Yemen – Hypocrisy in Action?

As regular visitors to this site will know, I haven’t been posting all that regularly of late.  Quite frankly, I’m too busy with my research at the moment to invest the time and energy in regular posting at the moment.

I did, however, want to make a very quick post about the developing situation in Yemen.

First off, I find it hypocritical and straight up disgusting that these various Arab powers (with Pakistan mobilising ground forces to assist with an invasion too) are able to cobble together a massive military campaign, led by the richest Arab state (Saudi Arabia) against the poorest Arab state (Yemen), but have completely failed to actively defend Palestinians against Israeli aggression.  Where the heck was this massive military power to stop Israel in its war against Gaza last year?  No where.

Pan-Arab solidarity, my foot.

Saudi Arabia and its allies are willing to sacrifice the lives of Palestinians simply to appease Israel and slaughter Hamas as a Muslim Brotherhood threat to their interests.

And the intervention isn’t about restoring democracy or defending human rights.  The vast majority (if not all) of the States involved in this obscene intervention are guilty of some of the worst atrocities in these areas of any countries on the planet.  One need only look at the Saudi-engineered coup in Egypt, complete with the a greater massacre than Tiananmen Square in the form of Rabaa.

This is rather just another reflection of the Saudi-led fears of Iran.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The Saudis live in fear of their own Shia populations (primarily found in their oil rich provinces) and the risk of losing this economic resource.

I’ll write in more detail about this later.

Right now, what’s important is that innocent people are being killed and terrorised by this military intervention, and lots more blood is going to flow before it’s other.  All the while these same military resources are being diverted away (if they were even directed in the first place) away from the war against Da’esh (which has its own problems), and Palestinians remain under occupation with Israel having a carte blanche to do as it pleases there.

There is a massive risk of this conflict escalating, not simply in Yemen itself, but in the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, Iraq, Syria, Iran and even Afghanistan all getting mixed up, as the various proxy wars for control and influence between Saudi and Iranian interests gets blurred into a single regional conflict spanning North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

It would have been better to let the Houthi’s try to govern and fail, than to make them into martyrs.  There will be no military solution to this, only the peace of the graveyard – and even then the ghosts will haunt the living for decades to come.

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4 thoughts on “Yemen – Hypocrisy in Action?

  1. Didn’t Netanyahu say to the US Congress recently (something like)…. “backed by Iran, the Houthis are seizing control of Yemen which threatens the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea which along with the Straits of Hormuz, would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply?

    Is this all (or partly) about oil – again. Any threat to oil, will push up prices. Something no doubt Iran would welcome.

  2. My own reading is that the framing of the Houthi’s as Iranian proxies is more propaganda than reality. There’s no denying that Iran is supportive of the Houthi’s, but I don’t think they’ve got much control over them at all. Framing them as operating under Iranian orders serves the domestic and international propaganda purposes of those framing it that way. Israel and the Gulf States are trying to undermine the US-Iran nuclear deal, and so they want to try and paint Iran as an aggressor, for example.

    I think oil is certainly a factor. Yemen itself has virtually no oil, but is strategic regarding the Red Sea, where a lot of oil is transported through.

    But I think the bigger concern, at least from the Saudi’s, is their southern al-najram province, which until 1934 was part of Yemen (Saudi’s conquered it), and of the three Saudi provinces that were originally Yemeni, al-najram is the only one dominated by Shia’s related to the Houthi’s Zaydism Shiism. And al-najram itself borders the Eastern Province (ash-sharqiyah). Ash-sharqiyah contains 90% of Saudi Arabia’s oil, and is also a majority Shia population. Shia in Saudi Arabia are largely second-class citizens, suffering discrimination and repression. The Saudi’s (an otherwise Wahabbist Sunni majority state) live in fear of their Shia population asserting themselves and, potentially, breaking free from Riyadh’s control, and taking the oil with them. So I think Riyadh is scared that an ascendant Houthi power in Yemen could spark unrest in al-najram, and that could spark unrest in ash-sharqiyah. So there is that aspect regarding oil.

    Going back to the Red Sea, Egypt is petrified of any disruption to the Suez Canal, which is an important economic resource for them. So that’s one big motivation for them. That and the Saudi’s bankrolled the coup there and are thus calling in a favour from their puppet dictator. Useful to also note that Yemen, along with Syria, once formed the United Arab Republic with Egypt under Nasser. Egpyt’s got some history in the area.

    So, it’s partly about oil. It’s partly about the Suez Canal. It’s partly about the ongoing Sunni-Shia proxy wars in the region (which is really Saudi-Iranian rivalry). It’s partly legacies of colonial era games. It’s partly legacies of Cold War games. It’s partly a legacy of Saudi intrigue. It’s also partly Saudi Arabia cashing in debts (Sudan and Pakistan for example).

  3. Above all the reasons why the middle east is a mess is that suni -shia divide. What is going on in the middle east is no less then a religious civil war that has been brewing for decades since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    After WW1 the Ottoman Empire was split up and in the decades since until a decade ago the peoples of the middle east have been kept in a cultural stalemate. In a desire to secure there own interests western powers have stopped the peoples of the middle east achieving any sort of cultural progress as was made by Europe during the enlightenment. This has ended as one by one dictators have fallen. For all the evil things they did to there own people Sadam and Gadafi supresshed sectarien conflict and kept the middle east more or less stable. Now there is nothing, no strong man, no common enemy to keep the shia and suni from fighting each other.

    There is a reason why Protosant and Catholics no longer kill each other, it is because we had our relgious wars during the reformation. Only after centuries of bloodshed did we get tierd and resolved to find a better way. That I am sad to say must happen here. The Suni and Shia must have this fight. Will it mean more death? yes, will it mean a full blow war? yes, should western powers get involved and try to keep the sides apart? NO.

    Through conflict and pain progress is made that is a fact. It is a sad but true fact that sometimes the only way for two sides to come together is to savage each other to the point of exustion. Look at Europe, for centuries the Europien powers fought each other. It is only after two brutal world wars that they lost the desire to attack each other. If the middle east had been allowed to go through the same process as Europe this current conflict may not of happened.

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