SHAFAQNA – If you missed it there has been a great, violent and bloody war unfolding in Yemen (Southern Arabia) for the past year. There, in this distant land few Westerners could actually point on a map, a people have died a million deaths for one kingdom – Saudi Arabia, decided to teach democracy to a people fresh out of an autocracy.
Yes! Saudi Arabia, the world’s most violent theocracy ambitions to teach Yemen a lesson in democracy-building … no joke.
Let me tell you the story of this poorest nation of Southern Arabia, as its courage, and its resistance could save you the pain of losing your sons and daughters to the hegemonic ambitions of those powers your officials call “friends”.
In 2011, in the heat of the Arab Spring, Yemen rose to demand democratic reforms, and an end to three decades of nepotism. As voices joined together to clamour freedom, religious minorities stepped back into the Sun to demand that their rights too, be respected and honoured under a new constitution. Before the stealth of a people, President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime hit the dust … only to be reborn in his vice-president: Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Entrusted by Gulf monarchies and Western capitals to usher Yemen through its political transition, Hadi would soon betray Yemen in the cruellest way possible, as it is under his plight, and following his request that Yemen would come to be carpet-bombed in March 2015.
From his accession to the vice-presidency, to his induction to the presidency in 2012 following a one-man election – an event which is still remembered as a democratic parody, Hadi utterly failed to manifest popular will, to instead serve his personal financial interests.
A man of small stature, and little moral, Hadi quite simply sold his country, his flag and his people … to hell with the consequences. Needless to say that after three decades spent in the shadow of a corrupt elite, Yemenis did not take kindly to Hadi’s new political order … and so the revolutionaries returned to their squares, and market places …
And so once more Yemen’s revolutionary song rang loud over the highlands, a promise of change for the robbed and the oppressed. In drove they came … armed they marched towards the capital, Sana’a. The few became the many, the many became the multitude majority … together they stood before Yemen’s old political guard, defiant they rose, before an elite whose money and relations had allowed for new shackles to be built.
Yemen was not about to abandon its dream of freedom on account Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia in the lead, could not stomach democracy south of its borders.
In the face of Yemen’s rebellion, in the face of popular will, Riyadh then chose to smite the unruly vassal.
War chanted the kingdom … War repeated the world community … On fire Yemen came to be!
But war needed still a justification, and so the world was offered a lie … maybe then its conscience would be appeased, maybe then it would not see. It would not see the rivers of blood, and the senseless destruction.
Maybe then under a carefully engineered media blackout Yemen’s blood would not rise up to sicken even the most fervent neo-cons. Over 10,000 men, women and children, all civilians have died in Yemen … millions were driven out of their homes and 22 million stand to die of starvation.
If those numbers do not horrify you, then picture this: over 2 million children have been made to starve so that Saudi Arabia could claim its victory, and impose its paradigm over Southern Arabia. What the world is asking of Yemen is to bow to Wahhabism, the very ideology which gave birth to ISIL, al-Qaida and other terror acronyms, and be content with it!
Would you allow for your sons and daughters to be raised under the vengeful eye of radicals? Would you not as well oppose with everything you have so that your children do not have to spend a life of oppression and infamy by the hands of religious lunatics?
Yet the world community has denounced Yemen’s Resistance movement and embraced Saudi Arabia’s war. Worse still, it looks as if both media and governments have tried to rationalise state-sponsored terrorism by alleging legitimacy.
“Saudi Arabia is bombing in Yemen to bring peace and stability,” wrote Saudi Ambassador to Britain Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz in an opinion piece for the Telegraph in late February.
He continued: “While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deeply regrets any civilian deaths, it firmly denies allegations of deliberately targeting civilians. Further, it will not be hindered by such political posturing in its pursuit of vital national security objectives … it is important to understand the nature of the war that is now taking place in Yemen, the extensive efforts that have already been made by the Saudi military to avoid civilian casualties, and the ways in which misinformation about such conflicts often finds its way into the public eye. Once these elements are looked at, the picture put forth by the UN and various lobbying groups becomes radically different than what is being depicted in the press.”
The nature of this war indeed … The nature of this war is two-fold: colonial, and genocidal!
Saudi Arabia wants to return Yemen to its Wahhabist empire an obedient vassal, and a puppet bent to its religious radical will.
It is imperialism and Wahhabism Yemen is resisting with every fibre of its being. It is this enslavement of the mind, body and soul Yemenis are desperately trying to ward off so that their children could have the luxury of free will.
Look at the horrors committed by ISIL, this terror which has destroyed millions of life, this horror which one of Saudi Arabia’s most senior religious clerics admitted is in fact a follower of Wahhabism, and tell me you would not do the very same.
Tell me that you would not claw, and crawl over fire and ice to save your family!
As for Prince Abdulaziz’s claims there is no engineering behind the massacre of thousands of Yemenis, then why would the United Nations, an institution already forced into silence by al-Saud billions of dollars could no longer keep the lid on Yemen’s suffering? It is because it is too vast to hide anymore.
Hospitals, schools, food convoy, residential areas, UNESCO protected sites, water facilities and NGOs have been pounded to the ground. But the war crimes do not stop there … Al-Saud has organized a brutal, and criminal humanitarian blockade on Yemen to starve its people into religious compliance. There’s more … in the south where Riyadh has gained control of key geostrategic areas al-Qaida has been allowed to flourish and thrive.
Under Saudi occupation terror has gained a foothold in South Yemen … Can you now see the pattern?
But here is where the United States should care. How many of your sons and daughters will be called overseas to fight those wars, and those battles your allies: i.e.: Saudi Arabia have initiated? How many times will you look at your boys and girls and allow for their lives to be put on the line for a rich elite ambitioned to acquire more lands and more riches to their religious empire?
Yemen’s war can soon be your war, your pain and your blood spilled.
Yemen’s Resistance movement does not hide a covert political agenda, Yemen’s Resistance is a popular movement powered by a people’s common desire to stand free on the land of their forefathers.
America more than most should understand such ambitions, America more than most should understand the danger Wahhabist Saudi Arabia represents for the world, when it has in fact been at war with it for well over a decade. Isn’t it Terror the United States is at war with … Isn’t it true that Terror sits in Riyadh, hidden by wealth and power?
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna Institure for Middle Eastern Studies