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Yemen: Slogans that Offer No Hope

Yemen: Slogans that Offer No Hope

Monday, 18 March, 2019 - 07:30
Salman Al-dossary
Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper
The most dangerous political slogans are the ones that claim to hold the absolute truth. Perhaps this could be understandable in some cases, because the first law of politics is based on interests, not morals or ideals.

The US Congress used to adopt this approach when it acted as primary supporter of American assistance in the war against the Houthis in Yemen. This suddenly changed when it became the primary advocate in ceasing this support. Those who stood against the Iranian expansion in the region are the same people who voted for a decision that applauds the Iranian regime. There can be no better present offered to it by the American legislators.

There are no logical justifications for this stance, but it is part of ongoing antagonism by those legislators against Saudi Arabia in wake of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The greatest question is what does that crisis have to do with a war that erupted after the Iran-backed Houthis rose up against the legitimate Yemeni government?! The answer can be found in interests and in the political tensions between the Congress and US administration.

Away from the administration’s intention to resort to a veto against Congress, given that its decision harms bilateral relations in the region and Washington’s ability to combat extremism, everyone wants to see an end to the Yemen conflict. Everyone supports the coalition that is leading an important mission to support the efforts of the legitimacy in protecting Yemen from transforming into a barbaric Iranian republic.

If there are concerns over human rights, then it must not be overlooked that Saudi lives are also at risk because Iranian missiles are being launched by the Houthis towards the Kingdom. Human rights are an integral part of the equation. Defending human rights cannot be possible without supporting international efforts to curb Iranian regional expansion. Perhaps the greatest of these efforts lies in protecting the Stockholm agreement for a ceasefire in Hodeidah. Ever since it was signed on December 13, the Houthis, with Iran’s backing, have been committing dozens of daily violations against the deal.

Isn’t it better to protect and defend this agreement than going ahead and making stances based on speculation and unfounded accusations?

We are aware that interests in the world of politics contradict with morals. But choosing interests and shifting stances cannot contribute in ending the war as they claim. It will only give further support to the coupists and encourage Iran to increase its expansion in Yemen – a presence Saudi Arabia cannot tolerate on its southern borders.

No matter what it takes, protecting its borders and the lives of its citizens is one of its most important duties and responsibilities. This issue is not up for debate.

Of course, those sides neglect the fact that Saudi Arabia offered over $500 million to Yemen between 2018 and 2019. These funds have financed 127 different projects that covered relief, humanitarian, housing and water aid. Iran, on the other hand, has not offered a single dollar or a single project.

Saudi Arabia has taken in 600,000 Yemeni refugees and their families. It allowed them to take up jobs in the Kingdom and 285,000 students were enrolled in public schools. Iran, for its part, has not hosted a single Yemeni on its territory. The only thing it has offered is more rockets that are aimed at the Saudi capital by the Houthis and more weapons that are used by the Yemenis to kill each other.

Of course, political slogans do not help the Yemenis or give them any security. They do not protect them from a coupist group that controls their livelihood. They only deepen their crisis. There is such a huge difference between those who seek the interests of the Yemeni people, not just in words, but in action, and those who lecture on human rights from thousands of miles away.

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