General Yahya Saleh on the Kuwait peace talks said: “This is a Yemeni-Saudi problem"; How a popular revolution became a Yemeni-Saudi problem?
Gen. Yahia Saleh makes a very good point! We tend to forget how Yemen’s war started off, and what sparked the hostilities. Yemen’s war was unilaterally initiated by Riyadh – I would personally argue that Yemen’s war remains absolutely illegal from an international law standpoint.
Riyadh had no right to involve itself in a Yemeni matter. Such meddling within Yemen internal affairs has led to the killings of thousands upon thousands of innocent, as well as precipitated Yemen’s economic, and political collapse.
It is Yemen’s determination to reclaim its political future away from Saudi Arabia which really prompted Riyadh to intervene. Riyadh was not about to allow for a popular democracy to rise up south of its border. Riyadh was going to allow for the Houthis to inspire Yemen to resist Wahhabism either.
Yemen’s war is about more than just the claim of a people on democracy. Yemen’s war is a war of resistance. It is a war against imperialism, theofascism, and colonialism. Yemen’s war has been a long time in the making.
Historically Yemen has never allowed for foreign patronage. The Houthis now represent popular will and popular legitimacy all rolled into one. The Houthis are so much more than a tribal faction, or a political party - they are now a movement.
So far Yemen’s war has been sold as war of restoration. Riyadh as you know has claimed it wants to return President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power for the sake of political continuity, and democracy-building. But President Hadi carries no real legitimacy …his whole presidency was a sham anyway. I’d like to remind your readers that the man was elected in a one-man election in 2012 for a period of 2 years. Hardly a democratic victory! To add insults to injuries the man resigned, not once but twice – making it clear he forfeited whatever rights he ever held. Riyadh continues to hide behind this phantom presidency so that it could rationalize its military aggression, and still claim itself an honest protagonist.
Truth is Saudi Arabia has committed atrocious war crimes – so much so that many have argued their crimes amount to crimes against humanity.
You have written many articles about Yemen, can you tell us how difficult the life is under Saudi bombs?
It is really difficult to put into words the suffering of an entire people. Yemen today remains under a vengeful, and illegal humanitarian blockade. Food, medicine, and other basic commodities have not been allowed in. The United Nations has stood by as millions have been condemned to famine and abject destitution.
Of Yemen’s 26 million people, 23 million have been classified as being in need of immediate humanitarian assistance; over 2 million children suffer from acute chronic malnutrition. Hospitals no longer can cope with the influx of casualties, and schools have long closed.
Yemen has been devastated. Yemen is now an open scar onto Southern Arabia.
Millions live with no access to water, and electricity. For over a year millions of people have lived in the dark, and in fear.
How do you translate the plight of an entire nation? It is difficult to even comprehend the hardship Yemenis have been made to endure … I don’t think that the international community understand just how bad things truly are in Yemen. Tens of thousands of civilians in the north have been forced to find shelter in caves to escape Riyadh’s bombs.
Civilians of course remain the main target. Riyadh is behaving a grand terror state against Yemen. People have been starved so that the kingdom could claim control.
US Military apologized after drone strike intended for Yemeni ISIS base "accidentally" hit West Palm Beach wedding; how many lives have US "accidentally" taken in Yemen? Are all these by accident?
While there will always casualties in wars, I refuse to believe that all such “incidents” are accidents. I recall the US being rather boastful as to its technological prowess, and so you need to ask yourself why still drones target innocent civilians. Why is the US insisting on double tapping if in fact it is looking to minimize civilian deaths? Earlier this year children were slaughtered in a strawberry field … no apology was made, no acknowledgement of wrongdoing was ever issued.
But then again the US has been killing innocent people for over a decade arguing national security, and counter-terrorism. Western powers are always eager to rationalize civilian deaths.
It is difficult to give you any accurate number as information are hard to come by in Yemen – a lack of resources make data collecting tricky. But we are talking hundreds of people.
How do Western countries help Saudi Arabia to continue aggression?
Where do I begin …Western powers have offered Riyadh both political and military support! From Canada to the UK billions of weapons have sold to the kingdom -- cluster bombs, tanks, anti-missile technology the list goes on and on.
Western capitals know only too well that their bombs and their ammunitions will be used against civilians, but as long as Saudi Arabia offers money, they all look the other way.
Western powers are just as guilty as Riyadh!
And then of course there is the media propaganda corporate media have engineered around Yemen to rationalize Riyadh’s genocidal ambition.
Recently Saudi FM asserted the Houthis are part of the Yemen society and we can not ignore this reality; what made him to confess?
A rare moment of sanity! Sarcasm aside I think that Riyadh is getting to terms with the fact that the Houthis are not going anywhere. Riyadh is looking for an exit in Yemen – one which allow for the kingdom to claim victory.
And although by all accounts Saudi Arabia has already been defeated, al-Saud cannot exactly admit to that, and so new channels will need opening.
It is important to remember that Yemen has managed to stand its ground against a grand military coalition. How many countries can claim such a feat? It really goes to show how much support the Houthis enjoy in Yemen. The Houthis are far from being the rebel group the West paint them as. They are Yemen’s true face.
Saudi political activist nicknamed "Mujtahid" revealed via Twitter that the Deputy Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Mohammad bin Saud sent envoys to Yemen to negotiate peace. Does Saudi predict failure?
As I just mentioned the Saudis are looking for an honourable exit. What you see on the political surface: the peace talks and negotiations before the UN are really there for show. The real negotiations always take place behind closed doors. Riyadh has been in discussion with the Houthis for quite some time. Riyadh understands today that it cannot win the war. It knows that retreat is the only way forward here … But it does not mean that Riyadh will not pursue the destruction of Yemen. At this moment in time as peace talks are reaching their final stages Riyadh wants to lay waste as much of Yemen as it can to contain what it perceives as a political threat to its hegemony.
Recently, Chomsky said, Saudi Arabia is the "Center of Radical Islamic Extremism"; can you discuss this in details?
I would invite you to read my book: Arabia’s Rising – Under The Banner Of The First Imam where I detail the rise of radicalism, aka Wahhabism as the expression of theofascism.
The Islam the world has come to loathe is in fact a perversion, which was born in the desert of Nejd in Saudi Arabia back in the 18th century. This ideology Muslims and non-Muslims alike have to come to fear and despise is but an engineered religious deviance rooted in hatred.
Wahhabism is merely the misguided expression of one man’s political ambition - Muhammed Abdul-Wahhab, a bigot who was recruited by the British Empire to erode at the fabric of Islam and crack the armour of the then-Ottoman Empire by breeding sectarianism and dissent. It is Abdul-Wahhab's alliance to the House of Saud that ultimately unleashed this now seemingly unstoppable evil we know today under the tag of Islamic radicalism.
If not for the al-Saud Royals' billions and the silence of Western powers, Wahhabism would never have crossed the deserts of Saudi Arabia. If not for the kingdom's lavish sponsoring of the Wahhabi school of thought, extremism would never have come to be in the first place.
Although exact numbers are not known, it is thought that Saudi Arabia has spent over $100 billion on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various, much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades, notwithstanding its efforts in the West.
Daesh’s obscene savagery epitomizes the violence inherent and central to Wahhabism and Salafism, its other radical branch. Let us all remember how eagerly the kingdom carries out death sentences by beheading or stoning and how generously its officials hand out lashings and other barbaric corporal punishments to its citizens before theorizing on the source of Islamic State’s murderous streak.
Daesh is simply a studious disciple of Wahhabism. It learned its craft and its hate within its schools; it was force-fed its poison by a clergy which idolizes death and torture in the name of a misplaced and misguided understanding of what constitutes the holy. Ascetic, reactionary, murderous and cruel, Wahhabism is a terror that needs to be named before it can be defeated.