HEADLINES

Yemen: Clearing a few misconceptions on Yemen

By Catherine Shakdam. February 5, 2016. Alistair Reign News Blog.

Ali Nujood, Yemen, 2009. (Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair, National Geographic). Ali Nujood, Yemen, 2009. (Photograph by Stephanie Sinclair, National Geographic).

So much ink and breath have been spent on Yemen since 2011 that one can easily get lost in the labyrinth media built up … while I will concede that opinions largely differ when it comes to what should and needs to happen in Yemen in order for “order” to be restored: ie – political direction, I’d like to believe that facts are immovable.

Facts actually are absolutely vital when it comes to understanding Yemen’s current state of affairs. In true imperialistic fashion Saudi Arabia and Western powers have worked to manipulate truths and redact history to better rise tyrants over a people.

At the epicentre of it all lies one important, crucial truth:

Yemeni children August 1979. (Photo: National Geographic).

Yemeni children, 1979. (Photo: National Geographic).

The Houthis did NOT overthrow former President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi – hell this man was not even democratically elected.

I still recall with which ridiculous pomp Western diplomats and GCC stooges paraded their congratulations before the Yemeni people in the face of such a “democratic victory”.

How on and on they went on detailing the breakthrough Yemen had secured against despotism and nepotism now that “real” presidential elections were taken place.

  • Yemen was always a democratic state – maybe not a functioning one, but semantically speaking Yemen has been a democracy since 1962.
  • Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi was elected in 2012 in one-man farce election which aimed to herald and facilitate Yemen’s political and institutional emancipation. Yemen was never given the courtesy of a choice. Instead it was made to suffer the rule of a man whose allegiance was not to his people but his own pocket.
  • President Hadi resigned, not once, but twice under his own volition – this idea Saudi Arabia has floated that Hadi’s presidency was stolen by the devilish Houthis is nothing short of a fantasy. It needs to be noted that while Hadi was never ousted, his mandate had in fact long expired anyway.

His presidency was meant was no more than a 2-years period – his stay in office was actually the infraction, not the Houthis’ calls for constitutional accountability.

Those facts alone put this war on Yemen in a different light.

Riyadh cares absolutely not for Hadi’s presidency, or even the sanctity of his office – it cares for control over Yemen – which control was denied by the arrival of the Houthis on the political scene.

Let me clear a few things too when it comes to the Houthis:

Though many women in Yemen shroud themselves completely in black, colorful head scarves and veils (sitara) are often seen in the markets. (Photo/credit: National Geographic).

Yemen: Colorful head scarves and veils (sitara) are often seen in the markets. (Photo/credit: National Geographic).

1). The Houthis are tribesmen from northern Yemen whose allegiance is to their Sheikh: Abdel-Malek al-Houthi. As a tribal faction, the Houthis have no political ambitions of their own, only a desire to defend their clan’s rights. It is Ansarallah which carries political ambitions – and while of course many Houthis are members of Ansarallah, the two represent very distinct entities.

2). The Houthis never besieged Sana’a, nor did they impose their diktat onto the capital. I recall very clearly President Hadi ordering for his ministers to relinquish all authorities to the Houthis since they were the carrier of popular legitimacy. Yes, you read correctly, it was Hadi who ordered all state offices to open up to the Houthis – both police and military were then ordered to stand down.

3). The Houthis are not fighting Saudi Arabia alone! In fact, they are but one factions within the Resistance.

4). The Houthis are NOT carrying, representing or implementing anyone’s agenda – certainly not Iran – in Yemen. The assumption that the Houthis are necessarily agents of Iran on account they both share religious ground is so beyond the sectarian pale I actually refuse to get into it. Ludicrous and slanderous is all I will say on the matter.

Yemen Resistance movement is a rainbow coalition of tribes and political factions united against imperialism.

The Houthis and Ansarallah are but members of this movement.

Understand this and you will understand that this fight against the kingdom is one people’s stand against oppression and not the manifestation of one tribe’s ambition.

Another thing worth pondering over – Why is it that under Riyadh’s rule, Aden has been turned into a festering radical hotspot?

Have we learnt nothing from Syria and Iraq?

🔝


First appeared in Shafaqna News 2/5/2016: Clearing a few misconceptions on Yemen.

Catherine Shakdam

Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. The Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting. She authored Arabia’s Rising – Under The Banner Of The First Imam.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Mission The Islamic State are trying to create 'a state that does not recognise the previous borders of Iraq or Syria,' said Dr. Anne Aly, a Research Fellow at Curtin University. (Photo/source: Daily Mail Australia).
  • A question I have been asked many times since I began covering the humanitarian crisis in Yemen; who is taking care of the war orphans in Yemen? It appears the world has forgotten them, perhaps because they are not considered refugee orphans, nobody is paying attention to the gross crimes against these little ones - committed at the hands of an invading regime - Saudi Arabia.. children isleep nside a pitt in the ground, it is now normal for adults to put children to sleep in a large hole to ptotect child from snipers andcluster bombs that spray shrapnel Yemen.
  • Faces of the women who had their lives cut short by Pickton.
  • People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that the Islamic extremist militia group said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.
  • Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov listens to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York
  • Mona Relief has become a lifeline to the Yemeni families they reach; delivering more than physical aid, they bring with them a glimmer of hope; a reassurance that Yemen is not forgotten.
  • Father says life teaches you many lessons to grow mature&strong and that what we are going through is just the hardest one
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) will receive $20 million – under the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) – to establish and operate the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies. January 13, 2006. (Photo: Adam Scotti). AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Mona Relief Charity on Go Fund Me makes it easy and safe to donate. No amount is too small, or too large.
  • The May 18-21 festival appeared to be a Saudi charm offensive aimed at federal policy makers as the Trudeau government fields questions about its decision to grant export permits for the armoured vehicles to a country that U.S. watchdog Freedom House regularly ranks among “the worst of the worst” on human rights. The Saudi embassy blamed “logistical reasons” for its last-minute change of plans when contacted Monday and a spokesperson said the country’s decision was not motivated by fear of protesters. Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s office had already said he would not be attending the “Saudi Cultural Days in Canada.” The embassy was adamant the event “had nothing to do” with the $15-billion arms deal and said it had been planned for years. Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, however, said it was notified of the “Cultural Days” on Jan. 14. That date was nearly two weeks after mass executions in Saudi Arabia drew public condemnation from the Trudeau government.
  • afghan_clinic_bombed
  • The Liberals are on the defensive after court documents released earlier this month revealed that Mr. Dion, not Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, signed the export permits to allow seventy-percent (70%) of the transaction to ship to Saudi Arabia. Many observers had assumed the Conservatives had granted export permits when they signed the deal. trudeau speaking"The Liberal signature on the export permits means that the Liberal government has taken full ownership of a decision to sell arms to a country notorious for human-rights abuses.
  • The remnants of a US drone strike on August 29, 2012 in Khashamir, Yemen. The strike killed three alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a policeman, and a cleric who preached against the armed group.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and tell us who haunted your nightmares! Which vampire had the most ferocious fangs?
  • The Donalds invade Washington Caption This photo winner 1The Donalds invade Washington Caption This photo winner 1
  • Donald Trump for President
  • What Donald Would Do!
  • When cartoons turn into people
  • Comic Strip: Terror News with Chuck. (Alistair Reign News Blog - Comic Strips: www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • Tune in to the Putin and Obama Old-Timey Show ~*~ Vaudeville Style!! Brought to you by Alistair Reign News Blog: AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • Where's Steve - Satire Cartoon

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.