Our story as Yemenis is being told on our behalf, facts are stood on head

Our story as Yemenis is being told on our behalf, facts are stood on head

By Sarah Mahmoud

Op-ed

Since almost no Yemeni writers take the initiative to present what is going on in their country to the world on international media platforms, the story of our Yemen, in war for five years, is told by foreigners, with the facts stood on head for most of the time.  

Across the English-speaking media outlets and across the international political circles you see the Houthi extremists portrayed as a normal peaceable "rebels."  

Yemeni politicians at the beginning of the ongoing war between the government and Houthis realized that peace with Houthis is next to impossible and were ruling out sitting with them for talks.

The UN kept insisting on the government's engagement in such an impossible mission, even though the terrorist theocratic organization openly state and otherwise show their absolute refusal of dialogue.

With the repetition of pressures and demands, the UN finally convinced the once sober Yemeni officials and, as well, international audience that dialogue with Houthis is plausible and pursuable.    

The terrorists have so far avoided most of the offers for dialogue, and accepted a few with a beforehand intent to fail them unless they make a 100% win and the government accepts a %100 loss.

Five years into the war, the country is still bleeding and the Houthis remain who they are, a maximalist religious organization that believes in God-given right to rule alone or keep fighting to " the Day of Judgment."

Added to that, the Houthis still believe in the morality of deception (Taqiyya) as an integral part of their religious Zaydi Jaroodi doctrine!  

We Yemenis never doubted for a moment that Houthis are religious theocratic extremists who accept nothing less than full victory and therefore it is useless to think of any other solution than defeating them militarily. But our mistake was that we have let the UN to stand this solid conviction in our minds on head.

Others who narrate the Yemeni story wrongly on behalf of Yemenis are a broad section of news reporters and columnists in several western media institutions.

Since the beginning of the war in 2015, most English-speaking media have been distorting Yemen's recent history without a sense of shame.

The Houthis, an extremist religious (theocratic) organization practicing local Jihad against oppositionists is portrayed as sort of a legitimate force, and sometimes open-minded revolutionaries. The government forces are militia's, terror-linked, weak, mercenaries or don't exist on a territorial foothold all together.

The government is accounted equally guilty with Houthis in human rights abuses. Blindly pro-Houthi reporters ignore the facts that  while the Houthis detain journalists and civilians, the government doesn't; the Houthis torture prisoners, the government doesn't; the Houthis are the only warring party that plants landmines (in hundreds of thousands), the government doesn't and is rather is left with the challenge of cleaning them up; the Houthis besiege cities like Taiz and deploy snipers to kill civilians as a collective punishment, the government doesn't; the government believes in participatory democratic governance and invites Houthis to return to that, the Houthis as a religious theocratic organization don't.

The story is unfortunately narrated by foreign journalists and politicians contrary to the facts. Most recently on the UK-based "The Conversation" news website, Vincent Durac, goes to say that when "Hadi’s government proved incapable of resolving the deep-seated economic and political problems that had fuelled the 2011 uprising, the Houthis seized control of Sana'a in September 2014 without violence."

Probably subject to the influence of the Iranian media rhetoric, the English writer does not even bother to go to google and research whether Hadi had a real chance to govern and what led to Houthi seizing of control on Sana'a,. He would have certainly read something about the wars of Dammaj and of Amran in the Houthi march to Sana'a.

The title of his article even goes by the headline, "Yemen’s Houthis – and why they’re not simply a proxy of Iran."

What a big challenge this writer took upon himself! To deny the Houthi link to Iran. A challenge, surely, beyond his capacity.

If such pundits are so ready to argue in denial of Houthi link to Iran, which some Houthi warlords themselves openly acknowledge, I think we should not argue with them on the details in their articles.

But they remain both funny and provocative telling the story of our country on our behalf, giving credence to the terrorists and equating them with if not favoring them over the government.   

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