The Washington Post even gives positive spin by suggesting that the war has improved gender equality in devastated country.
“An unexpected result of Yemen’s war: More men are cooking and cleaning,” The Washington Post reported in 2016 on the social and cultural impact of the war in Yemen. The seemingly good side of this U.S.-sponsored genocide: gender equality!
The fact that Yemeni men, provided they have not yet been blown to pieces by American and European bombs, are taking the housework off their wives should please German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who pursues a “feminist foreign policy.”
Like her good acquaintance, billionaire speculator George Soros, she vehemently advocates human rights and democracy in all those countries that do not want to submit to American “security interests.” The lack of democracy and the serious human rights violations in Ukraine, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, which are part of the U.S. sphere of influence, are therefore not part of their vigorous moral offensive.
Surprisingly, on December 16, 2022, U.S. mainstream media outlet MSNBC reported rather lonely from the dreary, uniform Western media desert: “Few people noticed, but the United States Senate came very close to ending America’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen earlier this week. But the very same person who had vowed to end that war intervened and stopped the Senate from taking action—President Joe Biden.”
There were no protests from politicians of all stripes against Saudi Arabia—and certainly not from “transatlanticists” and U.S. allies like Baerbock and other representatives of the European Union—being allowed to continue its war against the neighboring country with all brutality and with predominantly American, but also German, British and French weapons.
The former leading German news magazine, Der Spiegel, reports daily (see for example here) about “Russia’s war of aggression” against Ukraine. Saudi Arabia’s Western-backed war of aggression against Yemen, which exacts an incomparably higher toll, hardly receives any attention in that magazine—or in the rest of the European mainstream media. They condemn and demonize Putin daily, but not the Saudi rulers and their Western supporters.
One reason for U.S. involvement in the Yemen war by the Obama administration was to “tamp down Riyadh’s opposition to a nuclear agreement with Iran by supporting an aggressive, Saudi Arabia-led response to what was perceived as rapidly growing Iranian influence in Arab countries.”
Another one was that for U.S. military commanders “countering Iran took strategic priority over the fight against al-Qaeda and ISIL,” although “some top officers questioned Washington’s support for the Riyadh-led intervention, which they believed was doomed,” as Al Jazeera reported in April 2015.
Since the Houthi minority in Yemen are Shiites, Sunni Saudi Arabia accused them of being vassals of rival Iran. According to a February 2015 Newsweek report, Houthis are fighting “for things that all Yemenis crave: government accountability, the end to corruption, regular utilities, fair fuel prices, job opportunities for ordinary Yemenis and the end of Western influence.”
Like al-Qaeda and its Syrian offshoot al-Shabab, IS (ISIL, ISIS or also called Daesh) is a Wahhabi terrorist organization largely funded by wealthy Saudi Wahhabis. In Yemen, they were successfully fought by the Shiites (Houthis), and in Syria by a government with an Alawite president (Alawites are close relatives of the Shiites) with Russian support, because the United States also supported these Wahhabi terrorist organizations there in order to bring about regime change.
Political instability in Yemen began after the U.S.-sponsored “Arab Spring” uprising in 2011 that toppled President Saleh. Then-Vice President Hadi became Yemen’s interim president for a two-year term pending scheduled elections.
In 2014, Yemenis’ frustration with rampant corruption, unemployment and rising fuel prices led to unrest throughout Yemen, including calls for an independent southern Yemen. Fighters from the Houthi tribe marched into the capital Sanaa in September with the support of former President Saleh. Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia.
With the stated goal of returning Western backed Hadi to power, Saudi Arabia joined forces with the United Arab Emirates in 2015 to form a coalition of nine Arab countries. The coalition was supported by the United States, Britain, France and Canada.
As justification for the war of aggression, Saudi and Western propaganda claims the Houthis are merely agents of Iran. The proud tribe rejects such claims. Yemen expert Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, told Al Jazeera: “Unlike some [Iran-allied, F.A.] militias in Iraq and Syria, the Houthis have never been an Iranian proxy. They have their own unique history, grievances and agenda.” [Emphasis added.]
And as usual, overwhelming vested interests also play a role here on the part of Washington: Several U.S. congressmen profit from the arms deliveries to Ukraine because they are investors in the arms companies. It is the same war profiteers who escalated the proxy war in Ukraine who have no interest in ending the war in Yemen.
Remember: According to the UN, this war is the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster. It has already claimed hundreds of thousands of victims and 20 million of Yemen’s 30 million inhabitants are starving in the war-ravaged country.
If the West had wanted, this war would never have happened or it would have ended long ago with the stroke of a pen. The Saudi regime could not have survived two weeks without American support, as then-U.S. President Trump told his hosts in Saudi Arabia in his own, very direct way.
The people of Yemen have the misfortune of not being “good”—like Banderist western Ukrainians—and they are subjected to a proxy war against Iran, backed by the U.S.-led liberal-democratic West. The Western media have barely reported on the ongoing massacre.
Expressions of solidarity from Western politicians and celebrities are extremely sparse compared to those raining down on Ukraine, and sanctions against the perpetrators and supporters of this “good” war, which is causing incomparably more death and devastation than the war in Ukraine, are not being sought. All this fits perfectly with the morally sublime “values of the West.”
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About the Author
Felix Abt is the author of “A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom” and of “A Land of Prison Camps, Starving Slaves and Nuclear Bombs?”
He can be reached via his Twitter account.