SANAA, April 20 (Saba) -America and Israel are the two most malign influences in the Middle East, in a region blighted by dictatorships, these two regimes stand out because of their influence.
Saudi Arabia also is an apartheid regime which institutionalizes racism against the people of Yemen, and waging constant, bloodthirsty, wars of aggression and occupation against them.
Saudi Arabia is an absolutist monarchy which does not even have the pretence of fixed elections. (Saudi Arabia, Israel )the two regimes are very different in many ways, but similar in some key respects, both are systematic human rights abusers, although in rather different ways, both have religious fundamentalism at the heart of their state institutions, both did their level best to destroy and hijack the democratic uprisings that broke out in the Arab world in 2011.
Both are fêted in Western capitals, and both invade surrounding countries and start wars of aggression – although Israel does this far more.
And so to Yemen, which Saudi Arabia, backed by other regional despots has just launched a murderous war against.
It is true that Saudi Arabia is the worst sectarian agitator in the region (alongside Israel), and it does speaks in sickening terms against Iran (which it accuses of backing the Houthi ). But the conflict is far more about power and political hegemony: US hegemony of the world and the regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia (a key US client dictatorship).
In a speech for Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizballah (the Lebanese resistance movement against Israeli occupation) reacted to the Saudi war on Yemen in unusually strong terms: “The real reason [for the war] is that Saudi Arabia lost its control and dominance in Yemen and the aim of war is to restore control and hegemony over Yemen."
He also criticized the Saudis for never lifting a finger to help Palestine, mocking the name of their “Decisive Storm” bombing campaign against Yemen. He said that since Israel was created in 1948 “there has been no decisive storm or even a decisive breeze” to help the Palestinians against Israeli ethnic cleansing and aggression.
Nasrallah said that the Saudis would suffer a “humiliating defeat” at the hands of the Yemenis if they didn’t allow the political conflict in the country to be resolved through negotiations. He said that history shows that invaders and occupiers are always defeated.
The war in Yemen has been a human-rights catastrophe, causing the deaths of thousands and a famine, the Saudis bear the responsibility for these horrors, that is particularly true with respect to their indiscriminate bombing campaign against Houthi targets, which has caused massive civilian casualties, American support for this effort and the fact that the Saudis are largely using U.S. weapons is troubling.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pumped billions of dollars into fighting Houthi in Yemen.
It was a serious setback for the Saudi-led coalition whose thousands of air strikes have so far failed to deliver victory over seasoned Houthi fighters.
The Yemeni army and popular committees in several frontlines continue to hit the US-Saudi Forces and their mercenaries.
Operations carrid out by the Yemeni army and popular committees vary between attacking the invading forces, as a strategic response to the enemies atrocities against the Yemeni People, and stopping military infiltrations against their positions.
The United Nations’ systematic failure to take positive steps to hold the Saudi-led coalition responsible is because it is subject to the nation-states it represents and dependent on their funds. Saudi, for instance, was able to force the United Nations to withdraw the Saudi-led coalition from the annual UN “list of shame” for violations against children in Yemen.
The withdrawal supposedly came after Saudi threatened to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to the United Nations, although Saudi denies doing so.
Further undermining the UN processes on Yemen is that one of the UNHRC’s current members is Saudi Arabia, which holds the position despite a poor human rights record and being rated as “not free” in Freedom House’s annual report, Freedom in the World.
The position is supposed to give it the opportunity to promote and protect human rights, and enforce UN human rights mechanisms; but Saudi has instead used it to prevent the UNHRC’s Special Procedures from visiting Saudi and arrested Saudi citizens who have spoken at the UNHRC.
The UN failed to protect civilians and showed a lack of political will to stop atrocities when it could, mainly under pressure from the United Kingdom, which was preserving its colonial relation to the South Asian region. A contemporary example is the UN Security Council’s failure to take any decisive action to end the war in Syria.
What is different about Yemen is that the main state preventing the UN from taking decisive action is Saudi, which is not a member of the UN Security Council and, even if it was, would not have veto power. However, two of Saudi’s biggest supporters are the United States and United Kingdom, both permanent members of the UN Security Council. The United States and United Kingdom have strong economic and security relations with Saudi.
They see Saudi as a partner in countering violent extremism in the region, and also are dependent on Saudi oil. The Gulf country is also a major customer of arms from the United States and United Kingdom.
Carla del Ponte resigned from the UN commission of inquiry in Syria, stating that lack of political support from the Security Council made the task impossible. Realizing these challenges, and the fact that the dynamics at the UN have posed dramatic consequences into Yemen conflict, the United Nations should consider how first to push Saudi Arabia, the United States, and United Kingdom to demonstrate a political desire in ending the Yemen war.
The United Nations can capitalize on its role as a mediator and bring the focus to long term human and financial costs, as well as the fact that the destabilized country is fertile ground for extremist groups. To end Yemen’s war and stabilize the country requires a well-thought out approach that balances the need for security with transitional justice and establishing a responsive, democratic government. This is no small task, but the first step is convincing the Saudi-led coalition this is in its best interests.
Written by Mona Zaid