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Setting the Record Straight: Yemen, War Crimes and the Lies Nations Tell

The war in Yemen is quite simply a brutal act of aggression perpetrated by outside powers - first and foremost Saudi Arabia - against a small and poor country.

It is often that analysts claim objectivity in their writing to better anchor their statements – whatever they might be, in a truth which they ambition to be factual … I will not!

As far as Yemen is concerned, as far as the truth on Yemen’s war is concerned I will not pretend to own reality as my own. What I will do is stand in the only truth there is to have in this war. I will tell Yemen’s war from the perspective of a people whose land, sky, lives, hope and dreams have been pounded, hijacked and robbed by powers greater than their own.

I will tell you dear readers of the hypocrisy and lies of those nations you most likely call your own. I will tell of a reality so brutal, and disturbing that few ever dared look sit squarely in the face – never mind take responsibility for.

Yemen is no longer the forgotten conflict of our decade, it is the unspoken shame of our generation! Yemen has become a bleeding and starving euphemism for genocide – the land where men, women, and children have been made to die in.

I realise at this stage in the proverbial game that your views of Yemen, and on Yemen are more than a little bias … thank you mainstream media for such a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign. With the help of a few well-placed adjectives Yemen’s War has been portrayed as a war of democratic restoration against the evil of Shia Islam.

Thanks to the bias of reporters, analysts and commentators, Saudi Arabia has held on to such political righteousness that not even the sight of butchered children could dent its exceptional armour.


Since you most certainly have made up your mind about Yemen, and because it would take a book to deconstruct the web of lies Saudi Arabia, and its stooges build around Yemen’s war, I will limit myself to a few truths.

Those truths I will tell in the knowledge that Yemen will prevail. Those truths I will speak in absolute certainty, for I believe that national sovereignty will always prevail over imperialism. And though victory might still be elusive … popular will remains the only source of real legitimacy. As the old Latin adage goes: Vox populi, vox Dei.

I can already hear Wahhabis rattle in their cages! Apostasy they will scream from their pulpit. But there is no apostasy in attesting to those rights and those freedoms which are our birth-right. There can never be apostasy in recognizing a people, any people for that matter, right to exercise political self-determination. Anything else would land you on the side of tyrants … but then again THIS is the very reality I am trying to convey: that Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen is inherently imperialist, wholeheartedly genocidal, and most definitely illegal.

Now that I laid down the law, allow me to get into the heart of the matter.

First thing first … Let’s talk terminology!

Most media have been singing long drawn out ballades about the Houthis … you know those Shia rebels the world has learnt to hate since they dared threatened Yemen’s true president: Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

But did anyone ever explain to you who those Houthis are, where they come from, and most importantly how the heck they managed to take power, retain it, and then wage war against a coalition of super-powers? Probably not since those pesky details would lay bare some very uncomfortable truths.

The Houthis are tribesmen from North Yemen … as such their numbers are limited … as such their reach is also limited. It so happened that the Houthis understand repression more than most since for several decades they have lived under the brutal sword of Wahhabism, branded heretics for their faith: Zaidism, denies al-Saud’s custodianship over Islam. Zaidism it needs to be said is North Yemen. The Houthis here are not a religious anomaly, they are the norm. Let me put it to you under a different light: Yemen has been Zaidi for over a millennium … Wahhabism has been around since the 18th century – do the maths!

And yes Zaidism belongs to Shia Islam. So what?! So what if Yemen chose to see in Islam’s Imams a legitimacy worth abiding to and by? Are we arguing a people’s religious prerogative here? I hope not because THAT would equate to fascism.

I hate to break it to you but the Houthis never took control of Yemen. They did not exact a coup d’état against twice-resigned President Hadi, and they certainly did not take it upon themselves to turn the country into a replica of Iran.

The Houthis have merely fronted Yemen’s grand resistance movement. They have lent their banner, and their arms to a movement which has seen come together Yemen’s many tribal, and political factions.

What news reports should read is Yemen’s Resistance! That would be the appropriate term to use. But then again such term would imply that Riyadh is waging an unjust war of political and religious retaliation. As for Western powers, it would equate to an admission of guilt, and political hypocrisy, if not grand criminality!


This July Britain had to – emphasis on “had to”, withdraw its officials’ previous statements that Saudi Arabia had committed no war crimes in Yemen.

Britain’s new report reads: “The growing evidence of indiscriminate bombing by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, in violation of IHL [international humanitarian law], raises serious questions over the government’s continued licensing of arms transfers to Saudi Arabia [which] must be answered.”

This came after David Lidington, a foreign office minister, and other high ranking officials testified that the kingdom had acted in keeping with international law in their bombing campaign against Yemen.

Why such a volte-face? Too much blood has been shed for anyone to dare hide it anymore. Too many horrors have been tolerated already for politicians not to feel shame … notwithstanding fear. History might not be kind to those men and women who stood by as Yemen burnt. History might remember Yemen’s war profiteers as criminals of war still. History will judge harshly when truth is finally made to shine forth.

In a written statement, foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood said previous declarations made by ministers did not fully reflect the fact that the government had made no assessment of whether the Saudis had violated the law … Excuse me, what?! “not fully”?! Try NOT AT ALL! Try Britain was more interested in inflated its bottom line than act a responsible power. Try that for size!

The bottom line is this: YOU have been lied to! Grossly, shamelessly and systematically.

Since former President Hadi resigned his position in early 2015 the Resistance movement has had to step into the institutional void this shadowy excuse of a president created.

Those militants you have seen rise against the brutality of the kingdom are members of Yemen’s Resistance movement. They are Yemen’s sons and daughters … they are the pluralism Saudi Arabia wants to disappear to impose itself a grand Wahhabist theocracy.

Yemen’s Resistance movement is fighting an enemy who has rained death, plunder and famine onto a nation of 26 million people.

Yemen’s Resistance you need to realise does not need world powers’ approval as they are the people’s will.

Are we seriously going to justify Yemen humanitarian blockade in the name of political restoration?

Are we going to argue the murder of civilians in the name of democracy-building?

Are we that disillusioned? I hope not … Actually no, I know so!

Knowing the truth has a way of making you see clearly.

Now that you know, what will you do?

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