Yemen: another war without salvation or justification
GUERRA CONTRA YEMEN - Parte 1
A coalition of several countries tries to subdue a single and weak one. Destruction, massacres, famines, banned weapons, fragmentation, fueled hatred. And, against all calculations, the war back.
This is the first of six articles through which we try to shed some light on an atrocious conflict, silenced and forgotten by the West.
Yemen: another war without salvation or justification, one of the many in the world. Without salvation, without exculpation, no matter how much the media powers expose the contrary. Or that diplomacy and international organizations silence it.
No war is just, if by justice we understand something of right and a little of reason. But some enjoy higher levels of injustice than others. Of course, just as there are no just wars, there are no justified wars. And the least just among the most unjustifiable, precisely for that reason, are secret. With silence we try to make them so.
The silent war suits the invaders not only to keep in reserve the ferocity of the methods, which fits in wonderfully, but also because it hides, like no other, the authentic intentions of the occupation. Or so the assailants assume.
A tarnished luster
Yemen has endured, for less than five years, a ferocious war. Inhuman, bloody, irrational, illegal, perfidious, and silent. Dozens of superimposed words do not explain the dimension of this ignored tragedy.In its campaign to boycott Saudi Arabia’s war plan, the women’s group Codepink (2019) refers to the true fate of the systematic bombings. “It is time to cut ties, they argue, with a regime that drops bombs on Yemeni schoolchildren, hospitals, markets, residences, even, at weddings and funerals.” And against mosques, and buses, and parks, and any corner. There has been no limit.
The Americans’ enumeration is accurate. But successive governments of your country do not and will not heed the claim. They will never cut ties with the Gulf monarchy. We are not talking about an annoying tie, but an umbilical cord to exchange nutrients: oil for dollars, dollars for weapons, and blood.
Almost five consecutive years of this unbridled war have gone by. Well, if we count since 2015, in the trance of the invasion confected by the Saudis and assisted by their allies, nine countries in the Middle East and Africa.
A few more years, since 2011, calculating from the civil war unleashed with the revolts that overthrew the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. Or even more than four decades, since 1978, adding the thirty-three years of violence and repression of the aforementioned autocrat.
A drag on breakups
If it is a question of deep germs, spinning fine in the web of annals, since many centuries before. Yemen, in its entirety or in parts, has been a disputed crossroads. A tug of war for centuries between emerging and declining empires.
A remote site of the Arab caliphates, the domain of clashing lineages, the possession of ruined local dynasties and the prey of newcomers. Booty of the Portuguese. Hot frontier of the Ottoman Empire and its Egyptian Bajas. A British Crown Colony and British protectorate, and even a Commonwealth shire.
A burden of secession and ruptures that is rounded off with the invention of two countries, a North Yemen and a South Yemen, finally reunited in a hurry. Whatever it is, as usual, what is new is never fresh. The current war is based on the confluence of these old iniquities and divergences.
Yemen: another war without salvation or justification
Yemen: another war without salvation and out of focus in a society that is shocked when the mirror of a minor film, Joker, crumbles it into peacefulness and evil. The same society that does not flinch in the face of the cannonade of unarmed inhabitants. Nor is it disturbed by the continuous annihilation of entire localities.
A catastrophe with an end, someday. It will have an end in a horizontal, monetary and Judeo-Christian line of time that will lead to the colored grave of Universal History.
But a rancor without end in the billions of moments of suffering that barbarism traces in the Yemenis. The deep and lacerating vertical lines of the epochs. That at the nadir can be the frustration of a people and at the zenith encourage their insurrection and the popular struggle.
Pain is sown in the entrails of those who suffer it. And it is eternal in families. But that is another war, powerful and inescapable, that always starts anew: that of neighborhood, tribal revenge ….
Faults are not excused
The disaster narrative will persist in its omissions, if lucky. Or it will go to the further distortion and criminalization of a nation, if that is what benefits the powerful, who are not, precisely, the Yemenis. Pain, on the other hand, is sown in the entrails of those who suffer it. And it is eternal in families.
But this is another war, powerful and inescapable, which always starts anew: that of neighborhood, tribal, fictitious or perhaps not so fictitious revenge. The one that will encourage again, in a perverse cycle, those internal resentments and foreign pretensions.
The media fact enjoys the despicable consistency of crystal. Suffering, on the other hand, is as consistent and durable as rock. And from the hardest rock millions of hearts have returned in this conflagration.
A matter of which those who commit the outrages with apparent impunity do not want to know. Apparent, yes, because they believe, perhaps, that everything is exculpated. And that may be so, with the exception of guilt itself. A simple glance at the domestic anecdotes, which has nothing to do with legal theories.
The unmeasured famine
Yemen is not one more of the many forgotten wars in the world. What was never taken into consideration is not forgotten. The West looks the other way while the members of the powerful house of Al Saud of Arabia carry out the infamous aggression, which they started with lies and a web of opportunism.
The military bloc has been led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), although the latter has recently reduced its role. Egypt, Jordan, Qatar (until 2017), Morocco (until 2019), Kuwait, Sudan and Bahrain have also participated. Under the protection and with the backing of the United States and the United Kingdom, of course! Macabre concurrence of imperial daring and the interests of capital.
2015 was a difficult year for Yemen. In a land where storms are sporadic and weak, usually of sand and dust, that year there were two of a different nature. Sandstorms are Yemenis’ allies. They reduce visibility and increase the risk of accidents during takeoff and landing of the Saudi kingdom’s bombers. These two, on the other hand, were quite damaging.
A tropical storm, in November, became the atypical and devastating Chapala. Another of the robust cyclones that have crossed the vicinity of the Gulf of Aden, affecting thousands of families and causing hundreds of displacements.
Going to pick up aid packages or receive medical care was as risky a task as staying in the midst of floods and gusts of wind from an earlier storm. A more dismal one, which ravaged and desolated Yemen since the unhappy Wednesday, March 25, 2015: the Decisive Storm. Saudi Arabia’s operation that would pave the way for genocide by famine. And famine has been the most terrible of snowdrifts.
Despair for the invaders
Not many in the kingdom still realize the mistake of having carried out that invasion, but someone realized then the folly committed with the name given. Decisive storm. The word “storm” has unwelcome semiotic connotations in the region. And “decisive” is the only thing that has not been this war that has had everything, starting with the biggest mistakes in the most meticulous calculations.
So they soon resorted to a more reputable name: Restoring Hope. An unusual hope that, in spite of the infused tortures, was gradually restored in the invaded with the passage of time. And which turned into a deep despair for the invaders.
Veni, non vidi, vici
A long lapse has elapsed in which none of the boisterous mainstream media saw or gave notice of the massive irruption against the poorest country of a peninsula of well-to-do. Nor of the atrocities committed against the population (Sdenka, 2017) in Yemen: another war without salvation or justification from any perspective, even among the unforgivable of capitalist greed.
Repeated war crimes, confirmed use of prohibited weapons, incessant violation of international humanitarian law, shocking famines, deadly cholera outbreaks: unnoticed. In Yemen, everything goes unnoticed by the rest of the world.
Famines that no one connected to the “generalized shortage of food” (RAE, 2018) that has actually been the generalized absence of everything. It’s not as if no one didn’t think to take notice of where Yemen is on the map or what the dictionary assumes about what a famine is at this time.
It is not easy for journalists to gain access to conflict scenarios, especially in the case of a covert war. But, without a doubt, there was not a single TV channel or news portal that did not know what was going on behind its frivolous headlines.
What happens is that the different fronts of the war -the media is a strategic and preponderant one- are very clear on the matter. It is necessary to express ambiguously what should not be said. This is how the major Western media conglomerates have acted in the case of Yemen. And that is what they show with astonishing resolution: nothing.
Article revised and updated. Original publication: November 3, 2019. International channel portal: Hispantv.
WAR AGAINTS YEMEN: