TFF PressInfo 317: Yemen – The mainstream narrative is grossly misleading

By Jan Oberg, TFF director

Lund, Sweden, April 24, 2015

Double standards

A coalition led by Saudi-Arabia and supported by Western leaders has been bombing Yemen for about a month; it’s a clearcut international aggression and an extremely a-symmetric conflict.

But we’ve heard no calls for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by NATO or a no-fly zone to prevent the now more than 1500 bombing raids from contining and hitting also civilian targets.

It’s not that international law is blatantly violated; sadly that has been seen before. It is the roaring absence of a clear condemnation by the UN, EU/NATO countries – usually calling themselves ‘the international community’ – and by the Western mainstream media.

Substance plays a minor role. What is right or wrong depends on who is doing what. This war is OK because the Saudi dictatorship and its coalition members are Western allies and armed by NATO countries.

The convenient but wrong narrative

Furthermore, the narrative has twisted this into a proxy war between Saudi-Arabia and the West on the one side and Iran, alone, on the other side blaming the latter for its alleged support to the Houthis.

It is no wonder that a group of eminent scholars on Yemen have published an open letter in Washington Post in which, among other things, they condemn the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

They add, diplomatically, that “A complex, local conflict has been overshadowed by the narrative of a regional proxy war between Saudi and Iranian interests. The Saudi, as well as Hadi, accuse the Houthis of being Iranian puppets. Some analysts say the connection between Tehran and the Houthis has been exaggerated.”

The UN Security Council passes a resolution condemning the Houthis, drafted by Jordan, a bombing coalition country and thereby de facto endorsing the aggression.

It seems that the UN Secretary-General is unaware of Articles 99 and 100 of the Charter. Only a couple of days later, the UN Yemen mediator resigns, conspicuously.

The absence of diversity in mainstream analyses of critical questions and the lack of sense of justice is appalling in that it leaves the world with the perverse “might makes right” philosophy unchallenged. An exaggeration?

Just try to imagine the Western generalised reaction had Iran bombed Yemen or somebody else – including civilian targets – the last three weeks with the support of, say, Russia and China.

TFF Associates’ analyses of the Western-Saudi war on Yemen

TFF – independent of governments and corporate interests – offers you the analyses by our Associates below all of which contradict the woefully inadequate mainstream perspectives that also omit mention of the evident, accumulating double-standards of the West.

These analyses:

– give you the basic internal and international historical conflict dynamics;

– tell of the amazing non-violent struggle in Yemen – that the West didn’t bother to support;

– show the contributions of the U.S. to this new catastrophe because of its continued backing of Saleh’s dictatorship;

– debunk the narrative that this is in essence a war by proxies;

– show the real, complex relations between Iran and the Houthis, actually almost the opposite of what Western media have repeated without any empirical back-up;

– illustrate how arms export profiteering influence foreign policy, cause wars and increase the human suffering;

– make clear which countries have presented constructive proposals in the direction of dialogue and peace-making – while Western allies continue their best to create a new Libya out of Yemen.

Quite a few who have conveyed the Western mainstream narrative ought to be embarrassed.

And after the wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria one must ask: When will they ever learn?

Farhang Jahanpour
The world must stop the Saudi massacres on the Yemenis

Stephen Zunes
How the US contributed to Yemen’s crisis

Stephen Zunes
Powerful nonviolent resistance to armed conflict in Yemen

Gareth Porter
Houthi arms bonanza came from Saleh, not from Iran

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