Repressive, Murderous & Totalitarian: The House of Saud in Yemen
By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 19 December 2015
The Yemeni struggle against Sunni Wahhabism would not be possible were it not for the Houthis rebellion of June 2004. The Houthi uprising was sparked by the attempted arrest of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, a Shiite clerical leader of the Zaidis religious sect, who actively protested against the rampant corruption and lack of accountability of the then ruling President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, also a Shiite. Later that year, in September 2004, Hussein al-Houthi was killed by Yemeni security forces and the rebellion quickly faltered but not before the Houthis had become a credible force in waging gorilla warfare. Nonetheless, President Saleh did go on to improve government transparency and accountability and the Houthis remained relatively dormant for the next seven years.
In early 2011 the Arab Spring arrived in Yemen: a US Empire, Israeli and Saudi inspired revolutionary wave of protests, riots and civil wars that engulfed the Middle East. President Saleh was quickly besieged by a Sunni onslaught, created and funded by the Saudi regime, who waged a murderous campaign culminating in the bombing of the Presidential Palace on the 3 June 2011. The bomb killed four of Saleh's bodyguards and left him seriously wounded. On the 4 June 2011, Saleh acquiesced and appointed Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Sunni, as acting President to appease the rioting crowds while he left for medical treatment abroad. For the next three months the Hadi regime waged a brutal war of attrition against the Shiites, mainly targeting the Zaidis and the Houthis who represented the most credible threat to their authority, as they sought to solidify their power base.
The country quickly descended into absolute chaos, where it remains to this day.
When President Saleh returned to Yemen in September 2011 his position had virtually become untenable, given that the country had descended into all-out sectarian war, and he stepped aside pending new presidential elections. The despotic Hadi, bolstered by his Saudi mentors and financiers, went on to secure a two-year term as interim president in February 2012 but the sectarian war continued as the Houthis, and the Shiites in general, were now being marginalised, disenfranchised and ethnically cleansed from their native homelands in the north of Yemen. In February 2014 the situation came to a head when Hadi failed to hold new presidential elections and thus relinquish his post as scheduled: the Houthis marched on the nations capital Sana'a, seized control of its parliament and held other key government and military installations. Thereafter, the Houthis adopted a perfectly rational and reasonable approach to the issue: stop the persecution of, and provide fair and equitable representation for, the Shiite people and peace will return.
It is worth noting that Saleh, who spent more than 33 years in office, first as President of North Yemen and then from 1990 as the President of a unified Yemen, was, at times, both brutal and benign but never engaged in the sectarian bigotry that the Saudi regime continues to promote to this day.
The Hadi dictatorship did neither: while there were some changes made to the constitution, they were never fully implemented and their effect were generally perceived as minimal anyway. Eventually, in January 2015, Hadi and key members of his regime resigned and the Houthis formed an interim government pending future elections. Not long afterwards, Hadi, aided and abetted by his Saudi benefactors, quietly slipped out of the capital, Sana'a, for his home in Aden, declared on local public radio and TV that he was still the president and then fled to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
On 25 March 2015 the Saudi regime launched Operation Decisive Storm (ODS), comprised of a coalition of mainly Middle Eastern states, against the Houthis in Yemen. On the 21 April 2015 the Saudi's claimed ODS had been shut down and promptly launched Operation Restoring Hope, i.e. death and destruction by another name: the Saudi led coalition bombing of Yemen has continued unabated for nearly nine months and killed almost 6,000 people, half of whom are civilians, as well as destroying most of the nations critical infrastructure and some of its valued heritage sites. While there are those who would argue that the Houthis are little more than a proxy force for the Iranians, who are also predominantly Shiite, there is scant evidence to support this notion and yet the same cannot be said of the Saudi coalition in being a proxy for the West where you can find the fingerprints of France, Germany, the UK and the US, to name just a few of the contributors, all over the weapons systems being deployed.
Of course, the US Empire would prefer that Yemen should remain within its geo-political and geo-strategic orbit but, in reality, it is of little value given that the Gulf of Aden is more than adequately covered by its resources stationed in Djibouti and Somalia. Thus, this is primarily a war of the despotic regime in Riyadh, a Sunni Wahhabi sectarian war, a war not too dissimilar from the one that it is waging in Iraq and Syria and not unlike the one it hopes to wage against its neighbour, Iran, in the near future.
Wahhabism is, in brief, an ultra-orthodox derivation of the Islamic faith and one that is widely acknowledged as a key source of global terrorism. Since its inception, in the early 18th Century, it has sought to divide and rule the Islamic community by labelling all Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of Islam as apostates, aka, infidels, and thus subject to summary execution. More recently, since the flow of petrodollars began in the 1970's, the Saudi Wahhabis are known to have been instrumental in the recruitment, training and funding of the Mujahideen, who morphed into the Taliban, in Afghanistan; al-Qaeda in Iraq; Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who are currently wreaking havoc in Iraq, Syria and beyond.
While the US Empire is known to facilitate and use the despotic Saudi regime as its proxy in the Middle East for the destabilisation and overthrow of nation states unwilling to conform to its will, Yemen, akin to many of the other countries that have been laid to waste by the Arab Spring, is also part of the Wahhabi agenda to divide and rule in the creation of a greater Saudi Kingdom. Thus, Hadi's return to Aden in September 2015 is yet further proof of the unfolding plan for the region by the Saudi dictatorship as it seeks to regain control of its southern neighbour.
That the House of Saud, and its Wahhabi adherents, are one of the most repressive, murderous and totalitarian regimes on the planet cannot be overstated.
- Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects ... totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.
- Aldous Huxley