The Saudi War on Democracy

My latest piece for Jacobin Magazine; on Yemen.

So if Iranian influence isn’t the overriding factor, what is really behind the Saudi war on Yemen? The former United Nations envoy to Yemen, who was responsible for negotiations in the country until recently, revealed that the warring factions were on the brink of a power-sharing deal just before the war began. The Saudi-led war on the country aborted those talks.

As Jamal Benomar told the Wall Street Journal, “When this campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all sides, including the Houthis.”

According to an anonymous diplomat speaking to the Wall Street Journal, “the Saudis also intervened to prevent a power-sharing deal that would include the Houthis and that would give 30% of the cabinet and parliament to women.”

Hadi, on the other hand, came to power in an election in which he was the only candidate.

Read the whole thing here.


Saudi aggression in Yemen will fail

On the Saudi war against Yemen:

Saudi Arabia is an absolutist monarchy which does not even have the pretence of fixed elections. The two regimes are very different in many ways, but similar in some key respects. Both are systematic human rights abusers. Although in rather different ways, both have religious fundamentalism at the heart of their state institutions. Both did their level best to destroy and hijack the democratic uprisings that broke out in the Arab world in 2011.

Both are fêted in Western capitals. And both invade surrounding countries and start wars of aggression – although Israel does this far more.

And so to Yemen, which Saudi Arabia, backed by other regional despots has just launched a murderous war against.

Read the whole thing over at MEMO.