Reflecting on Jamestown Foundation’s biases in Houthis favor in Yemen

Reflecting on Jamestown Foundation’s biases in Houthis favor in Yemen


By Sarah Hassan

Contributing opinion writer

I wonder if the Jamestown Foundation thinks Yemeni readers would not notice in its reports on a Yemen a pretty clear bias in favor of the Iranian Shia militia of Houthis who are responsible for Yemen’s war and misery.   

Obviously one way to credit someone (the Houthis) is is to put down their opponent (the legitimate army.)

In its September 25 report entitled, “Houthi Offensive in Marib Represents Dual Threat to Yemeni Government,” the JF says: “Persistent turmoil and uncertainty has plagued the pro-government ranks, which is largely an incoherent, cobbled together fighting force from different regions and governorates and with disparate political motivations, hindering the government’s ability to dictate strategic and operational priorities.”

This description referring to the government forces in Marib may fool a western reader, not a Yemeni one. In Yemen it sounds so outlandish, the usual pro-Houthi points of view from western research institutes and media institutions. The government forces in Marib are the legitimate army that was first founded in 2015. Yes it comes from different regions and political backgrounds, but it is the epitome of coherence and patriotism. Where on earth would an army stay held together even after one year without receiving any payments?! This miracle is happening in a country seeing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and dirtiest conspiracy against the legitimate government. Thanks to the conspiracy, the army is the least armed too. Yet it still rushes from homes to the frontlines to repel thousands of Houthi extremists who every month flood Marib’s long borders seeking to overrun the city by mad dash. If by “incoherent” the JF author Brian M. Perkins means the army and the STC, then yes, those are not one team but should not be joined together by the name “pro-government forces.” The STC is not a pro-government entity. With the Houthi invasion of Aden in 2015, southern separatist trends melted away and everyone wanted to fight the northern Houthi invaders under the umbrella of President Abd-Rabbu M. Hadi who himself is a southerner. The designer of the conspiracy – guess who it is – was not happy to see unified ranks in Yemen and therefore began cultivating and reviving the separatist trends again among the southern army members who are responsive to the temptation. The designer made sure that the heavy weapons like armored vehicles donated to the army stay only in their hands. With the South Democratic Republic of Yemen flags brandished and draped over those trucks and over public buildings retaken from Houthis. The designer also kept feeding the separatist trend and exclusionary policy against the pro-government camp until officially dividing the military establishment and eventually evicting the supporters of united Yemen out of Aden.  

For all the shortage of arms and most importantly the long months without payment, the army left in the government’s side is still coherent and withstands the simultaneous attacks from the northern Houthi front, the southern STC front and the conspiracy planner’s sporadic but deadly airstrikes! It still survives and saves the lives of millions of IDPs in Marib despite several conspiratorial setbacks it faces.

I personally think an aspect of the conspiracy against the Yemeni legitimacy in is evident in the constant bias not only of the UN reactions but also the daily news reports and periodical researches published by the various western media and research institutions about Yemen.

The Jamestown Foundation is one such institution and its report I am criticizing now is an example. More openly pro-Houthi adversarial, to the point of indirect incitement of annihilation of the legitimate government and the part of the Yemeni population who support it from their province of refuge, Marib, was the JF’s foundation previous report: “Hot Issue – Is This the Beginning of the End of the War in Yemen?”   

In this report, the JF encourages a Saudi surrender of Yemen to Houthis in order to lead to Yemen becoming divided between the Houthis and the STC, for that will “dilute Houthi control”! And  “as counterintuitive as it sounds, a victory by the Houthis and their allies over the Saudi-backed forces of Yemeni president Abd Raboo Mansur Hadi may dilute Houthi influence in northwestern Yemen. The Houthis and those who support them know that capturing the governorate of Marib, the last real stronghold for Hadi-aligned forces, will be the coup de grâce for Yemen’s government-in-exile”!! Apart from the illegal status and dynastical theocratic nature of the Houthis, the report does not say where the millions of Yemeni population wanted by the bloodthirsty Houthi extremists will end up if the JF’s beloved Shia militia takes control of Marib. Trying, like the devil, to tempt Saudi Arabia into abandoning - or perhaps helping the Houthis take - the government’s “last stronghold,” the JF goes: “While the Houthis and their allies are fighting to retake the governorate, all sides, including some among the Saudi-supported Hadi government, want to avoid a costly battle that will destroy important and lucrative infrastructure. This coincides with Saudi Arabia’s decision to reduce funding and support for the Hadi-allied forces. Despite spending billions of dollars paying, equipping, and training these forces, Saudi Arabia has seen little return on its investment. What Hadi and Saudi Arabia call the Yemeni Army is not a cohesive force. Rather, it is riddled with factions who often have little interest in fighting the Houthis.

The sentence before the last advances the same argument from the last report: Incoherent government forces! “Some among the Saudi-supported Hadi government, want to avoid a costly battle that will destroy important and lucrative infrastructure.” This sounds like it comes off the top of the writer’s head. Who are these “some”? And who would choose the safety of infrastructure  over the lives of humans when it comes to facing the invasion of terrorists like Houthis?  The people in Marib are willing to defend themselves against the terrorists and the high-level conspiracies to the very end.

In conclusion the JF, through these reports, is communicating an advertisement. A very dark one! To promote the sensibility of surrendering the last remaining safe haven in Yemen to Shia terrorists.  So that these Shia militants get to abuse the millions of pro-government fugitives who once dared to say no in the militia’s face and get to humiliate the whole Sunni majority in Yemen!  Very Shiit Jamestown foundation.



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