Looking at Saudi Arabia’s ongoing acts of genocide against Yemen it has become rather evident that the United Nations and the principles its institutions sit on have become not only obsolete but completely irrelevant.
When the deaths of thousands of civilians can no longer prompt world leaders to express disgust; for money whitewashes all crimes, what hope is there for justice?
And since America’s doctrine of military preemption and prevention has become the cornerstone of this new world order we see shaping, why even bother arguing international law and human rights conventions?
Clearly those values and precepts only exist to serve as ammunitions against those countries America’s little war club judge undesirables.
We might as well come out and say it – The United Nations has become a tool in the hand of Western imperial powers, a platform upon which Western leaders, and their allies can scream their propaganda, absoluting themselves of the crimes they so liberally commit, while placarding others for offenses they did not commit.
Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen, its systematic and unchallenged targeting of civilians should serve as a grand cautionary tale. While Yemenis for now, stand the designated target of Riyadh’s ire who’s to say if other nations will not soon fall into Saudi Arabia’s hegemonic line of vision.
How many nations’ sovereignty will have to be violated before we dare challenge the powerful House of Saud?
How many more Wahhabi-radicals will Riyadh have to spew out for the international community to wake up and face the evil unfettered capitalism is nursing in its greedy arms?
When Western and Arab leaders remain tongue-tied before the death of an estimated 135 Yemeni civilians, the majority of whom were women and children, how can we not admit to the blaring double standards ruling modern day politics?
As world officials began debating terror and radicalism on the floor of the UN General Assembly, Riyadh rained its lead over Yemen – this time, onto unsuspecting wedding-goers near the western seaport of Mokha.
While Saudi Arabia might not have deliberately aimed at the wedding tents – after all what tangible threat could unarmed women and children truly represent – it is Riyadh’s military coalition’s callous attitude before the sanctity of human life which has led to such “accidents.”
But Riyadh is now rejecting all responsibility! Saudi officials came out arguing that since no airstrikes had been allowed in the stricken-area, their military could not possibly be responsible.
And though this theory might hold for the likes of Washington and London, reason would argue that since Yemen no longer holds a functioning air force, and because missiles can’t exactly fall from the sky on their own volition, Saudi Arabia had to be involved – if not directly at least by association. Riyadh is after all leading and coordinating this Arab coalition against Yemen.
“The coalition knows its responsibility and will always acknowledge a mistake if we make it. Take into consideration the chaotic situation in Yemen, with several armed elements and forces active around the country. Also, people sometimes cannot distinguish between canon, mortar and Katyusha (multiple launch rocket systems),” said a spokesman for Saudi General Ahmed Al Asseri.
Only Riyadh was never once asked to be held accountable for its crimes: not when it targeted an Oxfam warehouse earlier this year, not when it targeted schools in the Yemeni capital this summer as students sat their exams, not when its air force raided hospitals and orphanages across several provinces on account “armed militants” hid among civilians, and certainly not when its army deployed illegal weapons of war [cluster bombs] against civilian populations.
Has anyone noticed just how much Saudi Arabia’s war narrative on Yemen is echoing that of Israel vis-a-vis Gaza? Both the bully and the victim, Al Saud’s establishment has just graduated in Hasbara.
In the world we live in, America’s allies can commit no crimes – their actions can neither be challenged nor denounced … at least as long as their officials know how to add zeros to those checks they’re writing.
But how did we get here? How can we have allowed those leaders to defile those values we all hold universal: Freedom, Justice and Equality?
Well … we could go back to one little speech held once upon a time in 2002 when former US President George W. Bush introduced America, and the world to his new war doctrine: preemption and prevention.
President Bush’s idea was rather simple – he argued the legality of a unilateral military intervention on the premise Washington had the right to defend itself against any potential national security threat, however phantasmagoric and irrational such “fears” might appear to by-standers.
In short, America gave itself a grand military carte blanche. Should anyone dare raise an eyebrow, argue national security! Should nations still feel unnerved by America’s military footprint, throw radicalism and the threat of terror in the mix and they will all fall in line.
To hand it to President Bush such a formula has proven very successful indeed, at least for those parties sitting at America’s new war lords’ table. In well over a decade an entire portfolio of wars has been waged under this discretionary umbrella: Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain … All the while the UN has proven both unable and unwilling to do anything.
Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen were made possible by America’s misconduct.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin so eloquently put it – “Look at what you’ve done.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. Nor do they necessarily represent those of Human Wrongs Watch.
*Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst, writer and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on radical movements and Yemen. Her writings have been published in world-renowned publications such as Foreign Policy Journal, Mintpress News, the Guardian, Your Middle East, Middle East Monitor, Middle East Eye, Open Democracy, Eurasia Review and many more.
A regular pundit on RT, she has also contributed her analyses to Etejah TV, IRIB radio, Press TV and NewsMax TV. Director of Programs at the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies and consultant for Anderson Consulting, her research and work on Yemen were used by the UN Security Council in relation to Yemen looted funds in 2015.