The last thing Saudi Arabia and its Western allies want is a self-sustaining, economically viable, militarily strong, and anti-imperialist Yemen at the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula, controlling the Red Sea and its strategic waterways. Yemen’s geographic placement in regards to the flow of world capital cannot be stressed enough.
by Randi Nord
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war against Yemen is entering its fourth year. This war has killed over 13,000 people, injured over 21,000, devastated civilian infrastructure, triggered a famine, and created one of the worst man-made (and very preventable) humanitarian disasters on the planet.
As a result of the Saudi-initiated and U.S.-enforced land, sea, and air blockade, over 8 million Yemenis face famine, while another 17 million are food insecure. The blockade, by restricting medical supplies and basic goods, has also triggered a devastating cholera outbreak unprecedented in modern times.
Riyadh has failed nearly all of its objectives. The Saudis originally launched the war against Yemen in 2014 to crush Yemen’s rising revolutionary movement, Ansarullah, after the successful removal of Saudi Arabia’s puppet government led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Yemenis had long resisted Hadi’s government, as it paved the way for infliction of Western and Saudi military and economic imperialism on the poor nation. It was under Hadi that the United States expanded its so-called War on Terror, in which American drones rained down death and destruction on civilians while claiming to target al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). However, under Hadi’s leadership and his cozy relationship with the United States and Saudi Arabia, al-Qaeda only seemed to flourish — just as it had for years under the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule.
Ansarullah’s history dates back to the early 1990’s, nearly two decades before AQAP became the substantial threat it is today. Still, Ansarullah leaders, like Mohammed Ali al-Houthi and Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, recognized the problems created by foreign meddling. While reactionary forces grew in countries like Afghanistan, thanks to support from the United States, Ansarullah provided an ideological counterweight and grassroots resistance. Leaders preached tolerance, basic freedoms, and government accountability that supports the Yemeni people rather than foreign entities.
Today, Ansarullah’s public support is stronger than ever. Despite financial devastation from the blockade, Yemenis under its control are grateful for self-sustainability and, most importantly, protection from terror groups like AQAP and ISIS.
They are also proud to defend their country against one of the wealthiest nations in the world, without support from any foreign entities.
In addition to botching a war that Riyadh likely (foolishly) never expected to last this long, Saudi Arabia has spent money totaling in the hundreds of billions of dollars — at the very least. A since-deleted article from Al-Monitor estimated costs at $200 million per day. This can’t possibly have a positive effect on Saudi Arabia’s overall economy.