If Saudi Arabia continues to exude control and political confidence from behind the billions of dollars its large coffers have offered its elite by way of immunity, the kingdom never planned for Yemen Resistance to rise a colossus against its theocracy … and yet it did.
Against all odds, and one may add despite all odds, the poorest of all nations, the most downtrodden of people managed by the strength of their arms to not only push again several military super-powers, but also to breach al-Saud’s borders to sing defiant freedom.
Brought together by the fires of war, Yemen the nation-state was reborn in the defiance of its most revered revolutionary – the one man, who, far away from the corridors of power has breathed sovereignty and pride back into the hearts of his countrymen: Sheikh Abdel-Malek al-Houthi.
Today Yemen stands not a broken shell of nation under the boot of a multinational military coalition, but a country in a state of grand resistance against oppression. While many have recognised in Yemen’s fight that of humanity’s struggle against oppression, too many still have allowed for superficial signs of wealth to cloud their judgement. Yes, Yemen is poor, under-developed and arguably rough around the edges … But it still should be given the courtesy of its future.
Yemen is entitled to its future … and most importantly its mistakes. Freedom is a natural right, not a Western monopoly. Sovereignty and territorial integrity are enshrined in international law as inalienable rights, not privileges reserved to the mighty and the strong.
Yemenis today are no longer playing by Western powers’ rules. “We have been sold to the insanity and hysteric imperialism of al-Saud by those very Western capitals which vowed to promote our freedom and civil liberties,” noted Dr Hassan al-Wazeer, a retired geopolitical analyst, and former presidential advisor.
He added, “We have been betrayed … our motherland was breached, our waterways have been occupied, our skies have been invaded, our people held ransom so that our wealth, our pride, our future could be sold to Riyadh, and returned to the control of Western imperialism. But Yemen was never in its history breached. Yemen cannot be breached! Yemen’s future will not be forfeited, and our people will fight until our blood is spent entirely.”
Indeed, Yemen has yet to be conquered …
Yemen in fact has done some conquering of its own – or rather it is its lands Yemen went to reclaim from under the feet of Arabia’s most vicious theocracy: Wahhabist Saudi Arabia.
Hidden by an obedient media, certain truths about Yemen’s war have yet to surface. Yemen its need to be said, asserted and clamoured is winning this atrocious genocidal war of attrition. Yemen you most certainly never could have imagined has held its own against the military kraken the kingdom unleashed against its people.
As its towns, cities and villages have burnt bright red under Saudi Arabia’s coalition relentless, and as Kim Sharif (a prominent human rights activist) put it “hysterical” bombing, Yemen Resistance Movement, backed by all northern tribes have built a popular army capable of shaking even the golden throne of al-Saud centennial monarchy.
Three centuries after Nejd dynasty imprinted on the Hejaz to finally give it its name: Saudi Arabia – which translates as the land of al-Saud, it is the impoverished tribes of Yemen which seek liberation and justice for their kin, and all kin after that.
18 months into this bloodbath Western media have insisted on calling an exercise of democracy-building Yemen has reasserted its presence in the southern Saudi Arabian provinces of Najran, Asir and Jizan – those very lands which were stolen by a greedy monarchy for their natural resources.
Should it be made whole once more Yemen’s natural resources will surpass by far that of the kingdom. According to recent studies, which findings were confirmed by the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, Yemen’s oil reserves would account for 30% of the world’s reserves, outbidding Saudi Arabia itself.
Yemen needs no one to find a way out of poverty, it only requires its territorial integrity -which right was challenged and tramples over by Riyadh megalomania.
As of mid-September military sources within the Yemeni Resistance Movement have confirmed that Asir, Najran and Jizan tribesmen have joined in with their troops against al-Saud. Far from opposing Yemen’s efforts, Southern Saudi Arabia is learning to call itself Yemeni again.
If this sounds farfetched consider for a moment what religious oppression those former Yemeni provinces have had to endure under al-Saud rule. The kingdom you ought to remember is not kind towards those religious groups which refuse Wahhabism. In 2008 Human Rights Watch published a damning report against the kingdom when it testified to the cultural and religious genocide Ismailis in Najran faced.
It read: “Official discrimination in Saudi Arabia against Ismailis encompasses government employment, religious practices, and the justice system. Government officials exclude Ismailis from decision making, and publicly disparage their faith. Following the clashes in April 2000, Saudi authorities imprisoned, tortured, and summarily sentenced hundreds of Ismailis, and transferred hundreds of Ismaili government employees outside the region. Underlying discriminatory practices have continued unabated.”
Ismailis, Zaidis, Twelvers, Sufis, Sunnis … all those communities have faced the intolerant blade of Wahhabism. Why would they not yearn to return to Yemen’s flag and live in peace once more? Why would they not aspire to a life of dignity and freedom following decades a brutal oppression?
Saudi Arabia has become a devolution onto itself, a theofascist gangrene propped by its oil revenues and Islam pilgrimage. Still Riyadh continues to benefit from Western friendships … still its monarchy has been allowed a sit at Democracy’s table for it carries in its wake shiny gold coins.
Yemen can no longer afford to sit idle. It is death after all the kingdom has pledged to bring Yemen. It is political and religious enslavement Riyadh wants to manifest in Southern Arabia.
And so Yemen Resistance Movement is marching on against the kingdom – the sons of Hamran against the sons of Nejd – Free Arabia against the Caesars of our time.
“Saudi Arabia surrender yourself, for you are surrounded” … the Resistance sings. It is such defiance which now could inspire a grand regional awakening and spell the end of an empire.
By Catherine Shakdam
Catherine Shakdam is the Director of Programs of the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies and a political analyst specializing in radical movements, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.