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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.

Catherine Shakdam

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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.

Saudi-Army

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!

No?!

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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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

RT

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Via RT…


Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

The Duran

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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