of 4425 American lives, and what did the Iraqis do with it? They slaughtered each other. And they blamed it on us.
Yes: If a foreign country invades, the proper response is to create sectarian death squads and set off car bombs that kill boatloads of your fellow citizens. If Canada attacked, I’d immediately murder my neighbor for being Basque.
Look: a MUSLIM.
How is that my fault?
“The west has many creative ways of destroying our countries,” the Yemeni said.
No. You destroy yourselves. White Europeans went murderously insane after Yugoslavia broke up. The Irish too behave like savages with this tribal nonsense. It’s cultural dysfunction. But don’t worry; we’ll never make the mistake of liberating any Middle Eastern country again. Believe me.
Here are the Iraqi Special Forces.
Pretty macho, huh? At Ramadi, on May 17, 2015, over 6000 Iraqi soldiers—including Special Forces—and police fled from 150 Islamic State terrorists. The terrorists used suicide car bombs and a bulldozer; the Iraqis had American M1A1 main battle tanks, but they ran anyway.
Is Ali Gharib Iraqi? I know he’s not Emirati. Social media is full of spoiled, non-Emirati Arabs and Muslims blubbering endlessly about absolutely everything. They’re the most self-pitying people on the planet.
At Thermopylae, King Xerxes ordered the Spartans to lay down their weapons.
“Molon labe!” the Spartans shouted back.
Come and get them.
Fifteen Emirati Presidential Guardsmen against tens of thousands of Houthis, Saleh loyalists, and militiamen. It wasn’t a fair fight. The Houthis and their allies didn’t have a chance.
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