SHAFAQNA – June 5th, 2017 marked 800 days of war in Yemen … Allow me to rephrase that statement so that maybe you will appreciate the gravity it carries for a people whose only crime was to demand that, which is our birthright: freedom.
Once upon an Arab Spring, Yemen, this poorest, most unruly nation of Southern Arabia chose to rise a new political dawn under its skies so that a people would no longer have to cower before the tyranny of foreign meddling. It is because Yemen wanted to get from under the nefarious clutch of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist complex that Yemen was sentenced to perish in the pyres of war.
While many may still entertain the idea that Yemen’s Resistance Movement is illegitimate on account western capitals and their allies declared it so to better protect hegemony, we must understand that arguing a country’s right to its own political future really equates to denying that nation its sovereign right to be defined by the will of its people. One bolder than me would argue that such is the definition of fascist imperialism.
It is because Yemen spoke another socio-political song – one that rhymed with territorial sovereignty and political self-determination, that communities were exploded to the four winds, their future robbed by an ideology which exists in exclusion and intolerance of all others.
800 days of a barbaric onslaught and still mainstream would like to argue political semantic and manipulation so that a well-to-do western world could rationalise imperialism, or, as we may well learn to call it: uber-globalist-corporatism. If ever one was ever to make sense of it all, if ever one would even attempt to decipher that maze that has become the Greater Middle East, one would need to look no further than our ruling elite’s financial interests.
War was waged on Yemen because wars have a way of serving capitalism ever-rabid hunger for more – more control, more power, more access, more, more, and more. Peace I’m afraid is a sentiment that has been lost on our very own neocon activists, and it is unlikely any of them will look onto world nations and see anything but yet another product to brand, own and exploit.
Yemen here should serve as a cautionary tale, a reminder of what dangers await those nations who will dare breathe resistance as a last act of sovereignty.
For 800 days Yemen has been exploded, its skies blotted out by chemical gases, its communities starved under a UN-manned blockade and too few have had the courage to speak against the injustice of a lobby whose tentacles have spread several western capitals over. It is Saudi Arabia one must look towards to truly appreciate the why of Yemen’s suffering.
It is the hands of Wahhabism and Salafism, the two ideological pillars that have hold and sustained the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that are tainted with the blood of the innocent. Yemen I’m afraid to say is only one casualty on a very long list of abominable crimes.
Wherever and whenever the language of Terror is being spoken out Saudi Arabia sits a rapacious vulture in the shadows – acting from behind the veneer of the legitimacy its billions of dollars have bought its ruling monarchy. From Afghanistan to Syria, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and of course Yemen, every terror, and every infamy have been rooted in Wahhabism.
Blame may be laid at the feet of those freedom fighters for they remain poor and unsophisticated in the ways of world politics but History will nevertheless remember them as the voices of truth and reason.
There is beauty in defending one’s land and one’s freedom. There is dignity in refusing to bow to a tyranny so vile that surrender would equate to denying one’s humanity.
Yemen today I believe has become the forefront of a grand Resistance Movement that reach, architecture and goals will transcend the very differences: ethnic, tribal or religious, Wahhabist Saudi Arabia has played out to assert its hold over the region.
We can see today the cracks Yemen managed to inflict Saudi Arabia’s armour. Yemen’s shoeless resistance fighters are more than just standing their ground those days, they have managed to take their fight across the border and into the kingdom, in those provinces that Riyadh annexed away from Yemen several decades ago.
800 days of war and Yemen sits alone …
800 days of pain, fear and hopelessness and still nations argue against Yemenis’ right to determine what future they want for themselves, what system of governance they must adopt, whose friendships they should pursue, down to the very manner of their faith.
“More than 17 million people out of the population of 24 million are in need of immediate aid. Over two years of often indiscriminate bombing by Saudi Arabia and its primary partner, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have laid waste to Yemen’s infrastructure.
Saudi planes—which are dependent on mid-air refueling capabilities provided by the U.S.—have targeted bridges, roads, factories, hospitals, farms, and even funerals. Unexploded cluster munitions used by Saudi Arabia litter some of Yemen’s most productive agricultural land where they will kill and maim for years to come,” read a report published by Michael Horton in the American Conservative.
A small admission of truth before the gaping humanitarian hole Yemen has become in its struggle for survival.
How can we speak democracy to the world and call ourselves democratic if we deny nations the very rights we consider ourselves entitled to?
Yemen’s future was interrupted and for 800 long days it has struggled at death’s door.
Beyond the simple tale of a nation at war against an imperial construct lies that of this eternal struggle in between freedom and slavery, light versus darkness …
By Catherine Shakdam – Director Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies